During my recent trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, I found myself struck by the city’s variety of architectural home styles. From the charming Bungalows and cozy cottages to stately Colonials and elegant French Country styles – the city boasts an array of distinctive architectural aesthetics, each with their own historical roots. With an overwhelming amount of different styles, it can be challenging to narrow down your own homes style, let alone your favorite. However, once you nail it down, you may find that decorating, remodeling, or home shopping comes a bit more naturally. It would take a novel to cover them all, but I’ll start with a few.
If you’re in a cozy Bungalow, you’re home is probably one to one-and-a-half stories with an open floor plan but smaller foot print. These homes typically feature built-in bookshelves, window seats, and cabinets, that maximize space and enhance functionality. The exterior is typically complimented by a long, covered front porch, a low pitched sloping roof, and natural materials like wood, stone, and brick. Bungalows originated in the late 19th century, but gained popularity in the early 20th century. These homes remain a beloved choice for homeowners who appreciate its cozy and unpretentious charm.
Similar to but smaller than a bungalow, would be a cottage. Cottages emphasize a compact and cozy living space and embrace irregular shapes and layouts, giving them a unique and whimsical appearance. Their steeply pitched roofs may have gables and dormers, contributing to their storybook like charm. The original architecture dates back to Medieval Europe where farmers, then called “Cotters” resided. This style of home is ideal for those who value the simplicity and coziness of a more relaxed way of living.
Colonials on the other hand are known for their symmetry, rectangular shape, gable roofs, and minimal decorative details on the exterior. These homes are usually two to three stories tall with a four square layout, brick or wood, and have evenly spaced windows on each floor. There are several variations of a colonial such as Early American, French, Dutch, Georgian, Colonial Revival, and New Traditional. Each design, simple, but touched with the right amount of class and elegance.
If you asked me what my favorite is, I would tell you French country. There is something romantic about their old world aesthetics, cozy comfort, and elegant designs. Usually surrounded by lush gardens, courtyards, and outdoor spaces, a French Country style home is defined with stone, brick, or stucco exterior. The rooflines are steep and typically have multiple gables and dormer windows. Inside you may find arched doorways and windows, stone facades, and exposed beams. This style was brought to America by our soldiers fighting in World War I. They were so inspired by the homes in the French Countryside, they brought it back to spread across our states.
I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the different styles, and if neither of these are your preferred type, I encourage you to research more about which one it may be. From there, you may find it easier to make those tough decisions when decorating or refining your home search. Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone! Until next week.
Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President