When you’re just beginning the process of buying or remodeling a new house, it’s hard to put your finger on just what you’re looking for.
Maybe you know you want something that looks unique, but you haven’t found an exterior design you love. Or maybe the houses your designer or real estate agent shows you feel a bit ‘off’.
Familiarizing yourself with different house styles can help you articulate what you want in your future home. To help you get started, we’ve put together a brief guide with the pros and cons of some of the most popular house designs. Then you can create the perfect home for you!
Nothing says ‘home’ like a Craftsman house. With simple but well-made rooms, it’s no wonder that Craftsman is one of the most popular house styles in America.
Craftsman homes are defined by non-ostentatious, hand-crafted details. You will often see modest gables, large fireplaces, and built-in shelves and cabinets. As a whole, these homes can be described as both simple and highly livable.
This style originated in the early 20th century as part of the Arts and Crafts movement, which was a reaction against both ornate Victorian architecture and the growing trend of mass-produced goods. There is plenty of variety in floor plan, size, and shape to suit homebuyers who dislike a complete cookie-cutter feel.
With natural materials, covered porches, and deep overhanging eaves that shield wood siding from the weather, these homes fit especially well into the Pacific Northwest. However, Craftsman homes are so common in the Seattle area and in other parts of the country that you might find them generic, despite the variety within the style.
Craftsman Kitchen Remodel
A kitchen remodel can go a long way to giving the inside of your home a craftsman feel. With classic and simple cabinets, neutral colors, and natural wood tones, a craftsman kitchen remodel can be a great way to make your kitchen feel like home.
Ranch Style Homes
Ranch style homes are defined by a sprawling, single-story layout. As you might have guessed, this style is inspired by actual ranches in the southwest.
Most ranch houses have a simple shape, such as an ‘L’ or even a long rectangle shape. You will also usually see open floor plans, an attached garage, and a relatively large surrounding yard.
Since ranch style homes do not have stairs, they are ideal for anyone who is mobility-challenged. The single-story open layout allows residents to spend time with family and friends more easily. However, they may not feel as large, attractive, or conducive to personal space as two-story homes. Less compact home shapes are also more expensive to heat.
Ranch Style Home Remodels
Making an existing home capture that unique ranch feel is somewhat difficult, as it tends to have a lot to do with the layout of the home. However, by remodeling your home’s flooring, paint, and finishes with a rustic touch, you can go a long way to capturing that down to earth feel.
To really create a ranch style feel inside, consider adding a wood fireplace and as much natural material as possible, such as unpainted wood and stone.
Contrary to what you might think, modern style does not just mean the trend of the year. Modern style is the name for the clean, minimalist design that was introduced in the middle of the 20th century and remains popular today. A booming economy and increasingly suburban lifestyle allowed houses to get bigger, with long horizontal lines and floor-to-ceiling windows.
It’s hard to rival modern homes in creating a sense of both clean simplicity and luxuriousness. These houses are often very spacious, with minimalist design emphasizing the feeling of open air. You typically see materials like marble, stucco, and fiberglass.
The main downside of a modern home is that it can easily look cluttered if you don’t keep your space tidy. A minimalist interior doesn’t provide much distraction from messes! Also, the large windows are less conducive to privacy, and a flat roof may be impractical in heavy rain.
The Perfect Modern Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel
Remodeling to give your home a modern feel is simple! Some of the best and most functional kitchen and bathroom remodel designs have a modern feel.
The formula is the same for both kitchens and bathrooms. Black, white, and grey are the go-to colors for a modern home remodel, paired with clean lines and premium materials (stainless steel, marble, and tile are great choices).
If you’ve always secretly wanted to live in a fairy tale, a Tudor style house will capture your heart. These old-world style houses are inspired by post-Medieval English domestic architecture, making them look like they sprang from your favorite storybook.
Tudor home exteriors are defined by decorative half-timbering accents, which are sections of stucco or stone siding framed with thin boards. Tudor houses generally also have steeply pitched roofs, narrow windows in large groupings, and asymmetric gables of varying heights.
The main downside of owning a Tudor home is that you may need more maintenance. Cross gables and dormers easily develop leaks, intricate decorative details are more difficult to repair, and decorative wood panels will need regular re-staining to maintain their quaint appearance.
Tudor Style Home Remodels
Giving your home a Tudor home look is definitely achievable! Details like crown molding, luxurious hardwood, and warm neutral colors are huge contributors to giving your home remodel a Tudor touch.
