House Style Guide to the American Home

Initially, many house styles were introduced in North America by the European settlers, which has remained popular till the mid of the 20th century for the American home designs. European settlers had brought the different styles of houses that were never seen by the civils of North America. They have also given these house styles different names, and these styles of the house were so popular during that particular period. After the 20th century, different house styles were merged with these home styles and became part of American homes. Earlier the house design styles followed the Victorian or Colonial home designs, but after some additions, they have become the modern home designs for American citizens. In these postmodern styles of houses, including the essence of those past house designs introduced by the European settlers. Read this house style guide to know about the American home during the 1600s to 2000. 

Different House Styles In America Between 1600-2000

The 1600s to 1950s House Designs: Cape-Cod Style

This is the simple American house style, which is in rectangular shape popular till the 20th century from the 1600s. This design originated in Colonial New-England. Some additions were made after that by adding more rooms to the house style. 

Features Of This House Style Include:

  • Rectangular House Shape
  • One-story With Additional Half-Story Roof
  • Chimney In Center
  • Gable Roof
  • Exterior Siding With Clapboard Or Shingle
  • Slight Ornamentation To The House

1600 To 1740 House Styles: Colonial House New England

Britishers who came to settle in colonies of New England, had built the square shape rustic home designs that carry the details from the home styles of medieval Europe. Till now the house of Stanley Whitman located in Farmington is preserved till now, which is the best example of residential architecture during the colonial New England. This colonial house style was introduced in the 1600 and popular among the American citizens till 1720 with minor changes. 

Features Of This House Style

  • Centrally Aligned Big Chimney 
  • Seconding Story Projecting Over First-story
  • Roof in saltbox shape sloping down in the rear
  • Diamond-paned style of windows

1625 To Mid-1800 House Style: Dutch Colonial

When Dutch colonists settled in America, they built brick and stone house designs that can be seen in the Netherland these days. These were located in the province New York and the nearby counties New Jersey, western Connecticut, and Delaware the Dutch colonials home have seen with Dutch Doors installed. Such door designs include an open area from above and down the side of the door. 

Features Of This House Style Include:

  • Two similar shaped chimneys on both sides or big wishbone-shape Chimney on the front side. 
  • Wide Flared Eaves or Gambrel Roof
  • Or, Gambrel Roof addition with flared eaves
  • These designs were built-in in 1740, showing how a saltbox shaped and gambrel roof came into the combination. After some years, this Dutch colonial house style became popular for their dormers, parapets, and gables. 

1600 To Mid 1800 House Designs: German Colonial

German colonists who had settled in American colonies build or re-create building designs using the local materials. One best and remarkable example of German-Colonial Architecture is Schifferstadt Architectural Museum located in Frederick in Maryland. The construction was completed in 1756 and was named by Joseph Brunner in remembrance of his childhood home. 

The German Colonial home designs basically have three common characteristics:

  • Thick wall about two-feet and made from sandstone
  • Flared Eaves
  • Stone Arches reinforced above doors and windows of the first floor
  • Hand hewn beams along wooden-pegs
  • Half-Timbering Exposed
  • Huge Wishbone Shape Chimney

1690 To 1830 House Styles: Georgian Colonial House Design

These home styles were comfortable and spacious, reflecting the ambition of Georgian colonial rule. The Georgian colonial architectural designs became rave during 1700 in Southern and New England colonies. These designs all over the colonies depict the large built house with elaborated Georgian house styles constructed in England. However, the genesis of these house styles can be traced from the farther back in the past. At the time of the rule of King Georgian I during the 1700s and then of King George III in the same century, Britons took the inspirations from ancient Rome and Greece as well as the Italian Renaissance. 

These Georgian house ideals arrived in New England through pattern books. These Georgian house styles became one of the favorite home designs of the colonists far so. 

Features of these house styles include:

  • Square and symmetrical house shape
  • The decorative crown on the main door
  • Each door side have Flattened columns 
  • Paired or attached chimneys
  • Medium-pitched roof
  • Roof Overhang very small
  • The front side has five windows
  • Window sash has 9 12 12 window panes of small sizes
  • Eaves with dentil molding 

1780 To 1840 House Styles: Federal & Adam Home Design

Most of America’s federal architecture is based on the ideas from the British Isles. This design was introduced by the three Scottish siblings named Adam. He has adapted the realistic approach of Georgian home styles and added garlands, swags, urns, as well as Neoclassical detailings to the architectural design. Even in the newly built American homes and federal architecture, they include these airy details to their almost every house designs as Adam three brothers adopted in their residential structure. 

Americans inspired by the architectural designs of the great Greece and Rome temples and the designs of Adam brother that they also started to build their homes by including Palladian windows, elliptical windows, oval shaped rooms, recessed wall-arches, and elliptical shaped window panels. These designs became part of new Federal architecture and associated with American architectural design forever. 

However, the details of these Federal homes differ from the pragmatic architectural design of the colonial Georgian architecture, but it has the complete essence in these Federal homes.

Features of these house styles:

  • Flat or low-pitched roof with balustrade
  • Semi-circular light on the main door
  • Flanking Narrow-side windows on the main door
  • Decorative and designer roof or crown over the main door
  • Palladian Windows
  • Shutters
  • Gracefully decorative garlands and swags
  • Arches and Oval rooms

1800s House Architectural Designs: Tidewater Designs

These designs were built in the coastal areas in the southern parts of America. These house designs were created by keeping in mind the hot and wet climate. These home designs have big porches that were sheltered by a wide and long roof. 

Features of these house designs include:

  • Low Elevated On Pilings or Stilts
  • Two-stories on each level of the porch
  • Wide or broad eaves
  • Some designs have porch surrounded all the house
  • Wooden Construction
  • Usually, these house designs located near the water-bodies, especially in the coastal areas 
  • Usually with hipped roof

You may have noted that these designs also included in the architecture of French colonies house designs found in Mississippi River Valley and Louisiana, the place where French people settled during colonization invaded through Canada. Descent of the English Europeans has settled in the eastern coastal areas of the United States. Thus these house styles are more called Tidewater architectural designs rather than French house designs. The climatic conditions wet and hot both cause the demand for these independent home designs to suit according to the environment. The designs of these architectural home designs were borrowed or inspired by each other, the French Colonial house designs described as the inhabitants and the Tidewater designs refer to the home designs that were made on the low-lying lands that were affected by the high-tides. These Tidewater house designs are also known as “Low Country” home styles. 

Comparing these home styles with each other, we can say that these designs developed as neoclassical Tidewater houses, which is a good lesson for adapting house styles according to climatic conditions and location. 

1600 To 1900 House Styles: Spanish Colonial Styles

The colonial invaders from the Spanish Territories built simple kinds of home designs on North America. They built low-homes using materials like coquina, rocks, stucco, or adobe brick. These settlers from Spain and Mexico build their homes in the California, Southwest part of America and Florida. These house designs are usually simple and do not include any decoratives to their architecture. 

