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Architecture Guide for First-Time Homebuyers

Michelle McQuade | August 29, 2016

ArchitectureWhen you’re searching for a new home, you may start to notice different architectural details: dormer roofs versus gable roofs, round columns is some houses and square columns in others, wood or composite siding, and so on.

Having some basic knowledge of architectural styles can often make the home search easier for many buyers. Having a preference for a certain architectural style will help your realtor choose an ideal selection of potential homes for you.

If you’re looking for a home in areas such as Chagrin Falls, Bainbridge, Solon, or other surrounding areas, here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular architectural styles:


Perhaps the most common architectural style in Ohio, the Italianate style became increasingly common during the 1870s – the state’s greatest growth period. Homes and buildings in the downtown area and Main Street, and even farmhouses and industrial properties were built using the Italianate architectural style.

The style closely resembles Italian country villas, with its rounded arched windows, bracketed cornices, and low-hipped roofs.

Colonial Revival

The Colonial Revival style is among several period revivals that became popular from the late 1800s up to the 21st century. The style’s two subtypes – Dutch Colonial Revival and Georgian Revival – are very common in Ohio. The popularity of the style reflects most architects’ response to Victorian architecture and its more extravagant features, opting instead for a cleaner, more structured style.

The Colonial Revival style is not only ideal for residences, but for public buildings such as post offices and libraries as well. The style is characterized by features that include symmetrical facades, Tuscan columns, large double hung shuttered windows, and dormered gable roofs.


The craftsman or arts and crafts architectural style revolves around simplicity, high-quality craftsmanship, and natural materials. The style suits a wide variety of house types, and is often applied to bungalows, as this type of structure easily highlights the style’s best qualities, such as multi-paned casement windows, low front-facing gable roofs with projecting eaves, and exposed rafter tails and knee braces.


Modern architectural styles and artistic movements such as Art Deco, Art Moderne, and International started gaining popularity throughout the country during the 1920s. In Ohio, the International style was widely used for homes, as it was more practical, while other modern styles were used for commercial or high-rise buildings.

Common elements of the International architectural style include the usage of modern materials and structural forms, reinforced concrete, stucco or white concrete wall surfaces, horizontal windows, asymmetrical cubic massing, and industrial-looking design.

Queen Anne

The Queen Anne architectural style gained popularity in Ohio during the late 1800s to early 1900s and was widely used for residences, rather than commercial buildings. One of the most easily recognizable subtypes of Victorian architecture, this style is greatly inspired by both medieval and classical forms, combining the two to create elegant, well-designed structures.

The most prominent element of the Queen Anne style is the usage of round towers and wrap-around porches. Other common characteristics include roof gables, overhangs, bay windows, and spindle work.

Cleveland Homes for Sale – Cleveland, Ohio Real Estate

For more information on architectural styles in Ohio, visit this page.

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