Home Designs: Architectural Styles in New England (Part 1 – Colonials)

We live and work in the Northeast and have always loved the classic New England architectural home designs.

Several beautiful home design styles are common to the area, giving New England towns a distinct look. New construction and remodeling projects often blend in new functions and features while retaining a classic look.

In this short series, GMT Home Designs looks at three of the region's iconic architectural styles.

First up: The Colonial.


Within the characteristic look, though, New England Colonial home designs can include many variations and ideas. For example, Hipped, Gabled, and Gambrel roofs are all common. (Gambrel roofs recall the look of a classic New England farmhouse or barn, although the oldest known Gambrel structure in the US was built at Harvard in 1677.)


In fact, there are several distinct styles within the "colonial" family – Dutch Colonials (typically Gambrel roofing), Garrison Colonials with the second floor exterior overhanging the first level, Saltbox Colonials, and so on.

Inside most Colonial homes, the kitchen and common areas were on the first floor, while the second story consisted of bedrooms.


As the name suggests, Colonial home design dates back to the earliest days of European settlers – particularly English and Dutch colonists. Home builders took a renewed interest in colonial style homes in the "Colonial Revival" period of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today colonial designs fit beautifully into the New England architecture, from cities to the countryside.


Next - Cape Style New England Home Designs