Favorite Coloring Books with a Focus on Architecture

These great coloring books aren't just for kids

Do you think coloring books are for kindergarteners? Think again! Older children and even adults will enjoy these fun and fascinating paperbacks. Each illustration is accompanied by informative text so kids (or grownups) can learn while they color.

First, get the adults and older kids hooked on the calming task of coloring. Coloring books for adults are much more detailed than books for children, and therein lies the hook—coloring every detail is mesmerizing and gives a stressed-out soul the feeling of self-control. Canadian-born Steve McDonald leads the pack in giving us the outlines of wonderful places to take over. Also check out

  • Fantastic Structures: A Coloring Book of Amazing Buildings Real and Imagined by Steve McDonald
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  • Architectural Art: A Stress Management Coloring Book For Adults by Marti Jo's Coloring
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From the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island to Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst, Massachusetts, illustrator A. G. Smith has the house styles of New England covered. Besides the two books on this list,  Smith has a series of coloring books, including these:

More Books by A. G. Smith:

Illustrator Bruce LaFontaine has many books to his name, but my favorite is the Dover History Coloring Book of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. He includes over 40 designs from the 20th century iconic architect, including Unity Temple, Robie House, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Coloring the detailed illustrations in this lovely little book will require a steady hand. With text by Kristin Helberg, illustrator Daniel Lewis takes us inside and out great homes from the late 1800s. The Victorian House Coloring Book is an ideal choice for teenagers or adults who are fascinated by Victorian architecture and interior decor.

Elementary school children will learn about forty different styles found in American Homes, 1600 - Present, ranging from adobe pueblos to modern solar homes. This informative and detailed coloring book by A. G. Smith includes a short history of each architectural style.

Pueblo and wigwam structures in this Dover History Coloring Book can be used to teach children similarities and differences between architectural styles of the past and the present. Like the Frank Lloyd Wright book above, this coloring books is by illustrator Bruce LaFontaine.

From George Washington to Barack Obama, American presidents have often begun their lives in humble architectural beginnings. This Dover History Coloring Book points out 40 residences. This is yet another coloring book by illustrator Bruce LaFontaine.

This unusual coloring book can be used in many ways. Some people use the designs as quilt patterns. Others, including architects, adapt the designs to their own window decorations. This is not an ordinary coloring book, because the paper you color is translucent, allowing the page to be cut out and actually used elsewhere. Not all designs could be adapted to this method—you couldn't do this with an entire house—but it works well for stained-glass-like uses. And when your preschooler does the coloring, the results are priceless.

More Frank Lloyd Wright Designs:

  • Stained Glass Window Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, a Dover coloring book by Dennis Casey
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Subtitled a built environment coloring book, Julie Cowan's book exemplifies a new kind of coloring book. Unlike all of the other items on this page, the illustrations in Coloring Architecture are vague representations. They ae inexact and lack detail and definitive lined shape. Cowan attempts to encourage coloring outside the lines, less like stained glass and more like the watercolors of someone like architect Steve Holl.