Architectural Design Styles for Your New Home

By Beni Restea

Whether  you’ve  commissioned  a  team  of contractors or you’re doing the work yourself, home construction is a long and arduous process.  From  choosing  the  right  materials  to  deciding  how big you want your new home to be, it always seems like there are a dozen decisions to be made today, and a dozen more that will need your attention tomorrow. 

Before  construction  can even begin, you’ll need to know what you want your home to look like, in a general sense. What influences do you want to draw inspiration from, and what other buildings would you like your house to resemble? What feeling would you like your home to evoke in visitors? These are all questions that you’ll need to ask yourself before you break ground on your new home. Will you opt for an innovative construction method like a 3D printed home or prefab? 

This  is  where  architectural  style  comes  into play. There is a wide variety of architectural styles that can be put to use that serve a number  of different practical purposes and evoke specific aesthetic looks. If you want your house to stand out from the rest, you’re going to need to choose one of these styles. 

Which  style  you  choose  depends  on  you.  Different  styles  carry  different practical benefits and aesthetic looks, but also certain downsides.  When  you’re  making  your  decision,  you’ll  need  to  think  long  and  hard about what you want from your new home, considering each of the major architectural styles in turn. Here are some of those styles!

Modern architecture 

The  beginnings  of this architectural style can be traced back to the   great  Louis  Sullivan,  one  of  the  great  architects  of  the twentieth century.   Many   things   have   remained   the   same throughout   the  evolution  of  the  ideas  surrounding  modern architecture,  resulting  in  a  relatively  consistent aesthetic and functional appearance. 

Modern   architecture    hinges   on   one   simple   concept: the prioritization of function over form. 

Modernist   architecture   focuses  on   creating   functional   and   eco-friendly   living  spaces,  with comparatively little emphasis on decorative   elements   and   functionally   redundant   features.   Due  to  this  uniform ideation, modern architecture has remained aesthetically consistent throughout its history. 

As  for  construction  materials  and  techniques,  modern  architecture  relies  heavily  on  concrete  and  glass  as  both a structural component  and  an  aesthetic  feature.   Modern homes typically incorporate pronounced angular surfaces, large windows, and flat roofs, although elements from other architectural styles may also appear from time to time.

Contemporary architecture 

Although  it  shares  many  of  its  core characteristics with modern architecture, contemporary architecture is easily distinguishable from  modern  architecture. While the minimalistic “less is more” aesthetics of modern architecture do make appearances in a lot of contemporary architecture, the two are not to be confused with one another. 

Contemporary  architecture  has  shown  itself  to  be  less  concrete  (pun intended)  than  modern  architecture,  with  stylistic  and functional  changes  falling  in  and  out  of  fashion  throughout the years. This makes it somewhat difficult to define this particularly nebulous architectural style, but it can generally be defined by simply referring to whatever is currently in vogue. 

Although  contemporary  residential  architecture’s  nebulous  nature  remains  a  bit  abstract,  one  will  usually  see contemporary structures  using  large  amounts  of  glass  and  concrete, much like modern architecture. Plate glass windows are very common on these structures, and are one of the most consistent hallmarks of a contemporary home.

Traditional architecture

As  its name suggests, traditional architecture draws inspiration from     the     residential     architecture     that     has    become commonplace  in  North  America over the past century. As one of  the  most  ubiquitous  residential architectural styles, homes built in this way  are  prized  for  their comforting familiarity and unmistakably reassuring appearance. 

Unlike  the  previous  two  entries  on this list, traditional architecture has no definite beginning in architectural history; it’s simply an amalgamation  of  the  popularized  techniques  and styles in North America. In spite of this, there are many influences on display in this architectural style that range from southern colonial architecture to Greek and Roman classical architecture. 

This  architectural  style  is  characterized  by  wood  frame  construction, with an emphasis on decorative trappings like ornate trim, pane  glass  windows  and  multi-angled  roofs.  With  its simpler and cheaper structural makeup, traditional style homes are a great choice for home builders with limited budgets.

Postmodern architecture 

Much  like  contemporary  and  modern  architecture, postmodern architecture features a heavy emphasis on a minimalistic design, but  adds  a  degree  of appreciation for the past’s architectural styles. Combining modern and traditional architecture, postmodern architecture is one of the most unique architectural styles currently used today. 

Postmodern  architecture  makes  use  of  its  mix  of  modern  and traditional architecture to imbue its constructions with a degree of meaning that is seldom seen in other styles. With its uniquely beautiful and invariably unique aesthetics, its avant-garde appeal is extremely popular with artists and thinkers. 

Despite  its  focus  on  incorporating  elements  of  the  past into its aesthetics and construction, postmodernist architecture usually relies  heavily  on  concrete  and  glass  to affect a similar appearance to older buildings, while retaining its structural ties to modern architecture.  As a  result of this, many postmodern buildings are more structurally sound than traditional ones, and require far less upkeep. 


Well,  there  you  have  it.  Four  of  the  most  popular  architectural styles in residential and commercial construction. Upon further study,  you’ll  find  that  there  is  a  wide  variety  of  subclasses,  offshoots,  and  schools  of  design that in one way or another draw inspiration from these styles, but these are inarguably the most common. 

If  you’re  thinking  of  building  a  house  in  one  of these styles, you’re probably going to need the help of someone with a bit more experience  than you. Whether you’re looking for a plot of land to build on or you’ve already bought one and just want to talk with a real  estate  professional,  the  best  way  to  do  that  is  to  contact  a  real  estate  agent near  you.  You’re  sure to benefit from the conversation. We wish you the best of luck with the construction!

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