A beautiful ranch-style house with a spacious wrap-around porch, wooden siding, and a large, sloped roof. The house features a central chimney and multiple gabled dormer windows. The porch is adorned with potted plants and outdoor furniture, and the driveway leading up to the house is paved with a decorative concrete design. The landscaping includes well-maintained greenery, small trees, and flowering shrubs, all set against a clear blue sky.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Popular House Style Names & Their Defining Characteristics

A Homeowner’s Guide to Popular House Style Names & Their Defining Characteristics

written on May 16, 2024Design Trends

If you’ve traveled across the country, you already know there are dozens of unique house styles across the United States — the homes on the East Coast are entirely different than the architectural styles you’ll find on the West Coast! Some homes have a charming, historical appearance, while others have clean lines to appeal to the modern buyer. Each home style has its own defining characteristics and pros and cons with layout and design.

However, with so many types of houses across the country, it can be difficult to differentiate them. Below, we’ll explain the defining characteristics and pros and cons for each of the house style names to help you determine which layout belongs to you and which you might want to move into one day!

Most Popular House Style Names to Choose from to Create Eye-Catching Curb Appeal

Cape Cod Style House

A charming Cape Cod-style house featuring grey shingle siding, white trim, and multiple gabled dormer windows. The house has a large, steeply pitched roof with a central cupola. There are well-maintained shrubs and plants around the house, and a paved patio area leading to a pool with an irregular shape. The backdrop consists of tall, mature trees, adding to the serene and picturesque setting. The house has large, elegant windows and a covered entryway supported by white columns. house style names

For many house style names, the clue to the origin is in the name. The Cape Cod house style is one of North America’s most well-known house styles. It was introduced to the United States in the 17th century by the English settlers on the coast of Massachusetts (hence the name!) and was popularized in the 1930s.

This New England house style is defined by its central doorway, dormer windows, steeply pitched roof, and story-and-a-half layout. Many Cape Cod homes have traditional wood siding or a wood-like alternative, like fiber cement siding.

Mediterranean Style House

A Mediterranean-style home with warm beige stucco walls and a terracotta tiled roof. The house features large windows with decorative brick trim and a covered porch with wooden beams and brick columns. The front yard is enclosed by a wrought-iron fence with brick pillars, and potted plants add greenery and charm to the entrance. There is a gated driveway on the right side leading to a garage, and the sky above is dotted with fluffy white clouds, giving the scene a bright and sunny atmosphere.

Mediterranean-style houses are inspired by the architecture of homes found along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea in countries like Spain, France, Monaco, and Italy. They started to become popular in warmer locations in the United States, like Florida and California, in the 1900s.

These homes often feature low-pitched roofs with red or warm-colored tiles, a stucco exterior, exposed beams of wood, and ornate wood, tile, or iron detailing. An open central courtyard and indoor-outdoor living spaces are defining characteristics of the Mediterranean-style house.

Ranch Style House

A modern ranch-style house with grey siding and white trim, featuring a large, sprawling single-story layout with multiple gabled dormer windows. The house has a welcoming front porch with white columns and a well-maintained garden with shrubs and flower beds. The spacious front yard is landscaped with a lush green lawn and a few young trees, and a pickup truck is parked on the driveway to the right. The backdrop includes tall trees and a clear sky, giving the scene a serene and picturesque feel.

Ranch-style homes were introduced to the United States in the 1930s. They were one of the most popular home styles in the 1950s and 1960s as growing families sought spacious and affordable homes after World War II.

Ranch homes are defined by their simple one-story or split-level floor plans, which include an attached garage and/or basement, low-pitched roofs, and large windows on the front of the home. This efficient house style is generally popular in the Southwest since it is easier to keep the home cool.

Modern Farmhouse Style House

A modern farmhouse-style house with a white exterior and dark trim, featuring a combination of board-and-batten siding and brick accents. The house has a spacious front porch with black wrought iron railing and wooden shutters on the windows. The front yard is landscaped with a well-manicured lawn, small shrubs, and a young tree planted in the center. The house includes a large, attached garage with carriage-style doors. The sky is partly cloudy, and the overall atmosphere is bright and inviting.

Modern farmhouse homes are a contemporary interpretation of the rural farmhouses that dotted the landscape of the United States in the 1700s and 1800s.

While the standard features of farmhouses are the same, like the rectangular shape, spacious porch, and board-and-batten exteriors, modern farmhouses include trendy features for the contemporary homeowner, like a chic black-and-white color scheme, dramatic roof peaks, metal roofing, an open-concept kitchen and family room, and multiple stories to accommodate large families.

Colonial Style House

A classic Colonial-style house with a symmetrical facade and light yellow clapboard siding. The house features two brick chimneys on either side of the roof, black shutters on the windows, and a central entryway with a pediment supported by columns. The front door is painted black and flanked by sidelights, with a small brick walkway leading up to it. The house is surrounded by a white picket fence, and the front yard is a simple, grassy lawn with trees in the background, adding to the historic and charming appearance.

