America’s Favorite the Colonial

America’s Favorite - Colonial Style Home

One of the favorite styles of homes of buyers today is the Colonial style. Chances are good that if you don’t live in a Colonial, you have at least heard of the style before. Homeowners love the “character” that Colonials provide with large trim around the exterior door and throughout the house. With such a large variety of styles on the market it can be tricky to know exactly what you are looking for.

What Makes a House a Colonial?

The colonial style home was introduced to America way back when the early settlers came over from England. Even from the very beginning there were different styles of colonials, based on which country the builder had moved to America from. The biggest differences was the choice of material used to construct the home; either wood or brick. Colonials evolved based on their region as well. There is a New England Colonial, which is typically sided with wood because of the ease of finding the material; and the Southern Colonial, which usually has taller ceilings for better ventilation in the hot summer months. 

While the homes have been very popular, especially on the east coast, since the early 1700s, there have been several different revivals of the classic since then. Here are classic signs of a Colonial House:

  • Very symmetrical looks – square/rectangle house
  • Front door is centered on the house
  • Smaller windows (evenly split by the front door)
  • One large chimney in the center of the house or a chimney on each side of the house
  • Two or three stories
  • Bedrooms on the second floor
  • Common living space, like kitchen and living rooms, on the first floor
  • Simple roof line, steep pitch to allow for water drainage

How to Modernize a Colonial

People love the feeling character and charm when they walk into a Colonial, however, many homeowners are interested in finding ways to update their home while maintaining the character. Here are some big and little ways to modernize a Colonial:

  • Remove a wall or two – Colonials are known for having formal/traditional rooms. There is a good chance that in a Colonial you will find separate rooms for the kitchen, dining room, living room (or 2) and even a pantry. Many modern homes have open floor plans that homeowners love. Taking out a few walls in your Colonial can transform your space into a large open and airy room.
  • Change the Exterior – Add a few dormers to break up your roofline. You can also add a covered front porch to boost the curb appeal of your Colonial. 
  • Add a splash of color – Brighten up the inside of your Colonial with fresh bright paint colors and modern works of art.
  • Switch out your fireplace – Add a modern electric or gas fireplace and eliminate the work and maintenance needed with a wood burning fireplace. Try using a fireplace insert so you can maintain the charm and integrity of the traditional mantel. 

While modern floor plans and décor can be a pleasant way to update your Colonial style home, make sure to hold onto the original detail throughout the interior of your home. You can appreciate the charm while you are in the home, and if you ever decide to sell, your house will have the “character” that buyers love.