A Guide to Residential Architecture

A Guide to Residential Architecture

When it comes to buying a home, there are many things you should take into consideration about the kind of home you want. Think about what the home needs for your household. Decide the location, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size and stories, the amenities, and other features that are important to you and your household. Once you’ve figured out the practical needs, think about what you want your home to look like. This is where residential architecture comes in handy. Residential homes are designed in accordance with a specific design and style, usually based on what’s more popular in a given area. Every architectural style is unique, with an array of distinguishable features and a rich history behind the design.
A home buyer should never doubt the importance of choosing a home that suits their personal taste and aesthetics. You want your house to be more than just a building – it needs to feel like home. If you’re not savvy about the dozens of different architectural styles, don’t worry. This guide contains a handful of popular designs you can expect to see when browsing for Campbell houses.

What is residential architecture?

In simple terms, residential architecture is the process of designing and constructing residential spaces. These spaces include single-family homes, co-op homes, apartment complexes, villas, townhomes, mansions, and every other type of residential property. Residential architects specialize in designing these spaces to be aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and welcoming to households.
There are dozens of architectural styles to choose from, and some are more popular in certain regions than others. Here are ten of the most common and popular styles you’ll find among Campbell houses and other neighborhoods in California.


The farmhouse is a classic architectural style inspired by rural homes. A traditional farmhouse layout typically comprises one-and-a-half to two stories, with open floor plans, simple details, and wrap-around porches. In recent years, new styles of farmhouses have gained traction. The modern farmhouse features an asymmetrical design with clean lines and plenty of wide windows. The contemporary farmhouse emulates the silhouette of a barn but with massive doors and walls of nothing but glass windows.


The Craftsman home is a type of bungalow popularized in the early 20th century. This style is characterized by low, broad massing and overhanging eaves, while eschewing elaborate decoration and detailing. These homes are often built with stone, stucco, and rough-hewn wood and often feature wide front porches framed by thick columns.


The contemporary home is known for its mix-and-match of wall materials, tall windows, and a relatively low amount of detail and ornamentation. There are two types of contemporary homes differentiated solely by the type of roof: flat or gabled. These homes are typically only one story tall and are constructed to adapt to the landscape they’re built on.

Mediterranean style

Also known as the Spanish Colonial home, the Mediterranean style is one of the most popular architectural designs across the United States. These iconic homes feature red-tiled roofs, iron balconies and window grilles, decorated archways, and stucco exteriors. They also have an open outdoor living space, usually with room for a pool or large deck. Mediterranean-style homes are meant to invoke the warmth and luxury commonly associated with Spanish villas.


The bungalow traces its origins to California, said to have been constructed in opposition to the grandiosity of Victorian homes in the 1880s. These homes are characterized by their rectangular shape, low-pitched gabled roofs, and small porches with an overhead covering. They’re typically only one half of a story and don’t feature much in ornamentation and detailing.

Ranch style

This style of home also traces its origins to California in the 1930s before rising to popularity in the 1950s and 1960s to accommodate the commercialization of automobiles. These homes are flat, one-story buildings with pitched roofs and attached garages. The exteriors are commonly brick or wood. Ranch-style homes are also identifiable by their patios, sliding doors, and picture windows.


Inspired by Native American and Spanish Colonial homes, Pueblos sprang up across California in 1900 before gaining popularity in neighboring Arizona and New Mexico. This iconic design is distinguished by its completely flat roof, rounded parapet walls, earthy colors, and straight-edge windows. While they’re largely popularized in the Southwest, they still enjoy some popularity in California.

Mid-century modern

The mid-century modern style first arose in the wake of World War II. These homes are identifiable by their clean, minimalist design, featuring wide open spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and plenty of access to nature. The mid-century modern home revolves around reconnecting to nature by inviting tons of natural light and fresh air.

Cape Cod

Cape Cod architecture carries a lot of history, having been one of the first styles of home ever constructed in the United States. A modern Cape Cod is defined by its rectangular or square shape, incredibly steep gabled roofs, dormers or shutters, and brick or clapboard siding. These homes are usually one or one-and-a-half stories tall.


True Victorian homes are some of the oldest pieces of architecture in the United States, famous for their elaborate ornamentation and antiquated craftsmanship. While the last of the original Victorians were built in the early 1900s, modern spins on the design have risen to considerable popularity. These versions of the classic Victorian include patterned shingles, spindled porches, and curved towers.
These ten architectural designs are only a mere handful of examples of the types of homes you can live in. For more styles, be sure to check out the National Association of Realtors for their guide on other residential architecture.
To learn more about Campbell real estate and begin searching for your own Campbell home, reach out to Martin Quintana, a realtor specializing in the region. His expertise and dedication to meeting every client’s needs will indubitably help you find and buy the home of your dreams – in the style you want.

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