Residential Architectural Styles
Art Deco—Homes built in this style feature geometric elements and a vertically oriented design.

California Bungalow—A forerunner of the craftsman style, California Bungalows offer rustic exteriors, sheltered-feeling interiors, and spacious front porches.

Cape Cod—A true classic, Cape Cod homes—square or rectangular one-story structures with gabled roofs and unornamented fronts—were among America's first houses.

Colonial—An offshoot of the Cape Cod style, Colonial homes feature a rectangular, symmetric design, second-floor bedrooms, clapboard siding, and gabled roofs.

Contemporary—Unmistakably modern in feel, Contemporary style homes are identifiable by their odd-sized windows, lack of ornamentation, and unusual mix of wall materials.

Craftsman—Full-or partial-width porches framed by tapered columns, overhanging eaves, and exposed roof rafters differentiate a Craftsman home from the similar California Bungalow.

Creole—A front wall that recedes to form a first-story porch and a second-story balcony highlights the Creole Cottage design.

Dutch Colonial—German, or "Deustch", settlers in Pennsylvania originated the Dutch Colonial style, dominated by a barn-like broad gambrel roof with flaring eaves.

Federal—This style arose amid a renewed interest in Greek and Roman culture, as its classical ornamentation around cornices, doors, and windows demonstrate.

French Provincial—Balance and symmetry define the French Provincial style, which includes a steep hip roof; balcony and porch balustrades; and rectangular doors set in arched openings.

Georgian—Refined and symmetrical with paired chimneys and a decorative crown, Georgian houses were named after English royalty.

Gothic Revival—English romanticism influenced this style, marked by "Gothic" windows with pointed arches; exposed framing timbers; and steep, vaulted roofs.

Greek Revival—Large porches, entryway columns, and a front door surrounded by narrow rectangular windows characterize Greek Revival Homes.

International—The International style exposes functional building elements, including elevator shafts, ground-to-ceiling plate glass windows, and smooth facades.

Italianate—Symmetrical bay windows in front; small chimneys set in irregular locations; tall, narrow, windows; and in some cases towers, typify Italianate houses.

Monterey—The Monterey style updates the New England Colonial style with an Adobe brick exterior and a second-floor with a balcony.

National—Rooted in Native American and pre-railroad dwellings, the National style consists of a rectangular shape with side-gabled roofs or square layouts with pyramidal roofs.

Neoclassical—Recognize Neoclassical homes, which exist in incarnations from one-story cottages to multilevel manses, by their Ionic- or Corinthian-columned porches.

Prairie—Originated by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie-style house comes in two styles--boxy and symmetrical or low-slung and asymmetrical.

Pueblo—Flat roofs, parapet walls with round edges, straight-edge window frames, earth-colored stucco or adobe-brick walls, and projecting roof beams typify Pueblos.

Queen Anne—Emerging in the late Victorian era, the style employs inventive, multistory floor plans that often include projecting wings, several porches and balconies, and multiple chimneys with decorative chimney pots.

Ranch—Similar to the Spanish Colonial, Prairie, and Craftsman styles, Ranch homes are set apart by pitched-roof construction, built-in garages, wood or brick exterior walls, sliding, and picture windows.

Regency—Although they borrow from the Georgian's classic lines, Regency homes eschew ornamentation. They're symmetrical, two or three stories, and usually built in brick. Typically, they feature an octagonal window over the front door, one chimney at the side of the house, double-hung windows, and a hip roof.

Saltbox—This New England Colonial style gained the Saltbox nickname because its sharply sloping gable roof resembled boxes used for storing salt.

Second Empire—A Victorian style, Second Empire homes feature mansard roofs with dormer windows, molded cornices, and decorative brackets under the eaves.

Shed—A subset of the Modern style, Shed houses are asymmetric with multiple roofs sloping in different directions, which creates several geometric shapes.

Shingle—An American style that echoes the Queen Anne, the Shingle style is distinguished by unadorned doors, windows, porches, and cornices; continuous wood shingles; a steeply pitched roof line; and large porches.

Shotgun—Tradition says that a shotgun blast can trace a straight path from the front to back door of this long, narrow home. The style is characterized by a single story with a gabled roof.

Spanish Eclectic—Taking its cues from early Spanish missions, Spanish Eclectic then adds a dash of details from Moorish, Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural styles.

Split Level—A Modern style, Split level design sequesters certain living activities, such as sleeping or socializing.

Stick—Decorative horizontal, vertical, or diagonal boards characterize Stick Houses, which are members of the Victorian family.

Tudor—Half-timbering on bay windows and upper floors, and facades that are dominated by one or more steeply pitched cross gables typify Tudor homes.

Victorian—Built during the rise of the machine age, Victorian architecture often incorporated decorative details such as brackets, spindles, and patterned shingles.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® . Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
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