Roots of Style: Where Does Your House Get Its Appearance?

One of the most common questions people have about their own home is, What style is it? This isn’t always an easy question to answer. “Style” is an elusive term, since it can be applied to many distinct things, and fashion is often an amalgamation of unique capabilities. But most houses have a link to an established fashion of architecture, characterized by the total form of the structure and/or its own details. Also, it ought to be taken into account that lots of structures are made purely out of necessity with little regard to design aesthetic, and are deemed to have a folk or vernacular style.

It may be stated that a fashion is a definition after the fact rather than during or before. To tag a unique construction as it is being designed makes little sense. Time will tell if it holds up to replication and garners a subsequent, thereby establishing a fad. However, by far most houses have a suspended identity which has evolved to adapt to present living standards.

Isler Homes

Designs and styles of home layout once were regional and changed gradually over time. Construction techniques were ordered by the ability of local tradesmen, and materials came from local sources or were given far beforehand and anticipated. Beginning with the construction boom after World War II, modern construction practices fully changed how and what we built.

The Disneyland effect took hold. Layout was motivated by faraway places, and materials could be sent by truck or truck and even flown to virtually any location in the developed world. From the luxury of choice developed a few persistent fashions, which can be pressing in the most recent century with fantastic affection. Here you can view five home styles which have roots in the past yet are ardently 21st-century dwellings having a strong sense of place and character.

1. French diverse. Considered to be suspended in Renaissance classical design rather than ancient classical design, French eclectic style can be symmetrical, as with the home shown here, or asymmetrical. This particular house also has the impression of a chateau with its usage of stone, as well as Beaux-Arts architecture with the thorough articulation of the facade. There is even a hint of Greek revival with its centered, gabled pediment. Though classical design is practically absent in contemporary business construction, it shows no signs of giving up in the national arena.

Sicora Design/Build

2. Shingle. With some reference to classical detailing, the shingle style started to look under the Victorian tradition of design in the late 19th century. It ironically stems from medieval structure — which is, the span of construction between the end of ancient classical and the beginning of Renaissance classical. First shingle was a style before its time; shingle designs emphasized a more open floor plan, a characteristic so common today. With this home there are also components of pole style (notice the gable over the entrance porch) and Tudor (notice the steep roof formations and varying window shapes). Shingle style is now very common in the southeastern United States but may also be found in all areas of the nation.

Studio 1 Architects

3. Prairie. Though accurate examples of the style are rare outside the Midwest, and though it had been only temporarily popular (1900 to 1920), it had a profound effect on vernacular suburban structure for the rest of the 20th century. The long, low, horizontal lines and heavy eaves together with hipped roofs can be found all over the United States in the more comfortable ranch style. It’s also uniquely an American creation and is considered a part of contemporary design and, more especially, stems in the Arts and Crafts movement. As may be seen in this example, the detailing can be quite complicated and complex.

Rockefeller Partners Architects

4. California modern. This coastal California design alludes to midcentury style together with vernacular modernism, hence its designation as modern; it also exhibits now popular materials and construction techniques. A powerful affection for midcentury modern structure, especially nationally, resurfaced in the turn of the 21st century.

Initial examples date back to the 1930s, but the Case Study program in Southern California and developer Joseph Eichler in Northern California place the country on a path of exactly what most labeled, in the time, modern. Many houses were constructed with this sway until a change of taste in the 1980s led fashion back to historic revivals as well as postmodernism, although the latter was uncommon in residential architecture. A strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces is evident in this example, together with walls of glass and the use of hot materials.

AR Design Studio Ltd

5. International. This fashion is somewhat rare in the United States but may also be found in many places around the planet, like this example in the United Kingdom. Produced in the work of architects like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier before World War II, this style fell out of favor after the war in Europe but concurrently closely influenced the aforementioned midcentury modernism in the United States.

Structural transparency is located in the heart of the style, which may readily be identified by horizontal roofs, walls of glass and long airplanes of strong walls punctuated with openings. Together with the home displayed, the landscape is characterized by the expansion of primary wall components, while the upper level seems to float above the setting. Minimalism marks its identity, but closer inspection of those masterpieces often reveals complicated, thoughtful and careful detailing.

Next: Meet Your Conventional House’s Classical Ancestors

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