In celebration of America’s recent birthday, we decided to dive into American architecture in this piece. American Colonial architecture has seen many styles, influences, and phases. In this piece we’ll be looking at a variety of American Colonial styles, where they’re found, and how they’ve changed over the years.
Location, Location, Location
It’s important to note that differences in American Colonial styles vary throughout the country; for example it should be no surprise that French Colonial homes are found in Louisiana, Spanish Colonial homes in the Southwest, and English and Dutch Colonial homes in the Northeast. Where immigrants put down roots in America, their architectural sensibilities and building techniques followed.
What Were They Like?
Early English Colonial homes were well known for being quaint, unelaborate, and generally having heavy medieval influences. These homes often had steeply pitched roofs, batten doors and massive central chimneys. In the 19th and early 20th century, English influenced architectural styles became vastly more complex and ornate (i.e. Georgian, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival).
American Dutch Colonial homes were known for having small, one room cottages, and paired chimneys. One of the largest changes to this style was allowing for two stories. Dutch Colonial was largely dependent and influenced by styles found back in the Netherlands.
French Colonial homes were known for their paired shuttered windows, taller and narrower doors, and liberal use of windows. French Styled Colonial homes can be largely found in Louisiana and the Mississippi basin.
Spanish Colonial homes were known as being one story with low roofs. These homes often had numerous external doors but far fewer windows compared to other styles. Additionally, this style is well known for its adobe walls and red tile roofs.
What’s Popular Today
Today, American Spanish Colonial remains immensely popular in the Southwest while the Colonial Revival style has become popular through extensive restoration and remodeling. Colonial Revival design motifs continue to be popular even in modern design practices, because they allow for more economical usage of materials.
Neocolonial is one of today’s dominant design styles. Unlike other styles, it normally involves designs that allow for a ‘Colonial’ atmosphere without building to a specific Colonial style. In a Neocolonial home, modern high-end appliances, great rooms, and other spacious additions are common.
So if you’re interested in a Colonial design for your upcoming remodeling project or have decided that you want to incorporate a new and exciting Colonial design to your house, we’re your Chicagoland team! With over 60 years of experience, and dozens of Colonial projects, we can bring your classic American dream home to life.
Contact an Airoom designer at [email protected] today and we’ll be in touch!