New England is rife with historical architecture, which is prevalent in designs still popular today. Whether it is a new build or a refurbished 100-year old home as you drive through the New England countryside and along the coast, the diverse architectural styles are influenced by designs dating back 400 years with features brought from foreign lands as settlers came to America.
Colonial-style homes are timeless and elegant. This architectural style is among the most popular design in the U.S. and dates back to the early 17th century. The rustic, two-story square structures with saltbox roofs and a chimney that separated social spaces were built with the first floor and bedrooms on the second. They were simple in design, made of wood, and featured a balanced façade. Modern colonial homes adhere to these same constructs with the addition of columns, dormers and decorative window shutters, and a covered front porch.
Cape Cod homes resembled simple homes built in England, with adaptations made to withstand harsh New England winters during the Colonial days. These homes were designed for function over aesthetics and tended to be one-level for smaller families. The gable-sloped roof prevented snow from building up and damaging the roof during the long winter. Instead, the design allowed the snow to slide off. Over the years, the simple form has grown to include a second half-story previously left unfinished.
Farmhouses were built with functionality in mind and still feature wrap-around, wide-covered porches that serve as an inviting, warm place to settle. Other features specific to the farmhouse are fireplaces, a gabled roof, wood frame construction, siding, a former parlor, a large spacious kitchen and dormers.
British designs inspired Georgian-style architecture during the 1700s. Symmetry is vital, from the exterior details to the interior floorplan. The two-story home features paired chimneys, symmetrical multi-pane windows, decorative archways and pediments, and a central hall and staircase. This design style hasn’t changed much over the years, with the brick construction and grand entrances as hallmark features.
One of the few architectural design styles unique to America and specifically New England is the shingle-style home. Shingle homes appeared in the 1880s in coastal New England towns and were designed as summer homes for the wealthy. They were spacious, allowing family and friends to gather during the hotter months to take full advantage of ocean breezes. These simple homes had clean lines and were rustic. Asymmetrical and rambling, they also included covered porches, pitched roofs, towers, and turrets. This classic yet informal retreat design is prevalent today.
Contact Harbor Classic Homes for New England home designs.