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What Does the Architecture of Your Home Say About You?
From bright, beach side cottages to wooded, cozy cabins, everyone has their own vision of the perfect dream home. But no matter which home ultimately fits the bill, it must feel right to you. Whether you opt for a historic bungalow or find yourself spread out in a grand modern mansion, it’s interesting to see what home fits your personality. From the first impression, what does your home style say about you?
Craftsman: Everyman’s Mansion
There’s something inherently comfortable about a Craftsman bungalow. With clean lines and straightforward style, it’s no nonsense exterior is a clear departure from the Victorian homes that directly preceded it. Gaining popularity in the early 1900’s with a push from architect Gustav Stickley, a big proponent of the American Arts and Crafts movement, these comfortable residences emphasized solid construction with practical but beautiful touches. It is no surprise to find many of them still standing. Look a little closer and you’re sure to see that a few lucky structures have also earned the designation of historical residences – ensuring they’ll be protected for the ages.
When you find yourself in the market for a Craftsman home you’re seeking more than just a solid place to land after a day of work. You’re really looking for a home that will stand the test of time and fill every need that a growing family could want. These homes were built for ease of use and comfort. They often include a family centric hearth in the middle of the house, built in bookcases, benches and lots of storage and display areas for knick-knacks and photos.
Many of these residences also come with attached front porches, a perfect place to sit back, relax and pour a glass of iced tea with a friend. Traditionally, these bungalows were also painted in darker, neutral colors, echoing the natural beauty of the gardens and earth around them. They weren’t made to stand out in a gaudy way, but rather to blend with the environment.
If you find yourself drawn to these practical beauties, you must be very dependable yourself. Craftsman homes, like their owners are often traditional with a twist. They are solid, reliable, and appeal to anyone who desires a conventional sense of home.
Victorian: Regal Queen of the Block
Victorian homes on the other hand, are quite the opposite. Like a beautifully ornate dollhouse they focus on grand design, exquisite details, and bright colors. They were not made to blend in. Typically, historical Victorian homes sprang up around 1830 – 1910, so named after the English Queen Victoria. While there were many different variations of this theme including, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival and Romanesque, there’s no mistaking a Victorian house for anything other than what it is.
Victorian architecture came out of a time when beauty was valued over practicality. Much like the clothing of the era, with impractical skirts, tight waistcoats and conservative values, the home reflected many of these same ideas on a larger scale. With sweeping staircases, stained glass and dark, richly carved wood, these painted ladies have weathered the ages in style.
In the present day, it takes a special person to love a Victorian home. These homes are made for people who revel in the details. If you find yourself on the market for a Victorian stunner, be prepared for a little upkeep. These owners often have a flair for style, a sense of creativity and lots of patience. It takes a certain breed of owner to take the time to cut, sand, and color-match that missing piece of trim from the front awning. Victorian homeowners have a deep appreciation for details and a sense of adventure. Working on a home should be a joy and while their buttoned-up exteriors might make them seem aloof, they like putting on a show for their lucky neighbors. There are few things more gratifying then taking something old and restoring it to its former glory.
Mid Century Modern: The Simple Life
If you thought Hipsters were the only ones who enjoyed Mid Century Modern style, then think again. With the great success of shows like Mad Men and a re-emergence of simple, elegant style, Mid Century architecture has become the go-to for chic modern interiors. What started out as a practical response to post-war style, when resources, emotions and finances were sorely depleted, came to be seen as the epitome of practical beauty. Mid-Century design focuses on clean lines and streamlined style. Abandoning the cluttered, bedecked homes of before, new architecture relied on simple minimalism.
These homes are typically constructed from steel and wood, and incorporated many war time materials. They are characterized by large glass windows, open space and interesting use of industrial items. They were put into creation by a new generation of architects that had witnessed the horror of war and wished to create simple, clean homes that would embody relaxation, minimalism and rebirth. They were the first homes to largely incorporate indoor outdoor space with sliding glass doors, airy rooms and lowered windows. They wanted to bring the beauty of nature in and open the mind to new ideas and dreams for the future.
Current trends show that these ideals have had lasting power in today’s market. If you consider this your ideal house, you are definitely not alone. Owners who spring for Mid-Century beauties have a vast appreciation for the outdoors and the simplicity that only natural materials and clean lines can bring. They find beauty in the simple things, from fresh pressed coffee in the kitchen to home cooked meals for friends served on the patio. Mid-Century homeowners are practical and stylish and have a love for quality. Since building materials for these homes are still in use today, homeowners can efficiently care for their Zen like retreats easily and affordably.
Cape Cod: Practically Stylish
On first impression, Cape Cod homes are straightforward and simple. They feature a primitive rectangular footprint, small evenly spaced windows and a gable pitched roof. Rooted in practicality these homes continue to be some of the most recognizable and well-loved of the American styles. Brought from England when the settlers came to the New World, they needed homes that were safe, easy to build and useful. Generally, they feature low ceilings, a central chimney for efficient heating and a boxy, rectangular shape. The heavily pitched roof allowed for rain and snow to easily sheet off, and the simple layout was made to easily accommodate any last-minute additions or renovations.
Even though Cape Cod homes can be found throughout the United States, they are fixtures of East Coast architecture. Home buyers looking for this style of residence all have one thing in common – their low maintenance and no nonsense lifestyle. Easy to please and ready to roll up their sleeves at a moment’s notice, Cape Cod homeowners love the outside and living in areas where weather is prevalent. They are outdoor enthusiasts, who enjoy comfort but not necessarily extravagance. Lucky for them, these bungalow-like homes also come in a wide variety of styles. Simplicity doesn’t have to be vanilla. Cape Cod homes have also evolved through the years to include variations on the Ranch, Craftsman and Tudor style.
Colonial: A True Traditionalist
You can’t get more traditional than a Colonial home. While Cape Cod Bungalows are perfect for simple living, Colonial homes are just as practical but with an additional dash of style. Influenced by the European architecture they left behind, settlers in the New World built residences that reminded them of the life they had before. Typically, they feature geometric elements of symmetry, high, expansive ceilings and grand formal style. Wood and red brick are the typical building materials along with high columns and deeps eaves for symmetry.
Colonial homes can be found in Virginia and as well in the Southern US, where they are typically located on historical plantations. While many of these structures are hundreds of years old, we still find the Colonial home being built today. If you find yourself in the market for one of these practical stunners, you’re not alone. Owners of Colonial homes value style, practicality and tradition – plus they like to make a statement. These owners are drawn to the past but like their own sense of comfort. They have an eye for fine finishing, historical touches and a deep appreciation for all things beautiful. The solid construction also echoes their need for routine and a grounded nature. Owners of these homes will stand strong, just like the many historical homes still in use today.
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