In a culture of cookie cutter homes, Shingle Style architecture stands out and is cherished for its freeing and unique characteristics. Simple, yet beautiful, this architectural style is a true expression of American individualism and casual living. Born in the late 1800’s along the New England coastline, the Shingle Style derives its name from the fact that the house, and sometimes the roof, is usually clad with cedar shingles. If you thinking about a home renovation, architecture of Shingle Style homes should be considered for its historical roots, inspiration and for all of the benefits that this traditional yet modern design approach has to offer.
Shingle Style Homes’ Benefits
Freedom – Shingle Style architecture embodies casual functionality, freedom of expression, and flexibility of design. Whether you are planning a simple remodel, or are starting from scratch, ideas for a unique residence can be drawn from this historical style. Shingle Style home features characteristics like free flowing, open floor plans, large quantities of windows and light, wrap-around porches, nooks, and window seats. Modern Shingle Style homes easily incorporate all the latest technologies and systems, within an open, modern floor plan and a traditional exterior. Consider installing a bay style window with a cushioned reading nook, or a built-in bookcase.
Simplicity – The Shingle Style is not based on ornate decorations and intricate design usually associated with the Victorian era. Instead, this architectural design favors the emphasis on the functional volumes of the residence, wrapped in cedar shingles. Influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 1800’s, the Shingle Style is noted for its lack of elaborate decoration, and puts more focus on the unique construction of the home itself. In its original incarnation as seaside vacation homes for wealthy New Englanders, the Shingle Style was the first prototype of an open, functional, casual living style and is considered by architectural historians as the first truly modern American style.
Natural – Connecting to nature is another hallmark of the Shingle Style. Typically, these homes were built on stone foundations that appeared to emerge from the ground; and the wood construction, with cedar wood siding and stained or painted trim, added to its ability to blend in with its natural surroundings. This naturalistic approach to design was often an exterior and interior theme, with the intent of bringing the outside into the house through large glass openings and outdoor living spaces. Over the past 100+ years, this inside/outside approach has evolved and can be seen in the plans of many of the finer homes being built today.
In conclusion, the Shingle Style homes should be considered for its many benefits as a traditional yet modern home. Take inspiration from this truly American architectural style, and you and your architect will have the freedom to create a one of a kind house or renovation.
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