July 22

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Mastering the Colonial Style: An In-Depth Look at the Charm and How to Embrace it in Your Home

Colonial style houses – the ultimate guide to the look and how to get it

Colonial style houses have always been a popular choice for homeowners looking to create a timeless and elegant look for their homes. The term “colonial” refers to the architectural styles and trends that were prevalent during the colonial period, when many British, Spanish, and French settlers built houses in the new states. These houses were usually centered around a central hallway and had pitched roofs with gabled ends.

The iconic look of colonial style houses is characterized by their symmetrical design, with a central front door and an equal number of windows on either side. The front of the house often features a porch with columns, adding to its grandeur and charm. Inside, colonial style houses typically have large, spacious rooms with high ceilings, allowing for plenty of natural light and airflow.

When it comes to finishes and color schemes, colonial style houses can be quite versatile. Some homeowners prefer to maintain the traditional look by using aged or distressed finishes, while others opt for more modern and contemporary finishes. Regardless of your preferences, there are endless possibilities to help you achieve the colonial style you desire.

If you’re submitting to the architectural charm and allure of colonial style houses, it’s important to consider your privacy needs. The layout and design of these houses often feature rooms that flow into each other, which can be both a benefit and a challenge. However, with some thoughtful planning and design, you can ensure that your colonial style house is both visually stunning and functional for your everyday needs.

In conclusion, colonial style houses are a timeless and elegant choice for homeowners who appreciate classic architecture. With their centered design, pitched roofs, and iconic front porch, these houses evoke a sense of history and charm. Whether you prefer a more traditional or modern interpretation of colonial style, there are endless possibilities and trends to help you achieve the look you desire.

What is a colonial style house

A colonial style house refers to a type of architecture that was popular during the colonial period in various countries, particularly in the United States. These houses are characterized by their symmetrical design, gabled roofs, and front entryway.

Architectural Features

Colonial style houses typically have a rectangular or square shape with two or three stories. The most iconic feature is the pitched or gabled roof with a centrally located chimney. The front entryway is often adorned with a pediment or decorative columns.

Types of Colonial Style Houses

There are different types of colonial style houses that emerged in various regions and time periods:

  • British Colonial: These houses were influenced by British architectural styles and were prevalent during the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Spanish Colonial: Found in regions where Spanish settlers influenced the architectural styles, such as in California and Florida.
  • French Colonial: Characterized by their steeply pitched roofs and symmetrical designs, these houses were popular in Louisiana and other French-influenced areas.

Characteristics of Colonial Style Houses

Colonial style houses are known for their timeless elegance and classic appeal. Some key characteristics of these houses include:

  • Centered front entryway with a pediment or columns
  • Symmetrical design with evenly spaced windows and rooms
  • Multi-paned windows
  • Simple and understated color schemes
  • Use of natural materials like wood and brick

Modern Colonial Style Houses

While colonial style houses originally reflect the architectural trends of their time, modern adaptations allow for more flexibility and customization. Homeowners can incorporate contemporary finishes and amenities while still preserving the traditional colonial elements.

Getting the Colonial Style Look

If you’re interested in achieving the colonial style look for your home, here are a few tips:

  1. Research different colonial styles and decide which one resonates with you.
  2. Consider hiring an architect or an interior designer with experience in colonial architecture to help you with the design process.
  3. Use natural finishes and materials to create an authentic look.
  4. Pay attention to details such as window treatments and furniture styles that are in line with the colonial style.
  5. Take inspiration from historic colonial houses for your own design.
  6. Don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch while still staying true to the overall colonial aesthetic.

In conclusion, colonial style houses have a rich history and are still loved by homeowners today. Whether you’re drawn to the British, Spanish, or French colonial style, there are plenty of options and resources available to help you achieve the colonial look for your home.

Where did Colonial style originate

The Colonial style originated in the early days of the American colonies, when settlers from various European countries brought their own architectural traditions and design elements with them. The information they had about architecture and building techniques in their home countries influenced the development of Colonial style houses in the new land.