Features of this house style include:

  • These houses were usually built in California, South, and Southwest of America
  • Only one story house
  • Sash Windows Double-hung 
  • Dentil Moldings and different types of Greek-revival detailings
  • Carved wooden Balustrade and Brackets
  • Interior Courtyards

During the 20th century, many of the Spanish home styles were borrowed and inspired by the architectural designs of Spanish Colonial house styles. These Spanish Revival, Neo-Mediterranean, and Mission homes have the details of the colonial architectural past designs. 

The first Spanish architectural house design made in 1565, located in St. Augustine, made with the use of wood and palm thatching. However, these house designs did not survive until now and were easily demolished by the different climatic conditions. You may have heard or seen the oldest Gonzalez Alvarez House of the Spanish architectural design has remodeled from time to time. This house, when built in early 1700, was only contained in a single story and had a flat roof. 

Similar to the various Spanish Colonial house designs located in St. Augustine, this house also designed by using the coquina, sedimentary rocks that are composed of the shell fragments. 

1700 To 1860 House Styles: French Colonial

Settlers from the French-built these houses in Mississippi Valley that were designed according to wet and hot climatic conditions. The Parlange Plantation style is derived from the French Colonial house styles. This design was named after the name of Colonel Charles Parlange, owner of the house design. This house and plantation farm developed by the Vincent-de-Ternant, Marquis of the Dansville Sur Meuse, in order to produce a popular cash-crop, Indigo. It is said that this house was built and finished in 1750 before the American Revolution, and Louisiana became part of the Union. 

This architectural design is known by “French Colonial,” as this was the most popular home design that was used by the European as well as the Canadian French, and they colonized on the lower regions of the Mississippi River side. 

1825 To 1860 House Styles: Greek Revival

This is the detailed Partheron home design built on the pillars and reflects the beautiful and integrated design with nature. During the mid 19th century, many of the prosperous Americans believed that the designs of ancient Greeks home styles showed the very spirit of public rule or democracy. The Americans’ interest in the British architectural home styles became bitter during the War commenced in 1812. Moreover, Americans also feel the struggle of Greece struggles for their independence and sympathized with the design and symbols of Greece during their own independence fight in 1820. 

The Greek Revival home designs first started to build in the public buildings of Philadelphia. Many of the European architects or home designers work for the popular designs of the Grecian architectural design. The European designers also learned Greece architectural designs and included them in the patterns book and guides for the architecture. The colonnaded Greek mansions are also called the Southern Colonial homes that sprang throughout the southern parts of America. These architectural designs include classic clapboard and simple, bold line of the Greek home designs that eventually became the popular and predominant housing styles for the United States citizens. 

At the time of the second half of the 19th century, Italianate and Gothic Revival home styles have attracted the minds of the American’s house styles. That time the Greek architectural designs faded away and became less popular among the citizens of America. However, designs like front gable, a trademark of The Greek Architectural designs, continued to stay popular among the Americans home designs and influence the architecture even till the end of the 20th century. You can notice that the front gable is still the design adopted by the Americans and used as the National Style for farmhouses all over the U.S.

Features of the Greek Revival architectural designs:

  • Symmetrical shape
  • Heavy Cornice
  • Wide and Plain Frieze
  • Graceful decorative pilasters
  • Entry Porch embellish with columns
  • Bold and simple design moldings
  • Pedimented gable
  • Narrowed Window features around the main door

1840 To 1880 House Styles: Gothic Revival Mansory

These are the big mansory homes designed in the Gothic architectural designs that feature pointed parapets and windows. 

Features of this house style include:

  • Pinnacles
  • Oriel windows
  • Asymmetrical floor-plan
  • Steeply and pitched gables
  • Leaded glass
  • Grouped Chimneys
  • Clover and Quatrefoil shaped windows

1840 To 1880 House Styles: Gothic Revival

These house designs have stepped roofs as well as windows that featured pointed arches. These features gave this Victorian house the flavor of the Gothic Revival. These home designs are also called as the Gothic-Revival Farmhouse and also as the Carpenter Gothic cottages. 

Features of this house style include:

  • Leaded glass
  • Pinnacles
  • Grouped Chimneys
  • Oriel Window Designs
  • Asymmetrical Floor-plan
  • Steeply and pitched gables
  • Shaped and battlements parapets
  • A pointed window that features decorative tracery
  • Clover and Quatrefoil shaped windows

1840 To 1885 House Styles: Italianate House Designs

These house designs have low pitched and flat roofs with the large brackets features in eaves. These types of architectural designs are mostly found in the towns of the U.S. During these modern times, or we can say in the 21st century, these town houses are changed into public libraries or resting houses for travelers or breakfasts. These sometimes also contain architectural designs inspired by Great Britain’s home styles. 

1840 To 1915 House Styles: Renaissance Revival 

This design was fascinating and inspired by the architecture designs of Renaissance Europe and the villas of Andrea Palladio. These architectural designs are considered as the elegant and graceful Renaissance Revival house styles. 

The word Renaissance refers to the architectural, artistic, and literary movement of Europe that held during the 14th and 16th centuries. Renaissance Revivals home designs were based on the architectural designs in the 16th century of the France and Italy Renaissance. Some of the elements of this design were borrowed and inspired by the architectural styles of Roman and Greek empire architecture. The Renaissance Revival is a term that is generally used to describe the various types of Italian Renaissance and French Renaissance designs that also encompasses the designs of the second empire. 

These Renaissance Revival house styles were popular in America in two different phases. The first phase of Renaissance Revival became popular in the 1840 – 1885 and second phase of Renaissance Revival popularity, which features the large elaborative, detailed, and decorated architectural designs, became popular in the 1890 – 1915. 

As these designs require expensive and heavy material as well as elaborate demand designs, the Renaissance Revival architecture designs best suited for the [public as well as commercial buildings. Those who were rich and wealthiest people of that time also built these houses in this architectural design. 

Features of this house style:

  • Building in cube shape
  • Balanced and symmetrical facade
  • Mansard or Low-pitched roof
  • Smooth walls made with stones like stucco finish or finely cut Ashlar
  • Roof Topped with the balustrade
  • Segmental Pediments
  • Broad Eaves
  • Horizontal Stone that is placed between the floor, bended
  • Ornately and decoratively carved stone window and trim design varying from each story
  • Small and square-shaped windows on the topmost floor
  • Quoins or a large block of stone placed at the corners of the building

1850 To 1870 House Styles: Octagon House Design

At the time of 1850 to 1860, there were about thousands of octagonal or round-shaped houses constructed in the New York, Midwest, and New England. Historians gave the credit for discovering this unique and unusual design to Orson S. Fowler. This man believed that Octagonal shaped houses are good at increasing the exposure to more sunlight in the house. He also said that the octagonal-shaped house helps in improving the ventilation and eliminates the darker or unlightened corners of the house. After the publication of his book named “The Octagon House, A House for All,” the octagon or round shape house design became very popular among American house designs. 

However, the octagonal house design is not actually invented by Fowler. First, it was used by Thomas Jefferson, who made this design for a summer home. Also, the architectural designs of Adam and Federal brothers also included these octagonal house designs. 

