American architecture has experienced numerous influences throughout its centuries, but the most popular has remained European architecture. Whether you are building a home or searching for a new home that already exists, here are ways to determine if it exhibits European style, which is a hot trend today! It could be a unique selling factor. Contemporary homes with Old World accents tend to grab people’s attention.

European homes usually exhibit a stone, brick or stucco exterior with wrought-iron and cast-stone accents. The roofs show off multiple steep roof lines and gables. The windows are usually arched, Palladian windows and create a great impact on the appearance. The entrances to these homes are outdoor focal points, and their significance continues into massive foyers. The interiors contain a sense of luxury and elegance, but also airiness and comfort. Spacious suites are available for adults and for kids! Lots of privacy is given to all residence. European homes also tend to include bonus rooms or accents, such as breakfast nooks, brick fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, French doors, spiral staircases, libraries, hearth rooms, screened porches, sitting rooms and more! The main purpose of European homes is to create an elegant, impressive appearance that also features comfort.

Though certain designs coincide across Europe, each country contributes its own unique style. Here are the major contributors to American architecture, broken into the separate countries that they originated from.

Spanish Influence

The Spanish immigrants first settled in the southern parts of America during Spanish rule. Therefore, Spain’s influence is mostly seen in states like Florida and Texas. Spanish homes usually display clay tile roofs and stucco siding in white or pastel shades, similar to Mediterranean homes. The walls are thick and keep the interior cool. The entrance usually features an archway and ceramic tile flooring fills the interior. This style is slowly moving north because of its unique appeal.

Italian Influence

Italy is known for some of architecture’s most prominent creators, including Vignola, Palladio and Bernini! These homes usually exhibit pitched roofs with overhanging eaves and decorative brackets underneath. Tall windows are grouped together for a significant impact. These homes are likely to contain a wraparound porch or an outdoor oasis, such as a tiled courtyard or gated garden. Inside, a spiral staircase creates the home’s interior focal point. Ceramic or terracotta tiles cover the floors of the contemporary Italian homes.

English Influence

The English incorporated much of Italy’s Palladian style into its more contemporary approach. These homes feature roofs with steep pitches, gables and stone mullions. Bay windows extend across the siding and contain transoms. Inside, high ceilings, significant living areas and large foyers create the impressive interior. This style is also referred to as the Tudor style, which sometimes incorporates half-timbered siding into the design.

French Influence

The French style is often referred to as the European style, because it incorporates most of Europe’s overall design. The exteriors are made of brick, stucco or stone. These also often display half-timbered designs. Polished wood or metal accents are often incorporated, such as a copper roof. The roofs slant down on all four sides and include long overhangs. Multi-paned windows and dormers noticeably add appeal. An arched doorway leads you inside, where you will most likely find a round tower. The interior is luxurious and spacious. The living area will be the home’s focus.

Thought we may not realize it, European influence is visible in most of our homes. What is today considered simple, standard architecture originally came from Europe. Any home with stone, brick or stucco exteriors, arched doorways or windows, large foyers, split floor plans, attached garages, centralized great rooms or high ceilings contain a piece of European style!