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The Most Popular Iconic American Home Design Styles

Blue country home exterior
@maginnis / Twenty20
Blue country home exterior

@maginnis / Twenty20

Housing styles around the world are as varied as the countries they represent and in the United States there are a variety of iconic design styles that have made American homes so popular. Whether you already live in one of these popular styles or you are looking for a new abode, look at a few of the most popular iconic American home design styles. While we can’t represent every home design style, we’d love to hear which ones you would add to the list!

Colonial Style:

When America was founded with its original 13 colonies the design style of many homes was termed ‘Colonial’ and now ‘Colonial Revival’ is a well sought after architecture style. On the exterior, the classic colonnade porches and symmetrical details are borrowed from the British detailing of the early 18th century, when immigrants decorated their own homes. Two-story homes are characteristic of this style and rooms are spacious and the floor plans are rectilinear with rooms centering off of a main hallway and foyer/grand stairwell. Detailed woodworking in your moldings, chair rails, built-ins, banister stairwells and flooring are all common characteristics of this nostalgic Colonial design style.

Brown, two story, colonial home

TerryJ / Getty Images

The American iconic Colonial design style started in the original New England Colonies

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Tudor Style: 

Tudor style homes are popular in older neighborhoods throughout the United States and are characterized by the highly steeped rooflines, and half timbering facades. The early 19th century brought the Tudor style to America and is reminiscent from European medieval homes in England. If you have a Tudor style home you probably love it for its storybook feeling. Dormer windows, bedrooms that have plenty of light, and old world styling in wood detailing are symbolic for these details. If you’d like a Tudor style to your current home try adding board and batten details at your front door, mix exterior materials for exterior cladding and consider adding stonework, wood, and stucco for a true Tudor style home.

Luxury tudor style house

Susan Law Cain / Shutterstock

American iconic Tudor design style is reminiscent of medieval style architecture

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Victorian Style

The Victorian Style of architecture is also borrowed from English architecture and has similar characteristics of the Tudor style. High pitched roof slopes and dormer window near the roof are common. Victorian styles borrows many French inspiring details around the windows, doors, and have ornate details and attention to detail in every part of these classic style homes. A turret, projecting bay windows, towers, and stories of windows that look out over wrap around porches and balconies are gorgeous. If you have a Victorian style home you probably love the patterned shingles, colorful exterior color palette and all the elaborate architectural details of this classic home.

Victorian style mansion in San DIego, California

@TonyTheTigersSon / Twenty20

American iconic Victorian design style is known for its French inspired details

Log Cabin/Rustic Style:

Modern log cabins and the rustic style of living have come a long way from their origins of being comprised of heavy timber construction. While early log cabins were predominantly located in mountainous American rural areas, today modern log cabins are becoming a popular staple on ranches and country estates as well as in the mountains. The sturdy built homes are known for their rustic appeal of wood species such as red cedar, bald cypress, and white pine timber woods.

The interiors boast panoramic window views of the outdoors and can be in a single or multi-story floor plan layouts. Log cabins were once modest dwellings but now are featured amongst some of the most expensive homes in America. Many of these homes can be custom built to suit any homeowner’s needs from choice of timber, luxury finishes and top of the line amenities.

Exterior or contemporary, rustic, log cabin

emptyclouds / Getty Images

American iconic log cabin design style

Ranch Style:

One of the most recognizable architectural styles of Americana is the Ranch style home.  This style home became popular in the early 20th century and was representative of suburbia American living where families escaped the city life of working all day to come home to a yard and horizontal-designed floor plans that rambled along their property. Ranch style homes can borrow architectural styles from the Craftsman bungalows to Prairie style homes with their large overhanging and low slope rooflines.

The interiors gave way to the now popular “great-room” floor plan concept – where clearly defined rooms were not as important as entertaining and combining living, kitchen and family areas took priority. If you live in a Ranch style home you probably enjoy panoramic views and sliding glass doors looking out over your backyard. The Ranch style home is still an iconic representation of suburban American living at its finest.

White ranch style house with beautiful landscaping, green grass, large tree, and roses

Susan Schmitz / Shutterstock

American iconic ranch design style

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The bottom line

There are so many other iconic architectural styles that have led the United States to have diverse living styles for every homeowner. Urban cities love their brownstone and urban loft living, while the American farmhouse style has made farm living a popular and nostalgic architectural style as well. We’d love to hear what styles you would add to our Freshome list.  

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