The Colonial style was heavily influenced by the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch settlers, who each brought their own unique styles and finishes to the architecture of the time. These settlers adapted their architectural traditions to suit the conditions of the new land, resulting in a mix of styles that became characteristic of the Colonial style.

Colonial style houses are known for their symmetrical facades, central doorways, and multiple chimneys. The roofs are often steeply pitched and gabled. The architectural features of Colonial style houses were centered around practicality and efficiency, with the goal of creating a comfortable and functional living space for the settlers.

One of the key features of Colonial style houses is the front porch or veranda. These porches provided a place for the settlers to relax and enjoy the outdoors while still maintaining a level of privacy. The porch was often supported by columns and had a roof overhang for protection from the weather.

In terms of interior design, Colonial style houses typically had a central hallway with rooms branching off on either side. The rooms were typically small and modest, reflecting the simple and practical lifestyle of the time. Common features included fireplaces, exposed beams, and hardwood floors.

Today, Colonial style houses are still popular in many parts of the United States. While the original Colonial style houses have aged, there are many modern interpretations of the style that incorporate elements from other architectural trends. Whether you’re submitting to the iconic British Colonial style or the charming French Colonial style, there is a colonial style house that can help you achieve your desired look.

Colonial style features:
British Colonial: Pitched roofs Brick or stone exteriors Paneled windows
French Colonial: Hip roofs Stucco or brick exteriors Balconies and verandas
Spanish Colonial: Low-pitched, flat roofs White stucco exteriors Arched doorways and windows

Types of Colonial style houses

Colonial style houses are known for their classic and timeless designs that reflect the architectural trends of the past. There are several types of colonial style houses, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Whether you’re looking to buy or build a colonial style house, it’s important to have an understanding of the different types so you can choose the one that best suits your preferences and needs.

1. French Colonial

French Colonial houses originated in the early 17th century in the eastern part of the United States. These houses typically have a symmetrical front facade, a central chimney, and a steeply pitched roof. The French Colonial style is characterized by its simplicity and understated elegance, with finishes such as stone or brick.

2. Spanish Colonial

Spanish Colonial houses were popular in the southern part of the United States during the same time period as the French Colonial. These houses have a distinctive style influenced by Spanish architecture, featuring stucco exteriors, arched doorways, and clay tile roofs. The Spanish Colonial style is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere.

3. British Colonial

British Colonial houses were built in the 18th and 19th centuries by British settlers in America. These houses are often characterized by their symmetrical designs, with a central entryway and evenly distributed windows. The British Colonial style incorporates elements of Georgian and Federal architecture, with touches of elegance and grandeur.

4. Dutch Colonial

Dutch Colonial houses have a unique design with their gambrel roofs, which are characterized by two slopes on each side. These houses are typically two or three stories tall and have a central chimney. The Dutch Colonial style is known for its practicality and functionality, making efficient use of space.

5. Cape Cod

Cape Cod houses originated in New England in the 17th century. These houses have a simple and compact design, with a central chimney and a steeply pitched roof. Cape Cod style houses often have dormer windows and gabled ends. The Cape Cod style is known for its coziness and charm.

By understanding the different types of colonial style houses, you can better appreciate the variety and beauty of this architectural style. Whether you prefer the simplicity of the French Colonial or the warmth of the Spanish Colonial, there’s a colonial style house that will reflect your personal taste and provide a timeless and classic home.

1 New England Colonial style

1 New England Colonial style

The New England Colonial style is one of the most iconic architectural styles in the United States. It originated from the British settlers who brought their architectural traditions with them to the New World. This style is characterized by its simple yet elegant design and its pitched roof with gabled ends.

In terms of the layout, New England Colonial houses typically have a centered front door with symmetrical windows on either side. The front of the house is usually adorned with decorative elements such as columns or pilasters. The rooms are typically arranged in a symmetrical fashion around a central hallway, providing a sense of balance and order.

