A-frame homes typically have roofs that start at the foundation and meet at a sharp peak at the top of the structure, creating a shape similar to a capital “A” letter. The roofline subsequently creates an interior with steep angled walls.
Art Deco architecture began as a decorative take on modernist design from the early twentieth century. Sometimes referred to as Architecture Moderne, it was defined early on by large, geometric decorative elements and a vertically oriented, urban design with clean lines.
Cape Cod architecture is fairly simple with one or two stories, a steeply pitched roof, and square or rectangular shape with brick or shingled siding.
Colonial architecture was originally popular during the 1700s as European settlers where developing their homesteads along the East Coast of the United States. An offshoot of the Cape Cod style home, it features a symmetrical, rectangular design with a central front hallway and second-floor bedrooms.
A condominium is a dwelling in a multi-unit building that is differentiated from an apartment through ownership. Condos are popular in urban areas, but any multi-unit building can be a condominium if individuals are allowed to purchase units.
Contemporary architecture borrows many of its core elements from the long history of modern design, including clean lines, open spaces, and minimalist design. Many contemporary homes emphasize natural light through the installation of large windows and outdoor entertaining areas, as well as highly functional interior spaces with sparse ornamentation and a focus on intelligent materials.
Cottage / Bungalow
Commonly considered the pre-cursor to the Craftsman, Cottages and Bungalows are both architectural styles that describe a small, cozy, single-family dwelling. Historically, these types of homes were more commonly found in rural or semi-rural areas, but nowadays cottage-style dwellings and bungalows are popular choices in cities as well. The footprint of these homes is typically small with low-pitched gabled roofs and small covered porches at the entry.
The Craftsman originated in Southern California in the early twentieth century, and quickly became very popular along the west coast, influenced by rapid industry and population growth.
Dome structures have a long history as architectural features in building design, from ancient times to sophisticated modern homes. Domes have many uses in modern-day design, including sports stadiums, single-family homes, and religious structures. Domes come in many styles and can be made with a variety of materials, from steel, glass, brick, and concrete, to more lightweight or temporary materials, such as fabric and plastic.
Duplex / Townhome / Row House
A duplex is a stand-alone structure with two units that share a common wall, but separate entrances. A townhome or row house consists of a row of similar or identical dwellings that are individually owned. Townhomes are typically closer to that of single-family home ownership, without monthly dues or Home Ownership Associations. Each type of unit shares a wall with adjacent dwellings. Townhomes are common in dense urban spaces.
Foursquare / Prairie Box
The Foursquare home is one of the most straightforward designs in the American architectural vernacular. With a room occupying each quadrant of the box construction, these homes feature simple designs and can be found throughout the United States. Though these homes are not typically ornate in appearance, they can include front porches with columns and dormer windows set in their hipped roofs.
In early American architectural history, architects and designers found inspiration from ancient Greek styles. Greek Revival architecture is grand in stature and style; it is often defined by large-scale floor plans, broad verandahs, grand entries, and formal rooms for entertaining. Details may include extravagant decorative and structural features inspired by the Parthenon, including towering columns, ornate carvings, and moldings with medallions.
The movie “Sleepless in Seattle” made the Houseboat synonymous with Seattle, but the floating home can be found on rivers and lakes throughout the world. Houseboats are usually moored, not driven from location to location, and float on the water adjacent to a pier. They are typically connected to power and water sources and sometimes boast additional amenities and close knit communities.
If you ever dreamed of living in an Italian villa, Italianate architecture and design may be a good way to turn your imagination into your everyday reality. Italianate homes are square and symmetrical and generally built from brick, stone, or stucco. True Italianate homes also have well-constructed masonry walls. The Italianate aesthetic is usually defined by rounded windows, columned entry ways, tile flooring, carved wood detailing, and interior columns.
When we think of loft-style architecture, we typically think of big cities, but cities of all sizes around the world with an industrial past have warehouses and other commercial structures that have been converted into loft spaces. Lofts became popular in new construction projects in the early 2000s, combining the traditional utilitarian loft aesthetic with additional modern amenities and storage.
Based around simplicity and smooth cohesion between nature and its surroundings, Mid-Century Modern architecture was one of the most popular styles for post-war homes in the United States. Characterized by flat planes, large glass windows and open floor plans, these homes featured simplicity and an integration with nature, encouraging residents to explore the world in new ways.
Modern architecture has had a presence throughout most of the twentieth century and is defined by contemporary building techniques. First influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1880s, architects designed modern spaces with open floor plans, absence of ornamentation, and an emphasis on the natural materials and surroundings of the home.
Both “Northwest” and “Contemporary” are broad terms used to explain an eclectic and diverse architectural style of an equally eclectic and diverse region. The climate and influences of the Pacific Northwest have led to home design that enhances the experience in a region where much of the season is spent indoors.
The Pacific Lodge evokes the feeling of a cozy log cabin and is influenced by materials found in the Pacific Northwest region, as well as indigenous design and frontier styles. Pacific Lodge style homes can range from small cabins to large mansions.
Prefab, or prefabricated homes, have made a resurgence as a dwelling style over the last few years. During the first half of the twentieth century, one could order a home from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog and have a kit shipped by train, but now prefab homes are far easier to come by. Modern kits are ideal for smaller lots and have become an eco-friendly – and affordable – option for someone looking for a highly efficient new construction dwelling.
Pueblo style architecture is emblematic of the American Southwest and is modeled on the dwellings that have been built by the area’s indigenous tribes for thousands of years. These structures are specially designed to withstand the intense heat and arid environment in the desert by keeping the interior cool throughout the day while insulating the warmth during cool nights.
Generally referred to as the “California Ranch”, this single-story sprawling home became popular in post-war America. The home takes cues from modernist homes with its open layout, indoor/outdoor entertaining spaces, and large windows. The ranch/rambler style house experienced the height of success in the 1950s and 1960s with the boom of the suburbs, and can be found all over the United States.
Native American, Mexican, and Spanish missionary styles all converge to create the Spanish Eclectic aesthetic. Architecture in the American Southwest has been heavily influenced by the unique history of this architectural style. Similar to the Pueblo Revival, Spanish Eclectic dwellings are traditionally built from adobe, but can also be made from concrete, stucco, or brick to form thick structural walls, and rounded corners and doorways.
Tudor style homes originated in England and experienced their American revival in the early 1900s. Today, Tudor-style homes can be found in modern-day suburbs all across the U.S. These homes come in varying sizes, but are all identifiable by their unique look. Tudor homes most notably have steep-pitched, interlocking gabled roofs, making them ideal for regions with rain or snow.
There are multiple styles within the Victorian theme. The Stick Victorian has been said to resemble a gingerbread house with its steep gables and detailed, decorative cladding and trims.