Driving through the many diverse neighborhoods of Northern Virginia, it is interesting to see all of the different elements of architectural design that come into play. From neighborhood to neighborhood the styles transition in and out of Federal, Georgian, Cape Cod, Craftsman, Bungalow and even multiple styles of condominium.
When you are looking at buying a home, or doing remodeling, it is important to know your own style. What floats your stylistic boat? Are you a fan of the detailed overhangs and exposed trusses of the Craftsman? Are you drawn towards the neo-classical detail on the bricked in Federal with shutters and keystones? How do you even know what you are looking at when you’re meandering through these neighborhoods or clicking through pictures on the web? It is, of course, always a great idea to have a professional real estate agent working for you to help you navigate the waters, but I have put together a little (definitely not all encompassing montage of typical styles we see the most frequently in NOVA). In Northern Virginia, you will see several architectural styles over and over, and in Arlington VA you will find that the styles get narrowed down quite a bit.
Here is a clear cut snapshot of the most popular architectural styles in Arlington VA to help you through your style identification:
Federal or Adam’s Style: Very low pitched roof line, typical fanlight over entry door, very symmetrically placed shuttered windows around door, can be multiple stories, generally red brick construction, curved architectural details on the inside of the home. It can be easy to confuse Federal and Georgian styles, but remember Georgian homes are more angular on the interior finish outs. You see a lot of these in Alexandria and along Seminary Road.
Georgian: Like the Federal style of home, there is a low pitched roof line. Very square and symmetrical homes quite similar in appearance to Federal styles. Shuttered windows frame the entry which will generally have larger paneled shutters framing the door. Rectangular homes, generally wood siding. Georgians are everywhere; you will see a lot of them in the Arlington Heights Neighborhood and in Lyon Park.
Cape Cod: Traditionally steep set roof lines, with centralized fireplaces (moved to one side of the home in the currently built Cape Cods), hardwood floors and sometimes gabled windows, Dormer windows and stabilized shutters adorn these homes. Generally either brick or wood siding, these one or two story homes were popular in the 1700’s in England and made a popular revival in the 1930’s in New England. Hello Falls Church! There are so many adorable Cape Cod homes in Falls Church and in the Barcroft area, too. Douglas Park also has its full share of Cape Cod homes.
Craftsman or Arts and Crafts: Low pitched roof line with many overhangs and often larger covered entry porch with stone or wood support columns. Numerous windows, exposed trusses and wood beams, much architectural detail in artisan crafted wood detailing throughout homes. Exterior can be wood shingled, stone cobbled, or stucco combination. Very popular in the early 1900’s and widely seen as a movement of architecture based on using natural elements and skilled artisan laborers. I am partial to Craftsman homes- you can see them dappled through Arlington Heights, Lyon Park, Clarendon, even over in Douglas Park. There is an original Arts and Crafts that was a Sears kit home off of S. Glebe in Alexandria. Over in Penrose, which is just seconds away from the front gate of Ft. Meyer, you can find adorable, convenient craftsman style homes.
Bungalow: Typically, one and a half story homes with partially gabled roof lines, many built in cabinets and often hardwood floors. You will usually find a large covered front porch with very rectangular columns; Bungalow homes may appear very similar to some later Craftsman homes because of porch. These homes were made popular in the early 1900’s as families were moving out of apartments and into single family homes. Just like the craftsman, I’m partial to bungalows. We see many of them as we inch towards Holmes Run Acres- still inside the beltway.
No matter what style or styles of architecture sing to you, it helps to know what you are looking at and know if you’d be happy living in a home whose stylized elements help to define you and where you live. If you’re looking for a home in Northern Virginia, check out our customizable search tools or give me a call. I can help you learn about the various types of homes throughout Northern Virginia.