From the Queen Anne House Style to Tudor houses to Art Moderne house styles, learn about the most popular, expensive, elegant and prestigious house architectures in America and around the world. The following are some of the top American house styles and designs from the 1800s to 2019.
Victorian House Style 1837 – 1901
The Victorian house style was built during the reigning years of Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901). Victorian Houses started to boom in the industrial revolution. Millions of this type of houses were built in British towns and cities.
Before being accepted in America and the world, Victorian houses were types of new traditional houses built as detached terrace houses with Sash windows or larger panes of glass brick and local stones. They were most of the time featured with vegetation and small gardens.
Victorian houses are normally related to the Queen Anne house style. With stained glass windows and contrasting colours. Common victorian house characteristics are Narrow and Tall houses which enabled them to be built on a piece of land, most of them had stairs which lead to porches with iron railings.
The also had Towers and Turrets which were built as unique rooms for either studying, bedrooms, man-caves or libraries. These characteristics gave that castle feel from Gothic mansions. Other characteristics include Decorative trims, bay windows and asymmetrical house designs.
Common features of the Victorian House designs are 1. Sanitation: Regulations were passed in 1850 for Victorian houses to improve sanitation through correct drainage and waste facilities.
This was when an outside private toilet or water closet was included. 2. Hot and cold water: They also added Hot and Cold Water as a common feature by the turn of the century. 3. Lightning was also introduced through the Gas powered systems. By the end of the Victorian era, many houses have gas as their source of light. Basement with Cellar for storing coal, for open fires and to heat water.
Tudor House Style 1985
Tudor houses originated from Medieval architecture. This type of houses emerged during the Tudor period between 1485 and 1603 during the reign of Elizabeth I.
The Tudor period cherished glass and made it a luxury material. Glass was used for the Tudor windows as a status symbol. Due to its expensive nature, tiny panes were produced and held together with a criss-cross lead or lattice pattern. Tudor houses were regarded for noble people, upper classes and clerical.
- Characteristics of Tudor Houses: Tudor houses are characterized by their steep gable roofs, masonry chimneys, decorated doorways, assembled windows with an exposed wooden framework with spaces between them filled with masonry or stucco.
- Tudor House Materials: Materials used to build most Tudor houses include stucco walls with half-timbering, weatherboard or shingled walls, decorative stone trims and bricks being the most prevalent building material. Tudor House Roofs are a mostly steep gabled roof with punctuated small dormers and slate and sometimes parapets.
This provided spectacular housing like the Little Moreton Hall. Another material was timber. The timber-frame architecture was very eminent.
One significant thing about the Tudor people and how they built their houses this way was because most of them worked in agriculture.
Shingle House Style
The Shingle House style was introduced between 1889 and 1900 by salient American architects. People like Frank Lloyd Wright and H.H. Richardson. The Shingle House Style emerged from the Queen Anne House style during the New England colonies. The style began in the New England region still gives birth to some of the best and most beautiful Shingle houses in the world.
The Shingle house still remains a highly fashionable and high-class architectural design for prestigious people in the 21st century. Shingle style house is identified by the presence of shingles on both the roof and wall surfaces. Most of the time, the floor walls are designed with shingles, stone or bricks with a cover gable at the ends and with curving towers and porch columns.
Monochrome appearances are used for painting with a uniformly cover exteriors surfaces. In terms of shape, the shingle house style resembles the Queen Anne style with the lack of decorative details. Most porches are large in size and space. The roof so shingle houses are decorated with multi gables. Windows are very small in pairs or triples.
The Prairie house style is an American house style that emerged in Chicago around 1900 from the work of a group of young architects. The style reached its fullest expression in residences, like Wright’s Robie House and George W. Maher’s Pleasant Home, but schools, warehouses and park buildings were also built in the style. Chicago is especially rich in examples: the suburb of Oak Park has the highest concentration of Prairie style buildings in the United States.
Prairie houses were generally two-story structures with single-story wings. The style is usually marked by horizontal lines, ribbon windows, gently sloping roofs, suppressed, heavy-set chimneys, overhangs, and sequestered gardens.
The Prairie style’s popularity faded rapidly in the United States after 1915, although its influence can be seen in everything from Modernist architecture to Mid-Century ranches.
The Mediterranean House style is prominent in countries surrounding the Mediterranean such as France, Spain and Italy. The Mediterranean house characteristics are often a red low-pitched tile roof, extensive outdoor living areas, columns, and arched windows with wrought-iron balconies. Mediterranean houses share many features with Spanish house plans such as The architecture throughout the area shares many of the same features including tall interior ceilings, cool tile floors and lots of windows.
