One of the first problems which confronts the prospective home builder is the selection of the style of architecture for his new home. New England Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Old and Modern English, American, Spanish and Italian all prove upon investigation to have practical advantages and undisputed charm. How then does the home builder choose?
Certainly, not all types of houses will appeal to him, but undoubtedly there will be more than one type that will catch his fancy. It is only fair to yourself to look into the subject of home architecture to know something about the principles upon which your home is going to be built.
Fundamentals of 7 vintage home architectural styles
To help you do this, a brief summary of the fundamentals of the various types is given on this page…
Colonial home style
Even disregarding the rich association of Colonial architecture with American history, traditions and culture, this style deserves serious consideration from the prospective home builder. It is the simplest of all types of home architecture and consequently the least expensive to build.
To be true to precedent, the floor plan must be rectangular and the rooms square, therefore permitting no indulgence in “cozy corners,” angular rooms or irregular additions. If tradition is followed, the result cannot help but be dignified, genial, beautiful and economical, for it is a proven type of home with lasting appeal.
Dutch Colonial home style
The Dutch Colonial style gets its name from the Dutch Colonists who settled lower New York. It is distinguished from other Colonial styles by the “gambrel” roof, which gives the appearance of a one-story house with all the space of a two-story house. The best types are long and low and set close to the ground. The dormer should be narrower than the first story to be true to precedent.
Brick, shingles and siding can be used with equal propriety, but it is best not to mix them up. Above all, let it ramble, for the Dutch Colonial home is nothing if not picturesque.
Gothic home style
A Gothic home can usually be spotted by the half-timbered and stuccoed second story. It is relatively uncommon and some charming effects, both inside and out, can be obtained by an intelligent use of its principles.
The main principle behind the Gothic home is one of frankness. That is the exterior is a frank expression of the interior arrangement and should be designed to reveal what it conceals. The floor plan is first laid out and the elevation taken from it. One can go to almost any limits in arranging the interior to suit himself and at the same time feel confident that he will have a beautiful home from the outside, a composition of shapely architectural forms, varied wall surfaces projecting casements, and rich decorative detail.
Italian architectural style
The Italian home is a model of architectural symmetry and decorative exquisiteness.
An application of classic principles of architecture to the home, it bears a close relationship with Colonial houses. It has, however, an advantage over the Colonial home in that the floor plan is not forced into a rectangle. The rooms can be placed and arranged in almost any way without disturbing the desired exterior effect because the windows and doors are not required to be in certain positions as in the Colonial home.
The rich decoration of the Italian style is a heritage from the Renaissance.
Modern English home style
The Modern English house is getting a wide and deserving popularity. It is a flexible style, can be executed equally well in siding, shingles, stucco and brick and can be designed to look well on any size lot. This same flexibility permits almost any arrangement of any size rooms.
Specifically, the Modern English home is built from the inside out. First the large living room is laid out, then the kitchen, dining room and reception hall are made to balance and finally the upstairs rooms are distributed to keep the harmonious balance of the first floor. To one of independent thought, anxious to inculcate his own ideas into his home, this style should make a strong appeal.
Spanish Mission home style
Spanish mission homes have certain advantages found in no other style of architecture. They are built around an inner court, or patio, which permits any number of any size rooms. Furthermore, each room is a distinct unit and the kitchen and dining room and private bedrooms can be all segregated from the living rooms.
The open court proves to be a most welcome retreat in hot weather and privacy is here had that is not possible in the American front porch.
Despite its national popularity, the Spanish Mission home is particularly adapted to warm climates and works out best under warm climatic conditions.
Western Bungalow home style
The Western Bungalow continues to be one of the best liked types of homes.
The wide open porch and the long sloping roof, interrupted only by the graceful dormer, presents a front that is captivating and impressive. This style is particularly adapted to narrow lots and allows the living room to extend all across the front of the house. The floor plan is simple, and the distribution of rooms handy.
One of the best recommendations of the Western Bungalow is its comparative inexpensiveness to build. It makes a good investment as its enduring popularity makes it always easy to dispose of.
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Source publication: Book of home designs, by Charles Lane Bowe
Publication date: 1927