Colonial-style homes date back to the 17th century and come in several variations, depending on which country the American settlers who built the house came from. Popular variations of this style include British Colonial, Spanish Colonial, Federal Colonial, Dutch Colonial, French Colonial, and Georgian. But regardless of which country this house style hails from, the overall design is the same.

Colonial homes are usually square or rectangular, with a central front door and symmetrical windows on each side. They often have brick or wood facades, dormer windows, steep roofs, and two- or three-story designs. Traditionally, the living room and kitchen are on the first floor, while the bedrooms are on the second floor.

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Victorian Style House

A grand Victorian-style house with a light grey exterior and intricate architectural details. The house features a steeply pitched roof with multiple gables, a prominent rounded turret, and a large front porch supported by white columns and red brick bases. Decorative trim and accents are painted in white and red, adding to the elaborate design. The front yard is neatly landscaped with hedges and a lush green lawn. An American flag is displayed near the entrance, and the sky above is a vibrant blue with some scattered clouds, creating a picturesque and timeless scene.

Victorian-style houses were built between the 1830s and 1900s during the Victorian era, which lasted during Queen Victoria’s reign. These homes encompass a wide range of designs that were popularized during this time period, including the Gothic Revival style, Queen Anne style, and Italianate house style. They are known for being elaborate and distinctive, highlighting the rising wealth of the middle class at the time they were popularized.

Victorian homes can be identified by their asymmetrical appearance and key features, such as steep gable roofs, wrap-around front porches, turrets, and bay windows. They often feature ornate details, such as rich colors, fabrics, and stained-glass windows.

Craftsman Style House

A charming Craftsman-style house with a light green exterior and stone accents. The house features a covered front porch with tapered columns and decorative brackets, and a wooden front door with glass panels. The windows have white trim and are symmetrically placed on either side of the porch. The front yard is beautifully landscaped with green grass, flowering shrubs, and a blossoming tree. A set of concrete steps leads up to the porch from the sidewalk.

Craftsman-style homes became popular in the early 1900s during the Arts and Crafts movement and emphasized using natural materials like wood and stone.

Craftsman houses generally feature low-pitched gable roofs, exposed rafters, a porch framed with pillars or square columns, and ornate wood detailing. These homes stick to a natural or earthy color palette with lots of browns, greens, tans, and oranges.

Contemporary House Style

A sleek and modern contemporary-style house with a white exterior and clean lines. The entrance features a minimalist design with a flat roof and a recessed doorway, illuminated by recessed lighting. The front door is stylish with horizontal glass panels. A wooden walkway leads to the entrance, flanked by white stone landscaping with low-maintenance plants and shrubs. The house includes a large window and an attached garage with a white door. The front yard is designed with a combination of dark mulch, white stones, and neatly arranged plants, creating a sophisticated and low-maintenance landscape. The overall atmosphere is clean, modern, and inviting.

Contemporary homes are the architectural style of the 2000s, an iteration of the modern and mid-century modern homes that were popular between the 1930s and 1970s. Both styles (modern and contemporary homes) are commonly found on the West Coast.

While contemporary and midcentury modern homes focus on clean lines, neutral colors, flat roofs, and a spacious, open-concept floor plan, contemporary architecture emphasizes energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. In these homes, it’s common to find floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize natural light, an asymmetrical but geometrical design, and an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living and minimalist design.

French Country Home Style

A quaint French country home with rustic stone walls and a dark slate roof. The house features wooden shutters on the windows and a charming front door surrounded by climbing vines and flowering plants. The upper floor has a skylight window, and a satellite dish is attached to the side of the house. The front yard is lush and green, with a variety of colorful flowers and shrubs adding to the idyllic countryside setting. Tall trees and a bright blue sky with a few scattered clouds provide a picturesque backdrop, enhancing the home's peaceful and pastoral ambiance.

French country homes were popularized in the United States in the 1800s and mimic the sprawling estates in France’s countryside. They’re eye-catching, often featuring wrap-around driveways, welcoming courtyards, and well-manicured landscaping.

French country homes feel comfortable and cozy while still providing a luxurious flair. Standard features of this architectural design include narrow windows and shutters, steep roofs, and natural wood, stone, and stucco exteriors (and an emphasis on natural materials, like wood and stone, inside the home, too).

Complement Your Home’s Unique Architectural Style with Beautiful Interior Design from THE STAGING COMPANY

Interior design is a crucial way to accentuate your home’s unique architectural features — whether you live in a minimalist Contemporary house in California or a charming Cape Cod-style home in New England. Choosing the right furniture, furnishings, and decor for your home’s particular style can be the “cherry on top” for beautiful, eye-catching architecture.

If you live in Florida or Texas and are looking for a professional decorator to embellish your home — contact our team at THE STAGING COMPANY. We would love to beautify your home! While you wait to hear back from us, you can read more about our interior decorating services.

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