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American Architecture: The Elements of Tudor Style

What it is: First, let us clear this up confusing moniker. When speaking to the architectural design from the U.S., the expression “Tudor” is actually historically imprecise. It refers to not normal buildings of Tudor England (early 16th century) but rather than a style popularized in the USA during the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. ” Furthermore, the design is much more of a catchall term based loosely on many different components from medieval English architecture, from humble cottages to stately manors.

Where to locate it: In cities and suburbs all over the USA.

Why you will enjoy it: With its storybook details (think Hansel and Gretel) and countryside charm (even in the center of major cities), there is no more romantic style.

Cosmetic (or False) Half-Timbering

It is one of the most recognizable features of a Tudor home. Medieval houses in Europe featured walls in which the spaces between the supporting timbers were filled, leaving the construction exposed on the facade. Modern-day homes conceal that arrangement with cladding. The cosmetic half-timbers on Tudor houses are an attempt to mimic authentic medieval structures.

How to make it your own: Adding ornamental half-timbering is a simple, inexpensive way to get a Tudor look without needing to change your roofline or chimney.

Soorikian Architecture

Steeply Pitched Roof

All Tudor homes have steeply pitched roofs, usually with side gables, meaning the gables “open” on the surfaces of the home. The steep roofs are often punctuated by dormer windows, like those previously. The facade usually features a portion of the home that juts out and is topped with a cross-gabled roof, plus a steep pitch.

How to make it your own: Look for homes with similarly pitched roofs, with or without the other Tudor details. A pitched roof means there is more room underneath for storage or extra bedrooms. Adding dormers is an excellent way not only to enhance curb appeal except to bring in natural light.

HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

Embellished Entrance

Tudor entrances are celebrated. Everything about them says solid. The doorways are often made from board and batten wood, usually arched (sometimes with a Tudor, or pointed, arch like this one) and usually boast some kind of medieval-looking hardware, such as these hooks hinges. Statement-making door surrounds, like this one, call even more attention to the entryways.

How to make it your own: Swapping out your door for a board and batten one, perhaps with strap-hinge hardware, is another simple way to get a taste of Tudor design without knocking down some walls.

Kerrie L. Kelly

Mixed Siding Materials

Tudor homes are made with several siding materials. Although stone and brick are the most frequent types, stucco wall cladding plays a significant role in the Tudor design as well.

How to make it your own: When planning a small addition, consider cladding that part in a different substance.

Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Casement Windows

Although some Tudor homes comprise double-hung windows, they nearly always have at least one set of casement windows. The windows also are usually narrow and tall, typically have several panes and are often clustered together. Truly authentic Tudor homes usually feature at least one set of leaded glass windows, in which metal casings hold together the individual panes at the window over. Stone mullions, like those above, frequently casements.

How to make it your own: Such as doorways, windows are relatively simple to change out. Try casements rather than double-hung versions.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd..

Elaborate Chimneys

Not merely are the chimneys big, often with numerous shafts, but they also commonly feature ornamental chimney pots (the upper area of the chimney), usually either round or octagonal. There’s something about the chimneys, like the squatty doorways, which communicates a sense of permanence.

How to make it your own: whilst making additional chimney shafts is not practical, including a decorative pot is a means to get a touch of Tudor design.

Inform us : What do you think about Tudor houses? Are you prepared to embrace English cottage style, or would you prefer to restrict your Tudor ingestion to Showtime’s hit TV show about the scandalous lives of Henry VIII and his wives? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!

Browse Tudor-style houses

Learn more about conventional home designs

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Architect's Toolbox: Strike a Balance With Symmetry

Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Now draw an imaginary line down the middle of your torso and face. Chances are good that your right and left sides match and that you’re symmetrically composed. Not too symmetrically written, mind you — there will be a small variation from side to side. Small gaps include interest and keep things from being too static.

In brief, is symmetry: each facet across the center line fitting its opposite side, bringing balance to the entire. This is extremely different from asymmetry, where each side looks to balance the other hand with gaps. We’ll leave the dialogue for asymmetry for a different day. For the time being, let us look at symmetry and the way that may be used in the design of the homes.

Witt Construction

Symmetry gives stature and significance. From the hipped roof and chimneys to the dormers and window positioning, everything about this design makes us focus on the middle, or center line. By drawing our attention to the center and then up to the Palladian window, front of this house looks prominent, elegant and, yes, inactive.

Richard Manion Architecture Inc..

Symmetry is restful and relaxed. There aren’t any shifting planes and overlapping volumes which cause our eyes to leap round, never settling in 1 spot. Instead, our gaze is allowed to relax, rest and find repose.

Lori Smyth Design

Symmetry extends into the landscape. Don’t stop at the house walls; bring symmetry to the backyard and plantings too. Use potted plants as dots. Hedges that buff out create a foreground; pencillike trees frame the entrance sequence. A crushed stone path, our center line, leads to the front door as reinforcement of their symmetrical massing and window layout.

TRG Architects

Symmetry knows no stylistic prejudice. Whether or modern, symmetry is a trustworthy remedy to create balance, particularly when you need a processional quality. Keep the cubic amounts and floating planes: simply arrange them in stasis as well as a center line.


Bring the symmetry inside. All that silent and tasteful equilibrium on the outside should find its way into the home. So keep the procession together with the architecture in addition to the accessories and furniture. Keep it all going and set something important and beautiful at the end.

Crisp Architects

Create a frame to reinforce symmetry. Establishing a foreground and producing a frame through which the space is viewed can reinforce the overall symmetrical layout of the room. The frame also has the benefit of developing a layering of distance, another part of the architect’s toolbox.

David Duncan Livingston

Emphasize symmetry using a motif. Employing an architectural motif, like an arch, can reinforce the symmetry and equilibrium needed. In many ways, this is a”painterly” approach, as it heals vertical surfaces (walls) as a canvas onto which the components are applied.

Use symmetry in most instructions. Start using a foreground and the two- dimensional picture, then extend the distance outside in a balanced manner. Use symmetry to create depth and the illusion of vast spaciousness, like in a Pirenasi sketch.

Schwartz and Architecture

Place furniture so it enriches the center line. The full impact of lace comes through when the furniture follows the architecture. When it’s a bed, sofa, table or other piece, placing the furniture across the center line of the room produces a robust and established focus.

Symmetry goes in the bathroom. From the ceiling to the windows to the vanities, tub and accessories, a bathroom that’s symmetrically laid out reinforces the notion of his-and-hers places. Placing the bathtub in the center underscores this symmetry and produces a spot where both equal halves join together.

Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design

Use symmetry even in private spaces. A walk-in cupboard, pantry or other low-traffic area in your home can benefit from the equilibrium made by a symmetrical layout. Does this approach create distinct halves which are independently used, but in addition, it conveys a feeling of careful consideration and design.

Aleck Wilson Architects

Use symmetry to enlarge small spaces. Don’t stop the symmetry at the exterior or in bigger rooms. Because a symmetrical layout is static and fixed, it may make even the tiniest of spaces feel bigger. Arranging the shelving and cabinetry in a symmetrical manner may give a little desk area presence and gravitas.

More Architect’s Toolbox:
Scale and Proportion

Beautifully Layered Spaces

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