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How to Tell the Difference Between Different Architecture Styles

There are people in the market for a new home that don’t really care about that home’s architectural style. They just want a well-built, cozy dwelling in a nice neighborhood for themselves and their families. Other folks are more particular about the style of their house. But how do you tell different architectural styles from each other?

Colonial Revival Architecture

According to Historic New England, Colonial Revival homes are modern houses based on the style of the houses that were built while parts of the United States were still colonies of Britain, the Netherlands, Spain or France. Because they have been inspired by the traditions of so many different countries, Colonial Revival homes are quite varied. Their roofs can be asymmetrical, gambrel, hipped or with a side or center gable. Dutch Colonial Revival homes are more likely to have gambrel roofs, while English Colonial Revival homes, which were largely inspired by the Georgian or Adam style, are more likely to have side gables. They’re also more likely to have wings with flat roofs.

In general, Colonial Revival houses can be one to three stories or have a second-story overhang, and most have an accentuated front door. This door can be edged with pilasters or topped with a pediment or can be part of an extended entry porch. It is also common for them to have sidelights and fanlights. Windows are rectangular, symmetrical and balanced, and they usually have double hinge sashes and several panes. They often come in pairs. Colonial Revival houses are built of masonry or wood.

Italianate

According to Historic Buildings of Connecticut, a house in the Italianate style is a subtype of the Romantic style of architecture. It didn’t begin in Italy but is the English version of what English people saw when they went to Italy on vacation. Italianate houses are usually two or three stories high. They have low pitched roofs whose eaves overhang the house and are decorated with often ornate brackets. The windows are tall and narrow and often arched and are sometimes decorated with crowns or elaborate pediments.

Italianate homes almost always have porches though they are not as elaborate as the windows. The porches are usually small, and support columns are usually square with beveled corners. There is often a pair of front doors that are the same shape as the windows. A good number of Italianate homes have towers whose roofs either echo the low pitched, bracketed roofs of the rest of the house or are mansard-style or hipped. Some houses have cupolas instead of towers. Italianate houses are always made of masonry, with stucco being a popular material.

Mediterranean & Southwestern Homes

These homes originated in places such as California or Arizona that had been Spanish colonies. They have low pitched roofs with no overhang, and the roof is often covered in the red clay tile. Roof tiles include barrel mission tile that can be regularly or irregularly laid, tapered mission tile, Spanish tile or American Spanish tile. They usually have an arched door, and the main windows, usually the ones in the living room, are arched. The facade is asymmetrical and often clad in stucco or even adobe.

The rooms of Mediterranean and southwestern homes are either side-gabled, cross-gabled, hipped or are a combination of hipped and gabled. A percentage have a flat roof whose walls have parapets. Doors in these homes can be imposing but beautiful with elaborate styles. Double sashed doors with multiple panes open onto balconies or patios. Windows often have very ornate grills. These houses with large, airy rooms are very conducive to family life. For example, according to Design Tech Homes, having your kitchen adjacent to the family room can be great for large families.

Queen Anne

One of the most popular house types, the Queen Anne came into its own during the Victorian era, according to Ruby Home. These houses can be very ornate, with many types of shapes. What most have in common is a full or partial porch that’s usually a story high, textured shingles to give the outer walls some aesthetic interest and an irregular roof with a steep pitch. Other embellishments found in Queen Anne built houses are half-timbering, spindle work, classical columns used as porch supports instead of posts, brackets, towers, Palladian windows, and roof cresting.

Queen Anne, Italianate, Classical Revival, and Mediterranean and Southwestern are only a few of the many beautiful houses you can purchase. Even these styles have sub-styles, but all of them are beautiful and welcoming.

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