At that time, only a few octagonal house designs were constructed, and many of those designs do not remain yet. 

Features of this house style include:

  • Porches
  • Mostly one story houses
  • Round or Octagonal home design that has eight sides

1855 To 1885 House Styles: Second Empire Mansard

These house designs were inspired by the architecture that was popular in France during the rule of Napoleon III. This house style first started building in New England and then moved to the American West. 

1860 To 1890 House Styles: Stick Style

These home designs were stuck work and details that were inspired by the Middle Ages. The most attractive part of this architectural Stick style can be observed on the walls of the exterior surface. Rather than focusing on a three-dimensional approach, this design is based on lines and patterns. As this design includes the flat wall design, these can be easily demolished when the homeowners remodel their houses. 

Features of this home-style include:

  • Wood Siding
  • Overhanging and broad eaves
  • Decorative and designer brackets
  • Steeped and gabled roof
  • Rectangular shaped house design 
  • Decorative and graceful half-timbering

1860 To 1880 House Styles: Eastlake Victorian

These are really fanciful Victorian houses, and these are full of Eastlake style spindlework.

This vibrant Victorian house is a Queen Anne, but the ornamental finishing is called Eastlake. The ornamental look is named after the popular English designer Charles Eastlake. He was famous for making furniture decorated with fancy spindles.

Eastlake detailing can be found on a large number of Victorian houses. Some of the more fancy Stick Style Victorians have Eastlake knobs and buttons joint with angular Stickwork.

1880 To 1900 House Styles: Richardsonian Romanesque

The builders in Victoria used rough and square stones for the majestic buildings they built.

William A. Lang (1846 – 1897), born in Ohio, designed hundreds of houses in Denver, Colorado, around the 1890s, yet he was not well trained as an architect. The three-story rock building shown in the picture above was built during the 1890s for banker Wilbur S. Raymond, with Lang imitating a popular trend of the day. This building is a classic example of the Richardsonian Romanesque. Made with rough-faced rocks, the house has arches, towers, and parapets.

The house came to be known as The Marne or Castle Marne in the 20th century. Like many other historic structures, the house has a history, including being divided into apartments. In the late 20th century, it becomes breakfast and commercial bed property.

1880 To 1910 House Styles: Chateauesque

Lavish mansion of Europe, it inspired the luxurious architectures of America’s Gilded Age.

The word château is a French word derived from the Latin castellum, which means castle. It can be found throughout France, the château manor house is a sign of wealth and commerce, like the ranch or plantation houses in America. Architect Richard Morris Hunt, studied in France during the 1850s, is largely credited for introducing wealthy Americans with Europe’s lavish housing styles. Elaborate mansions become a showy presentable of American affluence.

The American essence of the French château is called Château Esque. This style contains many of the same features as the Victorian Gothic Style and Renaissance Revival Housing Style.

The features of the Chateauesque house:

  • High ornamental roofline ( crosses, spires, pinnacles)
  • windows and doors Ornamented
  • Tall, extensive chimneys
  • Steeply pitched hipped roof
  • Multiple towers, dormers, and turrets
  • Balconies
  • Stoned and masonry construction


Biltmore Estate (1895), by Richard Morris Hunt, Oheka Castle (1919), by Delano & Aldrich, Kimberly Crest House (1897), by Oliver Perry Dennis and Lyman Farwell (photo above)

Many think that Cornelia Hill(1836 to 1923) brought the Chateauesque houses to California. Hill built the house above in the picture, here in Redlands, near San Bernardino, which is in the east of Los Angeles, California. She decided to go West from New York after her husband and several daughters died because of tuberculosis. Hill traveled to France, visiting many châteaux and castles, so she got familiar with those styles. She was also interested in Gilded Age mansions, which are found in New York City and in Newport, Rhode Island. Hill lived in this house with her family until 1905, after that, she sold the house to the Kimberly family. John Alfred Kimberly, the co-founder of the Kimberly-Clark paper co., fueled this with the Renaissance style Italian gardens as his retirement home.

1874 to 1910 House Style: Shingle Style

Rambling asymmetrical, the Shingle Style houses become popular first in North America’s Atlantic coast. They were commonly built as summer houses for America’s upper-class families.

Architect cum author John Milnes Baker described the Shingle Style as one among the three Indigenous Styles—architecture that is native to values and regions of America. After the Civil War, the U.S. was focusing on developing its wealth, world status, and patriotism. It was the right time to develop magnificent architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairies Styles and Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman also come in the Baker’s Indigenous category.

1876–1955: Colonial Revival House Styles

Colonial revival house style became popular in the 20th century. This style expressed patriotism in America and also symbolized a return of classical architectural style.

Some features of Colonial Revival houses include:

  • Symmetrical façade
  • 2 to 3 story houses
  • Rectangular
  • Wood or brick siding
  • Simple, classical detailing
  • Pillars
  • columns
  • Gable roof
  • Multi-pane, and double-hung windows accompanied by shutters
  • Dormers
  • Entrance similar to temple: porticos topped by a pediment
  • Paneled doors with sidelights
  • doors topped with fanlights or rectangular transoms
  • Center entry-hall floor plan
  • Living areas were on the first floor 
  • bedrooms were on the upper floors
  • Fireplaces

Colonial Revival Style details:-

Colonial revival became a well known and popular American house design or style after it once appeared at the 1876 US Centennial Exposition. The house style desired for simplicity and reflected American patriotism. The colonial revival house style was in the trend until the mid-1950s. During World War 1 and 2, Colonial Revival was the most popular style of houses in the USA.

Some historians say that the Colonial Revival is Inspired by Victorian Style. While other people believe that Colonial Revival Style marked an end to the Victorian-style architecture, this house style was based on Georgian and Federal house styles loosely and an elaborated version of the Victorian Queen Anne architecture.

And slowly, this Colonial Revival style was converted into Bungalow house styles and Foursquare of the early 20th century.

Different house styles of Colonial Revival:-

  • Dutch Colonial

The houses have two stories and are made of shingles or clapboard with flared eaves, gambrel roof, and floor plan for side entry.

  • Garrison Colonial

In this house style, the second story of the house protrudes a little, and the first story is recessed.

  • Saltbox Colonial

Similar to original saltbox homes in colonial times, the saltbox style colonial revival house has two stories at the front area and one at the rear side. Both the levels are covered by a gable roof; it slopes down sharply in the rear.

  • Spanish Colonial Revival

This type of house features low pitched ceramic made tile roofs, little or no overhang eaves, stucco walls, wrought iron, windows, and doors have round arches.

1885–1925: Neoclassical House Styles

Orderly, refined, and symmetrical, the Neoclassical house styles got their inspiration fro the Classical Rome and Greece.

Neoclassical is used to describe the architectural style, but Neoclassicism word does not actually mean anyone’s distinct style. Neoclassicism is basically an approach to a style or trend that can be used to describe various different styles. The neoclassical house is symmetrical, and the windows are always equally balanced on both sides of the door. These house styles have columns and pediments.

