5 Classic Colonial-Revival Architecture Design Ideas

March 7, 2023

If you’re designing your custom home, it can be hard to decide on what style you want. There is an abundance of different designs and it can be hard to narrow down to one choice. If you’re looking for a classic style, Colonial-Revival style homes are a good option. Here are a few of the classic Colonial-Revival architecture design ideas to help you decide if this is the right fit for you:

What Are Colonial-Revival Style Homes?

Just like their name suggests, Colonial-Revival style homes pay homage to the Colonial homes that came before. Colonial architecture was heavily influenced by Spanish, French, and British designs, without the luxury most of those homes possessed. Instead, these homes focused on simplicity, symmetry, and practicality. Colonial designs are one of the popular architectural designs for homes.

But Colonial-Revival style homes were not a direct copy of Colonial architecture. They’ve gone through a few iterations throughout history. In the early 1900s, it was trendy to marry colonial and Victorian architecture. Because of this, Colonial-Revival style homes are known for their mixing of elements. They highlight simple layouts, symmetrical window placements, and gabled roofs. They also have ornate Victorian elements, like large windows and intricate details, porticos, and moldings.

5 Classic Colonial-Revival Architecture Design Ideas

Here are a few classic Colonial-Revival architecture design ideas to inspire you as you think about your custom home design:

1. Remember the Symmetrical Structure

When designing your Colonial-Revival style home, remember that symmetry is a hallmark of this architecture. Many homes of this architectural style either have a square or rectangle layout.

This type of architecture blends well with multi-story homes. Keep the exterior simple with a muted color scheme and simple lines.

2. Pick the Right Roof

Choosing the right roof for your custom home can seem overwhelming, but narrowing down the style is easy with Colonial-Revival homes.

Gable Roofs

Gable roofs are one of the most common roofs found in Colonial-Revival style homes. These symmetrical roofs have two sloping sides with two triangular and flat walls at either end. This gives the home the illusion of height as well as an open and inviting feel.

Gambrel Roofs

However, Gambrel-style roofs are also a popular choice. Also known as barn-style roofs, they have two slopes on either side, with the top slope being much less steep than the lower slope. These types of roofs are a good option if you want to extend the livable space on the top story of your home. They also offer more room for windows, which means better natural light in your home.

3. Add Plenty of Windows

Colonial-Revival homes often feature plenty of windows. Typical homes will feature nine windows in the front of the home. Two on each side of the door, with two windows directly above, with one window right above the door. If you want to make a statement, you can add more windows.

Just remember to keep the windows symmetrical on either side of your door. Getting the right proportion of glass to wall and matching the aesthetic you’re going for are some tips for planning window placement in your custom home that can help you get the right look in a Colonial-Revival style home too.

4. Go With a Dramatic Entrance

Colonial-Revival homes usually have a fairly dramatic entrance. Centered entryways continue to add to the symmetry of the home. Pediments are popular for entryways. If you have a gabled roof, this gabled addition above a portico will mimic your roof, creating a dramatic yet symmetrical look to your home. Porticos are just one of the types of porches to consider for your home and are popular with Colonial-Revival homes.

Adding columns to the entryway is another popular choice. These architectural columns will support the portico and also give your home that classic colonial look. If you want an even more dramatic look, choose decorative or engraved columns.

5. Bring Symmetry Inside

Colonial, Colonial-Revival, and Georgian Architecture all have this focus on symmetry in common.  Don’t forget to bring that symmetrical design into the interior of your home. In these homes, the front door leads into a center hall with a staircase leading to the second floor. One of the ways to create an elegant entryway is by making the staircase your main focal point.

On the first floor, there are often similarly sized rooms on either side of the hallway. The placement is up to you, but normally, the dining and formal living rooms are in the front of the home, with the kitchen and a family room in the rear. 

Colonial Revival is one of the styles that had a big effect on the evolution of custom home architecture and trends in the United States. These are just a few of the classic Colonial-Revival architecture design ideas. If these ideas inspire you and you’re ready to start designing your custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!