Cozy Bungalow Style

Alright, they may not be called “cozy Bungalows” but I always think of warm and comforting little houses when talking about this style.

American Bungalow style was popular from 1905 to 1930. Bungalow style originated in the Bengal province of India. British colonists build them as summer homes. This style became popular in America because the layout is efficient and the exterior is easily customize-able to look unique from the neighbors.

Typical Bungalow features include:

  • a low pitched roof
  • one and a half stories
  • efficient and open floor plan with minimal hallways
  • small front porch
  • built ins for organization

There are many different variations of Bungalows, not limited to California Bungalows, Craftsman Bungalows, and Chicago Bungalows.

The different names explain the distinct finishing touches of the exterior.


California Bungalows


Craftsman Bungalows


Chicago Bungalows



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Ranch or Rambler?

Don’t worry! Ranch and Rambler homes are the same.

Ranch or Rambler style homes were the style of choice for track homes from 1945-1980. They were economical, practical, and simple to build. Prairie and Bungalow styles of earlier years led to the Ranch style of the 20th century. The main features of Ranch or Rambler style homes are:

  • single story
  • low roof line with low pitch
  • rectangular, L-shaped, or U-shaped
  • attached garage
  • large windows
  • simple floor plans
Ranch style homes are frequently called “Ramblers” because of the potential living space. The square footage is maximized by the square exterior and basements can usually double the square footage.

Rectangular Ranch/Rambler


L-Shaped Ranch/Rambler


U-Shaped Ranch/Rambler




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Victorian Style Homes

Victorian…sounds pretty fancy, right? Well, Victorian homes are no exception.

Most Victorian houses were built during the reign of Queen Victoria during the late 1800s. Also, this was during the Industrial Revolution which encouraged builders to make houses no one had seen before and made the ornate pieces affordable.

Victorian style architecture is defined by:

  • a steeply pitched and irregular shaped roof
  • asymmetry
  • a partial or full porch
  • a variety of textures on the siding

There are many types of Victorian styles, but we’ll go through the main ones: Queen Anne, Stick Houses, and Second Empire.

Queen Anne Victorian

Queen Anne is the most ornate and elaborate of the Victorian styles. They have decorative spindled porches, steps leading to the front door, and quoins emphasizing the corners. These homes are considered the most “romantic” of the Victorians but were actually built during the machine age.

Stick Victorian

The style of Stick Victorian houses is borrowed mostly from the Middle Ages and is often mistaken for Tudor style. Stick Victorian homes have exposed trusses or “stickwork”, wood siding, decorative half-timbering, and Jerkinhead dormers.

Second Empire Victorian

This style refers to Louis Napoleon’s empire in the mid 1800s. Second Empire Victorian houses have a Mansard roof, dormer windows on top, tall windows on bottom, a Cupola, and wrought iron cresting. These homes are known for their height and many times are in the shape of townhouses.


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What does the house look like? If your answer is “two-story, lots of windows, centered front door, and two chimneys”, learning about housing styles might help.  This would most likely be a Colonial style home.  I love learning new terms that will one day help me describe homes and designs.  And, no matter what your career, they’ll probably come in handy for you some day.

Colonial homes were built in the early 18th century in America by the various countries that had settled across the colonies.  The main identifying features of Colonial houses are:

  • symmetrical and square architecture
  • a decorative crown above the front door
  • a medium pitched roof
  • straight lines of windows on the first and second floors

There are many different types of Colonial homes.  The main ones are Dutch, French, German, and Georgian.

Dutch Colonial

The feature that sets Dutch Colonial homes apart is their Gambrel or “barn-shaped” roofs.  They were most prevalent in the northern colonies like New York and New Jersey.  They usually have clapboard or shingle siding and a porch under the overhanging eaves.

French Colonial

Many French Colonial homes were built in the Mississippi River valley and therefore are suited for flood-prone areas.  They have a wide roof that reaches over the large porch or “gallery”.  On the porch, there are thin wooden columns and multiple French doors.

German Colonial

Most German Colonial homes were built in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland.  They were made for withstanding harsh winter weather and therefore had very thick brick or sandstone walls.  Above the windows are stone arches and exposed timbering.

Georgian Colonial

Georgian Colonial homes are usually more ornate than other Colonial styles.  They have minimal roof overhang and columns on each side of the front door.  Many times, they have five windows on the second floor and otherwise follow the basic features of a Colonial house.


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