A neoclassical house may show resemblance to any of the historical house style:

  • Federal
  • Greek Revival
  • Georgian

Antebellum houses are also often Neoclassical style.

1885–1925: Beaux-Arts

Beaux-arts was first used to style palaces and doing imposing on public buildings, slowly it made its way into the wealthy people’s mansions. Houses that were done with Beaux-arts styling incorporate formal design, symmetry, elaborated ornamentation, and grandiosity.

Some more features of these house styles include:

  • Balconies
  • Columns
  • Cornices

1890–Present: Tudor House Style

Tudor style houses featured decorative timbering and heavy chimneys. This house style is also called Medival Revival.

These house styles were built during the 1500s at the time of the Tudor Dynasty in England. But the American homes in Tudor style are modern-day re-invention. Some of the Tudor Revival house styles mimic the Medieval cottages and may also feature false thatched roof. And other remaining Tudor house styles mimic Medieval palaces. 

These houses may have parapets, overlapping gables, and patterned brick and stonework. These details are a combination of Craftsman and Victorian flourish.

Tudor style, as seen in many Stick style homes and Queen Anne, often shows very strikingly decorative Timber. In Tudor’s house, the Timber is not that integral, like the medieval house structures. Tudor style houses only have a hint of false timber framing for structural framework. The woodwork is in different patterns and designs using patterned brick or stucco between the timbers.

Some great samples of Tudor Revival house styles can be found in Great Britain, the United States, and Northern Europe. The main Chester square in England is surrounded by lavish Victorian Tudors standing alongside the authentic medieval building unapologetically.

In the United States, Tudor style has various forms ranging from modest suburban houses to big mansions. This style became very popular between the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1970s and 1980s, the modified and more fashionable versions of the Tudor style became popular.

One most popular house style inspired by Tudor is the Cotswold cottages. These quaint houses have thatched roofs, uneven sloping roofs, massive chimneys, low doors, and small window panes.

Some features of Tudor style homes include

  • Decorative half-timbering
  • Small window panes
  • Prominent cross gables
  • Steeply pitched roof
  • Tall, and narrow windows
  • Massive chimneys that are often topped with decorative chimney pots

1890–1940: Tudor Cottage

Tudor Cottage style homes have their roots in the pastoral Cotswold, England, and will remind you of the cozy houses seen in storybooks.

Tudor cottage style is also known as Cotswold Cottage, English County Cottage, Hansel and Gretel Cottage, or Ann Hathway Cottage.

The fancy, small Tudor cottages were a popular subtype of the Tudor revival styles of house. This attractive English style of architecture of cottage resembled the cottages of Cotswold in southwest England. The inspiration from the medieval styles in the American architects created a very modern version of the rustic cottage. Tudor Cottage became famous in the uS in the 1920s and in the 1930s.

The Tudor cottage has a beautiful and asymmetrical architect with a steep and very complex roofline. The floor plan of the cottage is small and has irregular shaped rooms. The rooms on the upper floors have sloping walls along with dormers. The house may also have a sloping cedar roof or sloping slate mimic the thatch roof. The house also features a huge chimney either on the side or in front of the house.

Some of the common Tudor Cottage features include:

  • stone, brick, or stucco siding
  • Prominent chimney made of brick or stone
  • steep cross gables
  • Casement windows 
  • Low and arched doors
  • Small window panes
  • Sloping walls in rooms of the upper floor

1890–1920: Mission Revival House Style

These are also known by the name Spanish Mission, California Mission, Mission, and were built by taking the inspiration from Historic mission churches built by the Spanish colonists.

Some key Characteristics of Mission Revival House style includes:

  • Smooth stucco siding
  • Arcaded entry porch
  • Large square pillars
  • Roof parapets
  • Twisted columns
  • Round or quatrefoil window
  • Red tile roof

About Mission Revival Style

Mission Revival house styles celebrate the architecture of Spanish settlers. These houses have arched roof parapets and dormers. Some of these houses resemble old Spanish mission churches with elaborated arches and bell towers.

The first mission style house was built in California. Slowly this house style spread to the eastward, but still, most of these style hoses were located in southwestern states. The porches were deeply shaded and had dark interiors, making them suitable for warm climates.

By the 1920s, architectures started to combine the Mission styling houses with other styles. These houses would have details of the popular Prairie, Pueblo, Arts and Crafts styles.

1893–1920: Prairie Style

Frank Lloyd Wright did the major transformation of the American homes when he first started to design Prairie-style houses with open interior spaced and horizontal lines.

He believed that the rooms in Victorian style houses were very confining and box-like. He slowly began to design homes with open interior space and low horizontal lines. Rooms were divided using glass panels. The furniture was specially designed or built-in. Prairie houses were so designed to blend in with the prairie landscape.

The first prairie style houses were plastered with wood trim or either sided with batten and horizontal board. This house’s style used concrete blocks. Prairie houses were built in many different shapes T-shaped, L-shaped, Y-shaped, and sometimes even pinwheel-shaped.

Many architects designed Prairie homes, and this style became popular because of pattern books. The popular American homes design Foursquare style is also known as the Prairie Box, which shared many features with the Prairie style.

During the 1936 Great Depression, Frank Lloyd developed a very simplified version of the Prairie style called Usonian. Wright believed these houses represent the democratic ideals of the US.

Some common features of the Prairie style houses include:

  • Low-pitched roof
  • Open floor plan
  • Horizontal lines
  • Overhanging eaves
  • Central chimney
  • Clerestory windows

1895–1930: American Foursquare

The Prairie box or the American Foursquare was a post-Victorian style that has many similar features like the Prairie architecture created by Frank Lloyd Wright. The boxy foursquare shape provided enough room for interiors in a small city area. This house shape was also very practical for mail orders house kits from catalog companies like Sears. 

Some common features of American Foursquare include:

  • Simple box shape
  • Four-room floor plan
  • Two-and-a-half stories high
  • Low-hipped roof and deep overhang
  • Full-width porch and wide stairs
  • Large central dormer
  • Brick, stone, concrete block stucco, or wood siding

Creative builders dress up in the basic foursquare form. The foursquare houses have the basic square shape and have borrowed features from other styles like:

  • Queen Anne: small towers, bay windows, or “gingerbread” trim
  • Colonial Revival: pediments or porticos
  • Mission: stucco siding and roof parapets
  • Craftsman: exposed roof rafters, built-in cabinetry, beamed ceilings, and carefully crafted woodwork

1905–1930: Arts and Crafts (Craftsman)

John Ruskin, Philip Webb, William Morris, and other English thinkers and designers launched the Arts and Crafts Movement During the 1880s, to celebrate the handicrafts and encourage the use of natural materials and simple forms. 

IN the US, two California brothers Henry Mather Greene and Charles Summer Green began to design houses combining the arts and crafts idea, getting inspired by the simple wooden architecture in Japan and China.

