Which Style Home Would You Choose?

January 13, 2012

I notice the architectural details of homes everywhere I go, I just can’t stop, it’s an obsession of mine.  My mister has grown accustomed to me shouting “Stop the car! Check out that house!”  followed up by “I neeeeed to take a picture!”.  This happens a lot when we take a road trip or travel, we drive around the neighborhoods to get a feel for the real estate in the region. I love so many styles from Colonial to Craftsman and it’s so hard to commit to just one favorite.  Are any of you the same?  Do you go pretend house hunting too?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun this weekend to find out what style of home is your favorite. Is is a country farmhouse that makes you swoon, or a modern contemporary structure that makes you go ga ga?  Here’s a look at ten popular styles of residential architecture in America, and then you can vote for your favorite at the end! 

1.  Craftsman Bungalow:   Triangular low pitched roofs and mixed materials of brick, wood, and stone make this style of home one of the most popular in the country.  Craftsman bungalows have recessed covered porches with tapered square columns, overhanging eaves, decorative brackets, and exposed rafters.    

craftsman style home

craftsman home

images: river front builders; la times


2.  Spanish   Pale stucco, arched entries and window, and tile roofs with no overhanging eaves define this appealing architecture seen mostly in the western states. You’ll often find terra cotta tile underfoot and many Spanish style homes have courtyards in front or back with lush gardening.    

spanish style house

catalina spanish style design sponge

images: architecture styles; design*sponge


3.  Tuscan    Similar to the Spanish style, Tuscan homes are most often stucco as well, but typically have more stone and their exteriors are shades of brown, terra cotta, or other vibrant warm colors like the many homes in the idyllic Italian region.

tuscan home

tuscan style home

images: marin magazine; interior design blog


4.  Colonial   Several different periods fall under this category but when we think of a classic colonial that usually includes a symmetrical facade with flared hip roofs, small recessed entries, and dormers.  Colonials are often trimmed in keystones and/or shutters flanking the windows. 


white colonial home emily jenkins followill

images: about.com; emily jenkins followill


5. Victorian    These homes from the Victorian era feature steeply pitched roofs in irregular shapes, full front porches, patterned shingles, and round turrets.  Many times the gingerbread details are enhanced with a multicolored palette of paint colors. 

classic victorian

queen anne victorian home

images: flickr; victorian houses now


6.  Tudor   Multiple gables and steeply pitched roofs are iconic traits of a classic Tudor.  They also include arched entries, brick chimneys, and the common half timbering design on the second story.  They vary in size from the smaller cottage to the larger estate.   

tudor style home 2

tudor style home

images: rhino shield; hooked on houses;


7.  Shingle  Popular in coastal regions especially the northeast, shingle homes have rough hewn cedar siding that can be painted, stained, or weathered.  This relaxed style typically has irregular rooflines and eaves, but it’s the siding more than the architecture that defines this home.      


gray shingle style home

images: reckless bliss; exceptional properties


8.  Farmhouse   This style is found in the country and suburban communities all across the fruited plains and includes clapboard siding and those charming wrap around covered porches supported by square or round columns.    

yellow farmhouse wrap around porch

farmhouse home

images: marty’s place; country living


9.  Ranch   Ranch style homes are usually story houses with a low roofline, simple open floorplans, small porches, and attached garages.  They often reflect the materials of their region, including brick or wood siding. 

ranch style home

yellow ranch style home

images: express homes; the plan collection


10.  Contemporary   Famous for their stark geometric lines and varied rectangular elements, contemporary homes are always a true reflection of the architect.  Exposed concrete, singular glass panes, and horizontal wood siding are common elements that define this modern style.   

contemporary home

gray contemporary home dwell

images: home furnishing ideas; dwell


So tell me, of the ten on the list, what style of home is your most favorite?  You can only pick one!  I know, so tough!  I’ll be voting later today … what’s your favorite?   


You can view the results after you make your pick!


Oh, and speaking of home exteriors, you can see my most recent article at My Colortopia called Choosing Exterior Paint Color … one of the most important decisions a homeowner can make!  Be sure to check it out, you’ll see a few classic styles of homes in my neighborhood.  

Enjoy your weekend!

kate signature image




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145 Responses to “Which Style Home Would You Choose?”

  1. There’s simply no way I could choose a favorite. As I would scroll down, I would say to myself, “Oh, that’s my favorite!” Then I’d get to the next one, and say, “Oh wait…THAT’S my favorite!” The only one I don’t like is the Ranch. That’s my problem…I like (almost) everything. That’s why it took me 3 years to start decorating my own home (sadly). I simply couldn’t settle on a style and a design plan!

  2. Serena says:

    My house is a Greek Revival, which would have been my favorite if that had been an option! But I do love a shingle.

