House Styles

This page is your starting place for exploring house styles, with links to facts, photos, diagrams, and building plans for the most popular housing styles in North America.

Cape Cod House Style
1600s – 1950s. The Cape Cod house style originated in New England in the late 17th century. Today, the term refers to one-and-a-half story homes popular in the United States during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Georgian Colonial House Style
1690s – 1830. This symmetrical, orderly style became prominant in Colonial America.

Federal / Adam House Styles
1780 – 1840. Graceful details distinguish these homes from the pragmatic Georgian colonial style.

Greek Revival House Style
1825-1860. Democratic ideals are reflected in the classical details of Greek Revival homes.

Antebellum Architecture
1830-1862. Antebellum is not a style so much as an era. These grand plantation homes reflect the wealth and power of plantation owners in the American South prior to the Civil War.

Victorian Gothic House Styles
1840-1880. These buildings feature arches, pointed windows and other details borrowed from medieval Gothic cathedrals. Included are facts and photos for Gothic Revival, Carpenter Gothic and High Victorian Gothic architecture.

Victorian Italianate House Styles
1840-1885. Old World ideals transplanted to the United States.

Second Empire House Styles
1855-1885. With their high mansard roofs, these houses evoked European majesty.

Victorian Stick & Eastlake House Styles
1860-1890. Trusses and stickwork suggest medieval building techniques.

Folk Victorian House Styles
1870-1910. Just plain folk could afford these no-fuss homes, using trimwork made possible by mass production.

Shingle Style
1874-1910. Home designers rejected fussy Queen Anne ornamentation in homes that evoked rustic coastal living.

Victorian Romanesque House Styles
1880-1900. Romantic, castle-like buildings, often constructed of stone, inspired by designer Henry Hobson Richardson.

Victorian Queen Anne House Styles
1880-1910. Towers, turrets, wrap around porches and other fanciful details.

Beaux Arts House Styles
1885- 1925. Swags, medallions, flowers, balustrades, balconies, grand stairways and other lavish features characterize this style, reserved for grandiose public buildings and homes for the very rich.

Colonial Revival House Styles
1880-1955. These symmetrical houses combine elements of Federal and Georgian architecture.

Mission & California Mission House Styles
1890-1920. Stucco walls, arches and other details inspired by the Spanish mission churches of colonial America.

Tudor, Medieval Revival and English Country House Styles
1890-1940. Decorative half-timbering and other details suggest medieval building techniques.

Cotswold Cottage
1890-1940. This subtype of the Tudor Revival style may remind you of a picturesque storybook cottage.

Renaissance Revival House Styles
1890 -1935. A fascination for the architecture of Renaissance Europe inspired these elegant homes and villas.

American Foursquare House Styles
1895-1930. This practical, economical style became one of the most popular in the United States.

Prairie School House Styles
1900-1920. The low, linear style pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Craftsman Bungalow House Styles
1905-1930. From the Arts & Crafts movement, an American style popularized through mail order catalogs.

Spanish Revival House Styles
1915-1940. The opening of the Panama canal inspired a variety of Spanish Colonial Revival and Mediterranean styles.

French Inspired House Styles
1915-1945. French ideas are reflected in grand estates and quaint cottages.

Art Moderne House Styles
1930-1945. With smooth, white walls and a sleek streamlined appearance, these cube-shaped homes expressed the spirit of the machine age.

Ranch Style Homes
1935 – Present. The rambling, no-nonsense Ranch styles became dominant in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. If you live in the suburbs, there’s a good chance your home is a Western Ranch, American Ranch, or California Rambler.

Raised Ranch (Split Level) House Styles
1935 – Present. A traditional Ranch Style house is only one story, but a split level, “Raised Ranch” house has room to grow. A finished basement with large windows creates extra living space below, while a raised roof leaves room for bedrooms above.

A-Frame Homes
1957-Present. With a dramatic, sloping roof and cozy living quarters, an A-frame style house is ideal for wintery regions with lots of snow.

Postmodern Homes
1965 – Present. Rebelling against minimalist modernist architecture, Postmodern houses tend to give the impression that anything goes – the impossible is not only possible, but exaggerated.

Neoeclectic Homes
1965 – Present. Decorative details borrowed from the past and selected from a construction catalog create a mixture that can be difficult to define.

Dome Homes
Late 20th century. Monolithic domes and the innovative geodesic dome technology pioneered by Buckminister Fuller.

Pueblo and Pueblo Revival Styles
Prehistory – Present. Inspired by the simple adobe structures built by ancient tribes, comfortable, eco-friendly pueblo style homes are especially practical in dry climates. Traditional pueblo architecture dates back to the dawn of history; Pueblo Revival houses became popular in the early 1900s and are still a favored style in the southwestern regions of the United States.

Log Cabins
1700s – present. Today’s log homes are often spacious and elegant, but in colonial America, log cabins reflected the hardships of life on the North American frontier.

Earth Homes
From prehistoric times to the present. Cob, straw bale, earth bermed and underground homes are inexpensive, energy efficient and surprisingly comfortable.

Architecture Glossary
Use this architecture dictionary to find definitions and pictures for important
words related to architecture and building design.
Need more help? Look under More Resources for more architecture words and

adaptive reuse
Art Deco
Art Moderne
Arts and Crafts
Austin stone
Beaux Arts
board and batten (board-and-batten)
building designer
California mission
chimney pot
Coffee House Modern (see Googie)
compressed earth block (CEB)
Craftsman (see Arts and Crafts)
custom home
custom home builder
dentil molding
Doo-Wop (see Googie)
earth rammed
earth sheltered
entertainment architecture
feng shui
fiber cement siding
floor plans
flying buttress
geodesic dome
HardiPlank, HardiPanel
hipped roof
International Style
mansard roof
manufactured home
modular home
Neoclassical / Neo-classical
New Urbanism
oriel window
organic architecture
palladian window
Populuxe (see Googie)
prairie school
prefabricated home
production home builder
professional building designer
rammed earth construction
Space Age (see Googie)
stick built
straw bale construction
stock plans
traditional neighborhood development (TND)
trompe l’oeil
tudor style


Sources Cited, House Styles by Jackie Craven, Last accessed: December 13, 2009., Architecture Glossary,
Last accessed: December 13, 2009.

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