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Yvette M. Palmer, Associate Broker
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Architectural Styles
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing, and construction, usually of buildings and other physical structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements. Architecture means the following:

  • A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.
  • The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
  • The style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.
  • The practice of the architect, where architecture means the offering or rendering of professional services.
  • The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level to the micro-level.

Architectural Styles

  • Mediterranean Architecture

    Low-pitched tile or terra cotta roofs, stucco walls, and arch motifs are common denominators among Mediterranean style house plans. Lovely balconies and decorative wrought iron or wooden window grilles give these homes an exotic feel, while large windows (sometimes entire window walls) provide a connection to the outdoors. Open Mediterranean floor plans offer easy circulation between gracious rooms that often open onto lush gardens, patios, and pools. Ideal for grand family residences.

  • Spanish Architecture

    Spanish style design is all about making entertaining comfortable and relaxed. Thick masonry walls coated in stucco and red tile roofs function to keep the interior cool. Spanish floor plans may be arranged around a central courtyard, where shaded galleries block the hot sun and provide outdoor living space. Generally, Spanish style designs feature towers or turrets, romantic balconies, fancifully shaped columns, white interior walls, dark beams, and wrought iron details.

  • Hacienda Architecture

    Haciendas are to Mexico what palaces are to Spain. Haciendas were first established in Mexico in the 16th century by Spanish settlers with vast plots of land comparable to American plantations. Hacienda style homes were infused with Spanish and Native American influences, rustic touches, colorful hand painted tiles, sprawling floor plans, and covered terraces. Nowadays, they are very popular in the southwestern part of the United States where they are built in an open and rural setting.

  • Pueblo Architecture

    Pueblo style architecture seeks to imitate the appearance of traditional adobe construction, though more modern materials such as brick or concrete are often substituted. If adobe is not used, rounded corners, irregular parapets, and thick, battered walls are used to simulate it. Walls are usually stuccoed and painted in earth tones. Roofs are always flat. A common feature is the use of projecting wooden roof beams (vigas), which often serve no structural purpose.

  • Tuscan Architecture

    Tuscan is an Old World style of design and decorating that is inspired by the rolling hills of Tuscany, with its plentiful vineyards, farmhouses, tile roofs, cypress trees & sunflowers. The raw textures and rich colors of nature guide the Tuscan style, with woods, stone, water and natural materials at the forefront. Tuscan style furniture often sports a natural, worn look, with simple lines, dark wood with a distressed effect. Rooms feature accents of ceramics, natural stone & iron

  • Southwest Architecture

    Encompassing influences of American Indian and Spanish Colonial architecture, Southwestern house plans offer a unique mix of tradition and contemporary trends. Southwest floor plans are wonderfully adaptive to today's lifestyles while maintaining old world charm. Traditional masonry construction covered in stucco keeps the interiors cool. Decorative detailing may include patterned tile work, exposed timbers, and stone floors, giving Southwestern home plans a distinctive flavor.

  • Mission Architecture

    The Mission Revival Style was an architectural movement that began in the late 19th century for a colonial style's revivalism and reinterpretation, which drew inspiration from the late 18th and early 19th century Spanish missions in California.

  • Moorish Architecture

    Moor influences come from countries near the Mediterranean Sea such as Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France. The architecture can range from ornate with bold with colors to simple, clean lines with earth tones. The style has been described as exotic, majestic, eclectic, contemporary and traditional a true mix. Characteristic elements include muqarnas, horseshoe arches, voussoirs, domes, crenellated arches, lancet arches, ogee arches, courtyards, & decorative tile work.

  • Italianate Architecture

    The Italianate style was first developed in Britain about 1802 by John Nash, with the construction of Cronkhill in Shropshire. The Italianate style of architecture was a distinct 19th-century phase in the history of Classical architecture. Of all the homes built during the Victorian era, the romantic Italianate style became the most popular. With their nearly-flat roofs, wide eaves, and massive brackets, these homes suggested the romantic villas of Renaissance Italy.

  • Chateau Architecture

    Chateauesque homes feature steeply pitched hipped roofs, sometimes highlighted by cast-iron cresting, wall or roof dormers, spires, corner turrets, and chimneys crowned with an ornamental caps. Encrusted with decorative flourishes, their handsome masonry exteriors of smoothed square limestone are often graced by balconies. Paired windows divided by heavy stone mullions or set in arches, combined with semicircular bay windows, let light into formal rooms fit for a king!

  • Contemporary Architecture

    Contemporary architecture refers to today's building styles, which are quite diverse and boast a wide array of influences. In terms of architecture, Contemporary and Modern aren't synonyms. "Modern" refers to the modernist architecture of the early and mid-20th century. Ornamentation and sentimentality were out; clean lines and superior function were in. But over time, architects came to feel Modern houses were cold and unfriendly. Modern ideal was tweaked, as a result Contemporary was crafted.

  • Neoclassical Architecture

    Popular in America from 1895 to 1950, stately Neoclassical house plans recall the architectural traditions of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance period. Usually two or two-and-a-half stories, these dignified homes typically feature a symmetrical shape, a simple side-gabled roof, and a portico or full-width porch supported by classical columns.

  • British Architecture

    The architecture of the United Kingdom, or British architecture, consists of an eclectic combination of architectural styles. During the second half the 19th century, Tudor-style architecture was revived in Great Britain and made its way to the US where it was incorporated into homes across America for about 50 years, finally giving way to a streamlined, smaller style that became known as English Cottage. The Storybook style also borrows from Tudor Revival elements.

  • Farmhouse Architecture

    The design of the farmhouse -- also called “folk” houses -- was initially influenced by geography. The style evolved from the characteristics of the place, people, climate and materials available in the particular region where it was located. The earliest homes that we can call true farmhouses were those built by early colonial families of the 1700s.

  • Gothic Architecture

    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Gothic architecture is most familiar as the architecture of many of the great cathedrals, abbeys and churches of Europe. It is also the architecture of many castles, palaces, town halls, guild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings.

  • Lake House Architecture

    Picture your ideal primary or secondary residence. What does this place include? Are you searching for a home that could provide a quiet refuge, a peaceful existence, and a unique setting for you and your family? Most Lake House provide some type of porch, whether it is a back deck, front porch, wraparound porch, or multi-level porch. This feature encourages residents and visitors to spend as much time as possible outdoors, enjoying the scenery.

  • Colonial Architecture

    The colonial revival style architecture is more closely associated with American history and traditions than any other type of architecture.

  • Penthouse Architecture

    A penthouse apartment or penthouse is an apartment that is on one of the highest floors of an apartment building. Penthouses are typically differentiated from other apartments by luxury features. The term penthouse originally referred to, and sometimes still does refer to, a separate smaller "house" that was constructed on the roof of an apartment building.

  • Cottage Architecture

    Though traditionally defined as "small" or having only one room, the English Cottage has inspired larger and more elaborate homes, yet maintains the cozy comfort that we identify with the "cottage" style.

  • Log & Timber Architecture

    Historically log cabin construction has its roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably built in Northern Europe in the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). By the time Europeans began to settle in North America, they had a long tradition of using logs for houses, barns, and other outbuildings.


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