    Since the Tuscan style was so overdone in the 90s and early 2000s, I am so sick of looking at it, so that’s the only one I truly dislike. Plus I feel like it isn’t really organic to the US.

  3. This was such a tough call! Ultimately I chose shingle but I also love colonial and farmhouse too – which is funny, because I grew up in a very contemporary house!

    Fun poll!

  4. Suzie says:

    You just can’t beat a craftsman porch!

  5. CentsationalGirl says:

    There are just SO many amazing styles of homes mentioned here in the comments, Cape Cod, Pueblo, American Foursquare, Greek Revival, etc. thanks so much everyone for sharing your favorites!

  6. Sarah says:

    I grew up in a farmhouse style home, close to where you live actually! It’s has beautiful stained wood siding and is on 2 acres of what was once an almond orchard. Not quite as typical as the Spanish styled homes that are so popular in Cali, probably why I love it so much. :)

  7. I love my colonial but would kill for a shingle house by the beach :)

  8. Doris Davis says:

    Craftsman, Shingle and Farmhouse are my all time favorites! I live in a farmhouse ranch in the country and love it!

  9. Tiki says:

    I love different things about each style. Had to comment because the home in one of the photos you used as an example of a farmhouse belongs to my good friends. In fact we had our wedding reception on that lawn overlooking the water. I guess farmhouse is my favorite! :)

  10. I seriously love both the Shingled style and Farmhouse so how about a Shingled Farmhouse on the beach?!? lol.

    Thanks for another great post, Kate – really loved it!

  11. Heidi says:

    I grew up in a Ranch (not a huge fan-love having stairs!) in No Cal. Then as an adult lived on the east coast and bought our very first home-a Tudor. So charming, and so dark. We built a Colonial-perfect for the area, and really lovely. Now we’re back in California-Southern this time around-and we’re happily settled in a Spanish style. My absolute fave has always been shingle-we stayed years ago at a friend’s house in the Hamptons in a gorgeous shingled house. I always think of that house in “Something’s Gotta Give” or Ina Garten’s beautiful home-just dreamy.

  12. Alex says:

    Tough choice. I think Victorian at first, but give me a real 1500s or 1600s Tudor and I’ll choose that any day.

  13. Christina says:

    Craftsman all the way! But in this area, they are so megabucksy. We just started the process of closing on a cute 1950s ranch-style and I think that just may be a close second ;)

  14. deanna lawrence says:

    Love my contemporaries! Big windows, open floor plans, clean, simple, high ceilings. I’ve been living in contemporary homes for 27 years and could never go back to dull and old.

  15. Terrie R says:

    I am the same way! I love to look at houses and I love every style. I can say though that the Craftsman style is my favorite. I dream of the day when I win the lottery so that I can have one of these beautiful homes for myself…

  16. Whew! That WAS tough. I mean, not like choosing between cheesecake or caramel brownies tough or anything, but it was hard to decided…mostly because, as I’m sure is true with so many other folks, I’m a hodge-podge of styles–farmhouse, colonial, craftsman, and shingle all appeal to me on various levels.

    What a fun post, Kate!

  17. Leslie F. says:

    The Farmhouse and Shingle are my favorite of the 10 choices but my absoulte favorite home is a Plantation!

  18. I am just like you! LOVE houses…and have been lucky to have lived in some great ones! A converted Barn, a 1800’s farmhouse, and our current spanish hacienda. I was a little surprised by the votes…Gotta say!

  19. What a fantastic and informative post! My top two favourites are Colonial and Spanish…my dream is to live in a Colonial (you know the English Country/Hampton style house), and have a Spanish vacation home! Is that too much to dream for? :-)

  20. For looking at and exploring, I like the Victorian best, especially the Queen Anne style you have in the photos. For practical living, I think smaller and like a nice Craftsman cottage.

  21. Katherine says:

    That’s the hardest thing I’ve done in ages! Although some of the styles are different over here (England), some are similar. I ended up with Farmhouse although there were 2 or 3 other favourites.

  22. lisaroy says:

    That’s a tough one! I love shingle, followed by farmhouse, followed by colonial.

  23. Kate says:

    That’s so hard! I think I would go colonial, bungalow, shingle, and then farmhouse. I guess picking your top 4 isn’t that great of an accomplishment. Oops!

  24. Catrin says:

    Awww…. great post. Thanks for posting about that. German houses differ from Americans, so I didn’t know what the houses were called. But I love the Victorian houses. I love them, I want to live in one…
    Greetings from Germany

  25. Arti K says:

    Oh – wow. Thank you for publishing this. I’ve always wondered about the styles, and seeing it all on one page, so helpfully explained, is great! I personally love me a gorgeous Spanish-style home. The idea of terracotta tiles underfoot is so appealing.

  26. At first I couldn’t choose, I really do like them all, except the modern style. But as I scrolled back through I had to choose the craftsman. It’s the style that made my heart smile just a bit more than the others.

