With many innovative building materials and techniques available to contemporary designers, it is possible to push the envelope in architecture like never before. However, despite these exciting contemporary possibilities, the best design will find the perfect balance between modern and classic. With this in mind, the following architectural designs make exceptionally strong choices for residential homes–those homes intended for community or multi-family living.

1. Colonial


Colonial is one of the most classic architectural designs for a residential home. Coming into prominence as 17th-century settlers used inspiration from their home countries to build their estates in the New England area, the Colonial home features a stately central staircase that connects rooms along with the building’s two stories.

Featuring sparse exterior ornamentation and numerous windows, white siding works best for residential properties, as the clean aspect will contrast nicely with black class 4 shingles for the roof, making the massive central chimney stand out. The end result is a structure that perfectly blends the line between institution and home, creating an environment in which all residents can be proud.

2. Farmhouse

The strict definition for a farmhouse is a home set on agricultural property. While this can make the design style open to a wide array of interpretations, the farmhouse design has come to embody characteristics of simplicity and functionality. These features are desirable for both the agrarian and residential way of life.


Due to its simplicity of design, the farmhouse is an easy structure to renovate, with porches and extensions common add-ons as the need for more space arises. On the interior, the farmhouse will feature striking, yet functional materials, such as hardwood floors, plentiful open shelving, and large kitchens with oversized sinks. On the exterior, the farmhouse will frequently feature white horizontal or board and batten siding.

3. Victorian


Although the power in the Victorian design is more aesthetic than functional, residential homes need to have a bit of a “wow” factor. It makes this classic design another strong choice–especially for older buildings that are being restored for residential purposes.

Defining characteristics of the Victorian design include

  • Steep, gabled roofs
  • Towers and turrets
  • Bay windows with exterior shutters
  • Decorative woodwork
  • Pronounced colors and ornamentation

The floor plan in many Victorian designs is asymmetrical and a bit tedious by today’s standards. However, Victorian builds typically find unique ways to make use of nooks and extra space. This creates exciting possibilities for residential living.

4. Transitional


Transitional homes take elements of classic architectural design and update them with a contemporary twist. As a result, there can be a plethora of features that can make a property be considered transitional, such as:

  • Serene interiors – transitional homes feature relaxing interiors, with walls and furniture of warm, neutral colors. The colors include khaki, vanilla, or cream–highly appealing choices for residential living. To give the home character, some textured elements are included to break up the serene layout, such as hardwood floors or patterned ceiling tiles.
  • Minimalism – transitional homes are anything but busy. There are few walls and little ornamentation. However, the included features give this design a high level of functionality for residential living.
  • Natural light – the use of large windows allows the free flow of sunlight that is a calling card of contemporary design. Transitional homes put this feature on full display. Instead of using a casement window that is more common in traditional design, a transitional home may choose an oversize double-hung window. This will allow for a bright atmosphere and minimizing the need for electric light used by residents.


When designing a residential home, it is important to find the perfect balance between classic and contemporary. Popular design themes such as colonial, farmhouse, Victorian, and transitional are all strong choices that residential community members can be proud of.

Author’s Bio:
Skylar Ross is a contributor to the
Innovative Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries. His interest is in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Skylar is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction. These features increase property value, improve sustainability and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.