If you’ve ever watched House Hunters (just admit it), then there’s a good chance that you’ve heard people gushing over the different home architectural styles. Frequently heard comments include, “it has to be a craftsman”, or “I grew up in a contemporary house”, or “I have always loved mid-century modern architecture”. But the reality is that the majority of homeowners and house hunters don’t know what gives each style its distinct look and feel.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of Canada’s most popular home architectural styles.
Contemporary styling is widely found in suburban ranch houses across the country. Architectural elements such as large, unencumbered windows, clean lines, and shallow roofs are highly indicative of contemporary architecture. It is also common to see the home exteriors finished with a combination of materials, such as siding and brick.
Not only has the popular farmhouse movement made its way into home interiors across the continent, but its influence can also be found in home exteriors and real estate choices. An unprecedented number of house hunters are on the hunt for fixer upper farmhouses in both the literal and HGTV meaning of the term. American-style farmhouses are generally porch-heavy structures, featuring large windows, clean lines, wood siding and detached garages.
Source: Architectural Designs
Georgian style homes have been a familiar sight in Canada since the late 1780. The style was popularized by the United Empire Loyalists whose aesthetic preferences spoke to their roots in Great Britain. This style of home is known for its sturdiness and impeccable craftsmanship, attributes that area brilliantly illustrated by the fact that many of these earlier-built homes continue to stand hundreds of years following their completion.
Common characteristics of Georgian homes include formidable, rectangular shaping, paired and balanced chimneys and centered doors. Georgian homes are commonly made of brick; although it is not uncommon to find models dressed in clapboard siding.
Source: The Prairie School Traveler
Prairie School shares a number of style cues with the Craftsman style, the both of them coming into being during the Arts and Crafts movement. It embraced handcrafting, while also incorporating subtle uses of Japanese architecture.
The style’s hallmarks include long, horizontal lines, jutting eaves and geometric patterns. In terms of finishes, the Prairie School’s rejection of more formal, classical styles resulted in natural wood, brick, and stained glass being embraced in this style.
Source: Ontario Architecture
There was a time when Victorian was the most prevalent choice in Canadian residential architecture. Ontario has always been especially fond of this style, with numerous Toronto neighbourhoods filled with these dramatic and eclectically designed structures, both large and small.
Victorian homes tend to combine classical and gothic aesthetics, imparting them with prominent bays, steeply pitched roofs, gingerbread ornamentation, and even stained glass. Toronto’s bay and gable houses are a prime example of this style.
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