Understanding a Colonial Style House

Colonial Style House

Colonial-style houses represent one of the most familiar styles of residential architecture. This type of design dates back to the “Colonial” period, which is typically associated with the early 18th century. However, the style can be deceiving – Colonial residential design is often associated with a wide range of other architectural types, including French Colonial, Spanish Eclectic, and Georgian Colonial.

Colonial style: A brief history

Colonial-style houses are similar to what could be found overseas in England, Spain, or other areas of Europe around the 1700s. It wasn’t until the 1800s that builders began to incorporate accents, such as long hallways, into the designs of American-based homes. Houses that were created around this period are occasionally referred to as Colonial Revival style homes.

What you need to know

There are a few characteristics of traditional Colonial-style homes that allow them to fit into this category. First, most Colonial houses have all of the bedrooms situated on the second floor. While there is no rule that you need to do the same in your home, you may want to consider doing so if you would like to mesh with tradition.

Second, double-hung windows are typical in Colonial-style houses. They often consist of several square panes, which are equal in size. Think about keeping your windows in this style if you want to preserve your home’s Colonial look.

Finally, Colonial architecture tends to be relatively symmetrical. Houses are often rectangular and “orderly” to the eye. If you intend to add on to your home during your renovation, try to be mindful of these design concepts to fall in line with Colonial architecture.

red brick american colonial house exterior

Image credit: Chuckatuck

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Complementing Colonial style

In terms of additions, it is not unusual to see Colonial homeowners add a porch to their structure. Assuming you keep it symmetrical, you can easily incorporate a porch to complement the existing design of your home.

When it comes to color, don’t rule out neutrals for the exterior of your Colonial home. White with black shutters, for instance, is a common color scheme for Colonial-style houses. However, beiges and soft browns are also eye-pleasing on Colonial structures.

grey american colonial house exterior

Image credit: Thomas Kelley

Finally, consider integrating other Colonial staples into your renovation plans, such as siding. Clapboard siding is commonly seen on East Coast Colonial houses, and it can give your Colonial a fresh look.

Understanding a Colonial Style House was last modified: January 4th, 2017 by Krystle Vermes
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