Architectural Concepts, Styles, and Movements

Architectural Concepts, Styles, and Movements


Dating from the 17th century, Colonial architecture is defined by symmetry, practicality, and a connection to local climate and readily available building materials. While we often think of the United States and Canada as British colonies, there were also Spanish, French, and Dutch colonial powers in charge in various parts of the country, so Colonial architecture will differ depending on the region.

Colonial architecture generally features a steep, gabled roof and an interior layout that is one room deep and opens from a central entrance. Depending on the climate, Colonial homes may feature a single, central fireplace or a fireplace at either end of the home. Homes feature small, multi-paned windows symmetrically arranged on either side of the entrance.

Classical/Greek Revival

Inspired by the temples and public buildings of ancient Greece, Greek Revival was a movement in Europe and North America dating from the nineteenth century and featuring an even number of grand columns with an entablature above. The style became popular because of the early American connection between their own democracy and their democratic roots in ancient Greece.

Greek Revival homes are generally painted white in order to mimic the white marble of the originals. While the style is common in public buildings in many areas along the east coast, many of the Greek Revival-style residences that survive are located in the southeastern United States.


Dating from the late 19th and early 20th century, Victorian architecture remains a beloved and popular style in many areas. With ornate trim, asymmetrical design elements, and, in some markets, unusually bright or pastel paint colors, Victorian design is considered a fun and often-quirky style. The elaborate detail and often-expensive custom finishes reflect the Gilded Age wealth of the era.

Part of the charm of many Victorian homes is their layout, consisting of a variety of nooks and crannies, small rooms, side porches, turrets, and other interesting elements. However, for contemporary buyers used to open-concept floorplans, these can be seen as drawbacks. In addition, much of the hand-hewn custom woodwork in elaborate moldings trims, and mantels are costly to duplicate when making repairs or refurbishments. It is important to properly understand and appreciate these elements and their value when advising clients and determining value.



Unique and romantic, Tudor architecture in North America originated in the mid-19th century and is easily identified by its dark wood beams set against a white backdrop as well as brick or stonework foundations, chimneys, and other architectural elements. Tudors can range from small, cottage-style homes to expansive and elaborate mansions. Windows are another distinctive feature of this style, usually small, multi-paned, and either rectangular or diamond-shaped.

Because Tudor homes are expensive to build and maintain, they fell out of favor in new construction after the affordable housing boom of the post World War II era, but they have never gone out of style. You’ll still find a Tudor dream home at the top of many buyer wishlists, and homeowners lucky enough to own their own will no doubt expect top dollar when it’s time to sell.


The Craftsman-style home is rooted in the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement. With low-pitched gable roofs, generous porches with squat, square columns, and prominent structural elements, the style was traditionally used for bungalows. Now, however, sprawling, newly built mansions in the Craftsman style can be found in luxury neighborhoods all over the country.

Craftsman homes have a number of unique decorative elements including square light fixtures in decorative metals like copper and bronze, double-hung windows with multiple panes in the top and a single pane in the lower half, and built-in cabinetry and other practical elements. In order to ensure long-term value, any improvements or renovations should be in keeping with the Craftsman aesthetic.


Rambling 20th-century ranch-style homes are a fixture of neighborhoods all over the United States and Canada. Beginning on the west coast, the style became popular in an era when large lots and suburban sprawl ruled the architectural world. They come in a variety of configurations including L- and U-shapes which often are arranged around a central recreational space like a pool or terrace. In addition, open-concept floorplans are uniquely suited to the ranch-style home.

While some people love a second story, many others will be drawn to the style and simplicity of a ranch design. For older couples, the style offers the opportunity to stay put after retirement without worry about accessibility as they age. For families with young children, the lack of stairs can mean an easier and more worry-free lifestyle, and the location of many ranch-style homes in suburban neighborhoods is often desirable.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern is currently one of the most distinctive and highly sought-after styles of home. Because they were generally produced from 1930-1960, these homes are somewhat rare, and therefore more highly valued. Combining structural elements of the ranch-style suburban home of the post-War era with artistic and design flourishes impacted by the Modernist aesthetic, these homes are truly works of art.

Mid-century modern homes have a clean, minimalist aesthetic and often feature a neutral background with pops of color on doors, light fixtures, artwork, or furnishings. They are often low-slung and built to be part of the landscape, with an emphasis on the connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. The aesthetic also requires similarly minimalist furnishings, especially those specific to the time period, so keep this in mind when staging and showing these homes for maximum impact.


Introducing new materials and a new profile, contemporary architectural styles draw on the minimalist influences of the modern aesthetic using metal and glass to make the home feel connected to the outside world. Current contemporary homes often have an emphasis on green, sustainable design, building, and operations.