“Craftsman” name is derived from the title of the popular magazine between 1901 and 1916 by Gustav Stickley, a famous furniture designer. A house is truly in the craftsman style if built according to the Stickley magazine plan. Soon other magazines also started publishing this name of the house style, and the word “Craftsman” started meaning any house that is designed to express arts and crafts ideas, a simple economical and popular Bungalow.

Some common features of Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, include:

  • Stone, Wood, or stucco siding
  • Wide eaves and triangular brackets
  • Exposed roof rafters
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Porch with round columns or a thick square
  • Stone porch supports
  • Exterior chimney made with stone
  • Open floor plans
  •  few hallways
  • Numerous windows
  • Some windows with stained or leaded glass
  • Beamed ceilings
  • Dark wood wainscoting 
  • moldings
  • Built-in shelves, cabinets, and seating

Craftsman Styles

A craftsmen style house is usually a bungalow, but many other house styles can also include Arts and Crafts or Craftsman features.

  • Pueblo
  • Prairie
  • Bungalow
  • Mission
  • Foursquare
  • Western Stick

1905–1930: American Bungalow

Bungalow term is often used for any 20th century small home using the available space efficiently. However, there more features that are also associated with the architecture of Bungalow in the US. 

Craftsman Bungalows, Chicago Bungalows, and California Bungalows are some of the styles of popular bungalow architecture in America.

Some common feature American Bungalow include:

  • One and a half stories
  • Mostly living space situated on the ground floor
  • Low-pitched and horizontally shaped roof 
  • Connecting rooms with no hallways
  • The living room in the center
  • Efficient floor plan
  • Built-in shelves, cabinets, and seats

History of Bungalows

The Bungalow is a classic all American house style but having roots in India. The single-family homes in Bengal province were called Bangala or Bangla. British Colonists wanted to adapt these one-story houses with a thatched roof to use in summers. The floor plan of the bungalow houses is very space-efficient and may also be inspired by rural English cottage and army tents. The main idea behind this was to cluster the dining area, Kitchen. Bathroom and bedrooms around the central living area.

The first American house or the Bungalow was designed in 1879. The architecture was William Gibbons Preston. This Bungalow was built at Monument Beach located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, featured two-story building and the informal air of resort-like architecture.

This house was much larger and more elaborate than another house, which was termed as a Bungalow.

, Charles Sumner Greene, and Henry Mather Greene, Two California architects, are given the credited for inspiring America to build Bungalows. One of the most famous projects of these architects was a huge Gamble house in Crafstman style (1909) in Pasadena, California. These green brothers have also published many more modest Bungalow plans in different pattern books and magazines.

1912–Present: Pueblo Revival Style

Because the Pueblo houses were built with Adobe, the house architect was also referred to as Adobe. The Pueblo Revival style houses were inspired by Native American houses since ancient times. This style imitated the ancient earthen homes used during the Pueblo culture in southwest American.

Pueblo Indians used to build large houses since ancient times to accommodate multi-family houses. The Spanish called these houses Pueblos. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Spanish people made their own pueblo houses but in a stylish way. They created Adobe in the form of sun-dried building blocks. After collecting these blocks, the Spanish covered these with a layer of mud to protect them.

Pueblo Revival Style houses were popular during the early 1900s, particularly in southwestern America and in California. During the 1920s, two architects bought their own version of pueblo houses in Florida.

Modern-day Pueblo houses are made of concrete blocks that are covered with stucco, Adobe, mortar, or plaster.

Some common features of Pueblo include:

  • Massive adobe round-edged walls
  • Flat roof and no overhang
  • Rounded parapet
  • Stepped levels
  • Spouts on the roof or in the parapet to direct rainwater
  • Vigas (heavy timbers) to support the roof extending through walls 
  • Latillas (poles) placed in an angled pattern above vigas 
  • Deep window 
  • Deep door openings
  • Beehive corner fireplace
  • Simple windows
  • Bancos (benches) protruding from walls
  • Nichos (niches) carved on the walls to display religious icons
  • Wood, Brick, or flagstone floors

Pueblo Revival homes may also have some of these Spanish influences:

  • Porches held up with Zapatas (posts)
  • Heavy wooden doors
  • Enclosed patios
  • Elaborate corbels

Variations of the Pueblo-style houses:-

  • Pueblo Deco:
  • Combining Art Deco architecture and Pueblo Revival style, the houses were decorated with Naive American designs and geometric patterns.
  • Santa Fe Style:
  • This pueblo style house became popular in New Mexico after the ordinance of Santa Fe Historic Zoning in 1957.
  • Contemporary Pueblo: 
  • These unornamented Pueblos stripped down without any beams, posts, or vigas.
  • Territorial Pueblo: 
  • The corners became square instead of round. Windows were framed with straight wooden moldings.

1915–1945: French Eclectic House Style

French Eclectic styles house combines different styles from the French architecture. These houses were usually found in the French countryside and the colonial states of the Louisiana area in the US. Some of the most common features of the French eclectic house styles are hipped roofs, stucco siding, non-rigid symmetrical design.

The French Eclectic houses can still be found throughout the US dating back from the 1920s.

The eclectic term is used for describing s house style that combines the features of different house styles. This is a perfect description of the population growth in America when the country was starting to visualize architecture.

1925–1955: Monterey Revival

Monterey house style was started in the 19th century in California, and it started getting popular in the 20th century in the US. This regal and simple style of houses became popular among middle-class Americans.

This is also known as the Monterey Colonial Revival style and is similar to American Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival. The original style of Monterey is a historical blend of Tidewater of the East and New England with the Spanish Pueblo style found in the west. 

Distinct characteristics associated with Monterey house style are.

Two Stories

  • Rectangular shaped to gather a large lot
  • Double-hung windows featuring louvered shutters (Colonial emphasis)
  • different siding combinations on each story ( brick, stucco, or stone on first floor and Wood on the second)

Second-Story Porch or Balcony Overhang

  • Full-width or partial width across the second story facade
  • Accessible only from inside doorways 
  • Cantilevered construction
  • Wood railings

Low-Pitched Roof

  • Side gable 
  • hip roof
  • The roof extends over the porch of second-floor 
  • Red tiled or 
  • wooden shake shingles from the (Spanish influence)

1930–1950: Art Moderne House Style

The houses gave an appearance of the modern machine, streamline moderne or art moderne, expressing the spirit of techno age. These terms are used to describe the different styles of Art Deco architecture. Asin Art Moderne buildings. Art Deco was emphasizing basic geometric forms. There are some other important differences, as well:

  • Shape:
  • The shape of an Art Moderne house is usually horizontal and low. The Art Deco buildings were vertical and tall.
  • Ornaments:
  • The Art Moderne buildings have no decorative details. Whereas the Art Deco house has chevrons. Zigzags. Stylized footage. Sun rays and other ornaments.
  • Color: 
  • The art moderne building is white in color. Art deco buildings are bright colored or can be white.

