Choosing the Right Exterior Style for Your Home

The time has come to decide on the overall look that you want in a house. Chances are, if you’re like most people, you already know what architectural styles you like and you just need to find the perfect one. Don’t be intimidated by there being so many choices out there—that just means there’s something that more closely matches your imagination! Since it’s National Curb Appeal Month, let’s discuss some architectural house styles that look great and continue to impress over the years.

Craftsman House Plans

Also sometimes referred to as arts-and-crafts houses, craftsman-type homes are warm and welcoming, built with as many natural, handcrafted materials as possible, and often feature decorative millwork, gables and shutters. If you have an artistic personality and an appreciation for timeless workmanship, a craftsman home might just be the right fit for you. Since so many design elements go into this kind of house, there are plenty of decisions that you can make to personalize it. Ornamental features around windows, the door, under gables, and surrounding the porch make craftsman houses attention-grabbers. You’ll also find the interior design quite complementary with rich woods, columns, millwork, exposed beams and stonework.

This cottage craftsman house plan is one such attention grabbing piece of architecture that impresses with its craftsman details. A covered porch accented by columns, round top windows, and attractive gable pediments are just the beginning, as exposed beams and sloped ceilings over the porch and outdoor kitchen add a striking, dramatic touch. Not many could walk by this home and be unaffected!

Farmhouse Floor Plans

If you prefer a more effortless style that doesn’t require a keen eye for design, a farmhouse might be for you. That is not to say farmhouses are inherently boring—there is plenty to appreciate about them. Large, wraparound porches adorned with columns and railings give this style a simple sort of curb appeal and a timeless, no-nonsense vibe.

With a covered porch that surrounds the entire house, an extended deck, and even a section of screened porch, this farmhouse is a study in country living. Anybody who values the great outdoors and comfortable quarters will swoon over this farmhouse. The only thing it needs is for you to place a rocking chair or hanging swing on that fantastic porch, and it will be the welcoming home you want with minimal effort.

Modern House Plans

Modern or contemporary house plans are named as such because they are devoid of historic style elements. That means no fancy, decorative millwork or showcasing of clever artistry, but there is still plenty of style to be had. Simple lines, curved walls, blocky shapes—with few constraints and no unifying theme, modern houses take on a variety of looks. You can find a totally unique house plan if that’s what you want, and the best part is that maintaining curb appeal is as simple as keeping the property neat and clean and letting the dramatic build of the house speak for itself.

There is no quintessential modern home, so it is a matter of personal taste when deciding between contemporary house plans. For those who value dramatic simplicity, something like the House Plan 4877, with its striking shape and large windows, could be perfect. If you want something that could more easily blend into a neighborhood, House Plan 9038 shown right, is a nice choice. Three levels of living space with multiple vaulted ceilings visible from the roof construction and well-defined, straightforward window and door shapes give this house an interesting ambiance.

Cottage House Plans

Cottages are typically smaller homes that can come in colonial, bungalow and ranch styles. With gables and eaves overhanging the porches, cottages give you some classic details without going overboard. This might be the plan for you if you like a traditional look that doesn’t need too much upkeep.

A cozy country cottage like House Plan 2487 has a cute façade that looks best when accented by shrubs and small flowering plants. In fact, cottages can fit right in whether in urban, suburban or rural environments. House Plan 3066 shown right, is an example of a cottage that could be built on any lot and maintain its charm. Depending on the locale, carefully selected panel siding or shingles add just the right amount of personality to the house. Sometimes understated themselves, landscaping and even hanging planters really bring out the best in cottages, so if you’ve got a green thumb, you’ll have curb appeal nailed by your hobby!