A Guide For Architectural And Interior Design Styles

Whenever you look at a house for the first time, one of the first things that you do is try to place it in a category. In other words, you’re trying to figure out if it’s a country-style house, a Victorian, a contemporary house, etc. But how do you manage to do that? Well, you would have to know the main characteristics of each style. Since nobody was born omniscient, we’ve create a simple guide to help you with that.

Victorian Houses.

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A Victorian house can be identified through several characteristics. Typical Victorian houses have complex floor plans and they are designed to include modern amenities. They usually feature asymmetrical, vertical facades, they have two or three stories, they have a steep roof that can either be a mansard or simply a pitched roof and they have textured sheathing featuring shingles or mixed materials.

Tudor Houses.

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Tudor houses are very charming and they also feature steep roofs. Like the Victorian houses, these too can be identified by their asymmetrical appearance. The façade of Tudor houses is usually dominated by either one or more cross gables. These houses also have large chimneys and tall and narrow windows organized in groupings. You can also distinguish a Tudor house by the overhanging second story and by the entry which is usually an arch.{image from refined}.

Timber Frame Houses.

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A timber frame house is very easy to identify. It’s one of the oldest home styles and it features massive timbers that create the frame. The skeleton of the house is filled with stone or brick. Timber frame houses also feature handcrafted joints and they are assembles without using nails or screws. They are self-supporting structures that have no interior load-bearing walls. They also feature large windows and usually have a rustic appearance.{found on metzler site}.

American Farmhouses.

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American farmhouses can be described as a hybrid in terms of architectural styles. They have a very simple and straightforward design and they are meant to be functional. Usually you’ll notice that American farmhouses have a simple and rectangular floor plan but sometimes T-shaped floor plans are also popular. They don’t have more than two stories and they are often built using local materials. Another important characteristic is their light-colored exterior.{found on pinterest}.

Art Deco Houses.

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Identifying an art deco house should be quite easy, given their main characteristics. They usually feature clean lines and geometric shapes meant to have a dramatic visual impact. They feature smooth wall surfaces usually made of stucco, they have flat roofs and they also feature stylized motifs such as zigzags or chevrons used with decorative functions on the façade.

Cape Cod Houses.

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Originary from colonial New England, Cape Cod houses became popular in the 1930s-1950s. They are house that have one story and a half with gabled ends and symmetrical facades. They have steep roofs and they almost always have a central chimney. They also feature multi-paned windows with functional shutters and they have very little or no decorative exterior features.

Colonial Revival Houses.

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This style became popular after the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia and they had dramatic designs for that time. They can be identified by their symmetrical façade and their square or rectangular center-hall floor plan. They have either gable, gambrel or hipped roofs and they can have two or three stories. Colonial revival houses feature wood or brick constructions and have paneled entry doors. They also feature multi-paned windows with shutters, chimneys and multiple fireplaces.{image from site}.

Contemporary Houses.

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Contemporary houses are extremely easy to identify, mostly because of their popularity these days. The main characteristics of contemporary houses are an irregular or asymmetrical façade, a strong geometric shape, large windows, clerestory windows and a distinctive roofline which can either be flat or gabled. They are built with natural materials and they are usually sustainable and eco-friendly. They are very bright inside and have open floor plans with flexible layouts.

Craftsman Bungalows.

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This style originated in the United States from furniture maker and designer Gustav Stickley’s “the Craftsman” magazine. These houses have low-pitched gabled roofs with exposed roof rafters, they have one and a half stories and feature a horizontal shape. They often have a porch with columns and an exterior stone chimney. The living room is usually the central space and there’s a fireplace that dominates the décor. The interior design is characterized by built-in furniture and lighting, a large number of windows and beamed ceilings.{found on site}.

French Style Houses.

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As the name says, the inspiration for this style came from France. Usually, French style houses include the following characteristics: a tall hipped roof, a brick, stone or stucco exterior, multi-paned windows, an arched doorway and no dominant front-facing cross gable. The design was inspired by castles, farmhouses and manors.

The Tuscan Villa Houses

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The Tuscan Villa style is of Italian inspiration and can be identifies by some of the following characteristics: the low-pitched of flat roof, the wide overhanging eaves, the cornices, cupolas and towers, the asymmetrical shape and tall-looking façade. These houses usually have two or three stories and they often have a porch or an enclosed balcony. The windows and doors have arches and sometimes feature colored or etched glass.

Swiss Cottages.

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Inspired by the 19th century structures from Switzerland and Germany, these houses became popular throughout the United Stated thanks to their charming designs. They have large windows, rough-cut lumber, exposed beams, gabled roofs with eaves and their exterior is usually painted in bright colors. They also have a raised stone foundation and often feature balconies.

Ranch Houses.

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Ranch houses have an architecture that is easy to identify. They became popular in the late 20th century and their distinguishable features include an asymmetrical floor plan which can either be U-shaped of L-shaped, a patio, sliding glass doors, large windows and large informal living areas and children’s play areas. They have only one story and usually feature a low-pitched roof.

Spanish-Style Houses.

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Spanish-style houses were inspired by the Mediterranean architecture from areas such as Portugal, Italy and northern Africa. They usually feature an asymmetrical façade and a stucco exterior. They have low-pitched roofs with red tiles. Their doors and main windows are arched and they often have porches. The interior design features molded details and dark-stained woodwork.

Prairie Style Houses.

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This style could also be described as being distinctively American and it started as a reaction to the Victorian style and its restrictions. Prairie style houses usually have low, horizontal shapes and have one or two stories. They also feature broad, low-pitched roofs with wide overhanging eaves. They have large porches and light colored walls. Inside they feature an open floor plan with rooms separated by dividers.{image from site}.