American architecture is as diverse as its culture – from the Spanish adobes and plantations of the South, to the colonial saltboxes and industrial styles of the North. When building or remodeling your own home, you may choose a design that aligns with the style of your location – or, since freedom of expression is the very woof and warp of the American culture, you may opt for something completely unique and different. Read on to learn about the history of American architecture and the styles that may inspire you on your next custom home project.
The first settlers in America brought with them traditional building practices from England, Spain and other European countries. In the early colonial days, it was all about ease of construction – hence, you’ll see a lot of simple, rectangular shapes and simple roof lines from that time period.
Following the American Revolution, the young Republic decided to separate from all things British. The Federal style emerged – a regal, classical style that paid tribute to the ancient Greeks. It consisted of a rectangular box, two or three stories, and was two rooms deep, with a facade that was flatter and smoother than other styles.
As the country grew, so did its architectural style. Immigrants brought influences from their home countries, and the Industrial Revolution brought concrete, steel and glass in all its glory. Innovators like Frank Lloyd Wright used horizontal lines and modern materials that turned building into an art form never before seen.
From settlers to patriots, Americans have used architecture as a means to communicate their triumph, their will, their individuality. Before you remodel or build your home, sit back and ask yourself – what message or personality do you want to convey?
Finding the Right Style for Your Home
Once you have determined the characteristic you want for your home, you can decide on a style.
Are you going for a cozy and relaxed setting? Try a farm-style or craftsman home.
More austere and regal? Perhaps a Colonial or Federal-style home is right for you.
Want to pay homage to nature and the country’s native roots? Try an adobe-style or Spanish Colonial home.
Do you love modern architecture? Try the straight lines and Japanese influence of Frank Lloyd Wright – low-lying homes with open interior spaces.
The beauty of American architecture today is that we have more choices in style and materials than we’ve ever had before. Be sure to work with a good architect or Design-Build company that will capture your vision and bring it to life. Your home should be one of your greatest works of art.
Nelson Construction and Renovations, a family business founded in 2006, is a design-build company that specializes in high-end remodels, home additions, and custom homes. With our headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, we serve homeowners all over Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. We are an award-winning member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
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