Classic Colonial Roudup

I may have mentioned before that I love a good low-country home, but unless you live on or near the Georgia, Florida, North or South Carolina coast, they may appear a bit out of place.  From here in Virginia up through New England Colonial architecture definitely rules the roost.  I saw a really cute colonial yesterday while casually house-hunting (I am a chronic real estate voyeur) and it got me thinking about good colonial architecture. There’s something about a REAL classic colonial that always feels perfect in the fall and winter, they are so welcoming and homey.  Now I’m neither a historian nor an architect, but this is my unofficial rundown of some of the gorgeous varieties of classic colonials that you’ll find here in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, US of A.

Some of the oldest homes you’ll find have the most simplistic First Period Colonial design, often with clapboard siding, a steep pitched roof, simple door and often unmatched or non-symmetrical windows – just perfect in their simplicity!


The Georgian Colonial is always symmetrical with larger windows, and a good bit of details in the ornate moldings and paneled doors. Clearly for the colonists that had coin.



The Federal Colonials are often grouped in with the Georgian as they have some fancy detailing, chimney symmetry, but often contain a third floor of windows that are smaller in scale and arched or gabled transoms to make the entryway even more ornate.



The Cape Cod is a type of typical colonial that is very popular and characteristically has a very steep roof, often adorned with dormers for added height as many are not a full 2 story house, the door is generally centered and balanced by symmetrical window placement.  In my opinion, the best Cape Cods are in New England and have cedar shake siding and a boldly painted door.



The Dutch Colonial is always easy to pick out among its colonial brethren.  It’s the one with a roof that looks like a barn!



My absolute favorite place to ogle colonial architecture is in the true land of the first settlers, Williamsburg, VA.  If you ever get a chance to visit, touristy stuff aside, its a great place to get ideas to for how to adorn your Colonial with shutters, greenery or fun color combinations.