Caribbean homes bring to mind a wide range of breezy, colorful beach-style homes. From charming small cottages to sprawling luxury getaways, Caribbean houses are known for verandas and screened porches that invite you to sit back and enjoy the warm breeze. Caribbean homes combine form and function to take advantage of, and protect from, the climate.
Planters House Style
The Planters House style gets its name from homes that were built by European settlers between the 16th and 19th centuries. The settlers built these homes in the tropics to provide some semblance of civilization while they developed the land into farms. This Caribbean-style home is known for pitched metal roofs that extend to provide shade for the large covered porches. French doors open off the porches to take advantage of breezes and increase air circulation within the home. Raised off the ground, the homes are rectangular to allow each room access to the porch. Decorative details include arches, railings, dormers and shutters that all originated from European architecture.
The Coastal style home comes from the more urban areas of the Caribbean, where homes were built both closer together and closer to the street. Because of the proximity to others, porches are an important focal point for these homes. Coastal style homes have large front porches that extend along the entire front of the house and often include a full second-story balcony as well. Porches feature decorative details that range from Victorian to Creole to Italianate. The wide porches and balconies also help cool the house with a tropical breeze.
The Bahamas style tends to be smaller in scale, with a low façade and a smaller silhouette. Pastel colors and clapboard siding display much of the charm we associate with Caribbean style. The cottage style homes feature covered porches for shaded outdoor living areas, often screened to keep out the bugs. Gingerbread details on the front façade add visual interest on a more modest scale than some of the other Caribbean style homes. Large windows take advantage of breezes to naturally cool the homes, while Bahamas style shutters lift up and away from the windows to shade the home from sun.
- Photo Credit key west style home image by Michael Wuelfrath from Fotolia.com
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