  27. Oh my goodness, this was rough!! After careful consideration though I have to go with Victorian. Shingked was a close second though! The only one I really don’t like is the contemporary.

  28. Debbie says:

    My favorite is the Colonial. It keeps with my traditional decorating style. I am also drawn to the Farmhouse as my roots are country. Thank you for this post. It will be interesting to see the results of the poll. Love and Blessings,


  29. Tiffnaie says:

    8. Farmhouse!! I do admire the colonials, but I am a farmhouse country gal all the way. Those wrap around porches say relax & come home! :)

  30. Debbie says:

    Spanish Revival is my favorite, followed by the New England beach-y shingle houses. Spanish is surprisingly not uncommon in DC and I love how fresh it looks mixed in with the more traditional Colonials.

  31. Rachael S says:

    I have a beautiful brick house but man that craftsman is beautiful. The part of Texas I live in its all brick and you will be hard pressed to find anything else but I have always love the look of the craftsman

  32. Debbie says:

    Colonial is my favorite, hands down.

  33. I love the craftsman and the farmhouse… so hard to narrow it down though! Fun little survey, thanks!

  34. Bethany says:

    I chose contemporary, but my true favorite is a mid-century modern. A lot of people would lump this into the ranch style, but the lines, layouts, and colors are very different from the 70s – 00s styles that you typically associate with a ranch. Mid century design was all about function and maximizing living areas in the home, frequently incorporating an outdoor living area via walls of windows or indoor courtyards. They tend to be smaller than what today’s homebuyers are accustomed to, but they pack a lot of function into that space. Contemporary homes pull a lot of inspiration from mid century design, but they tend to be super-sized and feel colder. Give me pink bathrooms and turquoise kitchens any day!

  35. LOVE this post! I am going to pin it because it’s informative and inspiring :D

  36. iRock says:

    Those houses are beautiful, but I looooove the craftsman style bungalow. My fav is found here, the Chicago bungalows. They are gorgeous brick houses with amazing detail. You can see some awesome ones here:


  37. Dagny says:

    Kate!!! Is adobe style not big enough to get included? :-(

    A vast majority of the homes in the southwest are adobe style.

    Check out some pics at: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=adobe+home&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=2390l4436l0l4483l12l8l1l2l2l0l672l1734l2-,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=630&wrapid=tlif132762085602810&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=_uIhT5HUEKXSiAK215n6Bw

    I get tired of it myself but I imagine people from other parts of the country like it just as well as I like all the other styles you posted. :-)

  38. Holly says:

    We live in a 1920s craftsman. We would love to move out of our small town, but are finding it difficult to find a suitable craftsman in the area we want to move to. Nice post!

  39. Tayci says:

    I love the Craftsman! I too am one of those wives that say “Pull over I need to look at that house!!!” I really do love the Greek Revival houses the best. My husband served an LDS mission in kentucky and I’ve always wanted to travel to the south and eventually live in a huge Antebellum Mansion. Thank you for your post! I really enjoyed reading about the different styles and it was so nice to have them all in front of me at once!

  40. Mallory says:

    I wanted to thank you for this post. We’re thinking about buying a house, so my husband and I have been doing a lot of window shopping. This is great for someone like me who doesn’t know all the terminology. Thanks!

  41. Joanne says:

    Love, love, love the Spanish! It reminds me of my favorite place on earth, Santa Barbara. Too bad I live in northeastern Pennsylvania, where this style of home does not exist. Maybe someday we can build one :-)

  42. Pamela says:

    I love shingle style, but we have just bought a Craftsman/Low County house – newish, but looking very much like the vernacular. The interior reads true 1920s Craftsman with mahogany entry door, columned pony walls delineating a gallery hall, and beadboard everywhere. I need to regroup my decorating to be a bit more casual, as well as buy furniture for a front porch and a screened back porch which run the width of the house.

    While house hunting we drove by a 3 story aqua and lime green coastal house, built for the views. Those colors may sound odd, but they were stunning. Yes, I did my “stop the car – where’s my camera?” routine. It was for sale and was everything I wanted – exquisite decor, Brazilian cherry floors, elevator, white marble, multiple porches on every floor to capture the view. Sadly, it was on a busy road, in a flood plain and we just plain would never fit into it! I’ve saved every picture of the place. It was really not at all like the house we bought. I think I could eventually wrap my head around just about any style of house. Since I’ve lived many places, I know it can be done.

  43. Preston says:

    I love a french villa/chateau :)

  44. Michelle says:

    I love them all. I love design and if it’s well done I do not care what the style is, I love it. If I had tons of money I would one of each and have a blast decorating each in its own style.

  45. Farmhouses are lovely, but a Queen Anne Victorian is my top choice!

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