While architecture often serves a very practical purpose, it can be very expressive and artistic as well. With an effective architecture scheme, people viewing your home can have an aesthetic experience and also learn a little bit more about your tastes.

In the modern era, you are likely to find many different styles of architecture. Some styles are simplistic, while others are complex. Some will be found in very specific regions, while others can be found almost anywhere in the world.

When deciding which style of architecture to build or modify your home with, there are quite a few things you will want to keep in mind. In addition to thinking about whether a given style is visually appealing, you will also want to consider factors such as energy efficiency, market value, livability, and many others.

Fortunately, with a qualified architecture firm by your side, you can easily design a home to your exact specifications. In this article, we will discuss 8 popular styles of residential architecture. By taking the time to compare these different options, you’ll be one step closer to creating the home of your dreams.

1. Craftsman

The American Craftsman style was especially popular from the 1890s to 1930s but has experienced multiple revivals over the years, especially in growing cities such as Denver. Craftsman homes, which are often bungalows, are characterized by their overhanging eaves, hipped rooves, square columns supporting the roof, and hand-crafted woodwork and stone (hence the name craftsman). These homes often place a strong emphasis on both the front and back porches and are often designed in a very symmetrical matter.

2. Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern, which was the dominant design form for homes built between 1945 and 1980, is one of the most practical, aesthetically pleasing, and value-retaining design schemes on the market. These homes are often noted for their open floor plans, minimalist design schemes, and their strong integration with their natural surroundings. The use of plastics and other “modern” materials is very common in mid-century modern furniture. Other features you might find include vaulted ceilings, built-in furniture, and the ample use of windows.

3. International Style

The International Style, as the name might suggest, can be found all around the world, but is especially common in the United States and Europe. Inspired by the modernist movement of the early 20th century, this still-utilized design style is characterized by the heavy use of right angles, simplistic design, and the generous incorporation of glass. The Lovell House, located in Los Angeles, is a popular example of how the International Style can be applied in residential settings. Though the style is often criticized for its apparent “blandness”, it is also praised for the fact it has aged quite well.

4. Prairie School

Frank Lloyd Wright—arguably the most well-known American architect—helped develop the Prairie School as a natural extension of the arts and crafts movement. In addition to the continued use of the hipped rooves, overhangs, and craftsmanship found in earlier homes, Prairie School homes are recognized for their strong integration with their natural environment. The natural harmony found in many of these homes were inspired by architecture movements in Japan. Fallingwater, located in Western Pennsylvania, is an excellent example of Prairie School design.

5. Contemporary

“Contemporary” is a bit of a catch-all term that can be used to describe multiple different types of 21st Century architecture. Generally speaking, contemporary homes are very expressive and reject traditional forms that have been used in styles of years past. These homes may contain large amounts of glass, metals, and abstract shapes. Almost all contemporary styles, even among residential architects, are deliberately asymmetrical. Because of new technologies and building techniques, contemporary architects can be very creative. Open floor plans and a commitment to green design are also very common.

6. Italianate

Italianate architecture, relatively unchanged over the past few hundred years, is a romantic style of architecture that helps link the present to the past and spread the themes of the Italian Renaissance around the world. This style of architecture often uses tall windows, arches, columns, generous amounts of detail, and traditional shingles. These homes are often rather grandiose and can include other features, such as towers, fountains, and complex plazas. While these homes are generally among the most expensive, there is no denying that their beauty is truly timeless.

7. Ranch-Style

The Ranch-Style home became popular around the middle of the century and is especially common in the Southern and Western United States. These homes, which are typically one story tall, are noted for their long layout that lays close to the ground. Many ranch-style homes will feature sunken living rooms, cathedral ceilings, and pools in the backyard. Ranch Style homes are also very popular for people who want to install gardens or do extensive landscaping.

8. Greek Revival

The Ancient Greeks had a tremendous impact on architecture and, naturally, the features the Greeks introduced have been regularly “revitalized” around the world. Greek Revival architecture will often incorporate the clever use of geometry, including right angles and triangular front rooves. Additionally, Doric and Ionic columns will almost always be present. The Brandenburg Gate, located in Berlin, is an excellent example of how Greek features have been applied in the modern era. The columns in the White House are also Greek-inspired.

Conclusion – Popular Residential Architecture Styles

Architecture combines aesthetics and engineering to create a space that is truly livable. There are many different styles of architecture that are actively in use—even styles that were initially developed hundreds of years ago are still selected on a regular basis. If you are designing a living space, be sure to take some time to explore different styles and see which ones you find most appealing.

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