Home Architectural Styles

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View a directory of home architectural styles of all types. Each reference jumps to an outside sources for architectural history, comments and designs.


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About Architectural Styles

American Timeline of Architectural Styles

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Home Architectural Types

American Four Square

One of the most popular American homes that came out of the suburban development of the late 1800's to 1930s. Built close together with a distinguished square look and surrounding outer perimeter. Dubbed the true "American Home".

Beaux Arts

A large and symmetrical facade, incorporating pilasters or columns reaching more than one story, is typical of this style which was most popular around the turn of this century. Mansard or flat roofs are common, and various types of stone finishes enhance the exterior walls.


The style was most popular during the early 1900s and is characteristically simple with gables, large overhangs and dormer windows. Although the stereotypical bungalow is small, the actual style and stylistic elements are often adapted to the surroundings.

Cape Cod

Built in New England from the late 17th century until about 1850. Materials and other resources were scarce, thus the houses were often more modest than elsewhere. They were early America's version of the starter home.


These large homes, associated with the late 1800s, have steep roofs with gables. The exterior decoration emphasizes the vertical orientation of the structure, combining chimneys, spires, balconies, and a variety of dormer windows.

Colonial Revival

The facade on these homes commands the most attention due to its symmetry and focus on the entrance. The front door, often emphasized by decorative crowns or pediments, is flanked by multi-paned windows. This style originated in the late 1800s and continues to be popular today.

Dutch Colonial

This style originated in the early 1600s and remained popular for over 200 years. The gabled roof tends to be quite steep and the overhangs relatively prominent. A typical Dutch Colonial house has Dutch doors (doors with a top and bottom section which can be opened independently of one another) and exterior shutters on the windows.

Eastern Stick

Exterior stick work is the most obvious characteristic of this style which originated in the late 1800s. The interior frame is echoed by boards nailed to the exterior walls. The overall appearance of the home is asymmetrical and angular, punctuated with steep roofs, gables, and verandahs.


Symmetry is the dominant element in these homes which were most popular during the late 1700s and early 1800s. The facade usually has a six-panel door under fanlight. Columns or pilasters are common, as is a highly decorative cornice.

Folk Victorian

The basic simplicity of this style is contrasted by the decorative handling of the trim on the porches and gables and brackets under the eaves. These homes were most popular around the turn of this century.

French Colonial

Popular throughout the 18th century, these homes have French doors and casement windows with exterior shutters. In the truest form of the style, the exterior walls have half-timber framing covered in stucco.


Both the floor plan and the facade of these homes are symmetrical. The front door is flanked by columns or pilasters, usually with a triangular pediment above. The style is most closely associated with the 1700s.

Gothic Revival

The decorative elements of these homes resemble a castle with the shape of the doors and windows echoing the pointed Gothic arch. The appearance of the exterior is unified by the extensive use of ornamental moldings. This style was common throughout most of the 19th century.

Greek Revival

The front porch on the homes has non-fluted columns and is topped by a triangular pediment and continuous frieze. Elongated windows and a transom window over the front door are common stylistic elements of this type which originated in the early 1800s.


Most popular during the first half of the 20th century, these homes have very little exterior decoration and a flat roof. The walls are sheathed in stucco or plaster and the windows are even with the wall surface.

Italian Renaissance

This style was originated around the turn of the 19th century. The most common decorative elements are a ceramic tiled roof, windows and doors accented by rounded arches, and covered porches with columns.

Italian ate

These ornamented multi-storied homes are generally associated with the second half of the 19th century. Large brackets support the overhanging eaves and decorative lintels are often over windows and doors. The facade is symmetrical, and towers are not uncommon in the larger examples.


Popular around the turn of this century, Mission style houses have broad expanses of stucco walls and a red tile roof. Rounded archways are supported by square pillars, and there are exposed rafters under the overhanging eaves.


Largely popular during the first half of the 20th century, the symmetrical facade is generally a two story porch with a pediment and large Ionic or Corinthian columns.

New England Colonial

Simplicity and clean lines are the characteristic elements in this style which originated in the 1600s. These houses are usually two stories with a steep roof and little or no exterior ornamentation.


The horizontal emphasis is the most distinct characteristic of these houses popularized during the early 1900s and closely associated with Frank Lloyd Wright. The low roofs, deep overhangs, and casement windows serve to make these houses appear close to the ground.

Pueblo Revival

Popular since the early 1900s, this style seems the quintessential example of the Southwestern home. The battered stucco walls are topped by a flat roof with projecting beams. The windows are set deeply into the walls and terraces are a common feature.

Queen Anne

The variety of decorative elements is the most common trait in these homes popular during the turn of the 20th century. The variety extends to the types of windows, color, and exterior wall textures and materials.

Second Empire

These multi-story homes have mansard roofs and a variety of colors on the exterior. Dormer windows, exterior ornamentation, and rounded doors are common in this style popular during the late 1800s.


This style originated around the turn of this century and is characterized by a covering of shingles on the exterior walls. Gable roofs and dormer windows are common.

Southern Colonial

Brick sheathing is common in this style which originated in the 1600s. The roof is generally quite steep and gabled. Classical decorative elements, such as cornices, often grace the exterior.

Spanish Colonial

Associated with the Southwest, this style maintained its popularity from the 1600s through the end of the 1800s. The houses are typically one story with a flat roof and stucco walls. Verandahs and patios are common features.


Multi-paned windows and steep gabled roofs are the most recognizable elements in these houses popularized in the first half of the 20th century. Half-timbering and tall chimneys are often used as exterior decoration.

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