Home Design Through the Decades. Every American generation has had its criteria about home design and what a home requires. During the last century, the American homes’ architectural design evolved alongside American history. Technological and economic changes influenced residential architecture development.
Indeed, by walking around any American neighborhood, you can find more than one housing style surged during the last 100 years.
Come with us to give a walk through the most popular home designs through the decades.
- Colonial Revival
The Colonial Revival sought to follow the American colonial architecture of the Revolutionary War period. It rose at the beginning of the 20th century as an expression of American patriotism. Likewise, it included several sub-styles such as French Colonial, Garrison Colonial, Dutch Colonial, and Spanish Colonial.
Structures are typically two-story, with the ridge parallel to the street. Besides, they have a symmetrical front facade with an accented door and evenly spaced windows on either side of it.
This style took some features from the early 19th century homes. These features include ornate front doors plus decorative crown gables, skylights, and sidelights. Typically, symmetrical windows flank the main entrance in pairs or trios.
Also, they have colonnaded porches and wood or bricks on the sides of the house.
- Prairie School
The Prairie School was inspired by America’s prairie landscape and was very common in Midwestern states. The concept that fresh air is good for you and the Arts and Crafts Movement influenced this design style.
People recognize Prairie-style homes due to their low profile construction and sturdy frame. Unlike the steeply sloping roofs most of the homes have, Prairie Schools have distinctive flattened roofs. Gable roofs look to minimize rain and snow accumulation. But, the weather in some Midwest areas doesn’t require this kind of roof.
Houses with this design blend in with the surrounding landscape. Long, flat lines flow seamlessly with the prairie landscape.
On the other hand, the exterior of these homes doesn’t have intricate decoration. Indeed, what’s impressive about Prairie Schools doesn’t come from grandiose décor, but from a solid design and construction.
Other typical features include plaster with wood trim or horizontal board and batten. Those houses built during the last years of this decade have concrete blocks. Also, they show large windows or several small windows along the top of the walls.
- California Bungalow
The bungalow house design has its origins in the Indian providence of Bengal. Generally, they are made of wood shingles, horizontal siding, or stucco exteriors.
We can find bungalows in the older neighborhoods of most American cities and they were very popular during the 1920s. Bungalows are 1-or-1½-story houses with sloping roofs and eaves with non-closed beams. Usually, they have a dormer window over the main part of the house. Also, they could have attic vents designed to look like a window.
Inside, they have a simple living room that you can enter directly from the front door. They don’t have lounges or living rooms, and their kitchen is smaller. Likewise, all common areas are on the first floor with cozy environments.
- Art Deco
The Art Deco style had its origin in France before World War I and had a major impact on US architecture during the 1930s. Its main characteristics are precisely delineated geometric figures plus strong and striking colors.
This style was usual in office and government buildings, train stations, cinemas, and other large constructions rather than homes. Big cities such as Miami Beach, Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas – among many others – have many Art Deco-style buildings.
Typical Art Deco uses rectangular blocky forms included in geometrical designs. It combined modern aesthetics, fine artisanship, and expensive materials. So, this style represented luxury and modernity.
Usually, materials such as concrete, stucco, terracotta, and smooth-faced stone are present in the walls. Sometimes, we will see steel and aluminum included in the mix. Roofs are flat with spires or towers-like structures to highlight the entrances. Meanwhile, the windows always appear in geometric patterns.
- Minimal Traditional
After the Great Depression and before WWII, these types of homes became popular. Why? They were simple and relatively inexpensive.
Many families looking to get ahead during this critical period opted for this type of economic house. Many were built throughout the United States due to their low construction costs.
Everything in them has a defined function and has little decoration. Porches are minimal. Besides, the roofs are low sloping with very short eaves and overhangs.
They have a gable side and a front-facing cross gable where the front door entrance is. Materials such as wood, brick, or a mix of others are in the exterior siding.
Generally, you can find these houses with simple windows and shutters. Also, they may have a small window in the attic.
The ranch was greatly popular with the flourishing postwar middle class of the 1950s. During this period, the population lived a boom requiring the construction of new homes. So, the ranch-style houses emerged as an option in the United States southwestern suburbs.
This house style stands out for its wide layout, with a long and close-to-the-ground profile. Other notable features are:
- A single-story with simple and open floor plans
- A gable roof with a long and low-pitched profile
- The bedroom area is apart from the living areas, and there is an attached garage
- Windows have a large glass area, and sometimes they have not-functional shutters
- Long hanging eaves
- Exteriors present mixes of materials such as stucco, brick, wood, and stone
- Mid-Century Modern
Design and style replaced modesty and simplicity as American principles during the 1960s. The new mentality stated the bigger, the better!
