Popular Architectural Home Styles

Which popular architectural home style is right for you? Answer these questions to find out, and a little more about them. Retake to learn more.

Emily Henson
Created By Emily Henson
On Apr 17, 2018
Help Translate This Item

Do you prefer rustic country vibes or clean urban lines?

What color palette speaks to you?

Do you enjoy historical themes or prefer modern and futuristic moods?

Minimal?

What size front porch is right for you?

Do you love symmetry?

Which American city would you like to spend the weekend?

Log Home

Log Home

Today's log homes are often spacious and elegant, but in the 1800s log cabins reflected the hardships of life on the North American frontier. The roomy log "cabins" we build today are likely to include skylights, whirlpool tubs, and other luxuries. However, for homesteaders settling the American West, log cabins fulfilled more basic needs. Wherever timber was readily available, a log cabin could be built in just a few days using only a few simple tools. No nails were needed. Those early log cabins were sturdy, rainproof, and inexpensive. 

Craftsman

Craftsman

Craftsman house plans use simple forms and natural materials such as wood and stone to express a hand-crafted character. Craftsman homes often have breakfast or reading "nooks" and a free-flow from the kitchen to the family and dining rooms making them particularly well suited to todays' "open plan" living. The Craftsman style is exemplified by the work of two California architect brothers, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, in Pasadena in the early 20th century, who produced "ultimate bungalows" like the Gamble house of 1908.

Colonial

Colonial

The Colonial home is one of the most popular styles of home in the United States, according to "Better Homes and Gardens." The Colonial style evolved from European influences, which started in the 1600s. Many colonists emigrated from Europe and brought those influences with them. Architecture is most often characterized by evenly spaced shuttered windows. Dormers, columns and chimneys are also evenly proportioned to complement the formal style.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern

If houses reflect the times they were designed, midcentury modern is the architecture of ideas, created by those who believed the forward-looking style could be a vehicle for social change to create a better society. Characterized by flat planes, large glass windows and open space, these homes -- built from 1945 to the 1980s -- featured simplicity and an integration with nature, encouraging residents to explore the world in new ways.

Cottage

Cottage

Cottage house plans are informal and woodsy, evoking a picturesque storybook charm. Cottage style homes have vertical board-and-batten, shingle, or stucco walls, gable roofs, balconies, small porches, and bay windows. These cottage floor plans include cozy one- or two-story cabins and vacation homes. Originally popularized by home pattern books like Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing of 1842, Cottage style house plans are filled with individuality and based on the belief that "a beautiful house fully reflects a fine character."

Victorian

Victorian

Victorian houses are architecturally commonly referred to as the Victorian Style but this "style" is really a period in history. The Victorian era roughly corresponds to the time when Queen Victoria ruled Britain (1837 to 1901). During this time, industrialization brought many innovations in architecture. There is a wide variety of Victorian styles, each with its own distinctive features. The overall theme of Victorian homes is superfluous and ornate with a desire for decoration; mere function was no longer the purpose of this architecture. Builders worked tirelessly to design newer and fancier ways to add decor and ornamentation to houses of this era. Patterns, shapes, and detail worked together to create a visual effect that was both imaginative and impressive.

Ranch

Ranch

Ranch style homes are one-story houses with an open and casual layout. The shape of the house is either rectangular or an "L" or "U" shape.
The houses have low-pitched roofs and extended eaves. They also usually have an attached garage and a large picture window facing the street.
Other typical features include post and beam ceilings and sliding glass doors.
Many ranch homes (also called ramblers or California ranches) are built on a concrete slab, though some have a basement or crawl space. Ranch homes built in the 1950s and 1960s averaged 1,300 square feet, and commonly had three bedrooms and one bathroom. Ranches built after the 1970s are typically larger.

Farmhouse

Farmhouse

Country farmhouse plans are as varied as the regional farms they once presided over. Born on hundred-acre spreads in rural America, family-friendly Farmhouse plans fit right in with suburban lifestyles and are ideal for those with an appreciation for rural culture, strong connections to the past and the land they will build upon. Classic farmhouse home plans typically feature a wide footprint, 2 stories, dormers, wood-frame construction and decorative details that exude a warm homey feel, and lots of indoor/outdoor living opportunities, such as a wraparound front porch. Built to be a gathering place for family and friends alike, farmhouse floor plans also tend to feature a spacious country kitchen with a cozy fireplace and plenty of room for a big rustic table.

1 / 7

Do you prefer rustic country vibes or clean urban lines?