Art Moderne is also called by these names:

  • Machine Age
  • Streamline Moderne
  • Nautical Moderne

Art Moderne houses have the following features:

  • Asymmetrical
  • Smooth, white walls
  • Flat roof
  • Low, horizontal shape
  • No cornices or eaves
  • Rounded corners
  • Streamlined appearance
  • Windows in horizontal rows
  • Glass block windows 
  • wraparound windows
  • Porthole windows
  •  nautical details
  • Aluminum and steel window 
  • Mirrored panels
  •  door trim
  • Open floor plans
  • Steel balustrades

Origins of the Art Moderne

The art moderne sleek style originated in the Bauhaus movement, which started in Germany. The Bauhaus architects used the principle of classic architecture in the pure form and designing simple and very efficient structures without adding any excess ornamentation.

The shape of the building was inspired by triangles, curves, and cones. Bauhaus ideas slowly became popular and became an international style in the US. 

Art Moderne., architecture, art, and fashion became popularized, and the highly decorative art Deco was losing its popularity. Different products used in the house style in the 1930s, like jewelry, kitchen appliances, resembles the new Art Moderne ideals.

Art Moderne truly symbolizes the early and mid-20th-century spirit. The excitement of technological advancements, innovation in construction, and high-speed transportation, Art Moderne style was first highlighted at the world fair in Chicago in1933. Art Moderne homes were very practical, economical, and easy to build. The modern house style was also favored by wealthy people for their chic styles. 

1935–1950: Minimal Traditional

Some people believe that minimal traditional has no style in the houses, but this simple design is perfect for the people of a country that are recovering from the depression of World Wars.

This style is also called Minimal Modern Style. The cottage-style homes are squat as compared to the steep roof of Tudor cottage and more cramped than the open-air ranch and breezy style, which was invented before the Minimal Modern style. 

The minimal traditional houses reflect a minimal decoration with modern tradition.

Some common features of the Minimal Traditional houses are:-

  • Small house with minimal decorations
  • Minimal eaves 
  • minimal roof overhang
  • Low or moderately pitched roof
  • Side gable, or one front-facing cross gable
  • Front door entrance 
  • One story, along with an attic story
  • Common shutters
  • Exterior siding of brick, wood, or a mix of sidings
  • Small fireplace 
  • Small chimney

1945-1980: Ranch Style

Ranch Style homes are also known as Western Ranch, California Rambler, American Ranch, and you can find them easily in almost every part of the United States. Ranch Style homes having one-story are simply, and some critics believe that they do not have styles. However, the Ranch Style homes are attractive, and they render a classic suburban look. Some of the common features of Ranch Style include:

  • Single story building
  • Use of deep-set eaves in order to close the wall
  • Gable roof that is low-pitched
  • Rambling layout: horizontal, low to the ground, narrow, and long
  • U-shaped, L-shaped, or rectangular design
  • Sliding glass doors that are connected to the patio
  • Large windows: sliding and double-hung
  • Simple floor plans
  • Garage attached to the house
  • Focus on efficient use of space and few interior walls
  • Use of natural materials like the brick exterior, woods, and oak floors for construction
  • Apart from decorative shutters, there is a lack of decorative detailing

Variations of Ranch Style Homes

Usually, Ranch Styles homes are one-story; however, there are other variations of the house that like Split Level Ranch and Raised Ranch homes having varied levels of living space. In the Ranch Style homes of the present time often include details inspired by Colonial-style houses or Mediterranean styles. 


The famous Ranch Style house was introduced by Architect Cliff May in the year 1932, in San Diego, California. After the Second World War, the developers of real estate turned to economic and simple Ranch Style with the inter to meet the housing requirements of the returning soldiers from the war and their families. The famous Lustron Homes were Ranch Style houses that were made of metal. Abraham Levitt and Sons, who were famous real estate developers, turned to Ranch Style in order to create their planned community, Levittown, Pennsylvania. 

As many houses were quickly built in Ranch Style according to the cookie-cutter formula, the style became ordinary. The style was reinvented in the 1950s-1960s by some real estate developers. They provided a modernist flair to the traditional one-story Ranch house. 

1945-1980s: Raised Ranch House

In conventional Ranch Style homes, there is only one story; however, in a Raised Ranch style, the roofs are raised in order to offer extra living space. In these homes, there are two stories. The lower story in the house is present at the ground level, and it is submerged below grade. A full flight of stairs is constructed at the main entrance, which leads to an area of main living present on the upper levels. Some critics consider Raised Ranch Style homes as ordinary or unattractive. Nevertheless, this practical house style completes the need for flexibility and space. 

Features of Raised Ranch Style Homes:

  • Two-Story Building
  • Garage attached to the house
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Partially submerged basement containing finished rooms and windows
  • Sliding glass doors that take to the patio in the backyard
  • Double-hung and Sliding large windows
  • Decorative porch roof support, shutters and little decorative detailing in the house


A variety of forms are applied to the Raised Ranch style. Contemporary styles like Neo-Colonial and Meo-Mediterranean are often applied to the practical and simple Raised Ranch shape. Split-level homes are considered as a variation of Raised Ranch shape. Nevertheless, there are only two levels of Raised Ranch style, whereas there are three or more stories in split-level homes.

1945-1980: Split-Level Ranch Style

Famous architect of America, Frank Llyod Wright, introduced the famous Split-level design. Wright believed that it is easy to blend the houses having half floors to the landscape. The design included separating the private area from living areas using a few steps, and there is no need to use a single long staircase. 

The Split-Level Ranch Style includes three or more levels. In this style, the house is divided into several parts, and one section of the house is raised, and the other is lowered. 

Famous Floor Plans of Popular Split-Level Style

  • The front door of the house leads to a landing. There is a short flight of stairs facing the front door; the stairs lead down. There is also a parallel flight of stairs that leads to the upper portion.
  • The front door of the house opens into the foyer or entry wing. To one side of the door, there is a short flight of stairs that leads up, and on the other side, there are stairs that lead down. 
  • The front food of the house opens into the prime living area. And at some other place in the living room, there is a short stair flight that leads up, and the one in parallel direction leads down. 
  • The front door of the house opens at the lowest level that enters a mudroom or a garage. The main living area is connected by a short flight of stairs that lead up. In the main living area, there is another flight of stairs that lead to bedrooms located upside.

Split-level houses usually contain three or more levels, regardless of the floor plan. In addition to this, the main entrance is usually located at the center level. 

1948-1950: Lustron Homes

Lustron homes were made of steel coated panels with enamels of porcelain. Below mentioned are some common features of Lustron homes.

  • The house contains a rectangular Ranch shape with one story
  • Wall and roof made from panels of prefabricated steel
  • Four factory-colored finishes, namely, Surf Bluem Dove Gray, Desert Tan, and Maize Yellow.
  • Foundation of the concrete slab
  • Two or three bedrooms in the house
  • Combined dishwasher/washing machine
  • Built-in overhead cabinets, bookcase, and china cabinet
  • Ceiling containing radiant heating
  • Guled-on or magnet hooks in order to allow for hanging pictures on the walls of metal


When the Second World War ended, the United States lacked sufficient housing for around twelve million soldiers who were returning home from the war. In order to render houses to the soldiers, President Harry Truman forced suppliers and builders to construct affordable housings. Many designers and architects, including Buckminster Fuller and Frank Lloyd Wright, tried their best to design inexpensive houses that could be constructed quickly. 

