15 Different Styles of Houses Found Across the Country

The type of windows you have actually reveals so much.

gothic revival style house from american gothic
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Despite this country's relatively short history, a myriad of architectural styles have influenced home design from coast-to-coast. Terms like "cottage" and "farmhouse" vary locally, but fixed features and principles can identify these popular frameworks. Find out which category your home fits into — it might even combine elements from more than one.

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Ranch

One of the most popular home styles in the U.S., ranches typically feature a long, open lay-out contained on a single story. Low rooflines and L- or U-shaped floor plans also predominated this popular style from the '40s through '70s.

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american colonial house
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American Colonial

True American colonial architecture dates back to the colonial era: 1720s to 1780s. Settlers built these historic homes with steep roofs and symmetrical features in a simple, rectangular shape.

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colonial revival house
Francesco Lagnese
Colonial Revival

Inspired by 18th century design, architects of the Colonial Revival style pay the same attention to symmetry, but also borrow elements from other movements. Architect Robert Rich did that with the entrance facade of this Colonial Revival house in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

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Cape Cod

A standout example of both Colonial and Colonial Revival architecture, Cape Cod style homes dot suburbs across New England. The low, single-story buildings usually feature a large central chimney and little ornamentation.

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victorian painted ladies houses
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Victorian

Predominant in the latter half of the 19th century, Victorian homes can adhere to a number of different specific styles including Queen Anne, Stick, Eastlake, and Shingle, or combine aspects of each. A lot of them incorporate asymmetrical shapes, decorative trim, and steep rooflines.

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shingle style house
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Shingle Style

Shingle Style is a plainer pick from the bunch, with (you guessed it) shingles covering the large, flat surfaces. Famous examples include the Isaac Bell House in Newport, Rhode Island, and the Charles Lang Freer House (pictured) in Detroit.

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american craftsman style gamble house
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American Craftsman

Also known as the Arts and Crafts movement, this style incorporates gabled roofs, deep eaves, exposed rafters, and special stone or woodwork. The Gamble House (pictured) exemplifies the school of thought.

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prairie school robie house
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Prairie School

Deeply associated with Arts and Crafts, this specific style appears mostly in the Midwest. Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House embodies the horizontal lines and "organic architecture" of the movement.

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tudor style house speke hall
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Tudor Revival

Half-timbering, herringbone brickwork, and tall mullioned windows distinguish the English style that originally dates back to the Middle Ages. Fewer new homes adhere to this distinctive look but it boomed in the American suburbs during the '70s and '80s.

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justina blakeney jungalow
David Tsay
Spanish Colonial Revival

Often found in Florida and California, these homes also draw on the missions and pueblos of the West. Stucco and clay tile are two tell-tale signs, like on this 1926 Spanish-style home in Los Angeles.

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french provincial house
Simon Watson
French Provincial

Balanced proportion and brick exteriors appear on these francophile homes inspired by 17th century manors. As a common choice in tony suburbs during the World War-era, architect Ralph Milman designed this Lake Forest, Illinois, French Provincial house in 1926.

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gothic revival style house from american gothic
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Gothic Revival

The return to this medieval architecture in the late 19th century materialized in many churches and collegiate buildings, but homes also sported the pointed arches and steep gables. The Dibble House in Eldon, Iowa, inspired the famous Grant Wood painting "American Gothic."

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storybook style spendena house
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Storybook

Just like you would expect, storybook (also called Provincial Realism) borrows whimsical elements from fairytales, like cobblestones or mismatched doors and windows. The well-known Spadena House in Beverly Hills has even earned a fitting nickname: The Witch's House.

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philip johnson glass house
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Modern

Often confused with contemporary architecture, the term
modernism applies to many homes built from the 1910s to 1980. Famous examples like the Eames House and Philip Johnson's Glass House (pictured) incorporated plenty of glass organized on flat facades.

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contemporary style house
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Contemporary

The newest design trends gravitate toward sustainable, natural components (like bamboo), with an emphasis on natural light.

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