top of page

American Styles: USA & CANADA

From coast to coast, there are plenty of house styles. A number of styles are region-specific; others are historical, and still, more are smack in the center of community.

Styles based on shape by triangles, boxes, and other geometric shapes.


A typical style for contemporary vacation or second homes, the triangular A-Frame is a simple but striking design with its dramatic and steep rooflines. Ideal for snowy areas – think Swiss chalet – as well as woodsy and lake locales, the style has been around for ages.

The first modern A-Frame house was built in 1936 in Lake Arrowhead, California, by Austrian-born architect Rudolph Schindler. But it wasn’t till the 1950s that the design gained popularity across the U.S. During this time, pioneering architects like John Campbell, Walter Reemelin, George Rockrise, Henrik Bull, and Andrew Geller built their own distinctive versions of the A-Frame home.

INTERIOR’s versions of the A-Frame include more bathrooms, bigger bedrooms, large closet space, and mudrooms. Open floor plans, high vaulted ceilings, large windows, deep eaves and gables, and loft spaces round out the charming characteristics of the A-Frame.

Historic style

Also known as the Adam style, this square or rectangular-shaped design evolved from the Georgian style and dominated the American architectural landscape from 1780-1840. It was named after the Scottish architect Robert Adam and his brothers, who were furniture makers.

INTERIOR's: Typically two or three stories, the Historic style is a symmetrical structure that features simple and understated design elements. The style typically has a hip or flat roof with a balustrade and windows arranged symmetrically around a central front door with a semi-circular fanlight – a round or oval window with fan-shaped panes of glass. Other components include a Palladian window, circular or elliptical window, shutters, and oval rooms and arches.


Craftsman style emphasizes clean, simple, and elegant lines. The Craftsman hit the American scene in the early 1900s and was the dominant style for smaller houses across the country. Its name came from The Craftsman, a popular magazine founded by Gustav Stickley, the famous editor and furniture maker/designer who was a huge advocate of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

INTERIOR's: multi-pane windows with wide trim; a partially paned front door; dormers; and natural materials like wood, stone, and brick. The quintessential Craftsman design has a compact rectangular floor plan, a front porch with stone foundations supporting columns that are usually tapered. Its more practical but charming style emphasizes harmony with nature and the surrounding landscape.


A multi-dimensional and more innovative version of the ranch, the split-level home staggers living spaces over two levels. In a typical layout, the front door opens to a Great Room – living room, dining room, and kitchen. There are two mini-staircases: one that goes up to the bedrooms; and one that goes down to a family room. There is a basement with a laundry room in other configurations of the horizontal, rectangular, or L-shaped split-level home.

INTERIOR's Characteristics: Similar to the Craftsman style, the typical split-level design has a low-pitched roof with overhanging eaves, horizontal lines, and open floor plans. Other features: asymmetrical facade, an attached garage, windows that provide a lot of natural light, doors that open to a backyard/rear patio or garden, and minimal decor accents.

American classics / region-specific styles

The Colonial Style

Styles based on layout of rooms

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page