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Creating A New Architectural Style from Old Styles


When talking to your architect for direction on the design of your house, one of the best ways is to talk in architectural styles. From Log Homes to Mid-century Modern, there’s an ocean of styles available for reference. We explored 4 styles, some more well-known and others less so, but all very interesting, even more so if you decide to mix them up. Let’s check them out.

Art Deco is not just an architectural style, it’s also fashion, artistic, and furniture, which makes it even more interesting. It was from 1925 to 1940 that this style hit the cityscapes, with its hard edges and low-relief designs. Some designs were expensively handcrafted while others were more economically done by way of machine-made repetitions. To further drive costs down, these designs were often limited to the most visible exterior parts of the building. Miami Beach is a fine example of the Art Deco architectural style, with a whole ecosystem built with it. It’s a very practical style, especially for projects on a tight budget, making a rudimentary base structure appealing by the simple add-ons of motifs and the extension of linear forms. Probably the most beautiful aspect of Art Deco are the doorways, which many times hold eye-catching motifs and carvings (convex or concave) adding an elegant modern touch to a simple block structure.

Craftsman style is characterized by low-pitched roofs, normally one or one and a half stories, with built-in cabinetry, large fireplaces, and front porches. Part of the Arts & Crafts movements, it has its origins at the beginning of the 20th century, calling on a more functional design, natural materials, and attention to artisanal details. It was the answer to a longing for a simpler life and healthier life, free of pretensions. Epitomized by the Gamble House by Greene & Greene, it foments a bungalow DIY lifestyle.

Another style, which originated around the same time as Craftsman and also beholder of a practical nature, is the Prairie style. With roots in Chicago, it was the U.S.’s attempt to create a style just their own, shunning away from the Classical Revival influence, which was quite strong at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century.

Its main premise is the integration of the natural landscape, particularly prairies of the Midwest United States, having gained traction not only in the U.S. but also in Northcentral Europe and Australia. It was heavily influenced by the Transcendentalist and Idealistic Romantic philosophies, which advocated that better homes made better people.

Pueblo Revival is as the name states, a revival of the Pueblo Indian heritage, inspired by their simple style and multifamily structures. Developed at the beginning of the 20th century, key elements include earthy materials, large wooden components such as heavy doors, inner courtyards, rounded exteriors, and flat or sloping roofs with parapets. One famous example is the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, built in 1922. The design is especially suited to hot climates, which curiously but also logically, has some similarities to traditional Yemeni architecture.

So what if we assembled these styles together? How does an Art Deco Craftsman Prairie Pueblo style sound? Long but good in our opinion. If we take the best in budgeting (Art Deco), practical (Craftsman), natural integration (Prairie), and the use of the local environment to one’s advantage (Pueblo Revival), then we have great things to work with and in the end, we’ve probably devised a great a new style too.