In March 1948, the first Lustron house was constructed. Around 2,498 houses were constructed over the next two years. The houses were manufactured like cars on conveyor belts, and then these Lustron panels were transferred to 36 states using the Flatbed trucks. These panels were then assembled on concrete slabs by making use of nuts and bolts. The assembly of houses took around two weeks. The cost of the completed houses were around $7,000 to $10,000, and this const does not include the lot and the foundation. At present times, there are less well-preserved Lustron houses. Many houses have been demolished, while others have been renovated by the homeowners by adding new exterior sidings and drywall interior.

1949-1974: Eichler Houses

The Eichler houses describe the homes that were constructed by the real estate developer of California, Joseph Eichler. The company of Joseph Eichler named Eicher Home constructed around 11,000 Eichler houses in California and 3 in New York between the years 1949-1974. 

An Eichler house includes a one-story Ranch; however, the company reinvented the style by introducing the style of suburban tract housing. The design ideas were imitated by many builders in the United States. Below mentioned are some common features of the Eichler Homes.

  • Foundation containing a concrete slab
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Post-and-beam construction
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Exposed ceiling beams
  • Floors containing radiant heat
  • Long front facade containing attached carport
  • Entrance having an open-air courtyard

Architects for Eichler Homes

  • Claude Oakland
  • Pietro Belluschi
  • Robert ANshen of Anshen and Allen
  • A. Quincy Jones of Jones & Emmons

Eichler Houses

Below mentioned are some of the best places if you are looking for Eichler buildings and homes.

  • Castro Valley, California, Greenridge Road
  • Concord, California
  • Conejo Valley, California, Thousand Oaks
  • Granada Hills, California
  • Cupertino, California, Fairgrove Tract
  • MountainView, California, Monta Loma Neighborhood
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Orange, California, Fairhaven
  • Marin County, California
  • Redwood City, California, Atherwood
  • San Fernando Valley, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Mateo County, California
  • Thousand Oaks, California
  • Santa Clara, Pomeroy West, and Pomeroy Green
  • San Rafael, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Chestnut Ridge, New York

1954-Present: Geodesic Dome

The inventor of the geodesic dome was Buckminister Fuller, and his intent was to render energy-efficient and affordable housing to people. It was invented in 1954 and was promoted as the most economical, strongest, and lightweight structure. The design of the geodesic dome was patented in the year 1965. The inventive engineering of this design allows it to cover a wide range of space without the utilization of internal support. The design of geodesic homes is beneficial for mobile shelters and emergency housing like military camps. Nevertheless, the shape has been adopted and utilized for upscale and elegant housing.  

1955-1965: Alexander Houses

In southern California, Robert and George Alexander built around 25,00 tract homes with the intent to capture the spirit of mid-century Modernism. The construction company of George Alexander.partnered with varied architects during the late 1950s and early 1960s in order to create a unique approach to tract housing. The company mostly worked near and in Palm Springs, California; however, the houses they built were copied across the United States.

The company gave varied exterior details and rooflines, which renders a unique look to each home they built. Below mentioned are some of the features of the Alexander Homes. 

  • Costly windows
  • Open floor plans
  • Post-and-beam construction
  • Living quarters connected with a breezeway
  • No trims or molding around the doors and windows
  • Three-quarter high wall partitions
  • Ceiling beams are exposed
  • Iron screens or fiberglass and walls with decorative cutouts
  • Exteriors are finished using patterned brick, decorative concrete block, or two-toned wood
  • Idiosyncratic rooflines: Butterfly shaped, flat, or slanted

Architects of Alexander Construction Co.

  • William Risel
  • Donald Wexler

Houses Built by Alexander Construction Co.

1955: Swiss Miss House

1960: The House of Tomorrow, designed by Palmer & Krisel. 

1961-1962: Experimental houses were designed using steel. These houses were built by Richard Harrison and Donald Wexler.

1950s-1970: A-Frame House Style

A-frame house styles contain sloppy and dramatic roofs with cozy living quarters, which made them a famous choice for vacation homes. Below mentioned are some features of the A-frame house. 

  • Deep-set eaves
  • Triangular shapes
  • Gables in front and rear
  • Two-and-a-half and one-and-a-half stories
  • Limited living space
  • Large windows on both front and rear facades
  • Vertical wall surfaces
  • Sloping roofs that are steep. The roofs in this house expand to the ground on two sides


In the 20th century, varied architects gained interest in the A-frame form. In the mid-1930s, Rudolph Schindlers, who was an Austrian-born architect, designed an A-frame vacation house. He designed the house in a resort community near Lake Arrowhead in California. The A-frame Bennati house that was built for Gisela Bennati had an open floor plan with glass-walled gables and exposed rafters. 

After fifteen years, other builders also explored the A-frame shape, and they constructed landmark examples and introduced variations in the form. In the year 1950, John Carden Campbell, a designer of San Francisco, was applauded for his modernist “Leisure House” that was made of all-white interiors and smooth plywood. The A-frame house of Campbell spread by means of do-it-yourself plans and kits. 

Andrew Geller won international attention in 1957 when The NewYork Times featured an A-frame house that was built by him in Amagansett, Long Island, New York. In the 1960s, The A-frame shape gained remarkable popularity. The popularity of the shape decreased in the 1970s when people opted for much larger homes for vacations.

Pros and Cons of A-shape House


  • Minimum maintenance is required as the roof expands to the ground and does not require to be painted.
  • Heavy snow does not remain on the top; rather, it slides down due to the shape of the roof.
  • Due to space available under the peak and at the top of the house, there is sufficient room for storage and lofts.


  • Limited living space.
  • On each floor, the triangular shape of the roof creates dead space.
  • A-shape houses are usually built for vacation cottages at beaches or mountains.

1958-Early 1960s: Swiss Miss House

A-frame “Swiss Miss” house includes a combination of the Swiss chalet’s charm and Polynesian hut’s tropical flavor. Swiss Miss is an informal name that is provided to the informal version of the A-Frame house style. This house style was created by Charles Dubois. Fifteen Swiss mIss houses were built by the Alexander Construction Company in Palm Springs, California. Similar houses were built by other firms in the United States. However, Swiss Miss house is a novelty and rare style that is primarily related to Palm Springs. 

Below mentioned are some features of Swiss Miss House.

  • Gable eaves that often extend to the ground. 
  • Gables are supported by narrow rectangular posts.
  • A central gable is constructed on the front facade.
  • Post-and-beam construction.
  • Sometimes flat roofs are constructed over adjacent rooms.
  • Chimneys in these houses are usually made of stone.
  • Board-and-batten or wooden tongue-in-groove exterior.
  • Extensive windows.
  • Beneath the central cable, an open living area is constructed.

