6 Ways to Choose an Architectural Style for Your Next Project

Redesigning a space is an exciting, yet daunting task. Home improvement projects have skyrocketed in recent years, partially influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 70% of Americans indicating they completed a home improvement project over the last few years.

Regardless of whether you’re a homeowner changing up their space or a professional builder struggling with deciding on a design, learning how to choose an architectural style can help you create your dream.

Common Architectural Styles

Deciding what your architectural preference is starts with learning about the features boasted by different styles. Architecture can vary drastically, with differences occurring in everything from floorplan style, exterior walls, windows, doors, and so much more. When looking to start transforming your spaces with the help of a commercial interior design company, consider taking inspiration from some of the following styles:

Modern styles often feature sleek designs with minimal color. In most cases, this design style has flat roofs and clean lines. Additionally, a modern design will typically include:

  • Open and spacious floorplans
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere
  • Modern materials such as glass and steel used for construction
  • White walls on both interior and exterior

In most cases, the modern design is seen with residential homes and not commercial buildings. While this style tends to ebb and flow throughout the year, it first came onto the scene at the tailend of the 20th century.

6 Ways to Choose an Architectural Style for Your Next Project
Charming Spanish Style Home in the Heart of Los Angeles

One of the older architectural styles on this list, this design originated during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Key features with this style include:

  • Wrought iron worked throughout the design
  • Smaller windows that limit the amount of heat entering
  • Emphasis on wooden doors and windows
  • Low pitched roofs

Less flashy than a modern design, Spanish-style homes and buildings are still distinctive due to their features.

The farmhouse style is a uniquely American design that draws inspiration from the farms of the nation, evolving over the years to integrate modern aspects while retaining the comforts from the original design. Most prominently, the farmhouse architectural style features:

  • A wide, open floor plan (traditionally with two-stories)
  • A wrap-around porch
  • Wood siding on the exterior
  • Large kitchens with sharp lines
  • An abundance of natural light

The farmhouse design is an excellent choice because it fits in nicely with almost every other style. By using muted colors and sophisticated designs, along with an aged aesthetic, the farmhouse look can work in almost any neighborhood.

6 Ways to Choose an Architectural Style for Your Next Project
Vermont Modern Farmhouse / Joan Heaton Architects

The colonial style is known for its towering pillars and square frame. Traditionally set on large amounts of land, the colonial style features:

  • Symmetrical and stacked windows
  • Low pitched roofs with cornices
  • Stucco or brick exteriors

Colonial builds, occasionally called Greek designs as well, appeared in the early 1800s and have stuck around due to their popularity today. In most cases, colonial style houses are found on larger plots of land with fewer neighbors around due to their larger size.

6 Ways to Pick an Architectural Design

All of the above architectural styles are gorgeous designs, but they may not be the best fit for you. Drawing from the influences of these styles, or combining multiple styles to create your own design, can allow you to construct your dream project. Use the following six tips to choose a style that suits your interests:

1. Consult with friends and family

If you have limited experience with architecture, consult with your friends and family regarding designs. They may have experience due to prior home remodeling or shopping that can be useful for your project. Additionally, the people closest to you know you best and may be able to help you narrow down a style that matches your tastes.

2. Take setting into account

Consider the neighborhood or general location of where you are constructing your design. While a modern style is gorgeous stand-alone, it may look extremely out of place if it is surrounded by colonial styles. In this situation, a person could design a colonial exterior to match their neighborhood while modernizing the interior of the home.

3. Consult with professionals

The interior design industry as a whole has grown by 3.6% over the last five years, which has resulted in a large number of certified designers who have experience helping people find designs they love. When in doubt, consult a professional to discuss the best designs for your build.

4. Drive around town

If you’ve been racking your brain trying to think of a design that suits your interests but you’re coming up with nothing, consider going for a drive. By looking around your neighborhood and the entire town, you can essentially window shop for a style that catches your eye.

5. Brush up on any regulations that may be in place

Some neighborhoods have HOAs (homeowner associations) that set certain rules for appearances of property. You may really want to design a Spanish style home with unique flares, but they may violate HOA rules. Additionally, towns themselves may have regulations over the type of home being built.

6. Go for function as well as looks

Remember that when you’re designing your dream project, it’s not just about how it looks. Consider functionality and what you need out of your design when you start to plan. For example, if you have problems with stairs then taking inspiration from a colonial style may not be the best design choice.

As you start to decide what architectural style catches your eye, balance all of the above factors to make your design choice. Keep in mind that the average home remodel can cost near $100,000, so it’s important to add a budget into your plan.

Construct your dream design

There are a myriad of architectural styles to consider when planning out your dream home or build. Consider some of the most popular design styles and look at photos or the designs around you to see if any appeal to your interests. Start by consulting with friends or family to see if they can narrow down your interests, but don’t be afraid to reach out to design professionals who can help you plan a stunning overhaul of your space.

6 Ways to Choose an Architectural Style for Your Next Project
Modern House by HMH Architecture + Interiors
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