5 Classic Home Styles and How to Spot Them
There’s just something special about a traditional home. Crafted of timeless brick, stucco, masonry, and wood, these charming houses are filled with warmth and character. If you’re in the market for a classic home, here’s how to spot five beloved home styles.
If you’re obsessed with “Downton Abbey” or the young Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their family, you’ll feel like royalty in a Tudor home. Inspired by traditional English architecture, the Tudor style became popular in the U.S. between 1890 and 1940. Tudor houses are typically built of brick, masonry, or stucco with an exposed wood framework called half-timbering and decorative stone and brickwork. Both romantic and stately, Tudor homes have steeply pitched gable roofs, a chimney, small dormers, a recessed front door, and casement windows with diamond-shaped panes and leaded glass.
If you appreciate early American sideboards laden with blue and white export china and a sterling silver tureen, you’ll love living in a Colonial home. First created by early English and Dutch settlers, the Colonial style is one of America’s most popular building types, lasting from the late 19th century to the mid-1950s. Built of brick, clapboard, and shingles, Colonial homes are both elegant and formal. Hallmarks of the style include a gabled roof and a simple façade with rows of rectangular, double-hung windows. A front entrance with sidelights, often flanked with columns and topped with a broken pediment leads to a center hall and stairway.
If your favorite Monopoly piece is the house, you’ll feel right at home in a Cape Cod. These simple, cozy houses were originally built by English settlers who used timber framing and wood to recreate the stone cottages they left behind when they came to the New World. While true “Capes,” as they are affectionately known, date back to Colonial times in Massachusetts— hence the name — most Cape Cod houses in the Twin Cities were built between 1930 and 1950. They are usually a story-and-a-half, with a steep roof with little or no overhang, dormers, multi-paned windows, and little to no decorative trim, other than painted shutters.
If you’re an aficionado of the Arts & Crafts movement, Japanese design, and Spanish mission architecture, you’ll be comfortable in a Craftsman home. Guided by the mantra of “honesty of design,” Craftsman homes were first built in California between 1900 and 1930. Around Minneapolis and St. Paul, these homes are so popular, there’s even a Twin Cities Bungalow Club. Hallmarks of Craftsman style include a low-pitched roof, often with complex rooflines and cross gables, broad, overhanging eaves, and covered porches.
If you dream of living in Diane Keaton’s Hamptons home in the film “Something’s Got To Give,” you’ll feel like a movie star in a Shingle-style home. Originally designed for wealthy families who summered along the coast of Long Island and New England, Shingle-style homes have a mix of steeply pitched rooflines, gable roofs, and gambrel roofs, where the lower pitch is steeper than the upper pitch, wide porches with columns, balconies, and an abundance of windows. So-named for the layer of wood shingles that unite all the surfaces together, the exteriors of Shingle-style homes are usually stained dark brown or allowed to weather to a light, pearly gray.