Thus, the ranches now were bigger, and they even turned into split-level homes. Also, it was usual to see more than one bay garage next to the houses.
These homes blurred the concepts of exterior and interior, integrating them into a bright environment. So, this style emphasized large windows and open floor plans. The objective was to open interior spaces and attracting the outside.
In this sense, the design of many mid-20th century houses eliminated bulky supporting walls. This concept was an architectural innovation. Likewise, they had floor-to-ceiling windows.
Besides, rooflines are flat, slanted, or butterfly-shaped. Exterior walls exhibit elements such as patterned brick, two-tone wood, plywood and steel beams, or decorative concrete blocks.
- Postmodern (Pomo)
The postmodern style emerged during the 1960s and had its peak in the 1970s. In contrast to modern architecture, this movement praised flexibility, diversity, and informality.
Postmodern constructions rescued the use of decorative elements, curved forms, asymmetry, and bright colors. Previous architectural styles suppressed these elements. Now, colors and textures are unlinked from structures or building’s functions.
Indeed, color is a distinctive feature in postmodern buildings. So, facades show variety and character through colored ceramic tiles, stones, or glass.
Pomo-style homes have sloped roofs, ground floors closed off, and few windows. Frequently, doors have glass windows on the top and the center.
The most representative house of Postmodernism is the Vanna Venturi House, from the notable architect Robert Venturi.
The Neocolonial style rejoined features from colonial and federal constructions in modern buildings. This style revives and gets inspiration from colonial houses style. However, it uses modern materials like vinyl siding.
We can find examples of this style in Georgian, Southern Colonial, and New England Colonial homes. These houses had gable roofs and double-hung windows in pairs with decorative shutters.
Exteriors present bricks or artificial bricks or wood made of vinyl siding. Usually, these houses have dormers windows for each bedroom on the second floor. Likewise, doors have panels, and the front door has lights that look to emulate traditional lamps.
- Millennium McMansion
During the 90s, if you owned a McMansion house, you were a wealthy person. Usually, the term “McMansion” is pejorative and refers to a new multi-story home without a defined architectural style. This “style” prizes superficial appearance and size over quality and functionality.
Virginia Savage McAlester described for the first time this type of home and changing the term by a more neutral “Millennium McMansions”.
These houses were oversized, cheaply built, and built together in subdivisions.
Typical attributes include 3000 square feet or more floor area. Also, they have ceilings 9 to 10 feet high with two-story entrance halls. Likewise, they exhibit two-story porches, one or more garages, multiple chimneys, dormers, and columns.
You can find different shapes and sizes of windows and multiple roof styles in the same house. Exteriors feature a lot of artificial stone and vinyl for siding.
Inside, there are five or more bedrooms and many bathrooms. Besides, there is a master suite with walk-in closets, plus large living and dining rooms.
As in the case of Neocolonial homes, these houses mix different past influences. Generally, this trend joins styles such as Tudor, Victorian, Colonial, and Mansard depending on the geographical location. For example, in California, we can find Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean-style homes combined. By combining features from these architectural styles, they create a new style.
These houses have several stories, complex rooflines, and large garages bays. Usually, their facades have gables, columns, brackets, and porches. Sometimes, these elements are purely decorative. Also, front doors can have windows.
Neoeclectical homes use materials similar to those employed in McMansions.
An example of this is the use of vinyl siding. Due to its cheap production, its popularity continued growing. Besides, usually brick and stone are present in exterior accent walls.
Likewise, inside Neoecletic homes, we can see open ceilings, which help to heat upper stories.
- The Tiny Home
Typically, an American home has 2,600 square feet on average. But, tiny homes usually have less than 400 square feet.
This type of home became popular during the last years due to the influence of TV shows such as Tiny House, Tiny House Hunters, and Big Living.
Weight is a crucial factor to define the materials used in this home style. So, using brick, cement, and stucco is not possible in this case. Wood, vinyl, and metal are preferred instead.
These houses have many windows to allow natural light to get in and give a sense of interior bigger spaces. So, double-pane tempered windows are usual.
Relying on the owner’s choice, roofs are gabled or flat. Indeed, a tiny home is built under specific requirements, so the materials and main features depend on the owner’s preferences.
Design Your Dream Home with Long Roofing
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Call Legend Roofs at 405-352-7307 or visit us online and solicit n estimate.