American Colonial is an architectural style that first emerged under colonial rule in the United States in the 1600s and 1700s.

The American colonies were settled by immigrants who brought their architectural aesthetics and building know-how across the Atlantic.

While no two homes will be identical, a few specific identifying characteristics of an American Colonial-style home would be symmetrical floor plans, two stories, and pitched roofs.

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What is American Colonial Style?

Similar to the homes colonists lived in back in England, they’re rectangular, typically two stories, and fairly symmetrical. They have steep, side-gabled roofs, which means the triangular portion of the roof is only visible from the sides; looking at the front door, you only see shingles. Traditionally built with wood and sometimes stone (the materials available), these homes were only one room deep and two or three rooms wide, with either one massive central fireplace or fireplaces at both ends of the house.


History of American Colonial Style

American Colonial is an architectural style that first emerged under the period of colonial rule in the United States in the 1600s and 1700s. Today, the term American Colonial is generally shorthand for both the historical building style introduced by British colonists in New England and the Colonial Revival style that proliferated in the 20th century and remains one of the most popular architectural home styles throughout the United States to this day.

3 Popular Features of an American Colonial-Style Home

  1. Symmetrical Architecture One key feature of colonial homes is symmetry. The front door is always centered, and there are an equal number of windows on either side of the door. The windows are traditionally multipaned with shutters in contrasting colors.
  2. Two Stories
    Colonial homes are traditionally two or three stories tall – never one story. They are rectangular in profile. These homes have steep roofs with gables. They are traditionally built with wood, stone or brick.
  3. Pitched Roofs
    American Colonial Style Homes traditionally have pitched roofs, meaning you only see the triangle from the sides. From the front of the home, you only see shingles. When there is a third story, there are often dormer windows popping out of the roof.


Need some ideas for your upcoming American Colonial Style Design project? We have assembled a collection of photos to help you with design inspiration for your home!

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