architectural designs website

Different Architectural Styles for Homes

architectural styles

From traditionally classic to modern and contemporary architecture, there are many architectural styles to suit a wide variety of tastes, budgets and preferences when designing and building a home. Here is a selection of popular and aesthetically appealing architecture styles you can consider when choosing a design language for your home.

Contemporary Homes

contemporary house design

Contemporary architectural style first appeared in the mid-20th century when there were emerging concerns and emphasis on minimalism and sustainability. As a result, they are marked by characteristics such as asymmetrical exterior design, clean lines, sustainable building materials, and open floor plans.

Modern Homes

 modern architecture

Modern architecture is famous for conforming to modern principles of architecture such as form following function and streamlining over ornamentation. These homes feature geometric shapes and clean lines, used to define arches, window shutters, and ornate columns.

Modern homes are also characterized by interesting rooflines and asymmetry, and in the interior, open floor plans with living and dining spaces flow into each other. These homes are typically made of both modern and traditional building materials such as steel, glass, iron, brick, wood, and stone, much of which are used in straightforward ways to capture their natural beauty. 

Mediterranean Homes

Mediterranean homes

Mediterranean homes are characterized by tiled roofs with brick and stucco walls. This style also consists of metalwork adorning balconies, exterior stone details, and centered front doors.

These houses have ornate archways around windows and doors that are occasionally adorned with hand-made tiles and mosaic glass.

Other dominant features include large windows and doors that grant access to balconies, patios, and terraces. Mediterranean homes are typically one to two floors with large and symmetric exteriors. They are frequently blended with natural surroundings using outdoor living spaces such as atriums, terraces, and patios.

Dutch Colonial Homes

Dutch colonial houses

This architectural style primarily features gambrel roofs with curved eaves along the length of the house. This is a broad and double-pitched roof that is wide at the top before switching angles and sloping straight down. 

The top half of Dutch Colonial houses have narrow dormer windows built into the rooflines, while the bottom half is adorned with a Dutch door. These houses also have hallmarks such as a cambered or projected roof over the door for those without porches.

Dutch colonial houses also feature double sash windows that are square paned window panels that can be raised and lowered. The most popular window coverings for this architectural style include swinging wood shutters that are seldom functional in the modern era, being mostly attached to the exterior for aesthetic purposes.

British Colonial Homes

british home

These homes are rectangular, have gabled roofs, and bear symmetrical windows. British Colonial homes are known for plain exterior colors and wood sliding around the perimeter of the structure. Symmetry is a large part of this style since they have centrally-placed front doors and a central staircase.

Some variations of this architectural style feature stone exteriors and brick facades. In their interior, British Colonial homes are known for a central fireplace, natural hardwood floors, and a distinct four-square layout.

Islamic Architecture

islamic architecture

Islamic architecture emerged from the principles of Islam. These homes feature:

  • towering spikes with small windows and interior staircases, 
  • elaborate muqarnas vaulting that resembles a honeycomb pattern and 
  • multicolored mosaic tiling.

 Islamic architecture is also characterized by the ornamental use of Arabic calligraphy scripts and striking wood lattice work that offers climate control and privacy.

Swahili Architecture

swahili architecture

These homes primarily feature massive and imposing doors that consist of arched openings. Swahili homes are typically designed around a central courtyard. 

They feature living spaces separated from public space and have inner porches that are oriented towards walls that block the view of the inner courtyard.

Swahili homes also feature windows with wooden shutters, ornate balconies, and concrete benches that are attached to the main building facade. This facade is often adorned with decorative designs inspired by mainland African countries with the influence of South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. 

Hausa Architecture

hausa architecture

These homes feature striking external decoration spread across external doors and outer walls. Hausa architecture also has piers and vaults, motifs in different proportions, archways, slashes and punctures. 

These homes also feature high walls surrounding a courtyard, a trend that emerged from the need to ensure larger shading and reduce intense radiation from the sun and surrounding buildings. 

Hausa homes have tapered dome shapes to allow water to run off easily during heavy rainfall.

Classical Architecture

classical architecture

Classical homes are primarily characterized by symmetry, mostly in the form of columns and rectangular windows evenly spaced out to emphasize the central door placement. These homes also have a full-height front porch set with a classical pediment above the door. Classical homes feature classical design motifs like dentil molding, boxed eaves and decorative door accents. They are mostly built of durable building materials like brick, concrete and marble.


There are many interesting, innovative, and classical architectural styles that you can choose for your home. Browse the selections available to you, and contact a seasoned housing professional to help you identify and build what works best for you.

Reading next

home renovation
Kitchen pantries

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.