A Guide to American-Style Home Design

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Uncategorized

In a globalised world, few countries are as influential as America. From popular culture to global events, America has left an impact on Australian tastes, including when it comes to house styles. Don’t let the name fool you. Though these designs may originate from the land of the brave, they can be easily adapted to suit Aussie climate and weather conditions. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at American Style Homes.

What is American Style Home Design?

Defining what exactly makes a home an American House Style is a tricky task. From the West Coast to the East Coast, the Northern states to the American South, the USA has a wide, diverse range of home styles. When you look into the history of American homes, you’ll soon discover they tend to draw heavily from pre-existing European designs.

Though inspired by homes across the pond, American home designs take these ideas and adapt them to the local environment. When building an American-style home in Australia, you’ll make similar changes to suit your local area.

What is the most common house design in America?

French Colonial Style

Though influenced by the French design approach, this is a popular style associated with the American Southern states, reimaging the distinguishing features of European design for humid climates. Believed to be inspired by what American soldiers saw while serving in France during World War I, some common elements of this style include:

  • Steeply pitched roof
  • Plenty of balconies.
  • Cozy fireplace

Federal Colonial Style

At first glance, it is easy to confuse federal style with other types of colonial homes. However, colonial homes come in a range of different styles for a reason. Here are some of the distinguishing features:

  • Low pitched roofs
  • More likely to feature curved lines and other embellishments.
  • Porches supported by pillars.

Though an older design of American Architecture, this design is often adapted for modern sensibilities.

Hamptons Home

Originally a design favoured by New York’s elite for their holiday homes, the Hamptons Style has become an incredibly popular style since adopted for Australian houses. Though traditionally best suited for beach areas and coastal homes, the Hamptons style can be found in suburbia and even in rural areas.

Craftsman-style houses

Though a lesser-known style, the crafts movement has been influential in building approaches around the world, including in Australia. These homes are about celebrating craftsmanship and are notable for using timber building materials and having more of an artistic feel. This emphasis means craftsman-style design often works well with custom design.

New England American Colonial

A traditional American style home that emphasises square, clean lines, while maintaining a rustic feel. Some features include:

  • Dormer windows
  • Small Rooms
  • Gabled roofs

Cottage Style

Cottage style homes have a distinct look, that emphasises a smaller, cosier floorplan. They tend to be asymmetrical and have low-pitched gable roofs and small veranda areas.

Shingle-Style American Home

These homes are rambling, symmetrical and considered an older style of home that goes against a lot of what modern designs aim for. The renewed interest in this style comes from the character it gives a home. Keep in mind, it’s an acquired taste that won’t appeal to everyone.

Dutch Colonial Revival Style

As the name suggests, this style originated from Dutch colonial settlers who built their homes along the Hudson River. Typically featuring a Gambrel-style roof, matching chimneys and Dutch-style doors, this style is usually for multiple-storey homes and is great for families.

Modern Farmhouse

Ideal for rural areas, the modern farmhouse design retains the rustic feel of a classic country home while adding a few modern comforts. Some common architectural details include:

  • Open floor plans
  • Exposed rafters and beams
  • Natural materials, including timber.
  • Large porches and incorporating inside and outside rooms.
  • Simple gabled roofs
  • Symmetrical facade
  • High ceilings

Ranch style homes

Acreage homes are very popular in rural areas where the homeowner has property to spare. A ranch home looks especially pleasing on a large property with plenty of natural surroundings. Offering large open floor plans and plenty of space for families.

Townhouse Style homes

A townhouse is a multilevel building that usually shares a wall and land with another building (usually another townhouse or a few). These are popular options for couples and families because they’re more affordable than regular houses while still providing more space than an apartment.

Italianate Style homes

Originating in Italy, the Italianate Style became a mainstay in American architectural styles around the mid-19th century. Some of the key features include:

  • Low pitched roof
  • Roman architecture
  • Round-arched windows
  • Ornate decorative details

Modern Style homes

Despite the name, Modern design refers to specific designs originating from the 1940s. Unlike a traditional home design, modern home styles emphasise clean lines, striking minimalism, flat roofs and more open-plan floor plans.

  • Intentional asymmetry
  • Minimalist design and facade
  • Monochromatic or simple colour facades
  • Luxury Features
  • Simple shapes
  • Flat roofs or distinct roofing designs.

Victorian Style homes

Usually featuring two or three storeys, Victorian-style homes draw heavily from the Victorian era of design and provide a classic look to your home. The exterior walls can feature a range of towers, turrets and dormer windows, creating a distinct facade for your house.

How you can modernise American-style home design for your new build?

Energy-Efficient Features

With energy bills constantly rising, all new homeowners are looking for ways to make their design more energy efficient. This can be achieved through a variety of means including:

  • Building to suit your land’s orientation
  • Solar panels
  • Insulation

Sustainable Materials and Building Practices

Reducing your environmental impact is an important consideration. What defines the sustainability of a building material comes down to a few key factors. First, is how the material is sourced and the transportation costs. Location can be an influential element here, so using locally sourced materials will help make your home more sustainable.

Integration of Smart Home Technologies

Smart devices have gone from being a novelty to being an integral part of our everyday lives. There are a range of features in your home that can be smart activated including:

  • Thermostats
  • Air-conditioning
  • Entertainment (Television, speakers, gaming)
  • Lighting
  • Garage Doors.
  • Security

Contemporary Interiors with American Style Influences

While there are specific details that define a style of home, most of the above American-style homes are flexible and can be adapted to your personal preferences. Even older styles of home design can be modernised and made more comfortable for our current times. We doubt many farmhouses from the turn of the 20th century had smart home capabilities, but there’s no reason your modern farmhouse design can’t.

The standard for most Australian homes is to incorporate open-concept living spaces into the floorplan. This not only creates a more inviting comfortable environment for your house, it helps the home look bigger and encourages natural light.

American-style homes with an Aussie twist!

The USA is a very diverse country and each state can feel like its own country. Therefore, American-style homes cover a wide range of design types from homes best suited for urban areas to ranch-style homes for those looking to bring out their inner-cowboy. Whatever style appeals to you, chances are it can be adapted to suit the unique challenges and quirks that come with living in Australia. In fact, some styles that originated in America, such as the Hamptons look, have long been favourites among Aussie homeowners.

Buildi Brokers are here to help you through your new home build journey. Book your free impartial consultation, today!


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