Mediterranean architecture showed up in the U.S. between the period of 1920 and 1930. Mediterranean house plans with courtyards became popular when they were featured in movies and magazines sprawling with popular tv icons. Soap operas featured haciendas with a Mediterranean style which were depicted to belong to the rich and powerful in society. This shot up Mediterranean houses for sale in America during that time. However small Mediterranean house plans offer people with a smaller budget affords them the luxury of the Mediterranean experience.
There are still modern Mediterranean house plans even though they are not as popular as they used to be. This house style began to die out during the Great Depression when there was little home building.
Modern Mediterranean architecture has influenced some of today’s architecture such as the Freedom Tower in Miami and the Pasadena City Hall in California. They represent a shift towards simplicity in the house designing while still maintaining the lavish and classy look of the predecessors and are ideal for people living around the tropics. The Mediterranean house plan for narrow lots has become a sought-after feature for modern yet simple Mediterranean home styles.
Italian Renaissance Revival
The historic Italianate house plans emerged in England in defiance to deep-seated formalism that was associated with the nineteenth-century architecture. The Italianate design was influenced by farmhouses in Italy. The Italianate farmhouses were characterized by square towers made from masonry work and expanded to towns and cities of the northeastern seaboard.
The Italianate architecture became famous in America during the 1830s and became the choicest house plan option within a short period of time. Architects and builders from America began to design beautiful recreations of Italian Renaissance villas. The Italianate house plans were replicated and reinterpreted the style for buildings in the United States, making Italianate architecture in the U.S. uniquely American in style.
The Italianate row houses became famous just like the queen Anne house during the rapid growth of brownstone Brooklyn – a popular brown sandstone used for building. The Italianate row houses are normally found in older neighbourhoods and also appear in lesser numbers within later-developed neighbourhoods. The Brooklyn row house is characterised by brownstone, homes with tall stoops, long windows and majestic entries.
The craftsman House originated from Britain in the 19th Century when Britain was going through the industrial revolution. Although handcrafted products had started to decline in exchange for the use of machines at the time, the British Arts and Crafts movement withstood this phenomenon and the craftsman house survived.
When the craftsman style home plans moved to American, people were eager to try something new and fresh as opposed to the frills of Victorian homes. The over decorating aspect of this type of house was toned down to meet the standards of middle class America. Craftsman house styles are now easily identifiable by their smart built-ins and signature front porch supported by square columns. Modern craftsman house plans come in four main styles: the Prairie, the Mission, the Four Square and the Bungalow. With so many available options one might consider actually using the existing plans of 1 story or 1.5 story craftsman house plans as inspiration for building a home. Alternatively, there is always the option to purchase one of the many craftsman houses for sale on websites like circaoldhouses.com.
The crafts man style house characteristics include large entryways that are lined by pillars, wide eaves with exposed rafters, hanging windows and a front porch. The craftsman house interior tends to have a large firs place that becomes the focal point of the room. Others have magnificent coffered ceilings that leave the rooms cozy and comfortable.
A Mansard house, also referred to as a mansard roof house was built in the 1880’s and features a mansard roof which is typically covered with a diaper-patterned pressed metal and wraparound porch. Details of the mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof made up of two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope filled in by dormer windows at a deeper angle than the upper.
The Mansard house some advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages of the Mansard house are:
- Mansard roofs maximize interior space for more accommodation.
- They offer a large amount of living space.
- Mansard houses offer easy expandability.
- They have elegant designs which give the great aesthetic value.
However, some disadvantages of the mansard roof are:
- The Mansard roofs are more expensive than other roof types.
- They do not normally withstand heavy rain and snowfall.
- Maintaining Mansard roofs are pretty intensive
The modern mansard roof essentially adds another accommodating floor to a building, turning the attic into a spacious and comfortable space with few restrictions when it comes to interior design.
Though the Mansard roof has been in existence since the 16th century, it only began to gain popularity during the early 17th century. From that time onward the Mansard roof has become an integral part of French architecture and is commonly seen in many buildings located in that part of the world.
Metal Mansard roofs are a great choice that solves some of the problems that face the typical mansard roof.
Mansard roofs are mostly found on much older homes, but it is possible to update a Mansard roof build a more updated version designed to mitigate some of the design’s problems. Modern materials are often more durable and resistant to water damage. High-quality insulation will help prevent damage to a mansard roof.
21st Century House
A short history about the 21st-century house style shows that it is a new architectural style that emerged in many countries in the decade after World War I.
