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1935 - Present: Modern House Styles

20th Century Homes Take on New Shapes


Designed for 20th century lifestyles, modern homes come in many shapes.
Shed Style House

The Shed Style is a modern housing type known for large windows and unusual shapes.

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In the later half of the twentieth century, architects and builders turned away from historic housing styles. These modern homes took on a wide variety of shapes. Here are a few of the most popular categories identified by architectural historians Virginia & Lee McAlester:
  1. Minimal Traditional (1935-1950)
    Small, one-story homes with low-pitched roofs.
  2. Ranch (1935-1975)
    One-story homes with a long, linear shape
  3. Split-Level (1955-1975)
    A two-story variation of the Ranch shape
  4. Contemporary (1940-1980)
    Low, one-story home with flat or almost-flat roof or with a tall, exaggerated gable
  5. Shed (1960-Present)
    Angular homes with oddly-shaped roofs and trapezoid windows (shown above)
Source: A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia & Lee McAlester

About Modern Houses

"Modern" is a general term that can describe many different house styles. When we describe a house as modern, we are saying that the design is not based primarily on history or traditions. In contrast, a Neoeclectic or Neotraditional home incorporates decorative details borrowed from the past. A Postmodern home also borrows details from the past, often exaggerating or distorting the details.

A Neoeclectic or Postmosdern home might have features such as dentil mouldings or Palladian windows. A modern home is not likely to have these types of details.

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