A Guide to Richmond, VA Homes: The Colonial

DIY_colonial-style-home-exterior_s4x3_lg(This is an ongoing series on the types of homes you can find in Richmond, Virginia! We’ve featured the Loft and the Craftsman already! )

Back in the 1700s when Colonial architecture originated, there were many variations of the style. The most common type still found today is the Georgian Colonial.

Known for its symmetry, Colonial architecture is most often characterized by evenly spaced shuttered windows. Dormers, columns and chimneys are also evenly proportioned to complement the formal style. The Colonial style houses often featured emphasis on the front door. The Colonial home is one of the most popular styles of home in the United States, according to “Better Homes and Gardens.” colonial in bon air

Colonial architecture flourished in two main US regions: New England and in the Southern US. They are designated as New England Colonial and Southern Colonial. As the architecture evolved, the two styles took on distinct differences. In the South, ceilings were built higher in order to provide ventilation during the summer months. In New England, the majority of colonial homes were built with wood siding, as the material was easy to come by. Colonial homes in Virginia, which is considered part of the New England family, were built primarily of brick because clay was plentiful. The style can be found as far west as Ohio and Illinois.

As Colonial architecture evolved in the United States, architects and homeowners sought to put their own stamp on the style. These accessories include such items as brass door knockers, cut-glass doorknobs and gilt indoor mirrors. The use of shutters on the front windows also evolved out of the Colonial style.

Several other types of Colonial homes have evolved from the original style. The French adopted the style as they built homes in what became Louisiana. These homes have steep roofs, elevated brick foundations and wide porches. Spanish Colonial homes evolved during the time of the Spanish Empire in Florida and the US Southwest. These homes were differentiated by their materials, which were usually adobe and stone to help keep homes cool.

Photos courtesy of DIY Network and Realtor.com


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