It was based on the “rational” use of modern materials and the rejection of historical precedent and ornament. Modern architecture was adopted by many influential architects and an architectural educator gained popularity after the Second World War and continues as a dominant architectural style for institutional and corporate buildings in the 21st century.
A 21st-century architecture style is also referred to as contemporary architecture. With the 21st century house, no style dominates for long because modern architects always employ the use of a lot of different styles. They are designed to be noticed and to astonish!
Modern architectures are usually the work of small groups of architects who come together to work on a project usually on an international scale. Many of such projects were concentrated in the United States and western Europe during the 20th century. However, it has become global today with a lot of them springing up in China and the Middle East.
The features of a 21st-century architecture style house is that the different styles and approaches use very advanced technology and modern building materials, such as Tube structure which allows construction of the buildings that are taller, lighter and stronger than those in the 20th century.
They also use new techniques of computer-aided design, which allow buildings to be designed and modelled on computers in three dimensions, and constructed with more precision and speed.
Deconstructivist House Style
Those weird-looking, distorted, almost impossible-to-comprehend buildings that make you wonder how anyone could design, let alone build such a construct, are actually part of a very specific, non-rectilinear approach to design, called – Deconstructivism.
Deconstructivism buildings appeared in the 1980s, as a movement of postmodern architecture which gives the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building. It features an absence of harmony, continuity, or symmetry. It is often described as one of the most visually striking and perplexing types of art ever developed.
According to the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, Deconstructivism questions the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or “oppositions,” in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical literary texts.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) displays architecture that focuses on seven international architects whose recent work marked the emergence of a new sensibility in architecture. The architects recognized the imperfectability of the modern world and sought to address it. They intentionally violated the cubes and right angles of modernism with their obsession with diagonals, arcs, and warped planes.
There are deconstructivism pdf and deconstructivism ppt that provide a lot of information about theories surrounding deconstructivism and showcase slideshows of some designs. The concept has now spread from departments of literature to other departments such as deconstructivism graphic design, deconstructivism furniture and fashion. The latter is a fashion item that looks unfinished and the designer is still in the midst of experimenting with the product. Normally, the fashion item has exposed seams, raw edges, displacement of a certain component and some sort of treatment to make it look distressed. Deconstruction fashion is meant to challenge the traditional perception of beauty.
Organic or Organic architecture is a house design that seeks to promote harmony between human habitation and nature. This is done by blending designs that aim to be sympathetic and well-integrated with a site, so buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition.
The Organic design as a movement began around the 1930s, which became a radical approach against the ideals of the Modern Architecture Movement which were the designs of the day.
Organic architecture theory began when Frank Lloyd Wright introduced the word ‘organic’ into his philosophy of architecture as early as 1908. It was an extension of the teachings of his mentor Louis Sullivan whose slogan “form follows function” became the mantra of modern architecture. Wright changed this phrase to “form and function are one,” using nature as the best example of this integration.
Intended to be in sync with their surroundings, the organic architecture characteristics may appear out of the ordinary, but their designs are based on common features and the organic architecture materials are the everyday stuff which can be found around us like mushrooms, seashells and even waterfalls.
This design was probably made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright when he designed the Fallingwater residence – a house that sits on a waterfall – for the very wealthy Kaufmann family. Some examples of Organic architecture homes are The Cloud House, Redwoods Treehouse and The Nautilus House in Mexico City.
A-frame houses are architectural house styles which feature steeply-angled roofline sides which begins at the foundation line. A-frame houses originated in Europe, China and the South Pacifics islands.
The A-frame house style is similar to the Tudor house but with the exception of ending the roof at the base or foundation of the house forming the letter A.
A-frame houses are defined and characterized by their rear gables, deep-set eaves, multiple windows with variations of small and large ones allowing the interiors to be illuminated by natural sunlight. A-frame house interiors are mostly having a high distance ceiling with open-floor plans with small space living spaces with just small interior lofts.
Most people consider A-frame houses to be used as second homes for vacations. Most people enjoy living in A-frame houses because of their simple design.
Most A-frame houses have ceilings which can be open to the top rafters. Triangle shaped houses have been present and popular from the 1950s to the 1970s. A-frame houses became significant in the architectural scene after the second world war.
The Contemporary House Style was developed at the tail end of the 20th century with its interiors containing neutral elements and bold colour, and they focus on the basics of line, shape and form. Contemporary House Designs are rooted in the “now.” This means that these types of homes offer modern house styles and are typically innovative and forward-looking.
The common characteristic of this style includes simple, clean lines with large windows devoid of decorative trim. The exteriors are a mixture of siding, stucco, stone, brick and wood. The roof can be flat or shallow pitched, often with great overhangs. Many ranch house plans are made with this contemporary aesthetic.
