The history of American homes, in pictures

It’s a history of changing demographic, cultural, and social trends. In its relatively short history, American architecture has evolved alongside the changing face of the country, representing the patchwork of diverse cultural influences that constitute the United States as a whole.

To see just how the design of the American home has changed over time, we produced a series of renderings that depict the same home designed in the most popular architectural styles of the last 450 years.

Cape Cod Style (1600s–1950s)


Built with one story and little ornamentation, the modesty of Cape Cod-style homes reflects the values of the Puritan colonists who designed them

Georgian Colonial House Style (1690s–1830)


Many architects were beginning to take on the role of artisan. Incorporating features like paired chimneys, crown molding, and five-window rows, the relatively ornate nature of Georgian homes allowed architects of the era to design in high style.

Federal Style (1780–1840)


This rendering shows a home designed in what has become known as the Federal style, used to describe the style of architecture used in homes, public buildings, and planning projects in the period following the American Revolution.

Greek Revival House Style (1825–1860)


This rendering depicts a house in what is today known as the Greek Revival style, featuring bold, simple moldings, a pedimented gable, and a wide, plain frieze.

Italianate House (1840–1885)


Italianate homes favor asymmetry and natural landscaping. Other features include flat, low-pitched roofs, tall, rounded windows, and decorative brackets.

Queen Anne Style (1880–1910)


The Queen Anne style emerged in America during the end of the 19th century, featuring excesses of design evocative of British monarchy. This rendering shows a single-family home designed in the Queen Anne style.

Arts and Crafts (Craftsman) (1905–1930)


The Arts and Crafts movement decried the impersonal, machine age architecture of the era, instead favoring thoughtful, handcrafted design that incorporated natural, locally-sourced materials and highlighted the hand of the designing artist.

Ranch Style (1945–1980)


Ranch homes have simple floor plans and an openness reminiscent of the wide-open spaces of the American West.

Prefabricated Homes (1945-present)


As this rendering shows, many prefabricated homes are built with mid-century modern or futurist design, which go well with the minimalist production methods.

For more about this post, visit Media Feed