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Shingle Style Homes

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Do you dream of living in a seaside cottage with a wide porch, feeling calming sea breezes, wandering around in small towns, and enjoying family time spent together? The type of home you are dreaming about might be a Shingle style home commonly found on either coast and around lakes. But this home doesn’t have to be in just one of those places, as we, Residential Designed Solutions architects, can design it for you to be built where you would like.

Shingle style homes are truly an American style of home. These homes flourished from 1880 – 1910, primarily in New England due to the abundance of wood for the shingles and their ability to hold up to the salt air and winter weather. They were often built on stone foundations, making them appear to grow out of and be part of the landscape. These homes have a rambling, irregular floor plan, abundant porch space to enjoy the summer breeze, and are often quite large as many were built during the Gilded Age. The cost of these homes made them inaccessible to most people in the 1800’s, so they were mostly summer homes for the wealthy. Today, these houses are being built in all areas for people looking to recreate homes with an informal, rustic, relaxed design, evoking casual elegance of a time past.

The characteristics of a Shingle Style Home:

  • Homes are covered with a layer of wood shingles that tie all of the sloped and vertical surfaces together. The shingles are allowed to weather naturally, are stained, or painted. Some homes are built on a rock or stone foundation.
  • The houses are built with an informal style. They have big wide porches, letting people relax and enjoy the views. Porch supports are usually plain with simple railings, but can be as ornate as the homeowner desires.
  • Rooflines are more complex, with steeply pitched, but free-formed rooflines. There are usually two pitches, with the lower one being steeper. Some of the homes have gabled roofs. The rooflines have their surfaces broken up by towers, chimneys, dormers, or turrets, which add visual interest to the roofline.
  • Windows are prominent, allowing views from any room. Some are very large, and others small. Windows are arranged in rows of two, three, or more. Decoratively shaped windows in round, square, or rectangular shapes are also used to add a free spirited design element.
  • Interiors of the home are filled with wood. Wood paneling is popular, as is batten or beadboard. Built in window seats allow places to read and view the outside. Furnishings are casual. Fireplaces are a must. The goal is to create a cottage feeling, informal and relaxed.


Do you have land that is perfect for a Shingle style home? Are you dreaming of a relaxed informal place to call your own? Our design team would love to work with you to design your own house and make your vision a reality.


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