The exterior of these houses often features clapboard or shingle siding, giving them a charming and aged look. The finishes are usually in neutral colors, such as white or gray, which add to the timeless appeal of the style.

When it comes to the interior of a New England Colonial house, you can expect classic features such as hardwood floors, wooden beams, and fireplaces. These houses often have multiple levels, providing plenty of space for families.

If you’re considering decorating your home in a New England Colonial style, here are some tips and advice:

  • Focus on creating a sense of balance and symmetry in your rooms.
  • Use neutral colors for the walls and add pops of color with your furniture and decor.
  • Opt for traditional furniture pieces with simple lines and elegant details.
  • Incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone to add warmth and authenticity.
  • Choose timeless and classic finishes and fixtures for your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Add traditional architectural elements such as crown molding and wainscoting to add charm and character.
  • Consider incorporating colonial-inspired textiles and patterns in your upholstery and curtains.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix old and new elements to create a modern take on the colonial style.

By following these tips, you can recreate the timeless elegance of the New England Colonial style in your own home.

2 French Colonial style

French Colonial style houses are characterized by their elegant and sophisticated design elements. This style first gained popularity in the eastern United States during the colonial period and has since spread to other parts of the country.

French Colonial houses typically have a central front entrance, with symmetrical windows on either side. The roof is often steeply pitched and may feature dormer windows. The exterior of the house is typically finished in stucco or brick, giving it a classic and timeless look.

Inside the house, you’ll find spacious rooms with high ceilings and intricate moldings. French Colonial style is known for its attention to detail and fine craftsmanship. The decor is often influenced by French and European styles, with ornate furniture and rich fabrics.

Architectural details

French Colonial style is defined by its architectural details. One of the most iconic features of this style is the central front entrance. This entrance is often grand and impressive, with a large door and elegant detailing. The windows on either side of the entrance are typically symmetrically placed and may feature decorative shutters.

The roof of a French Colonial house is often steeply pitched and may have dormer windows. These windows add to the architectural charm of the house and provide additional natural light. The roof itself is typically finished in aged or weathered slate, adding to the historic feel of the house.

Modern French Colonial style

In modern French Colonial style, there are some trends and influences from other architectural styles. For example, you may find elements of Spanish Colonial or British Colonial architecture incorporated into the design. This fusion of styles creates a unique and eclectic look that is both classic and contemporary.

To help you achieve the French Colonial style in your own home, here are some tips and advice:

  • Research and gather information about French Colonial architecture.
  • Study the different styles and variations of French Colonial houses.
  • Consider the architectural details and finishes that are characteristic of this style.
  • Think about how you can incorporate these elements into your own home.
  • Consult with an architect or designer who specializes in French Colonial style.
  • Look for inspiration in magazines, books, and online resources.

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3 Dutch Colonial style

The Dutch Colonial style is one of the most distinctive colonial architectural styles. Originating in the 17th century in the Dutch settlements of North America, these houses have a unique charm that sets them apart from other colonial styles.

The key features of Dutch Colonial style houses include:

  • A gambrel roof – a distinctive double-sloped roof shape.
  • A central chimney.
  • An asymmetrical facade.
  • A central front entrance.

One of the advantages of Dutch Colonial style houses is their versatility. They can be adapted to suit various tastes and trends. Whether you prefer a traditional or a more modern look, you can easily incorporate Dutch Colonial style elements into your home.

If you’re considering building or renovating a Dutch Colonial style house, here are some tips to help you achieve the desired aesthetic:

  1. Consider using traditional finishes such as aged brick or clapboard siding.
  2. Opt for a pitched roof with a gambrel shape to capture the iconic Dutch Colonial style.
  3. Add details like shutters, dormer windows, and a central chimney to enhance the overall look.
  4. Use a color palette inspired by nature, such as shades of brown, green, and blue.
  5. Create a welcoming front entrance with a Dutch Colonial style door and accent lighting.

