From the wraparound porch of a traditional farmhouse to the smooth textures and lines of a contemporary build — there’s something to love in just about every style of architecture. Each style has its own history and rules governing what makes the type of home it is. When it comes to choosing an architectural style for your custom home, there are a lot of options!
Luckily, there are some things you can count on, like French country homes including natural stone and walls of sunny neutrals. Or the timbering style of the Tudor. And even better, a home is what you make of it. To help you get started, let’s look at some of the popular architectural styles of today. We’ll outline a few of our favorites, with input from KGA senior partner and architect, Paul Mahony. At KGA, we pride ourselves on our design versatility and ability to design in many different architectural styles. The following are just a handful of what’s out there. Enjoy!
The Modern Farmhouse
You might recognize this type of home by its outdoor porch, reinforced clapboard exterior, and steep pitched roof with gables and dormers. If you think this might be your style, check out any of our farmhouse builds, including our:
From KGA senior partner and architect Paul Mahony: “The modern farmhouse remains popular, but we are seeing clients wanting to make it their own. We believe they are drawn to the classic shapes of the farmhouse — like pitched roofs, gable ends and porches — but looking to blend old with new in unique ways for a timeless, modern style. This has taken the term ‘Transitional.’”
The Transitional Home
Is it modern or traditional? The great thing about transitional architecture is that it can be a little bit of both — which is actually how we get a lot of the “hot” new trends. “We’re seeing some clients that want something different,” Paul says. “So, we’re sharpening authentic classic styles of French and European and adding modern lines or materials.”
A transitional home is great if the vision for your custom home lies somewhere in-between styles or categories. Here is one such home, originally built in 1937, this remodeled classic Tudor seamlessly blends old and new.
The European or Old World Home
“As an architect, I gravitate to graceful designs that showcase a noticeable sense of proportion and attention to detail that reacts to its surroundings in a peaceful way,” Paul says. “That style almost always finds me drawn to old world, traditionally styled and scaled homes. Roofs with pitch and negative space that will play with shadows. They’re traditional, authentic, and modern woven together.” Some of our favorite examples of this style include our:
The Contemporary Home
The contemporary home is often known for its geometric shapes, large windows and aesthetic that include metal, concrete and natural wood or stone. Contemporary architecture is all about clean, smooth textures and lines, which we adhere to in both our:
The Modern Rustic Home
The modern rustic – or mountain modern – style home looks like it would be comfortable nestled into the side of a cozy mountain or at the edge of wild, natural grasslands. You might recognize a modern rustic home due to its exposed natural architectural elements (think: stone and wooden beams), sloping roof to accommodate snow load, and a more rugged exterior. They also typically have large, oversized windows overlooking amazing views. For a peek at some of our favorite mountain modern homes, check out the:
Ask an Architect: Insights on Choosing an Architectural Style for Your Custom Home
The above is just a taste! There are endless wonderful options when choosing an architectural style for your custom home or remodel. We tapped Paul for more insight around the custom build process and house styles.
Is any single style of home better than another?
I really believe that the best design is the one that suits the client. In other words: it’s really up to you to decide what’s best — it is your home after all! One other thing that’s important to account for rather than one “best” style of home, is how it fits the region or landscape. A farmhouse with its traditional, covered wrap-around porch is great for locations that rely on the home providing shade, for example.
If a client wants to do something really different, is there a style you’d recommend?
That is a hard question when taste is so personal and subjective. I think Scandinavian or Coastal styles can evolve into many different arenas and can fit in or stand out, whatever your goal or region.
What happens if a client and architect have different opinions on styles — can you ever combine them?
Absolutely. The client should always be a design driver in the process. The architect should lend expertise on all levels and provide good information to make qualified and informed decisions. This of course goes along with vision and design sensibilities to arrive at that well-proportioned and detail-driven project.
What else should clients think about when considering the architectural style of their custom home or remodel?
As far as other things prospective clients should know, think about or keep in mind when considering architectural styles: be flexible but stay true to why you chose to embark on a design and build project. Choose an architect willing to listen to the why and support the design as an opportunity to help with that choice. There are a lot of good design ideas out there and they don’t always come solely from the architect.
One of the best things about custom home design is that it can be exactly what you want it to be. Choosing an architectural style for your custom home or remodel is just the beginning! From unique outdoor living spaces to creating the perfect spot for your favorite piece of art, there are endless opportunities to make your home one of a kind.