Have your remodeling contractor pay special attention to crown molding, trim, and flooring to achieve a Tudor feel.
Colonial Revival Homes
Colonial revival homes carry a feeling of tradition, formality, and sturdiness. For many homeowners, they are also a happy medium between structural and aesthetic design. With a pleasingly symmetrical shape, evenly spaced dormers, and windows with shutters, colonial homes are popular throughout the country.
This architectural style dates back to the 1600s and is prominent on the East coast. The oldest Colonial homes have just one large room on each floor, while newer homes often have four or more rooms per floor. You are likely to find grand front entrances with Greek-style columns.
Some home buyers find that Colonial Revival homes feel too impersonal for their tastes. Other potential downsides include low ceilings, small kitchens, and stairs that limit mobility for some residents.
Creating a Colonial Revival Home Through Remodel
Like ranch style homes, Colonial Revival homes are largely dictated by layout. However, to create that New England feel, ask your remodeling contractor about removing walls and opening spaces. Adding more windows and letting in more natural light should be high up your remodel to-do list. Natural light combined with white walls and wood floors will make your home feel just right. For your Colonial Revival kitchen and bathroom remodels, consider white cabinets and marble countertops along with lots of natural light and simple design.
Few house styles pull off tasteful luxury as well as the Mediterranean style. With stunning archways, verandas, and beautifully warm earth tones, many people are attracted to this architectural style.
Mediterranean homes are marked by stucco or plaster exterior walls and a roof covered in red tile. The interior typically features exposed wood beams and hand-painted tilework. Outside, you will often find courtyards or swimming pools with semi-elaborate gardening.
Mediterranean architecture in the U.S. is influenced by traditional styles from Spain, Italy, and other Mediterranean countries. This style is most common in parts of the U.S. with Spanish histories, especially California and Florida.
Since Mediterranean houses were designed for warm, dry climates, they may stand out and will definitely require extra care in other climates. You will need to treat the roof tiles with a coating that can withstand moisture and cold. If you have vaulted ceilings, it may be more difficult to keep a consistent temperature throughout your home.
Mediterranean Home Remodels
Creating a Mediterranean feel comes from the basics: Floors, fixtures, and walls. Remodeling your home with warm, neutral tones on the walls, natural wood trim, and tile floors decorated with a few Izmir or Kilim rugs will go a long way to letting you feel the warm Mediterranean breeze wherever you live.
Northwest Modern Homes
Living in Western Washington, the Northwest Modern style is close to our hearts. Northwest Modern is a regionally specific variation of the modern style designed to emphasize the beauty of the woods, mountains, and lakes in the PNW.
In addition to clean, minimalist lines, this house style features abundant wood and other natural materials. There is usually an extended roof overhang to create an outdoor space protected from the rain. Tall ceilings and large windows let in the sparse PNW sunlight.
A Northwest Modern house is perfect for someone who feels a deep sense of place or enjoys nature. Everything about this style is designed for the surrounding climate and environment.
The only downside is that the large windows could reduce the energy efficiency and privacy of your home. If you build or buy a Northwest Modern home (or any other home with large windows), you should invest in energy-efficient windows.
Remodeling to Give Your Home the Northwest Feel
Capturing that PNW essence doesn’t have to be hard. If your home doesn’t get enough light, widening windows is a great start. Letting some extra light in can do wonders, especially in the dreary PNW winters.
Adding natural wood is the next step to remodeling your home into a Northwest Modern home. Wood floors, and natural wood cabinets, and minimalist fixtures and trim go a long way to giving you that clean PNW feel.
The Perfect House for You
The best house style depends not only on your aesthetic preferences, but also on your lifestyle, neighborhood, and how much you want your home to fit with its surroundings. While a Colonial Revival house with a grand staircase might be perfect for your best friend, you might be much happier with the easy mobility of a ranch house or a relaxed, Mediterranean-style home.
You can also combine elements of different styles if you want to. You could extend the living room of your Craftsman home and add floor-to-ceiling windows. Or you could renovate the interior of a historic Tudor house with a modern, open layout. Whatever style home you have, you can make it your own by remodeling it to meet your needs.
SSR can take your new construction or remodeling vision and turn it into a buildable project. With over 75 years of combined experience in construction and remodeling in the Seattle Eastside, we aim to exceed your expectations of workmanship and customer service. We pay close attention to your goals, time frame, budget, and the types of materials and finishes you would like to use.
Our Design-Build service covers the entire process, from architecture to construction to interior design.