Contemporary design is often seen as cold, especially with the emphasis on hard building elements. However, the most current contemporary designers favor the use of natural stone, wood, textiles, and greenery to warm up the look and to seamlessly integrate indoors and out.

Remember, while the architectural styles listed above are fairly common throughout the United States and Canada, some coastal, historically significant, and geographically isolated areas may have their own unique architectural styles and features. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with common styles in your area so that you can be as informed as possible when working with clients.

Excerpt from:  June 2019

[TABS_PRO id=46313]

Architectural Photography

Architectural Photography

You only have one chance to make a first impression . . .

A Picture can Be worth more than a thousand words. much, much more. when selling luxury properties online, agents and web designers say that the photographs buyers see of houses and lofts for sale are often the first – and sometimes the only – chance for a seller to make a good impression. less-than-flattering pictures can turn buyers off and lead to lonely open houses and lack of showing activity. Good photos will grab people’s attention and drive their desire to come and see it in person. Bad photos have an equal but opposite effect, because on the internet buyers are one click away from a non-buying decision. eighty percent of people across the country who bought a new home last year used the internet while house hunting, and they rated photo-graphs as the most useful tool in their search, according to a survey of buyers and sellers by the national association of realtors. the survey also found that 24 percent of home buyers got their first glimpses of their new homes on the web, up from a mere 2 percent in 1997. in many cases, it is the agents themselves who are snapping the pictures and posting them on various sites. Because of this, it is important that sellers choose an agent who has access to professional architectural photographers. Faun Hauptman, a luxury broker in Denver states, “i only use photos taken by professional photographers, because “if things look ap-pealing and professional, not only are buyers going to find the property appealing, they’re going to associate my work with being appealing and professional.”

Real estate agents who represent luxury homes say that virtual tours are another crucial tool for attracting buyers. Good virtual tours will provide various views of a room. “they’re a really great way of seeing a property without actually being there,” said hauptman. “Buyers use them to narrow down the properties they absolutely must see.” a national association of realtors’ (NAR) survey found that when it comes to web features that buyers considered “very useful,” 83 percent cited pictures, 81 percent cited detailed property information and 60 percent cited virtual tours. unless you are selling your home yourself, your real estate agent will ultimately decide which photographs will go up on the various syndicated real estate web sites, but brokers vary greatly in their policies on pictures. some send their teams out armed with digital cameras, but others use only pictures taken by professionals. still other agencies let brokers decide whether to take their own pictures or pay a fee to use the broker’s recom-mended photographers. all of which explains why there is such a wide range in the quality of photos found on real estate websites. “when you look at the difference between professional photos and ones taken by brokers with digital cameras, it’s not hard to see that you get what you pay for,” said hauptman.

“Professional photographers have top-of-the-line equipment, and they have an eye for making a place look its best,” hauptman said. their equip-ment can include a high-resolution digital camera, special lenses, a tripod and lighting equipment. since the photos are meant to be a sales tool, they will probably not showcase a property’s negatives.” hauptman, said: “our web site is going to be the face for your property, and we’re not going to put you up there with-out your makeup on. we’re going to make sure you’re ready for your photo opportunity.” But while agents will help by urging owners to get rid of clutter or by bringing in flowers to add color, most advise against making a property look better than it really is. “every home has a birthright to have its best features shown,” said hauptman. “But you can’t be deceptive. if you take a shot that’s not within the realm of reality, buyers aren’t going to talk to you when they come and see it, and they’re going to distrust the whole process.” still, there are some common mistakes that brokers and sellers make with photos: taking pictures on a rainy day or at night, for example, or pho-tographing a room that is too cluttered to actually show the space.

Photos by Mark Mattivi Photography

From The Collection Magazine
“Architectural Photography”


William Hauptman

William is a graduate of Iowa State University (ISU) with a degree in marketing and advertising.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force earning the distinguished Commendation Medal. He also served in various corporate and agency positions including Vice President and Creative Director for one of Denver’s top advertising firms, Director of Marketing, and Advertising Director for some of Denver’s top companies receiving many awards for his work in this field.  William has also owned and operated his own company providing fitness services to exclusive areas in the Evergreen, Conifer, Stapleton and Cherry Creek area. These services include working with some of Colorado’s most visible celebrities, athletes and their families. 

He is one of the top producing Realtors focusing on Distinctive Properties in Denver, West Denver and the Foothills. With many years of experience, William provides the highest level of service, knowledge and professionalism, delivered with a sincere interest in what the customer expects in a successful real estate transaction. He understands that marketing a distinctive home requires marketing experience. His experience working to provide national and international exposure for numerous products translates into a wealth of expertise in the professional marketing your distinctive property or helping you find your next dream home.[/author_info] [/author]