Guide to House Styles in the United States

Home Designs
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I love looking at the different house styles in my neighborhood. For me, houses are filled with historical stories about the people and communities that lived there! Have you ever wonder why some neighborhoods have similar house while another neighborhood a few blocks away looks completely different?


There are so many styles of homes, and I can never seem to remember what attributes make a house a specific style. In actuality, I can barely remember what style of home I live in! 


I was recently in a conversation with a friend where we both struggled to articulate the differences between a Craftsman and a Bungalow. If you have a deep understanding of the various house styles around the world, then this blog post is probably not for you. 


However, if you want to learn & see example of: 

  • The most common house styles
  • The history and influence behind various house styles
  • Gorgeous examples of homes with a particular style

Then, you’ve come to the right place! The next time you are looking at houses, you will become an expert on what style of house is represented. Or, at the very least, you can determine what house style is YOUR favorite! 

The Bungalow

The name Bungalow comes from the Hindi word “bangala” meaning “belonging in bengal.” So, it should come to no surprise that the bungalow home was very common in Bengal, India. This style of home includes simple designs, with open-concept, cost-efficiency, and the ability to expand. Many retirees prefer purchasing bungalow’s due to their small size and low-maintenance. However, anyone looking for a simple and easy lifestyle could benefit from purchasing a Bungalow! 

The Craftsman

Let’s go back to the question that inspired this blog post! What is the difference between a bungalow and a craftsman? Well, the short answer is: not much! The craftsman home styles comes from the Arts and Crafts movement and is seen more as an architectural “style,” whereas, the bungalow is a type of home. So, in other words, you can have a bungalow with a craftsman style, but not the other way around.


The Arts and Crafts movement was very popular for simplicity, raw materials, and quick builds. Therefore, if you have every heard of “Kit Homes,” then you will know why the Craftsman became so popular in the US. Either way, the simple design and feel of the home makes it an affordable and worthwhile investment. 

Mid-Century Modern

The Mid-Century Modern house style became popular through architects and artists who fled the rise of Nazi Germany. This style is loved for its functionality, simplicity and beauty. With Mid-Century Modern homes you get large expansive windows, well-utilized spaces, and an intentional effort to bring the natural world indoors. If you like house styles with “timeless” and quirky looks and various shapes, then this house is definitely for you! 


“Victorian” is the name of an era, but common house styles include:

  • Italianate Style
  • Gothic Revival Style
  • Queen Anne Style
  • Folk Victorian Style
  • Mansard Style
  • Richardsonian Romanesque Style

There are many other examples of Victorian house styles, however you can definitely expect multiple stories and intricate designs and colors in all of them. Victorian homes usually also have mosaic windows, and lace-like woodwork. There was a level of sophistication and elegance in the Victorian era, and it is well represented in its architecture. Therefore, with this style, expect mighty structures, with gorgeous designs, and lots of character! 

Modern Farmhouse

HGTV shows like Fixer Upper, have brought the rise of the “Farmhouse Modern” style. Home styles that utilize farmhouse characteristics tend to be open-concept, light and airy, and include a rustic touch mixed in with modern features. The farmhouse charm can also be easily brought indoors with some designing and decor! Check out my Farmhouse Toolkit for some tips & tricks!

The Cape Cod

When Puritan settlers made their way to New England, they were not prepared for the extreme East coast winters. So, essentially the Cape Cod home is designed to be like an English cottage but made to withstand the harsh New England winters. The steep roof and low ceilings help to conserve heat while reducing the weight of snow accumulation. Cape Cod house styles also come in various layouts: the quarter, half, three-quarter, and full Cape. These homes are charming, functional, and super easy to manage. The best part–you don’t need to live in Cape Cod to own one of these gorgeous homes!


Tudor style homes are known for their stunning medieval architecture and gorgeous windows and dark exteriors. These homes became popular in the US during the 1920’s with Tudor-inspired designs such as the Tudor revivals or mock Tudors. However, after World War II, American patriotism led to an influx in the Colonial revival. House styles influenced by the Tutor era mimic qualities of rustic medieval cottages, and are commonly found in Europe or in East coast states. 


A-Frame house styles have one-key goal: expansive views of the natural world with lots of natural light! Many homes with this design have a rustic appeal, but a more modernized version with expensive amenities is also on the rise. A-Framed houses are commonly used as vacation homes, or second homes, as they are less functional for everyday living. However, if you like gorgeous designs and clean lines, and lots of light then this home is definitely for you!


In the 1950’s the California Ranch was the most popular newly constructed home. Ranch style homes are popular entry-level houses due to their low-costs and accessibility. Smaller families or seniors who may be less mobile can benefit from a single story layout. The addition of porches, decks and garages provides great storage and the ability to also enjoy the outdoors. If you are looking to be a First-Time Homebuyer then a ranch might be the most convenient, functional, and manageable option. 

American Colonial

The American Colonial style dates back to the 1600s. Many New England Colonial homes were built with wood, but there are also home styles that utilized stone or brick, usually seen on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley. Known for their spacious and stylish layouts and shape, Colonials are easy to expand, and are great for large families. There is a formal charm to these homes, and their design and versatility remains timeless!

Now that you have seen various home styles, which one is your favorite? Comment below with the home style and why! 

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