Furniture is made of light-coloured woods such as maple and birch (which also have minimal graining), frosted or clear glass, stainless steel, nickel and chrome.
Many people describe the contemporary house design plans as two distinct sub-types based on roof shapes – flat or gabled. The flat-roofed sub-type is a derivation of the International style. These are often referred to as American International. The gabled subtype is influenced by the earlier modernism of the Craftsman Style.
Contemporary architects normally create modern contemporary house plans that fit the needs of their client or whatever is in style at the time without having to adhere to a particular movement or design constraint.
The ranch-style house has been the most popular home style in America until recently even though it never goes out of style. Contemporary ranch house plans offer a clean, contemporary aesthetic to one story layouts. They are designed to appeal to sophisticated homeowners of all age. They are characterized by sleek, modern design principles both inside and out, with plenty of windows and outdoor living spaces. Their stair-free living feature is perfect for older homeowners seeking to age in place, although single story house plans appeal to couples and families of all ages.
Just like the ranch-style house, the craftsman house style gained popularity like fire in the late 1800s to early 1900s because people were ready to put mass production behind them in favour for homes with character and durability. At the same time, many were wanting to move away from the cluttered look of Victorian architecture. So when something fresh and new was necessary, people took to the craftsman look to fill the void. Its simple, clear cut lines were a refreshing scene against all the Victorian frills.
Art Moderne House
The Art Moderne House style, also sometimes referred to as Streamline Moderne, is a type of house design that emerged in the 1930s. The modern house is characterised by curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements. The style was the first to incorporate electric light into the architectural structure.
The Art Moderne Architecture was both a reaction to Art Deco and a reflection of austere economic times; Sharp angles were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic woods and stone were replaced with concrete and glass. It has these characteristics;
- steel and reinforced concrete construction
- Surfaces of concrete, stucco, or meta
- Flat roof
- Asymmetrical façades
- Virtually no differentiation between front and back
- Horizontal rectangular container
- Metal window frames and doors
- No decorative detailing at doors or windows
- Smooth, unornamented wall surface
- Open plans with rooms that flow from one to another without doors
The style was applied to appliances such as electric clocks, sewing machines, small radio receivers and vacuum cleaners. Compared to Europe, the United States in the 1930s had a stronger focus on design as a means to increase sales of consumer products.
Streamlining was associated with prosperity and an exciting future. This hope resonated with the American middle class, the major market for consumer products. A wide range of goods from refrigerators to pencil sharpeners was produced in streamlined designs.
Art Moderne furniture is much more pared or stripped down, which showcases its prominent geometric outline – a swelling curve, like a teardrop or torpedo. Moderne designers often conceived pieces as a series of escalating levels – breakfronts were big – similar to a staircase or the setback effect of those newfangled skyscrapers that were arising in every city. Some of Moderne’s most iconic pieces, designed by Paul Frankl, were actually called “Skyscraper” furniture.
Monterey House Style
The Monterey House, sometimes referred to as Monterey Colonial architecture is a type of ranch style house that merged in United States, particularly California. The Monterey style blended with Spanish colonial architecture at the time and other eastern houses.
These type of houses were common and they were mostly built from the 1930s through the 1950s, but the roots of the style go back to Spanish colonial California when Monterey was the capital of the region during Spanish and Mexican rule. The Monterey style has even influenced food in the region with restaurants having ethnic delicacies.
The Monterey house style is characterized by two stories, continuous surrounding porches on both levels, a hip roof, and walls made from earth and other organic materials. Other common variations use gable-end roofs and second-story-only covered porches.
The Monterey colonial architecture has some beautiful, unique interior designs.
Much like the neo eclectic architecture and northwest regional style which influenced residential building construction in North America, the Monterey house is arguably one of the most prominent American house styles that emerged in California.
Monterey House designs are plainer as compared to the storybook house. The latter is also known as Fairy-tale homes because of its cottage-inspired sloping roof, turret, and other fanciful features.
French Eclectic House
The French Eclectic House was influenced by the amicable relationship that America has always had with France. The French Eclectic home plans capture the different styles found across France as well as American adaptations and interpretations in a more native way which made it suitable for single-family homes.
Original French eclectic architecture began in the early 20th century and remained popular for about 30 years. Americans romanticized the forms, shapes and details they saw in France, borrowing themes from a long and rich history of domestic architecture. The most prominent feature of French Eclectic is its roof. It is steeply pitched, hipped, and the eaves are often flared. This style may be either symmetrical and quite formal, or asymmetrical and somewhat rambling as are many French farmhouses.
