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Federal Style Homes

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Federal style homes were a popular building style from 1780-1830 and are found all up and down the Eastern seaboard from New York to Georgia. RDS, your place for home design, can create a Federal style home for you if you are looking for classic architecture. Great Britain’s notable architect, Robert Adam, influenced this style of home for the new America. He studied Italian architecture and the Roman empires. He was known for using decorative finishes and geometric shapes. This style of home reflects America’s independence, the development of our Federal system of government, and prosperity at the time.

Exterior Features of a Federal Style Home

  • Two-story, and usually rectangular
  • Rectangular windows are arranged in symmetrical rows with a fan-shaped window above the front door. Advancements in glass making allowed thinner mullions and a lighter look
  • Building materials are usually brick or wood frame with clapboard siding in the North and brick in the South
  • Shutters that are louvered
  • A simple door, but surrounded with detailed ornamentation carved in wood or plaster
  • Tall columns that frame the entrance
  • Curved steps with metal railings are often used as a grand statement leading to the front door
  • Decorative designs like swags, urns, and classic geometric patterns, are used on exterior door surrounds, over windows, along cornices, and on entry porches

 Interior Features of a Federal Style Home

  • Floor plans have oval or rounded rooms and domed or arched ceilings
  • Mantels, walls, ceilings, etc. have decorative ornamentation carved in the wood or plaster
  • Staircases are curved and open
  • As with the outside, swags, urns, garlands, and geometric patterns are used for decoration
  • Pastels (soft greens, yellows, roses, and blues) are prominent colors and rich silks are used for drapes and upholstery
  • Furniture is simple but graceful with straight lines

 Some Famous Examples

  • The Oval Office in The White House
  • The Davenport House in Savannah, Ga
  • The Otis House Museum in Boston
  • The University of Virginia which is modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

The Federal style reminds us of our independence and belief in America’s future. It is stately, full of American symbolism, and a beautiful home. RDS architects design homes of all styles so if this style of home interests you, our team is here to answer all of your questions.

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