Definition of a Colonial House

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The colonial house is charming yet stately and remains a desirable architectural style.
The colonial house is charming yet stately and remains a desirable architectural style. (Image: historic colonial image by Andrew Kazmierski from Fotolia.com)

Colonial-style homes are still very popular designs in today's housing market as they are stately and evoke an old-world charm. Various cultures ranging from French to ancient Roman contributed to what we now think of as a colonial house.

Colonial Defined

By definition, a colonial home has to evoke architecture of the colonial period in the United States. While colonial styles originated in European countries, the American colonial style sprang from an architectural movement in the 1700s to represent the improving economic situation of the settled American colonists in their new land.

Defining Features

Colonial homes have a distinct rectangular or square shape, are often large and stately, feature a large, decorative crown over and around the front door and often have long, symmetrical windows on both sides of the door. Many also have a staircase-- grand or small--leading up to the front door as well. Generally, colonial houses are two-story structures.

Decorative Elements

Colonial homes are denoted by their decorative elements which most often include an elaborate front door (either large in size or with intricate carvings), side porches, and manicured gardens.

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