The quintessential American home style is Colonial
architecture. It has fallen out of fashion and come back multiple times over the years, but it still manages to stand as a popular style.
The term “Colonial” is more of an umbrella term that encompasses a multitude of substyles with overarching features. These styles include French, Spanish, and Dutch Colonial as well as Cape Cod and British Georgian styles. This diversity comes from the wide range of multicultural influences of early American settlers.
The first wave of Colonial architecture lost popularity shortly after its birth but came back with enthusiasm and a strong sense of nostalgia. These designs feature sturdy, symmetrical frames, with the front door standing as a central highlight. Favored building materials include wood, brick, or stone with a refined look. These homes are almost always two stories, though some may add an additional third story. Other popular external features include wide, welcoming porches, a chimney, and an equal number of windows. Colors most frequently used are muted, neutral, and natural; pale blues, yellows, and greys are most popular.
Though less popular, the Prairie
house stands as another distinctly American architectural style. It is the first distinctly American style and pays homage to the beauty of Midwestern landscapes through strong horizontal lines, earthy materials, and an emphasis on the connection between the indoors and outdoors.
Key attributes of the Prairie style are large chimneys, masonry piers, long porches, and cantilevered floors. Many of these homes have a farmhouse feel and utilize open floor plans to ensure a constant flow of warm and cozy energy. Prairie shares many aspects of the Colonial style but maintains its individuality by relaxing the Victorian influences. This is meant to be a functional, family-oriented space that stays “married to the ground
.” Some of the best elements of Prairie-style homes are an emphasis on handmade craftsmanship, natural motifs, widespread use of simple woodwork, and large, open windows.
One of the most popular architecture styles in California comes from the Bay Area. Bay Area Regional
architecture traces its roots to early Spanish colonization and blends Spanish and Mexican influences with Victorian touches. Much of indigenous west coast architecture takes advantage of the natural elements of the surrounding terrain, so you’ll see a lot of brown, red, and tan.
One of the more popular building mediums and styles is adobe, which combats the sweltering summers and chilly winters. Many more modern constructions are reminiscent of the California mission architecture with red-tiled roofs, exposed wooden beams, and wide eaves to protect the home from the weather. Most are single-story buildings in a ranch style, even in urban areas. Bay Area-style homes built in the past century also draw influences from the Victorian style and gothic revival. Color palettes blend warm earth tones, whitewash, red with touches of blue and green on the interior.
It may sound hard to find a neighborhood or city that offers a dynamic blend of all these architecture types but have no fear — it does exist! The gorgeous city of Corte Madera creates a dynamic blend of all four styles that almost guarantee you’ll find your dream home. Contact the Tam Home Team
to find yours!