As the original colonies that would become the United States began taking shape the people called the New World home had nothing but their own resilience and the influence of their old homes in Europe to guide their development. As a result, the homes which began shaping the east coast of America took on an architectural style which was built equally to withstand the harsh weather conditions which the colonists faced and to imitate the strength and proud tradition which English, French, Dutch, German, and Spanish architecture had given rise to. What arose was the Colonial style home as we know it today, a uniquely American structure which serves both as a touchstone to our history and as a favorite style of thousands of modern homeowners. But just what is it about the Colonial style home that has inspired so many generations of admiration? Today we’ll take a look at some of the factors that have helped to make the Colonial style architecture so important and just what makes a Colonial home a Colonial home.
Classic Chimneys: Functional or Fanciful
In the 16th century, when Colonial style homes were first constructed, one of the most prominent features was a large, centralized brick chimney and fireplace installation which was used to heat the entirety of the the home. Obviously, today it’s rare that a family would rely on that single heating system alone but still, Colonial style homes can always be counted on to exhibit at least one chimney installation. Whether that chimney is functional as a focal point within the home or simply a decorative homage to the essential heating system installation of the traditional historic homes which directly influenced their design is less of a concern than its presence overall. This is especially lucky for homeowners interested in developing more of a Colonial style for their home since a decorative chimney installation is a fairly quick and inexpensive project to have performed.
Hardy Window Installations with a Modern Twist
Given the lack of glass which the original American colonists had access to, it’s no surprise that historical Colonial architecture featured small, minimalist windows as well as heavy functional window shutter installations in order to protect the window installations which had been completed. Both of these features were specifically designed with the availability of the time in mind and as such they’ve been improved and adjusted through the years to better suit the preferences and availability of the modern day. As a result, today’s Colonial style homes feature a number of windows to allow for a gorgeous, symmetrical look. However, these windows are typically held to simplistic forms with traditional shutters still installed, though usually only for decorative purposes. Today, single or double-hung windows lend a stunning update on the traditional style with more energy efficiency and property value than possible ever before.
Strong Siding, Sturdy Roofs
For modern homes designed according to the Colonial style strength and reliability are first and foremost among the priorities which the design highlights. This helps to ensure that the style closely follows the original design of the architecture while also helping to keep repair and replacement needs to a minimum, something valued by homeowners in any time. Today that means that homeowners with Colonial style homes are relying on vinyl siding installations in neutral, earth-tone colors as opposed to the natural wood siding which was once the best option available. Likewise, asphalt roofing and vinyl roofing have come to take the place of the hardwood shingles which originally protected this style of home and as a result homeowners are enjoying much more affordable maintenance needs through the years. This blend of traditional, historic style and modern, innovative technology is certainly one of the major reasons why the Colonial style home is still as popular and influential today as it was over 300 years ago!