US House Styles Include Various Types Of Architectural Influences

US house styles are varied and complex, just like the country’s population. When searching for a new home, its style will influence your decision more than anything else. As the saying goes, “style is everything.”

What Is Your House Style?

House stylesView in gallery

Before you buy a house, you should know what you want. Learn about the different house styles so you can find one that interests you.

House styles are determined by their regions. As a home provides shelter, its construction is inherent to the regional climate conditions of its location.

The most common house styles in the US are:

The Most Popular Architectural House Styles

We’ve rounded up the most popular types of exterior house styles. Take a look at these styles and see which ones are most appealing.


Victorian style houseView in gallery

Victorian houses have complex lines, abundant trim, and bright exterior colors. The homes are known as “dollhouses” or “gingerbread houses.” Victorian home builders infused fanciful and ornate traits to embellish appearances.

The Victorian era was from 1830 to 1910. The period coincided with the reign of England’s Queen Victoria. Other characteristics include steep interior roof lines. The interior design features separate rooms instead of open floor plans.


Farmhouse house stylesView in gallery

A traditional farmhouse resembles a farm. Today, the modern farmhouse style is popular. You’ll find these homes in suburban areas rather than rural areas. The architectural style combines clean lines to create a warm vibe.

Cape Cod Style

Cape Cod Style

Cape Cod Style

A Cape Cod house is defined as a frame structure that stands one and a half stories tall. One predominant feature of Cape Cod homes is how they have pitched roofs. 

Cape Cod homes come in three styles. 

  • The “half house,” otherwise known as “the house,” has two windows on one side of the front door.
  • New three-quarter house, otherwise known as a “house and a half,” has two windows on one side of the front door and one window on the other. 
  • The “full Cape,” otherwise known as a “double house,” has a front door in the center flanked by two windows on either side. 


The beautiful Cottage house style

The beautiful Cottage house style

The word “cottage” is a living space on the ground level. However, cottage homes are hard to define. One person’s cottage might be another person’s country farmhouse. 

In this example, the raised cottage resembles a beach house more than it does a traditional cottage. This explains why homes like this are referred to as “beach cottages.”

The cottage features a hipped roof that covers the front porch, offering protection from direct sunlight and bad weather. Some cottage homes use indigenous materials like shingle siding, cedar shake roofs, and fieldstone. The cottage home aesthetic shares a connection with vernacular architecture principles.


Traditional colonial homes never go out of style.

Traditional colonial homes never go out of style.

The Colonial home was the dominant style in US domestic architecture throughout the 19th century. Among all home styles, Colonial architecture is uniquely American.

Colonial-style houses feature symmetrical construction and square or rectangle shapes. Their exteriors feature siding or brick. The front door and main entryway staircase are at the center of the home. Throughout the Colonial period, rectangular sash windows were the standard.




Spanish-style homes are common in southern California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. The homes have terracotta-colored roofs, stucco exteriors, and wrought iron fences. 

The homes feature flat or low-pitched roofs, arched doorways, kitchen tile floors, and asymmetrical interior designs.


Georgian styles are among the most formal-looking.

The Georgian period began in 1700 and ended after the American Revolutionary War. Georgian style homes feature rigid symmetry axial entryways, ionic pilasters, geometrical designs, hipped roofs, and sash windows.

In the southeastern US, Georgian homes feature raised basements because of the climate and topography conditions. 


Barn homes

Barn homes

Barn houses are repurposed structures converted into homes. Barn-style homes are proportionate so they look tall. Their rectangular shape also makes the look bigger. The homes and have pitched or gambrel roofs.

Art Deco

Art Deco House StyleView in gallery

Art Deco house styles in the US were designed by some of the greatest architects worldwide. Since 1925, art deco homes have personified architectural creativity. The characteristics of an art deco home include smooth wall surfaces, geometrical decorative elements, chevron patterns, black front facades, and reeding and fluting around doors and windows.

Hewn Log

Hewn LogView in gallery

Log hewing is a woodworking technique whereby round timber is turned into square lumber. Imagine converting a circle into a square. The timber is cut so it has a flat surface. The flat wood is used for ceiling beams in A-frame homes or bungalows.

Hewn logs are also used to make wood cabins. The cabin style was invented in Scandinavia in the 17th century and quickly found its way to the US.  The cabin style is known for its insulation and durability.


Chateau View in gallery

Chateau homes aren’t McMansions, they’re “mini-castles.” The home style features stone exteriors, wrought iron gates, and steep roofs with dormer windows French Chateau house exteriors feature stone, stucco, or brick. The homes are rich with ornamentation like corner quoins, exquisite chimney tops, and masonry flair.

