Top 5 Home Design Styles

If you’re looking to purchase a new home, be sure to talk to your real estate agent about your favorite home design styles. Identifying these design styles will assist in narrowing down and specifying your search for a new home. 

Northern Virginia Home Pro’s real estate specialists compiled a list of the top home design styles on the market today. Discover what makes them unique and classic.


First appearing in the United States in the early 1900s, the Craftsman style home has enjoyed a comeback in the United States. Because these homes are generally open plan, they are ideal for residents who enjoy entertaining or have families. 

Craftsman homes are highly customizable and often have broad, low-pitched eaves with exposed interior wooden beams. This is a design feature that is among the most popular and replicated in today’s housing market. Interior features often include a fireplace as the centerpiece of the living area, built-in shelving and storage, and farmhouse-style kitchens. 

Traditional Craftsman exteriors often include porches and landscaped, private front yards. The minimalist, sleek lines and square style on Craftsman exteriors set these homes apart from more ornate styles, such as Victorian. 

Cape Cod

The Cape Cod rose to popularity in the 1930s and is still considered one of the most classic American homes today. Often associated with beach living, the interior of these homes boast a minimalist, symmetrical design with open living areas. 

Similar to Craftsman style, Cape Cod homes are known for their simple, symmetrical, and “no frills” exterior design. These houses generally appear broad and are often a single story with steep roofs. Steep roofs were originally designed to prevent snow build-up during harsh New England winters. 

Cape Cod homes come in varying sizes and are often attractive options for those in search of a small- to medium-sized or cottage-style family home. Because of their simple and square exterior style, Cape Cods are also great homes for growing families. Cape Cods are easy to add additional rooms to these homes.  


The popularity of Colonial home styles date back as early as the 1700s. These homes were designed by incorporating classic European design and the traditional American Cape Cod. 

The Colonial interior has high ceilings and grand entrance ways or foyers. Wooden floors throughout the home and natural color palettes make these homes a classic American style. Interior decor of modern Colonial homes often reflect a worldly presence. The worldly presence is present in areas such as old travel trunks, unique textured fabrics, and dark-colored furniture made of wood and rattan. 

Colonial home exteriors show symmetry of the exterior face with a grid of windows often two stories high. The style often shows decorative doorways such as Greek-style columns. Additionally, doors are painted with bold colors such as yellow, red, or blue. 


Who doesn’t love a Mediterranean getaway of their very own? This home style is known for luxurious living with Spanish and Italian influences. The Mediterranean style was originally designed so that air would flow freely throughout the home during the warm summer months. While Mediterranean style homes initially grew in popularity in coastal climates, they have also begun to spring up in other areas throughout the USA. 

Mediterranean homes often have light, open interiors with high ceilings. They boast expansive and updated kitchen areas. In warmer climates, this style generally has an indoor/outdoor living feature, such as a covered patio, balcony, or courtyard. 

The exterior style of the Mediterranean home is known for being ornate, with majestic columns and archways. This is reminiscent of both Italian Renaissance as well as Victorian styles. Stucco exteriors and wrought iron gates characterize these luxurious and classically-inspired homes.


This style of home rose to popularity in the late 20th century with a focus on clean, bold lines and shapes. They are the most vastly different from the previous styles listed. Contemporary homes use elements of modern art, Art Deco, and even futuristic designs to create a unique look that is constantly evolving. 

Contemporary style interiors are minimalist and often use neutral colors like gray, black, and white. Using tan and wood accents to color block is also incorporated into contemporary homes. Materials like metal, stone, and glass help contemporary spaces appear sleek and calming. Recessed lighting and textured artwork and fabrics are used to add eye-catching details to contemporary spaces. 

The exterior style of Contemporary homes mimics the interior. With stark, clean lines and mixed natural materials, this style often boasts large, floor to ceiling windows and an asymmetrical face. This style allows ample natural light to flow through the home.

Top 5 Home Design Styles
Photo credit: Mesh Design Projects

Contemporary style uses straight and curved lines and color blocking to mimic an Art Deco vibe. 

Although home design styles are dynamic by nature, Craftsman, Cape Cod, Colonial, Mediterranean, and Contemporary homes remain classic and consistently popular. With the knowledge of these styles, allow you to recreate your space in a classic yet personalized way. When you’re shopping for your next home, speak to your agent about these styles of homes. Remember which styles will reflect your personality and fit your family needs. 

About Author: Darren Robertson is a top-producing licensed REALTOR® in Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Valuing service over sales, Darren is known by his clients for his extensive local market knowledge and his patience and reliability. He is committed to his clients in their home buying and selling journey.