The Decatur Old House Fair in Decatur, Georgia

What Style is My House?

Wonder whether you have a bungalow or a Victorian? You may have a small house but it looks colonial. What does that mean? Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods include so many types of homes and even more styles, so we put together this mini guide to help get you started.

Architectural Styles

What is architectural style? Houses are defined by it, neighborhoods are known for it, but what is it? Generally, it includes ornamentation applied in a systematic pattern or arrangement; the overall form, including proportion, scale, massing, symmetry or asymmetry; the relationships between solids and voids or height, depth and width; floor plan and interior layout; construction materials and techniques.

In the 19th century, large, elaborate houses were in vogue. But by the turn of the century, builders began to abandon formal Victorian styles in favor of homes for the new century: compact, economical, informal. The Craftsman came on the scene. Frank Lloyd Wright-designed houses with low horizontal lines and open interior spaces and the Prairie and Foursquare were born. Interspersed among these new forms were the ever-popular Revivals. After World War II returning soldiers needed practical, affordable houses for their families. The Ranch and the American Small House filled this need. Looking back on a century of practical innovation, what have we gained? A rich architectural heritage that makes us feel at home.

Click on each image for a large view and description of the style.