Selecting House Plans: Popular Architectural Styles

Selecting House Plans: Popular Architectural Styles

American homes borrow styles from across the globe. Certain architectural themes, such as Cape Cod and ranch styles, were born in the U.S. Foreign lands inspired other styles, such as European, Mediterranean and Victorian. In this way, America is a melting pot of architectural styles. Whether you’re better suited to a ranch single-story or a bungalow Craftsman, home plans are available in a cornucopia of styles. Below, we’ve listed eight popular home styles to help you find the best theme for your family.

1. European. Anything from the European continent would fall under this category of home styles, including Spanish home plans as well as French Country, Georgian and Italianate homes. Overall, European styles feature stucco, stone or brick exteriors. Different European characteristics may be combined in a single plan. For instance, Italian windows can compliment vaulted arches from Norman France. Spanish home plans, in contrast, often feature low-pitched clay tile roofs and terracotta decoration.

2. Colonial. In America, the colonial period ran from the 1600s through 1800s. Many different home themes fall within that date range. For example, you may find homes described as Dutch Colonial, Spanish Colonial, German Colonial or French Colonial. Country-specific variations add color to the general colonial style. Dutch homes, for instance, were customarily constructed with brick and stone, so U.S. Dutch Colonials often feature these materials too. Colonial Spanish home plans, in contrast, may showcase interior courtyards. In spite of these country-specific variations, all colonial homes share a few basic traits, including an overall rectangular shape, chimneys on both ends of the house, large square rooms and barn or gambrel roofs.

3. Victorian. America and Britain were enamored with the Victorian style from 1825 to 1900. Victorian house plans’ most noticeable feature is their ornamentation, including bright exterior paint patterns, corbels and gable trim. Victorian house plans often feature decorative railing, sweeping verandas and two-story turrets, as well.

4. Prairie school. Prairie school homes are designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape. Here are a few common characteristics of a home designed in the Prairie School style:

– An indoor/outdoor approach.
– Rows of square windows.
– Low, long lines.
– Overhanging eaves.
– Little ornamentation; prairie school homes are simple and sleek.

5. Coastal. The beach lifestyle fuels coastal home designs. Raised foundations, rows of expansive windows and wraparound porches are common in coastal homes

6. Craftsman. Exposed roof rafters, decorative wood trim, sweeping porches and low-pitched gabled roofs are typical features of Craftsman home plans. In case you’re wondering, the bungalow is a certain category of Craftsman; home plans for bungalows often include stone columns and pedestals, horizontal wood shingle siding and a lower gable hanging over the porch.

7. Cape Cod. Typical Cape Cod features – single story designs, a central chimney and steep roofs – were intended to make life easier during harsh New England winters. (Steep roofs, for instance, allow snow to slide off, reducing the hazard of home collapse under heavy snowfall.) Today’s builders enhance the Cape Cod style with contemporary elements, such as rear garages and dormer windows.

By appreciating these stylistic differences, you can select the best home plans for your family. Regardless of whether you choose Craftsman home plans or a more modern design, your house will add to the melting pot that is American architecture.

Always a classic, Craftsman home plans will help ensure that your home is always in style. Visit to view their wide selection of both stock and customizable Craftsman house plans.

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Design Styles for your New Home

Design Styles for your New Home

One of the best parts of buying a new home is getting to decorate each room to fit your family’s personal style. Decorating turns a house into a home. Here are a couple great styles to choose from:

Shabby Chic – Shabby chic is a very feminine design aesthetic that incorporates white interiors, distressed furniture and soft pastels. Shabby chic is often referred to as cottage, English country or romantic design and accessories range from distressed picture frames and chandeliers to old china and quilts.

Neoclassical – Neoclassical style is making a comeback for interior design choices and gives your home a stately and lavish look. Furniture is light, graceful and high quality. Curtains are patterned and flowing, and it’s highly likely to find accent walls of geometric wall-paper.

Mid-Century Modern – Mid-century modern was a popular style in the 1960s and is making a comeback in the 21st century for its funky and functional feel. Furniture is often smooth and geometric, with brightly colored fabrics. Teak furniture, egg-shaped chairs and globe-like lighting are typical of the Mid-Century Modern era.

Eclectic – Eclectic design is a varied style that mixes multiple styles and colors. An eclectic home can combine mid-century modern furniture with neoclassical geometric prints, or a shabby chic base of white with contemporary and classical flare. An eclectic design is fully up to the homeowner’s tastes and creates a very realistic and homey look. Some of our Cherry Creek homes for sale have a delightfully eclectic style.

Contemporary – A contemporary look uses solid colors and sleek lines. The latest trend in contemporary design is natural woods and textures as well as whites, blacks and grays. Furniture is often simple, with straight lines and sharp corners. There are typically few accent pieces in a contemporary home, which add to its clean, open feel.

Tuscan – A Tuscan feel originated in Italy and includes rich reds and rust colors, similar to the clay brick you could find in Italian country sides. Wall and floor colors are typically more muted, and accent colors can range from deep, dark browns to yellows and tans. A Tuscan look is warm and inviting, and can be accented with ornate ironwork, marble and gold.

Traditional – A traditional style is often timeless, and will not need constant updating. A typical traditional home will use jewel tone colors and coordinating hues. Silks and satins are often used in a traditional style and accent pieces include less ornate mirrors, wall sconces and floral arrangements.

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