Building your dream home involves choosing the architectural style that resonates with you. You might already have a vision in mind or find inspiration in the neighborhood you live in or the home you grew up in. The key is to choose a style that aligns with your personality and lifestyle to create a welcoming and functional living space.
However, if you find it challenging to express your preferred architectural style due to limited knowledge about design concepts and terminology, don’t worry. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular architectural styles to help you get a better idea of what you may be looking for
This blog post will provide a comprehensive guide to the most desirable architectural home styles for your new build. We’ll explore the unique characteristics of each style and the features that make the style stand out. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of which architectural style is right for your next home build so that you can discuss your options with your architect or builder and make an informed decision.
15 Most Desirable Architectural Home Styles
Here are some of the most popular architectural home styles:
1. Cape Cod-style Houses
The Cape Cod-style house originated in the 17th century in New England, particularly in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. English cottages influenced its design, and it was built for practicality and functionality. Many people today continue to choose this style among other architectural home styles for their next home build due to its simplistic yet effective design, which makes it very attractive.
The features of a Cape Cod-style house typically include
- A steeply pitched roof with gables on the sides, a central chimney, and a symmetrical facade with a front door in the center.
- The exterior is usually clad in wood or shingles, and there may be dormer windows on the roof.
- The interior is usually simple and efficient, with a central hallway leading to the main living areas and bedrooms.
Over time, the design of Cape Cod-style houses has evolved, and modern versions may include more contemporary features such as larger windows or different roof shapes. However, they still retain the classic elements that make them easily recognizable as Cape Cod-style houses.
2. Ranch-style Houses
Ranch-style houses originated in the United States in the 1920s and became popular in the post-World War II era. They were designed to be practical, affordable, and accommodate the growing trend of automobile ownership.
The list of its distinctive features includes
- A single-story layout with a low-pitched roof and a long, horizontal shape.
- The exterior is often characterized by a simple and unadorned facade with brick, stucco, or wood siding.
- The interior is typically designed to be open and functional, with a simple floor plan that often includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedrooms.
Ranch-style houses were designed to be easy to maintain and suited for suburban living. They often include attached garages, and some designs feature an “L-shaped” layout that creates a courtyard or patio space for outdoor living. Ranch-style homes can be found throughout the United States, and modern interpretations may include energy-efficient materials and updated floor plans.
3. Tudor-style Houses
The name of this style alludes to the architecture of England’s Tudor dynasty in the 16th century. However, the Tudor houses we see today are modern recreations of the original Tudor-style homes, which have become popular throughout the United States.
Tudor-style homes are easily recognizable by their
- Steeply pitched roofs
- Decorative half-timbering, prominent cross gables
- Tall, narrow windows with small windowpanes.
Overall, Tudor-style houses are popular architectural home styles for those who want a distinctive, historic look for their home. They are often found in older neighborhoods or historic districts, but they can also be built in new developments or in suburban areas. Despite their historical roots, Tudor-style houses can be designed to include modern amenities and conveniences, making them a popular choice for homeowners looking for a unique and stylish living space.
4. Victorian-style Houses
Victorian-style houses originated in the United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901, and quickly became popular in the US during the latter half of the nineteenth century. They were designed to showcase wealth and status and to incorporate the latest architectural trends and technologies of the time.
The features of a Victorian-style house are often.
- Ornate and elaborate, with steeply pitched roofs, asymmetrical facades, and a variety of decorative elements such as towers, turrets, and intricate woodwork.
- The exterior is typically clad in wood, stone, or brick and often features a variety of colors and textures.
- The interior is often characterized by high ceilings, ornate moldings, and decorative details such as stained glass windows, carved woodwork, and intricate tile mosaics.
Unlike other architectural home styles Victorian-style houses were often built for wealthy families, and the ornate design and decoration were intended to showcase their wealth and social status. There are several subtypes of Victorian-style houses, including Queen Anne, Second Empire, and Gothic Revival, each with its own unique features and architectural details.
5. Craftsman-style Houses
This house style originated in the United States during the early 20th century and became popular during the 1930s and 1940s. They were designed to be practical, affordable, and easy to maintain.
The features of a Craftsman-style house typically include
- It has A long, low-pitched roof with dormer windows on one side.
- The exterior is usually constructed of wood siding or bricks and may feature decorative trim such as brackets or exposed rafters.
- The interior includes high ceilings, a large fireplace, and an open floor plan with rooms that open onto each other.
Among many architectural home styles, Craftsman-style houses were intended to be affordable options for middle-class families. They are often located on desirable properties in urban areas and include attached garages and porches with roof decks for outdoor living. Modern interpretations may include energy-efficient appliances and materials.
6. Colonial-style Houses
Since 1876, East Coast architecture has held its appeal in various regions of the US. These traditional homes are renowned for their timeless appeal, ornamental doorways, and symmetrical window arrangements. Many colonial-style dwellings feature two or three stories, fireplaces, and brick or wooden exteriors.
Their symmetrical design and side-gabled roofs, though they differ in that Cape Cod-style houses tend to be single-story instead of multi-story. These dwellings are primarily located in the Northeastern region of the United States.
