Victorian Queen Anne Style is a great example of a traditional design sensibility. “More is more,” guides this architectural style which features decorative elements inside and out as well as over-the-top structural elements, reminiscent of European architecture. Details include scalloped shingles, decorative trusses within gables and scroll sawn gingerbreads. With an emphasis on fancy, these homes feature detailed and sometimes carved millwork selections with large crowns, door and window toppers, elaborate stairway systems and elegant wood species like mahogany, cherry and walnut.
Many architectural styles fall under the umbrella of Victorian architecture. The Victorian era, named for Queen Victoria and her reign, lasted from 1837 to 1901. The styles which were popular late in that time period are those we see in historic homes throughout America. Rapid industrialization and the railroad enabled homes to be built more efficiently and with access to more interesting wood species. Victorian style homes are typically two and three stories high, with steep roof lines, gingerbread and scalloped shingles in the gables. The guiding principle was, “more is more.” Inside, heavily detailed mahogany, cherry and walnut millwork, elaborate stair systems and enormous wood pocket-doors, are just a few of the common elements found in a Victorian home.
- Structure: Decorative, complex silhouettes; Many roof slopes and round turrets with second story porches
- Exterior Doors: Marked by elaborate porches, and feature single- or multi-pane glazing, paneling, and decoration
- Windows: Panes are larger on the lower portion, top portion is often stained or decorative glass
- Colors: Dependent upon exterior materials where stone, brick and wood are mixed; Two to three contrasting tones where paint is applied
Spanish style homes are recognized as single or two story dwellings often with round arch porticos lining the front elevation or back courtyard. Red tile roofing, stucco exterior and iron detail on balustrades and over windows is common. Ornamentation is concentrated around doors and windows and is unrelated to the structure.
- Structure: Massive in width or length, curved archways in contrast with blank walls
- Exterior Doors: Heavily carved doors with iron strappings, nailheads, and fretwork
- Windows: Straight or curved, typically with iron over the exterior framework
- Colors: Cream or pastel shades of stucco
With romantic fashions and domestic practicality, Italianate homes provide a casual style of living with cultured aesthetics. These homes feature prominent towers with round-arched windows. Italianate homes feature series of pairs and work to unite the structure of a home with its surroundings, providing openness to both the interior floor plan and exterior facade.
- Structure: Cubic, square towers and everything in pairs; often features exterior pediments above doors and windows
- Exterior Doors: Usually located in the tower block, with paneled and doubled doors, and lintel or rounded above doors and occasionally a round (not elliptical) transom
- Windows: Large panes which go down to (or close to) ground level
- Colors: White and green or rosy, flesh tones with green shutters
With basic floor plans and an emphasis on exterior detailing and ornate decorations, Gothic style architecture provides unusual character and medieval aesthetics to any home. Exterior trim is common, including castellated battlements, gingerbread detailing, cresting and finials.
- Structure: Tall with steep peaks, Gothic homes highlight their picturesque outlines
- Exterior Doors: Usually set beneath porches and feature arched peneling and transoms
- Windows: Tall and narrow is diamond shaped panes; Gothic arch with point at the top is indicative of the style
- Colors: Tan, stone materials
With sophisticated detailing and bold massing, Georgian homes offer decadent style and grace. Many Georgian homes are highlighted with exterior detailing, specifically slender columns. Georgian architecture is stately, conservative, and symmetrical.
- Structure: Symmetry is important with an introduction of Italian stylistic details, such as pediments and decorative urns, either carved or physical present
- Exterior Doors: Centrally located with raised steps and feature paneled doors with elliptical transoms and narrow sidelites
- Windows: Windows are usually 3 over 3 panels and always symmetrical, shutters are generally present
- Colors: Cream tones, white, light gray or blue