Italianate House

Italianate HouseView in gallery

Taking its cue from medieval Italian country villas, the Italianate House style was popular in the 19th-century. Adding to their popularity were their cheap materials like brick, stucco, and stone. Italianate homes have a multi-story watch tower.

Asymmetrical porches, bracketed eaves, and round arches are other common features. Most octagonal homes are trimmed following Italianate styles. The interior styles feature flexible floor plans and intricate walls designs.


House stylesView in gallery

Only America would think of combining fast food with home design. A prefabricated home is a structure manufactured with cheap materials at a different location. The home parts are sent to the residential location where the home is assembled.

The prefab home style is a combination of minimalist and futurist design. Those concerned with reducing their carbon footprints choose prefab homes over traditional homes as they’re not a threat to the local environment.


Ranch style homes exploded in popularity as suburban areas grew.

Ranch style homes exploded in popularity as suburban areas grew.

The home-style began in the southwest as people lived on ranches. Ranch style homes are one-story structures that feature an open plan and casual ambiance.

Ranch-style homes have low-pitched roofs and eaves that extend from the house. They have an attached garage and large windows. The interior design is open and provides easy access to the backyard with sliding glass doors.


Old World Tudor style is still a popular home choice.

Old World Tudor style is still a popular home choice.

Tudor architecture originated in Europe. The home style is a blend of late medieval and early Renaissance architecture. The homes have stucco walls with decorative wood timbering. Other characteristics include pitched gabled roofs, stone accents, and a masonry chimney. Tudor entryways are not symmetrical yet feature arched doorways.


Craftsman-style homes have seen a resurgence in popularity.

Craftsman-style homes have seen a resurgence in popularity.

Craftsman-style homes represent US living concepts. There is something inherently American about the Craftsman home, like McDonalds. The homes feature low-pitched gabled roofs and broad eaves. 

The homes are single story or one and a half stories tall. Also, they have large front porches and distinctive interior design.


Tuscan homes have low-key luxury as a focus.

Tuscan homes have low-key luxury as a focus.

Italian architecture has also had an influence on residential home design. Tuscan-style houses feature natural materials like stone, terra-cotta, stucco, and floor tiles. Enclosed courtyards, narrow windows with shutters, and clay rooftops are also signature touches.


Mediterranean style houses have open floor plans.

Mediterranean style houses have open floor plans.

Mediterranean-style homes have low-pitched tile roofs. Stucco exteriors and accented with arched windows and doorways. The homes feature private courtyards, gardens, and open floor plans. 

Most Mediterranean homes are white, serving as a cooling effect during warmer temperatures.




Mountain homes enjoy a relationship with nature. By using natural and local materials during construction, the homes are a collaboration with nature rather than a threat. 

Open plans maximize the usage and enjoyment of the interior. Low-maintenance landscaping with native plants and trees provides mountain homes with a laid-back environment.




Defining the style of a contemporary home is like writing about music or dancing about architecture. As everyone knows, you can’t nail gelatin to a wall. Today, the word contemporary means “technology.” 

The houses focus on smart home technology, sustainability, and energy efficiency qualities. Meanwhile, green building methods have emerged to the forefront of American home construction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Where Were Parlors In Original Cape Cod Homes?

A Cape Cod parlor was in the southeast corner and to the right of the front door to take advantage of the sun. The heat from the sun increased as it rose in the east and moved southward across the sky throughout the day.

What Is Soft Architecture?

Soft-architecture refers to interior decor like window treatments, textiles, and light fixtures.

What Are The Negative Aspects Of A Gated Community?

Gated communities provide protection from daily intrusions, which is good and bad. In the US, ignorance is associated with safety. A gated community cuts itself from its regional location. Integration is not the goal of a gated community.

What Were The Benefits Of Rockfaced Hollow Concrete Block?

Between 1905 and 1930, cheap,domestic structures were built with rockfaced hollow concrete block. The material was inexpensive and easy to use. Homes that were constructed with the concrete blocks were also durable and provided protection from harsh weather climates.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Prefab House?

Prefab homes can last between 35 and 50 years. To make longer lasting modular buildings, thicker and stronger materials are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, and seismic events.

What Are The Characteristics Of Art Deco Interior Design?

Art Deco homes feature zigzagged patterns, sunburst themes, and sharp geometrical designs.

House Styles: Wrap Up 

US residential home styles vary across the country’s landscape. The home styles are vernacular as regional factors influence their composition. As smart home technology emerges, home styles are losing their flavor.