Architectural home design has shown many faces throughout history. Though there have been numerous styles of design throughout the years. those that may be the most memorable include French Colonial, Georgian, Federal, the Italian Villa, the Chateau and the Bungalow.
French Colonial (1700-1830)
French Colonial style homes are based on “post on sill” construction. A series of vertical posts are fitted underneath rooftops which extend out past the exterior of the home. This creates a cover for an outside porch, or galerie. In early nineteenth-century French Colonial plantations, the main floor was raised and encircled by a covered porch. The main living quarters were accessed by an exterior staircase. Large, cobblestone chimneys, double-casement windows and flared eaves on the rooftop are found on French Colonial homes.
Characterized by symmetrical design and classical detail, Georgian-style homes typically have a colossal-sized pillar on each side of the front door. Above these columns is a pediment which is reminiscent of Greek architecture. Commonly placed above this pediment is a Palladian or Venetian window on the second story. Rooftops often have what is known as a balustrade, which is a white, fence-looking structure. Rooftop corners feature square pedestals with stone urns placed atop.
Federal-style homes have a square and boxy appearance. A low pitched roof and smooth, brick-finish exterior are characteristic of Federal homes. They often feature a domed circular portico or elliptical arch at the front door entrance. An elliptical window is often located at the header of the door with narrow windows located on each side of the door.
Italian Villa (1830-1880)
Expressing asymmetrical design form, the outstanding feature of the Italian Villa style is a tall tower combined with a two-story floor plan. Narrow, rounded-head windows were placed in groups of three. There were often small balconies on the upper level. The exterior is a smooth, stucco finish but the enriched ornamentation around windows and balconies gives the Italian Villa an elaborate baroque appearance.
The Chateau style is made of stone and is massive in size. Characterized by steeply-pitched roofs, the Chateau has dormers, cone-shaped towers and tall, elaborately-decorated chimneys. Stone window tracery was featured in certain areas. Details such as crosses positioned atop window gables are reminiscent of Gothic style. The Chateau was suited to wealthy clients who wanted impressive residences.
Bungalow Style (1890-1940)
A typical bungalow home is one-story and has broad, gently-pitched gables. The lower gable usually covers a front porch which may be screened or left open. Rafters and beams extend beyond the wall and edge of the roof. A bungalow’s chimney is made of cobblestone or rough-faced brick. Wood shingles are most common; however stucco or brick may also be used. Bungalows were built across the country, displaying a huge variety of configurations and exterior finishes.
Identifying American Architecture; John Blumenson; 1981