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1965 - Present: Neoeclectic Houses

Many Styles Mix in These Modern-Day Homes

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If your home was built recently, chances are it incorporates many styles. Architects and designers call this new stylistic mix Neoeclectic, or Neo-eclectic.
Neoeclectic Home

Colonial windows, a Queen Anne turret, and a hint of classical columns combine in this Neoeclectic home.

Photo © Jackie Craven
A Neoeclectic home can be difficult to describe because it combines many styles. The shape of the roof, the design of the windows, and decorative details may be inspired by several different periods and cultures.

Features of Neoeclectic Homes:

  • Constructed in the 1960s or later
  • Historic styles imitated using modern materials like vinyl or imitation stone
  • Details from several historic styles combined
  • Details from several cultures combined
  • Brick, stone, vinyl, and composite materials combined

About Neoeclectic Houses

During the late 1960s, a rebellion against modernism and a longing for more traditional styles influenced the design of modest tract housing in North America. Builders began to borrow freely from a variety of historic traditions, offering Neoeclectic (or, Neo-eclectic) houses that were "customized" using a mixture of features selected from construction catalogs. These homes are sometimes called Postmodern because they borrow from a variety of styles without consideration for continuity or context. However, Neoeclectic homes are not usually experimental and do not reflect the artistic vision you would find in a truly original, architect-designed postmodern home.

Critics use the term McMansion to describe a Neoeclectic home that is over-sized and pretentious. Coined from the McDonald's fast food restaurant, the name McMansion implies that these homes are hastily assembled using cheaply-made materials and a menu of mix-and-match decorative details.

Also See:

Is it possible to express an artistic vision using options selected from a builder's catalog? You tell us!
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