The architecture of a place tells you so much about it — from its history and cultural roots to its economic state, climate, and personality. If you’ve ever wondered about the home architecture of the Lone Star state, we’re here to satisfy that curiosity. Here are the top 10 most popular Texas home styles.
Farmhouses date back to the German settlers who first came to Texas, but the style has remained popular for nearly 200 years. The rustic simplicity of a farmhouse was originally meant to be practical, since farmers needed a practical homestead to accommodate their daily work and protect the people who lived there. But it turns out that the features of a classic farmhouse, from wide-open porches, wide-plank floors, indoor shiplap, barn-style doors, and farmhouse sinks, still maintain their charm today.
Developed in England during the 15th and 16th centuries, Tudor homes mix elements of Renaissance architecture with the English Perpendicular Gothic style, for a unique style that looks straight from the Middle Ages. The features of these homes accommodated the cold, rainy climate they originated from. Tudor homes are marked by their steeply pitched gable roofs, ornately decorated doorways, groupings of smaller windows, large chimneys, and decorative half timbering.
During the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, people began to desire handmade homes after mass production took over manufacturing. The result was the Craftsman-style home, a backlash to the homogenous homes of that time. These homes incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone, which exude a homey, artisanal feel. Their most common characteristic includes low-pitched roof lines, including gable or hipped roofs with exposed rafters and overhanging eaves. They’re also marked by square columns that support the roof, as well as double-hung windows, partially paned doors, and built-in furniture.
Although the terms “modern” and “contemporary” are often used interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing in the architectural world. While modern style refers to a specific style that doesn’t change — built between the early 1900s and the 1960s — contemporary homes reflect the style of the moment and, therefore, evolve accordingly. The latest contemporary homes incorporate clean lines, strong geometric shapes, and open floor plans — often in L, T, U, or H shapes to best accommodate outdoor space. These open floor plans, as well as the use of clerestory windows, results in extensive natural light. Highly functional, contemporary homes are often rooted in sustainability, utilizing energy-efficient elements and recyclable materials.
Architecture, just like all art, tends to reflect the social, political, and economic movements of its time, which is especially true in the case of mid-century modern architecture. Highly influenced by the space exploration and new technologies of the 1960s, these homes are known for their futuristic aesthetic, with clean lines, geometric shapes, and minimalist elements. Mid-century modern homes most commonly use flat roofs, large glass windows and sliding glass doors, and open floor plans for a simple, flowing design.
Texans love their Mediterranean homes — and who can blame them? This style of architecture brings to mind the seaside homes of Italy, France, and Spain, so homeowners can always feel like they’re on a coastal European vacation. This style of home building almost always features a central courtyard, often with Roman-esque columns and pergolas. They’re intended to unite the indoors and outdoors, which works perfectly for Texas homes all year round. Mediterranean homes are also beloved for their stucco exterior walls, tiles roofs, heavy wooden doors, and multicolored tiles.
Could there possibly be a home that feels more natural to the Texas landscape? Ranch-style homes instantly bring to mind the cowboys and cattle ranchers of the Lone Star State — and maybe that’s why Texans love them so much. These one-story homes are often sprawling, which makes them work best on properties with plenty of land, but even city-dwellers can incorporate ranch-house style into their homes. Common ranch-style home features include a low-pitched roof with wide-eave overhangs, an asymmetrical U- or L-shaped floor plan, sliding glass doors, and large picture windows.
Named for Queen Victoria, who ruled England during the height of these homes’ popularity, Victorians have been popular since the late 1800s, and it’s easy to see why. Victorian homes are the stuff of storybooks, with heavily ornamented facades and interiors. They’re also known for their full front porches and gables, steep Mansard roofs, bay windows, and roof towers and turrets.
Of course, Southwest-style homes most often conjure visions of the gorgeous Arizona and New Mexico desert land — but that’s probably why Texans love them so much. These homes, known for their Spanish and Native American influence, are suited to dry, warm-weather climates. Most commonly, they’re marked by clay roof tiles, stucco exteriors, arched corridors, square pillars, and asymmetrical design.
There’s something so cozy and comforting about a log home. Even though they seem to be a natural fit for cold-weather climates, Texan homeowners just can’t get enough of their rustic charm. Of course, they’re most well-known for their log exterior, which is usually composed of local wood to best accommodate the climate. Log homes are also marked by plenty of wood inside the home — including rough-sawn or hand-hewn timbers — as well as shed dormers, dovetail corners, long covered porches, and simple rooflines.
Love the geometric features and open floor plans of contemporary homes? Prefer the traditional look of a Craftsman home? At Paradisa Homes, we’re new-home builders who want to help bring your unique vision of a dream home to life, no matter your preferred aesthetic style. Contact us today to learn how our architects and designers can help you build the kind of place you’ll be proud to call home.