The beauty of having a new house built is the fact that you can start with clean slate. You no longer have to settle for the few usual designs that you are able to find in your area. Now, you can let your imagination run free. Unless you are yourself an architect, some research, ideas and inspiration will be first step you take to get you into that dream home. Combing through books and websites highlighting brilliant designs will become a daily ritual, but sitting down with a home builder like will be an insightful and informative experience.

Queen Anne

There are distinct and inspirational house designs from as far back as people have been building and living in them. These days, we should consider ourselves lucky that when we begin to think about a designing a new, we have centuries of architectural history to look back on for inspiration.

The Queen Anne architectural style was made popular around the turn of the 20th century and could be, and still is, found in many places around the world. Queen Anne style houses can be recognized by their asymmetrical design with wraparound porches. Houses are usually fairly large with steep roofs and a square or rounded tower. The design can be fairly complex with patterned masonry or roof tiles which were slate in the early years. Large bay windows add to the extravagant and lavish look to this style of home. This design and elements from it are commonly found in homes around the world.

Queen Anne style

Queen Anne style

Prairie Style

This design originated in the United States and was the brainchild of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Prairie style houses have long, overhanging eaves extending from low-pitched roofs. The general look is of a low-slung style with long, clean horizontal lines that blend in and take inspiration from the surrounding landscape.

The houses take on a variety of layouts ranging from L-shaped to Y-shaped and even pinwheel iterations. The interior floor plans were intended to be open and create a feeling of space. Often certain rooms were divided by glass to emphasize this concept.

Prairie Style

Prairie Style

Southwest Adobe

The modern Adobe style house spawned from the houses built with easily accessible materials throughout the American Southwest and Mexico. Traditionally constructed with a timber frame and local clays, modern designs have adapted modern materials, turning to cement block with a flat timber roof. A distinctive feature is the roof being supported by large timbers called “vigas” which protrude from the wall creating a strong, fortress-like appearance.

In arid environments, the flat roof is designed with spout which funnel rainwater into cistern for later use. The thick walls of the Adobe style house help insulate the interior, buffering it from wild temperature swings throughout the day. Strategically placed windows enabled enough sunlight to penetrate to light the interior while blocking direct sun to keep interior temperatures down during hot months. Adobe homes lack abrupt corners, instead opting for gradual rounded edges and window sills. Earthen tones and natural wood colours allow the houses to blend with their surroundings, providing a comfortable, warm and earth-friendly feel.

Today’s modern home designs find inspiration and share many features from various designs throughout the ages. A well thought-out and tasteful blend of different features can help you and your home-builder come up with unique design to be proud of.

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