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WE Discuss..9 Popular Home Styles

Posted by West End Residential on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at 1:31pm.

There are so many decisions to be made, words to know, and things to look at when purchasing a home. Many people throw around words like "tudor, mid-century modern, and colonial" when talking about home styles but not everyone understands what these architectural descriptions really mean. Understanding the style and features of common home designs can help you choose a home that will fit your lifestyle as well as enable you to better communicate your home goals with your real estate agent.



BUNGALOW/CRAFTSMAN | Often the word “bungalow” refers to a small 20th century home that uses space efficiently. There are several styles 

but they all refer to the same type of home that typically have the following features:

• One to one-and-a-half stories

• Low-pitched roof and a horizontal shape

• Low eaves with exposed rafters

• Tapered or squared columns supporting the roof

• Large covered front porches

• Most of the living spaces on the main floor with the living room located in the center

• A lot of built-in cabinetry, shelving and a large fireplace with cabinetry built in on either side



CAPE COD | Originating in the mid-1600s, these homes were built to withstand the tough, cold New England winter featuring heavy shutters and a large centrally-placed chimney. Typically, todays modern Cape Cods only have decorative shutters, and chimneys are at one end of the roof instead of  at the center. Features often include: 

• Either one or one-and-a-half stories with a steep roof and a small roof overhang

• The home is constructed of wood and covered with clapboard or shingles 

• Symmetrical appearance with a center door

• Architecture includes multi-paned windows, dormers (created as usable space with windows in the roof) and a formal floor plan, usually with hardwood floors




COLONIAL | Architecturally similar to Cape Cod homes, Colonials are distinct in their use of geometry – square symmetrical façade, evenly spaced multi-paned windows with shutters and fireplaces with evenly proportioned chimneys. Features often include: 

• Two to three stories with a rectangular shape, a gabled roof (both sides sloping at the same angle) and dormers

• Decorative crown over the front door that’s supported by pilasters or columns

• Construction is made of brick or wood siding

• Grand entrances and porticos reveal living areas on the first floor while bedrooms are located on upper levels





MEDITERRANEAN | This style originated in areas like Greece, Spain and Italy. This very distinctive style is popular in warm, southern states and are typically built with a stucco 

exterior and a tile roof. Features often include:

• A flat or low-pitched tile roof, often red, with warm-colored stucco finishing

• Many homes include extensive outdoor living areas or verandas, second-floor balconies and large open seating areas to allow for air flow throughout the home

• Balconies and large arched windows are surrounded by wrought-iron railings and details




MID-CENTURY MODERN | This easily recognizable style is most often characterized by flat straight lines, large glass windows and open spaces. The focus of this particular design is its simplicity with an emphasis placed on form as well as function. It was most popular in the 50s and 60s. Features often include:

• Bi-level floor plans with wide flat roofs, angular details and asymmetrical features

• A focus on the use of floor-to-ceiling windows, walls of glass and wide open floor plans

• Known for using materials like steel, plywood and concrete in the home’s construction






RANCH | The typical layout of a ranch is horizontal with each room being easily accessible and interchangeable. A family room can be transformed into a home office, or a formal 

dining room can become a library by adding French doors and appropriate furniture. Features often include:

• An attached garage

• Large picture windows and sliding glass doors that can lead to a deck/patio or backyard.

• Open Floor plans





SPLIT-LEVEL | This style of home is characterized by its staggered floor-level layout. The top level is typically the bedroom level of the home, followed by a short set of stairs that 

lead to the main floor landing area, with another short set of stairs that go to a finished basement area. Features often include:

• Three or more levels with the main entrance typically located in the middle level

• The front door can open to a landing or foyer with a small flight of stairs leading up and another leading down. Alternatively, the front door can open directly to the main living area with the stairs located in another place

• Living activities are separated, as sleeping, eating and socializing are done on different levels of the house.




TUDOR | Tudor homes are best known for very steep, multi-gabled roofs and half-timber framing. Most of these homes were built in the 20s and 30s but fell out of popularity after World War II when homeowners were looking for an “American-style home.” Features often include:

• Steeply pitched roofs with wide gables, elaborate chimneys with small dormers and slate surrounds

• Exposed wood framework on the exterior, with the spaces between the frames filled with stucco and masonry

• Large, narrow casement windows with multiple panes that are framed with wood or metal

• Stone trim and decoratively embellished doorways with stone trim and door surrounds





VICTORIAN | There are many different styles of a Victorian home. The “Victorian” name actually refers to the period in history in which these homes were most popular (the 1830s to 1900.) When most people refer to a Victorian home, they are typically referencing a Queen Anne style home – large, imposing structures with fancy woodwork decoration and big wrap-around porches.Features often include:

• Steeply pitched roofs of irregular shape with a dominant front-facing wide gable

• Ornate woodwork and textured shingles with decorative wooden brackets, and clapboard siding

• An asymmetrical porch one story high that extends around the front or the front and sides of the house

• Some homes have combinations of multiple exterior colors

• High ceilings, deep archways between rooms, with small rooms divided up by their use: a formal dining room, small library, parlor, formal living room etc..



West End Residential is a real estate brokerage in Morristown, NJ. With a focus on education, digital marketing, and high quality service, WE are in our fourth year of serving the community.


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