Colonial Style Homes in Jacksonville

The true origins of Colonial Style homes are rooted in various parts of the world, but they first arrived on our shores in the 1600’s with the first British Colonialists. Eager to build houses on the land that would eventually become the United States, they sourced local materials such as wood, brick or stone, to recreate the familiar structures they had left behind in Great Britain. Later the Spanish, Dutch and French would settle in different regions along the eastern seaboard and the south, bringing their own distinctive architecture with them. 

Colonial homes were the most prominent and defining homes of the newly growing U.S. until roughly 1765-1783, the time of the American Revolution, when they were ditched in favor of the new architectural ideas of the time. However, a hundred years later, the Colonial Style enjoyed a nostalgia-prompted revival, when it began popping up all over the country. This boom of Colonial Style build continued into the 1930’s, and it has remained a cherished traditional style of architecture in the U.S. ever since, attracting home buyers from all over. Unifying all of these Colonial Style homes are some key defining characteristics.

Rectangular and Symmetrical in Shape

Colonial Style Homes are recognizable by an exterior that is rectangular in shape and symmetrical across the facade. (Bear in mind that some newer Colonial Style homes have a built-in garage on one side, which can create asymmetry.) Traditionally, Colonials are known for their prominent front door centered in the middle of the house, with two multi-paned windows on either side. Similarly, you will find evenly spaced windows symmetrically spread across the facade.

The interior of the Colonial Style home will also likely be symmetrical, with the formal living room and dining room at the front of the house, and the kitchen and family room in the back, divided by a main hallway. The same rule applies to the upstairs, where a hallway customarily divides the bedrooms. 

Decorative Entryway

The two columns placed symmetrically on either side of the front door are a hallmark of the Colonial design. They gracefully frame the paneled door that is traditionally centered to create the symmetry of the house. Carved impediments above the door create the sense of a crown, and you may even see transom windows, which add charm and have a timeless quality of their own. The symmetrical windows on either side of the front door will be multi-paned, divided into four squares. In Neo Colonial or New Traditional styles, the windows are often larger, so as to let in more light. Homeowners often add to the inviting entryways of their Colonial Style house by adding neatly pruned shrubs and colorful flower beds. 

Colonial Home Architecture

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Steeply Pitched Roofs

The steeply pitched roofs of Colonial Style homes were originally designed to allow the heavy snow and rain of colder climates to slide off easily. Only from the side can one see the triangle shape that the roof creates and the protruding dormer windows, which can create more space in attics and upper floors. It is also common to see hip roofs in coastal climates that are more prone to high winds and hurricanes. Conveniently, these hip roofs can be adjoined with others to create an L-shaped house. 

Minimalist in Style

Typically, Colonial Style homes are marked by minimalist color schemes and simple geometric lines. Its prominent features are practical in nature but distinctive nonetheless. The pitched roof is dotted by one or two fireplaces at either end. Their rectangular shape is usually painted brown, green or creamy white, as the builders of these historic homes had only natural material to choose from, and the aesthetic has endured. These houses have minimal embellishments on their exterior. The multiple windows might have uniform shutters, and even at times be graced by cheerful flower boxes at the base.  

Multiple Stories

The Colonial Style home is designed to serve as a family home, with comfort in mind. Traditionally they are two stories, with the bedrooms upstairs and living room and kitchen located conveniently on the first floor. However, it is common to see three-storied Colonial homes for larger families, depending on the need of the builder. 

Posted by Brad Officer on
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