1965-Present: Builder’s Colonial/Neocolonial

Builder’s colonial, neo-colonial, or neo-colonial houses are the contemporary homes that are inspired by the historic federal, Colonial, and Colonial Revival styles. These houses are not colonial at all, and they were not constructed during the colonial times of America. It is a modern style that is inspired by past ideas.

Neo-Colonial houses include a mixture of different historical styles that were adopted for modern-day lifestyles. The main idea of this style is to convey the refined and conventional atmosphere of a Colonial home, but they do not intend to recreate the Colonial style. The interiors of these homes are modern, containing the high-tech kitchen, great rooms, and other required conveniences. Below mentioned are some features of the Neocolonia houses. 

  • These houses are usually made in a rectangular shape having two-three stories
  • Center-entry hall plan
  • Large living areas and great rooms
  • Bedrooms are constructed on the upper floor and the living areas on the first floor
  • Semicircular fanlights and palladian windows
  • Dentil molding and temple-like entrance
  • Slidings are made using faux stone, vinyl, faux brick, or other composite materials
  • Double-hung windows that contain shutters sometimes

1965-Present: Neoeclectic Houses

Designers and architects call this style as new stylistic mix Neo-eclectic or Neoeclectic. It is quite difficult to describe this style, as it is a combination of many different styles. The decorative details, the shape of the roof, and the design of the windows in this style are inspired by several cultures and periods. Below mentioned are some common features of Neoeclectic houses.

  • Neotraditional architecture
  • Combinations of details from varied cultures
  • Vinyl, stone, bricks, and other composite materials are combined in this style
  • These houses are constructed in the 1960s and later


During the late 1960s, different builders started borrowing designs and styles from varied historical traditions in order to offer Neoeclectic houses. These houses were customized by mixing different features that were chosen from construction catalogs. These houses are also known as Postmodern houses as they adopt a variety of styles and designs without considering the context. 

1965-Present: Neo-Mediterranean House 

The Neo-Mediterranean houses of Mediterranean houses are constructed by combining the ideas of Mediterranean countries, including Spain, Italy, Morocco, and Greece. Below mentioned are some of the features of New-Mediterranean houses.

  • Carved wooden doors
  • Stucco siding
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Red roof tiles
  • Arches above porches, doors, or windows

Neo_medoterranena houses might resemble some historical styles like Spanish revival or Spanish colonial, but they are not a recreation of any specific historical styles. Neo-Mediterranean houses are constructed using contemporary materials like vinyl windows, stone, synthetic stucco, and vinyl siding.

1935-Present: Modern House Styles

Modern homes are constructed in different shapes, and they are specifically designed for the lifestyle of the 20th century. The term “Modern” defines different styles of houses. The modern homes include decorative styles that are borrowed from the past. The design also includes borrowing, distorting, or exaggerating details from the past. The styles that are popularly associated with Modern houses include Postmodern, Art Moderne, Neoeclectic. Below mentioned are some famous categories +that are identified by the famous historian Lee McAlester and Virginia.

  • 1935-1950: Minimal Traditional and Small homes having one story and low-pitched roofs.
  • 1935-1975: Ranch one-story home having linear and long shape.
  • 1955-1975: Split-Level houses that are in Ranch shape having two stories.
  • 1940-1980: Contemporary low and a one-story home having an almost flat roof with exaggerated and tall gable.
  • 1960-Present: Shed Angular homes having trapezoid windows and oddly-shaped roofs.

1965-Present: Postmodern Homes

Postmodern homes are surprising, whimsical, and unique. This housing style evolved from Modernism; however, it revels against this style. The Modernism Style is considered as monotonous, boring, minimalist, and anonymous. This style includes a combination of two or more different elements. It includes combining styles in different ways like traditional with inventive forms or making use of familiar shapes in unexpected and surprising ways. The postmodern homes do not contain common features. Postmodern houses might be shocking or humorous, but they are unique. Below mentioned are some common features of postmodern houses,

  • Abstract or exaggerated conventional detailing
  • Combination of newly-invented, modern-day, and traditional forms
  • Decorations and material are drawn from different sources
  • Forms are filled with contradiction, ambiguity, humor, and irony

Below mentioned are some famous postmodern architects.

  • Philip Johnson
  • Robert Venturi
  • Michael Graves
  • Denise Scott Brown

1975-Present: Monolithic Dome Home

Monolithic Domes, also known as Ecoshells, hold the ability to survive earthquakes, tornadoes, insects, fires, and hurricanes. It is a one-piece structure that is made of rebar and concrete. Below mentioned are some pros of monolithic dome homes.

  • The best part about monolithic domes is that they can not be damaged by insects, rot, or fire.
  • As compared to traditional buildings, monolithic domes require less amount of steel and concrete for construction.
  • Domes contain curved shapes that make it resistant to storm and wind damage.
  • Monolithic domes are energy-efficient due to the thermal mass of the walls made of concrete.
  • During earthquakes, monolithic domes do not collapse; instead, they move with the ground. 


The dome-shaped structures are found across the globe, and the style was used in developing countries to create affordable housing styles. The dome homes were developed using steel, and modern concrete, and the credit of introducing this style goes to David B. South. He patented the process of constructing this style home and established a construction enterprise in order to construct Monolithic dome homes, sports stadiums, commercial buildings, churches, and schools. 


  • A circular floor of the concrete slab is reinforced with the help of a steel rebar.
  • In the outer edge of the building’s foundation, vertical bars of steel are embedded with the intent to support the dome.
  • Blower fans are used to inflate an Airform that is made of polyester fabrics or PVC coated nylon.
  • The Airform swells in order to anticipate the structures’ shape.
  • The exterior portion of the Airform is surrounded by a grid of horizontal and vertical rebar.
  • Over the rebar grid, around two or three inches of concrete is applied.
  • The Airfrom is removed once the concrete is dry. The Airform used in the construction of the building can be reused. 

2006-Present: Katrina Cottages

Katrina cottages were inspired by the requirement of emergency housing after the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane destroyed many communities and homes that were located along the Gulf Coast of America. In order to respond to the crisis adequately, the architects designed these low-cost emergency shelters. It was an amazing solution due to its traditional and simple design. 

Marianne Cusato, the famous town planner Andres Duany and other leading architects were involved in developing the Katrina Cottage. The 308-square foot prototype of Custao was later adapted with the intent to develop a series of approximately two dozen different versions of the Katrina Cottage, and they were designed by different firms and architects. 

Katrina Cottages are usually small and are constructed in an area of less than 500 square feet to around 1000 square feet. There are some Katrina cottages that are constructed in an area of around 1,300 square feet and more than that. Katrina Cottages share varied features, although they vary in floor plans and size. Katrina cottages can be built economically and within a few days. The best part about Katrina Cottages is that they are durable. These homes meet Most hurricane and International Building Codes. Below mentioned are some common features of Katrina Cottage.

  • Front Porch
  • One story building
  • Steel roof
  • Steel studs
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Turned brackets and columns 
  • Mold and moisture resistant drywall
  • Sidings are termite and rot-resistant

Manoj Datic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *