America's Favorite House Styles

Our Dream House Survey Is In!

Black couple hugging in front of house
Dream House Survey Results. Photo by Ariel Skelley/Blend Images Collection/Getty Images

Cape Cod and Ranch style houses were once the rage, but America's tastes have changed over the past decade. Here are today's favorite house styles, according to our Dream House Survey. Mind you, this survey isn't scientific, but the results suggest some interesting trends. Readers are choosing homes homes with cozy details and a romantic flavor. Do you agree?

1. Craftsman Bungalow House Style

Homey bungalows with low-pitched roofs and exposed rafters took America by storm in the early 1900s... and then faded from favor after 1930. But perhaps the style is making a comeback. Craftsman and Arts & Crafts homes and bungalow homes were the most popular pick in our Dream House survey.

2. Tudor and English Country House Styles

Scoring a close second in our Dream House Survey, this cozy style with half-timber details is reminiscent of Medieval English cottages and manor homes. Readers who responded to our survey were drawn to the small, diamond-paned windows and exposed wood framing found in many Tudor Revival homes.

3. Victorian Queen Anne House Styles

Victorian is not actually a style, but a period in history, and Victorian architecture comes in many forms. There are the austere stick style homes, the fanciful Gothic Revival cottages, and the majestic Italianates. But when people discuss Victorian architecture, they are often thinking of America's so-called Queen Anne style -- an elaborate, rather feminine, fashion with lavish details such as towers, wrap-around porches, bay windows, and elaborate trim. Queen Anne ranks number three in our survey, falling behind the more restrained Craftsman and Tudor styles.

4. Georgian Colonial House Styles

Symmetrical, orderly Georgian houses became a prominent Colonial house style. Today, Georgian Colonial Revival is a model often imitated for elegant new homes.

5. Prairie House Styles

Frank Lloyd Wright pioneered this style in Chicago at the turn of the century. Low-pitched hipped roofs give Prairie style homes the appearance of hugging the earth, and the square, often symmetrical lines suggest strength and homespun values.

6. Dreams for the Future

Borrowing ideas from the past, modern-day styles take on many shapes. One imaginative reader said that he dreamed of owning a home designed for desert living. The floors, he said, would be polished concrete. "Air conditioning and heat will duct through the cement slab up through sand-filled interior walls," he wrote. Sounds very modern. Desert Modern.

7. Homes for Right Now

Dream houses don't have to be big. In fact. sometimes our deepest passions come in small packages. One man from Ohio has created his own dream house. The 150-year-old cottage has no electricity, so hand tools and elbow grease were used to paint the shutters, sand the floors, and decorate the rooms with an admittedly eccentric style. A quirky man with dogged independence, he writes, "This was meant to be fun, not some job to be instantly done." We can't argue with that.

More Top Picks

A few more questions: Out of all the styles to choose from, what's your favorite? Why do you love it? Here are responses: 

  • High Victorian: Queen Anne, Second Empire, and the like are a showcase of fine craftsmanship not likely to be seen on such a grand scale again. I own an original foursquare. While I appreciate the nice woodwork, it's too rectilinear.
  • I like Colonial Revival and Ranch homes, but I also like Foursquare houses because that is what my grandparents had.
  • Arts and Crafts: As a design enthusiast, my favorite style is Arts & Crafts. Its wide and low pitched roofs, use of natural materials, earth-toned color schemes, and overall craftsmanship makes the Arts & Crafts style hard to ignore and almost impossible to duplicate today. Morris, Greene, Stickley (Sears & Roebuck) and, to a great extent, Wright owe much of what they did for architecture in this country, to the East (Asia if I'm not mistaken). From Bungalow to Craftsman to Prairie, you will find very, very few people who are NOT taken with the Arts & Crafts style.
  • Tidewater: I love the tidewater houses. The wrap-around porches are efficient ventilation systems. Living in the South, we are able to enjoy a lot of porch weather!
  • Tropical Architecture: This is not a very recognized style but I love it because it addresses issues of the humid climate.
  • Dutch Colonial: I like the dutch colonial revival with the gambrel roof, and also the standard colonial revival..
  • Give Me a Ranch: I love the classic Raised Ranch. The home can be small in square footage but has potential to be designed in such a way that it feels bigger.
  • Federalist Style House: The look of size is impressive in itself but the appearance of sturdiness and durability says home. Even Katrina couldn't blow this house down.
  • Greek Revival: Greek Revival is American architecture at its best--a style that is distinctly American for Americans. Chaste and classical, while formal and informal, yet beautiful and timeless are just a few of its many attractive qualities.
  • Spanish: I absolutely love the Spanish-Mediterranean-Pueblo-Missionary type houses. They have a beautiful tropical warm appearance with a comfortable "at home" feel. It's like living a dream.