Dutch Colonial style houses provide a unique and timeless appeal. Whether you’re in the United States or around the world, incorporating Dutch Colonial architectural elements into your home can create a sense of charm and history.

4 Spanish Colonial style

Spanish Colonial style architecture dates back to the time of Spanish settlers in the Americas during the colonial period. This style is centered around the architectural trends that developed during this time, especially in areas such as Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Spanish Colonial houses typically have a central courtyard or patio, which provides privacy and a gathering space for the family. The front of the house usually faces the street, with rooms arranged around the central courtyard. This layout helps to maximize natural light and ventilation in the house.

One of the iconic features of Spanish Colonial houses is the pitched roof with gabled ends. This roof style is also known as the “Spanish tile roof” and is often made of clay or terracotta tiles. The roof provides protection from the elements and helps to regulate the temperature inside the house.

Spanish Colonial houses are known for their ornate finishes and aged patina. The use of materials such as stucco, wood, and wrought iron is common in this style. These finishes and materials give the house a timeless and rustic feel.

If you’re looking to achieve the Spanish Colonial style in your own home, here are some tips to help you:

  1. Research the architectural styles and trends of the colonial period in the area you’re interested in.
  2. Take inspiration from Spanish Colonial houses you admire and incorporate similar elements into your own design.
  3. Consider using authentic materials, such as clay or terracotta tiles for the roof, stucco for the walls, and wrought iron for the doors and windows.
  4. Focus on creating a central courtyard or patio area as the heart of your home, where family and friends can gather.
  5. Pay attention to the details, such as hand-painted tiles, decorative ironwork, and aged finishes, to give your home an authentic Spanish Colonial feel.

By following these tips and doing some research, you can achieve the Spanish Colonial style and create a beautiful and timeless home.

5 Colonial Revival homes

Colonial Revival homes are a popular architectural style that pays homage to the original colonial homes built by British settlers in the Americas. These homes feature timeless designs and classic finishes that have stood the test of time.

What sets Colonial Revival homes apart from other styles is their iconic front gabled roofs, often with pitched or hipped roofs. This architectural feature is a key characteristic of the style, and it helps to create a sense of charm and nostalgia.

When it comes to room layouts, Colonial Revival homes typically have a central hallway flanked by rooms on either side. This design provides privacy and helps to maintain the symmetry that is often associated with this style.

There are several different types of Colonial Revival homes, each with their own unique features and finishes. Here are five popular examples:

  1. Spanish Colonial Revival

    The Spanish Colonial Revival style takes inspiration from the architecture of Spain, particularly from the time of colonization in the Americas. These homes often feature stucco exteriors, red tile roofs, and ornate details like wrought iron balconies.

  2. French Colonial Revival

    The French Colonial Revival style is influenced by French architecture, particularly from the time when France had colonies in the Caribbean and Louisiana. These homes often have steeply pitched roofs, balconies, and symmetrical facades.

  3. Georgian Colonial Revival

    Georgian Colonial Revival

    The Georgian Colonial Revival style takes inspiration from the Georgian architecture of the 18th century. These homes often have symmetrical facades, brick exteriors, and elaborate entryways with transom windows.

  4. Dutch Colonial Revival

    Dutch Colonial Revival

    The Dutch Colonial Revival style is characterized by its gambrel roof, which features a double slope on each side. These homes often have clapboard siding, dormer windows, and a central chimney.

  5. Colonial Revival Farmhouse

    Colonial Revival Farmhouse

    Colonial Revival Farmhouse homes combine the traditional Colonial Revival style with the farmhouse aesthetic. These homes often have wrap-around porches, white clapboard siding, and gabled roofs.

If you’re interested in incorporating some Colonial Revival elements into your own home, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, study the specific features and finishes of the style you’re drawn to, whether it’s Spanish, French, Georgian, Dutch, or Farmhouse. Understanding the architectural details and finishes will help you create an authentic look.

Next, consider the conditions and trends of the time period in which your chosen Colonial Revival style originated. This will help guide your choices in terms of materials, colors, and finishes.

