There are numerous styles to base the design of your home on, some have come and gone while others remain timeless. When deciding on the exterior appearance of your home consider the surrounding neighborhood, your personal style and preference, and make sure it follows any local covenants or zoning requirements. As an architect-led builder, we believe the design of each home creates the very foundation that results in a successful project. Custom home styles are personal and are the first thing anyone sees when visiting your new home. We don’t want to judge a book by its cover, but a good-looking cover is always a plus! Below are the descriptions of some popular home styles to consider before building a new home.
While not an individual style, but rather a popular buzzword for various ideas, this term originally referred to the home’s agricultural location. The aesthetic was based on necessity and availability to achieve a simplified interpretation of other popular styles of the era such as Victorian or Colonial. Today the monochromatic finishes, informal and inviting entrances, and functional porches are what all the buzz is about. From outside home styles to inside finishes, there’s nothing more popular than farmhouse right now.
A response to the industrialization, mass production, and a backlash to the elaborate styles that predated it, the Arts and Crafts Movement influenced the Craftsman home style originating in California and the Prairie home style in the Midwest.
Recognized most by tapered columns with or without large square pedestals, typically of masonry, and the aptly named Craftsman door this style incorporates Asian design influence with the bungalow style of the British Empire in India. Craftsman homes are typically symmetrical with clean lines, broad front porches, low pitched roofs with wide overhangs and exposed rafter tails, and a central dormer. Attention to details and the craft is evident with decorative beams and braces, the varying of textures and distinctive colors, and hand-crafted original features.
Prairie style needs little introduction, developed by the most recognizable architect in history and his influence on American architecture and influence on the home: Frank Lloyd Wright. His original style combined modern materials and techniques with traditional and organic forms. Prominent features are simple low pitched or flat roofs with deep overhangs, horizontal emphasis, banded or corner windows, and the use of natural and local materials.
With the profusion of the post war’s sprawling suburbs, the Ranch was a new uniquely American style synonymous with single story layouts and the new free flowing and less formal lifestyle of returning military personnel. Ranch homes are long, incorporating an attached garage with a hipped or gable-ended roof, large front windows, minimalist forms leading to a cookie cutter appearance while exterior details vary allowing for customization.
Sometimes considered to be the same, Contemporary refers to current building styles while Modern Architecture refers to a period based on the modernism movement in art resulting in homes that are 50 years or older. Modern architecture was apparent in the aftermath of WWII and the appearance of new materials such as plywood, advances in construction techniques, and the use of steel, glass, and reinforced concrete enabled the movement’s rejection of the past. Contemporary Architecture is not limited to a specific style and can be any style being made in a current setting and manner but has begun to exclude certain historical styles and become more representative of Modern clean geometric lines and forms with flat roofs. The defining features of contemporary architecture are not based on style rather energy efficiency, sustainable materials, natural light, and dynamic mixes of contrasting materials and textures.