7. Mediterranean-style Houses
Mediterranean-style homes originated in California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in the cities of Santa Barbara and Pasadena. They were designed to emulate the villas and farmhouses of the Mediterranean region, particularly Italy and Spain.
The features of a Mediterranean-style house typically include
- A low-pitched or flat roof with red clay tiles, stucco exterior walls, and arched windows and doorways.
- Other features include wrought iron accents, terraces and balconies, and ornamental details such as tile mosaics or hand-painted tiles.
- High ceilings and decorative elements such as exposed wood beams or hand-painted murals often characterize the interior.
Mediterranean-style houses were originally built in warm climates and designed to be airy and cool. They often include courtyards or patio spaces that allow for outdoor living and entertaining. Today, the style is popular throughout the United States and can be found in both historical and modern interpretations.
8. Cottage-style Houses
The enchanting thatched-roof cottages of the Medieval English countryside have been a source of inspiration for American architects, leading to the creation of the cozy, cottage-style houses that are so popular in the United States today. This is one of the best architectural home styles that increases the overall value of your home.
Cottage-style house plans often feature
- A cozy, storybook-like ambiance, steep roof pitches, cross gables, arched doors,
- Casement windows with small panes and brick or stucco exteriors give the homes a classic and timeless look.
Overall, cottage-style houses are a popular choice for those who want a cozy, charming, and simple home in harmony with nature. They are often found in rural areas but can also be built in suburban or urban settings, depending on the homeowner’s preferences.
9. Contemporary-style Houses
Contemporary-style home refers to any type of house, whether single-family or multi-family, designed to reflect modern architecture’s aesthetic and functional values.
The features of contemporary-style houses often include
- Clean lines, simple geometries, solid colors, large windows with few frames or decorative elements, and angular exteriors with flat roofs.
- Contemporary homes may feature dramatic use of color and pattern on the exterior, but most contemporary houses are still fairly simple in appearance.
10. Modern-style Houses
The modern-style home has a reputation for being sleek and minimalist in both exterior and interior design, but this style obviously can accommodate many different styles, both classic and modern.
The features of a Modern-style house
- They are often defined by clean lines and simple geometries that emulate the basic shapes of furniture, appliances, fixtures, and decor.
- These homes may include amalgams of architectural styles such as Art Deco or Mid-Century Modernism that are typically incorporated into the most prestigious properties.
11. Farmhouse-style Houses
The historic farmhouse is a staple of the American countryside, and this style has become especially popular in recent years because it reflects the values of traditional, sustainable design. Farmhouse-style houses are one of the most popular architectural home styles intended to be beautiful, durable, and functional.
This style often features
- Large front porches with high ceilings, tall windows to let in as much natural light as possible,
- Fireplaces or wood-burning stoves that were once used for heat and open floor plans promote social interaction.
Townhouses are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas, providing a great alternative to a traditional single-family houses. These dwellings are typically built side-by-side, sharing a common wall, and are perfect for those looking to live in bustling cities where lot sizes are often narrow.
Townhouses are one of the most popular and flexible architectural home styles in the United States.
- The style is characterized by multiple stories that allow for multi-family living and lots of light.
- In most cases, townhouses are three stories, but they may also be two or four stories, depending on the particular construction.
13. French Country-style Houses
French Country-style houses are a type of architectural style that originated in the rural areas of France. These houses are known for their charming, rustic appearance, with natural materials, intricate detailing, and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
French country homes are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with their recognizable characteristics such as natural stone facades, sloping roofs, two chimneys, and natural wood or stone flooring. These homes can be seen adorning residential communities across the country.
14. Gothic Revival
The roots of this style go back to the medieval European style of architecture when architects and builders wanted to reinterpret the Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals that were so popular in the Middle Ages.
The gothic Revival style is a popular feature of many buildings in the United States, especially cathedrals. Although it is rare to find a home that is fully in this style, many residential buildings will incorporate certain aspects of it. Common features of the Gothic Revival style include pointed arches, stained glass windows, and decorative elements like spires and gargoyles.
15. Greek Revival
The Greek Revival is a 19th-century architectural home style that stands on a foundation of both classical and neoclassical design. It originally began as a simple but elegant interpretation of the Parthenon and the Ancient Greek temples and tombs that were popular at the time.
- The features of a Greek Revival house often mirror those of its classical inspiration, with columns, entablatures, pediments, and pilasters that recall the grand structures of Ancient Greece.
- However, modern versions are typically simpler in appearance than their ancient counterparts.
When it comes to architectural home styles for your next home, the possibilities are really endless. From traditional and classic to modern and minimalistic, there is a style of home that can fit your lifestyle and preferences. Before you start building, do research to ensure that you find the best style for you and your home. After all, you will be living in it for years to come.
In order to make your vision for your new house a reality, help from a professional contractor is a great idea. A contractor will be able to guide you through the entire process, from initial design concepts to final construction. This way, they can ensure that your dream home becomes a reality without costing too much or taking too long.