The design of houses has evolved a lot over the centuries, and houses from the 1700s or 1800s look very different from those built nowadays.
What are the different house styles in each area called? How do you tell them apart?
In this article, I will discuss Western-culture house styles in several eras, plus their unique characteristics so you can easily distinguish one style from the others.
1. Romanesque (1100s)
The Romanesque architecture style originated in Europe in the 11th century, during the Medieval or Middle Ages. This style eventually came to the United States during the 19th century.
This architectural style is known for certain characteristics, such as round arches, huge towers, and massive stonework and brickwork.
Romanesque-style houses have distinctive features such as decorative brickwork and patterned stones on the outside. These houses would also have towers and turrets as observation decks or decorative pieces for additional ventilation.
The interiors of these houses often have high ceilings, round doorways, and intricate wood carvings.
Houses in this style may be rare nowadays, but you would still find them in well-preserved historic cities. This architectural style is also used in some houses in affluent areas.
2. Gothic (1200s)
This is another architectural style from the Medieval period, during the 12th century. Back in the day, this architectural style is commonly seen in churches, cathedrals, and castles.
Gothic-style houses are known for their intricate details on the structure’s exterior and interior.
These houses often have pointed arches, steep roofs, tall windows, and ornate stonework. Some Gothic-style houses also have towers.
Meanwhile, the interiors have high ceilings and intricate woodwork as decorative accents.
3. Tudor (1500s)
The Tudor architecture style emerged during the latter part of the Medieval or Middle Ages. This house style originated in England and became popular until the 17th century.
The main distinctive feature of Tudor-style houses is their half-timbered exterior walls.
The exterior walls on lower levels are commonly made of red or brown brick,s while the ones on the upper levels are made of timber with exposed wooden beams.
These houses also have steep roofs with tall chimneys. The house’s windows, doors, and other accents often have decorative carvings.
4. Italian Renaissance (1500s)
Originating in Italy, this architectural style emerged in the 15th century during the Renaissance period.
It is important to note that there was an overlap between the Medieval and Renaissance periods during this century.
This style became popular in the United States in the late 19th century.
Italian Renaissance houses are characterized by their symmetrical facades with classic proportions. The front door is located at the center and usually has an equal number of windows on each side.
These houses often have rustic stonework, round arches, and ornate carvings on the exterior. Meanwhile, inside, these houses feature high ceilings and elegant staircases.
5. Baroque (1600s)
The Baroque architectural style also originated in Italy during the Renaissance period.
It emerged during the 16th century,y and from Italy, it became popular in other parts of Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Baroque-style houses are characterized by ornate decoration on the outside and inside.
These houses have ornate facades with dramatic shapes and intricate carvings. Some houses also have towers that function as additional space or to add ventilation.
The interiors of these houses have high ceilings. They also feature grand staircases and balconies with elaborate carvings or designs.
While this style of architecture is commonly seen in churches and government buildings, it can be seen in large houses in affluent areas.
6. Georgian (1700s)
This architectural style emerged in England during the reign of the first 4 King Georgies in the early 1700s until the 1800s. This era was also called the Georgian era.
Georgian-style houses are known to have symmetrical facades and classic proportions. These houses typically have a rectangular shape, with the main door at the center and an equal number of windows on each side.
These houses were commonly built using brick or stone. They also feature large sash windows, slate roofs, and decorative moldings.
Meanwhile, the interiors feature high ceilings and formal rooms.
Nowadays, Georgian-style houses are still quite popular because they have a classic and traditional look that never goes out of style.
7. Queen Anne (1800s)
This architectural style became popular in the United States in the late 1800s, named after Queen Anne of England.
Queen Anne-style houses have asymmetrical facades with ornate details. These houses also feature an extensive mix of different architectural elements.
These houses often have steep gabled roofs; some may have decorative towers and turrets. The exterior walls of these houses are commonly made of brick.
Another common feature in Queen Anne-style houses is wraparound porches that provide adequate outdoor living space.
You would find high ceilings, beautifully crafted fireplaces with intricate details, and decorative moldings inside these houses.
This style of architecture is popular in the U.S., and you would see it in large houses in affluent areas or neighborhoods.
8. Gothic Revival (1800s)
Gothic Revival architecture emerged in the mid-18th century. It was part of a movement to bring back Gothic architecture and make it popular again.
Houses in this style have the same characteristics that you would find in Gothic-style houses. Gothic Revival houses also have steep roofs, pointed arches, and intricate carvings.
In addition, these houses’ exteriors and interiors have ornate details.
What makes Gothic Revival houses different from Gothic houses is how they are constructed.
Gothic Revival houses were built using more modern construction methods and materials.
9. Edwardian (1900s)
The Edwardian architectural style was also born in the early 19th century and became popular during King Edward VII’s reign, thus the name.
Symmetrical facades,h steep gabled roofs,s, and dormer windows characterize Edwardian-style houses. These houses also have ornate details and decorative brickwork in the exteriors.
Houses in this style may look similar to Victorian-style houses on the outside, but the interiors are different. Edwardian houses have higher ceilings and more spacious rooms.
Victorian houses have a cozy feel inside, while Edwardian houses look more open and airy. These houses also have more open space to bring in more natural light.
Edwardian houses are typically larger than their Victorian predecessors, with more spacious rooms and higher ceilings. They also feature modern amenities like indoor plumbing, central heating, and electricity.
This style of architecture is still quite popular nowadays, especially in affluent neighborhoods. These houses have been renovated to add modern amenities for more convenience.
10. Second Empire (1900s)
This architectural style emerged in the mid-1900s in France during the reign of Napoleon and then quickly became popular in the rest of Europe and the U.S.
A distinctive feature of Second Empire houses is the mansard roof, with a steep slope and dormer windows.
This roof covers the house’s topmost floor, adding more living space. This part of the house can also be utilized for additional bedrooms.
These houses have ornate details and luxurious finishes in the interiors. Some features include intricate carvings and woodwork, plasterwork, and stained-glass windows.
Second Empire houses were once considered status symbols by wealthy European families, and these houses can still be seen nowadays in some cities in the U.S.
11. Art Nouveau (1900s)
This architectural style originated in Europe in the late 1900s and was popular until the early 2000s.
Art Nouveau houses are characterized by their organic shapes inspired by nature.
These houses have asymmetrical facades with curvilinear details that create a sense of movement. The exterior walls may be curved or angular.
The interiors feature beautiful details such as stained-glass windows, intricate carvings, mosaics, and ceramic tiles.
Art Nouveau houses showcase amazing craftsmanship and construction as they are made to be both beautiful and functional.
12. Art Deco (2000s)
Art Deco is an architectural style that emerged in the 20th century.
With bold shapes and sleek lines, this style should not be confused with Art Nouveau.
Houses in this style often have flat roofs and white exterior walls, but they do not look boring. Vibrant colors and geometric patterns are used as decorative accents on the exteriors.
Art Deco houses have a more modern and contemporary look and are quite popular in urban and suburban areas.