There are many similarities to the Tudor style that occurred at the same time, such as half-timbering and materials used. This style is most easily distinguished from the Tudor by the absence of a front-facing cross gable.
The French Renaissance Revival architecture was used for elaborate castles and chateaus or country mansions. Its structures are usually made of stone or brick, look like castles or chateaus and often have multiple stories. They tend to have very steep pitched roofs, some of which are mansard roofs. The roofs are often covered in slate tiles. Along the roof, you might see dormer windows, small projecting spaces that stick out from the roof often with a vertical window.
The French Country-style architecture conveys a sense of timeless luxury without being ostentatious or overly stuffy. The formal symmetry of the windows and the natural stone facade belie a warm, welcoming Old-World charm with a relaxed feel. The distinctive use of natural elements, deliberate lines and soft faded colours creates an elegant and comfortable home. The style successfully marries rustic and refined characteristics.
Manufactured House Style
Manufactured Homes are a type of prefabricated homes that are manufactured in factories and transported to the site where it is to be set up. This type of home style came about in order to allow the easy relocation of the property. A major factor to consider when deciding on a Manufactured homes floor plans is one that supports your current lifestyle and accommodates any probable household changes. Other factors to consider when deciding on a floor plan are lot size, landscape and future marketability.
A lot of people ask, are manufactured homes a good investment? There are pros and cons of buying a manufactured home.
The positive side of it is that it has become a highly sought-after property option for millennials who are raking in student debt. Some advantages of manufactured homes are;
- It is affordable.
- It can be customized to meet the client’s specifications.
- It involves little maintenance.
- They are constructed a lot faster compared to on-site homes.
Some disadvantages of the manufactured homes are;
- It has a low resale value.
- Owning just the home and not the property on which it rests may become a challenge when it is time to move.
- Manufactured homes depreciate when not taken care of properly.
- There are insufficient finance options for manufactured homes.
The modular home is an example of a manufactured house that is made up of repeated sections called modules. Modular buildings can be used for long-term, temporary or permanent facilities, such as schools and classrooms, civilian and military housing, and industrial facilities.
Modular buildings are usually used in remote and rural areas where normal construction may not be reasonable or possible.
Mobile homes are property that have wheels beneath them but not permanently attached to the property. They are normally built in a factory on a permanently attached chassis before being transported to the site.
Georgian House Style 1700 – 1830
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles that existed between 1714 and 1830. This style has a long history in America as one of the country’s most consistently popular styles.
It was the first architect-inspired style in America, a distinct departure from the more utilitarian, earlier buildings that followed prevailing folk traditions. The Georgian style arrived in America via British architectural building manuals called pattern books around 1700. It is admired for its unique features such as its decorative elements, symmetrical design and classic proportions.
The Georgian architecture house plans is tied to the work of English architect Sir Christopher Wren. A typical example of Georgian architecture in London is the St Martin-in-the-Fields Church at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, London.
There are still modern Georgian style homes today in well-established suburbs close to the city that deliver a sense of substance and understated grandeur while steering away from the exacting red brickwork traditionally associated with the look. The colour palette today is much softer and the overall presentation is gentler and far more approachable.
Georgian style interior designs are often the easiest to decorate and restore while their attractive, harmonious proportions speak for themselves. The Georgian interior design style and architecture is renowned for its timeless elegance and graceful grandeur which came about when four King Georges ruled consecutively in Britain between the period of 1714 – 1830. Images of Georgian houses and widespread on the internet, offering the best alternatives to house styles.
The federal style house evolved from the Georgian house and dominated the American architectural landscape from roughly 1780 to 1840. Basically, it was the comparatively progressive European ideas about architecture that prompted this American change in taste. Many historians today think of the Federal style as merely a refinement of the Georgian style, a view easily justified by a close comparison of the two.
In general, the term Federal connotes that period in American history when the Federal system of governance was being developed and honed. More specifically, it refers to the buildings that went up during the ensuing construction boom in which designers readily incorporated styling variants popular in Europe.
The Georgian house exterior is characterised by rigid symmetry in building mass, in a window and door placement, and even in the layout of interior rooms. In northern states, it was common to use wood with clapboard or shingle cladding. Occasionally the corners of the building were decorated with wooden quoins to imitate stone. Sometimes stone and stucco were used instead of wood.
In the South, Georgian houses were occasionally constructed of stone and stucco, but Georgian style usually meant brick. The brickwork occasionally incorporated a horizontal belt course between the first and second floors.