Finally, seek advice or gather information from experts in Colonial Revival architecture. They can help you with specific design elements and provide valuable insights into what makes a Colonial Revival home truly authentic.

Why are Colonial style homes so popular

Colonial style houses have become iconic in the United States. They serve as a reminder of the country’s colonial past and the architectural trends that characterized that time. But what is it about these homes that make them so popular?

One reason is their timeless appeal. Colonial style houses have aged well, with their classic and elegant architectural features still in high demand. The pitched roofs, gabled fronts, and central chimneys give these homes a distinctive look that appeals to many homeowners.

Another reason for their popularity is their flexibility. Colonial style houses can be found all over the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast. This means that no matter where you live, there is a good chance that a colonial style house could fit in with the surrounding architecture. Additionally, these homes can be easily customized to fit your personal taste, with a wide range of finishes and styles available.

Settlers from different European countries, such as the British, French, and Spanish, brought their own architectural influences to the colonial style. This resulted in regional variations within the overall colonial architectural style. Whether you’re looking for a New England colonial with its simple, symmetrical rooms, or a Spanish colonial with its central courtyard, there is a colonial style house for everyone.

Furthermore, colonial style homes offer practical benefits. The design of these houses, with their central chimneys and multiple hearths, allows for efficient heating and cooling. The layout often features spacious rooms and wide hallways that are well-suited for modern living. Additionally, the timeless charm of colonial style homes can also increase their resale value.

In conclusion, colonial style homes remain popular due to their timeless appeal, flexibility, regional variations, practical benefits, and potential for added value. Whether you’re drawn to the classic look of a New England colonial or the Spanish colonial influenced by the warmth of the West, there is a colonial style house that can help you create the home of your dreams.

What to look for in a Colonial style home

A Colonial style home is a timeless architectural style that originated in the 17th century in the eastern states of America. It was influenced by the British and Spanish settlers of that time, resulting in a unique blend of styles. When looking for a Colonial style home, there are a few key features to consider.

1. Pitched Roof

One of the most iconic features of a Colonial style home is its pitched roof. The roof is usually gabled, meaning it has two sloping sides that meet at a peak. This design not only adds visual appeal but also helps to shed snow and water more effectively.

2. Front Entrance

The front entrance of a Colonial style home is typically centered and symmetrical. It is often framed by a porch or a portico, which adds character and creates a welcoming aesthetic. This feature is reminiscent of the French and Spanish architectural styles of the time.

3. Multi-pane Windows

Windows in Colonial style homes are typically divided into multiple panes. This design element adds visual interest to the exterior and allows for more natural light to enter the rooms. Look for windows with sash bars or muntins that create small individual panes.

4. Wooden Exterior

Colonial style homes often have a wooden exterior, which adds warmth and charm. The wood can be left natural or painted in traditional colors such as white or earth tones. This material choice gives the house an aged and timeless appearance.

5. Privacy and Rooms

5. Privacy and Rooms

Privacy is an important aspect of Colonial style homes due to their historical context. The layout typically includes separate rooms for men and women, with the main entertaining spaces centered around a central hallway.

6. Colonial Finishes

When looking at Colonial style homes, pay attention to the finishes used inside. Look for details such as crown molding, chair rails, and wainscoting. These architectural elements add elegance and tradition to the interior spaces.

7. Modern Upgrades

While a Colonial style home might have historical charm, it’s important to consider any modern upgrades or renovations that have been made. Look for amenities such as updated kitchen and bathroom fixtures, insulation, and heating systems. This will ensure that the house meets your modern living needs.

8. Research and Advice

Before buying a Colonial style home, do thorough research and seek advice from professionals or experts in this architectural style. They can provide valuable information about the history and specific features to look for when selecting a home in this style.

Overall, buying a Colonial style home is a great choice if you appreciate timeless elegance and a historical aesthetic. By considering these key features and doing your due diligence, you can find a home that perfectly embodies the colonial architecture style.


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