Market StatsWestport CT September 14, 2021

6 Popular Westport Architectural Styles

Diverse architectural designs are plentiful in Connecticut’s sophisticated Fairfield County.

Westport, Connecticut may be known for its New England charm, but its architectural style is much more diverse. Whether it be hallmark shingle-style abodes, ornamental Victorian architecture, innovative contemporary properties, or classical colonial architecture, the architectural scene in Westport is extremely varied.

The sophisticated and elegant nature of Fairfield County boasts some of the most stand-out properties within Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Where the city meets the countryside in Westport, you will find these six popular architectural styles.

Shingle-Style Abodes

Shingle-style homes are a hallmark of New England architecture. This architectural style blends traditional with modern, giving off a casual yet informal feel. Common features of this home design include wood shingles, stone pillars, Palladin windows, steeply pitched roofs, and natural materials.

The history of shingle houses dates back to the 19th century. Originally designed for wealthy New Englanders, these abodes were the first American-designed homes. However, shingle homes have drawn much influence from a wide variety of other architectural styles. Inspiration for these houses has come from Queen Anne, Victorian, Gothic Revival, Romanesque, and Tudor styles.

With all of its different style influences, shingle homes have a broad range of combinations. There are eight types of shingle house designs that have been categorized based on roof style, structural forms, overhangs, and exterior wall materials. These include Folk, Queen Anne, Richardson Romanesque, Second Empire, Territorial, Stick Style, American Renaissance, and Shingle.

Today, shingle-style abodes are still seen throughout wealthy coastal and countryside communities. Their rustic and seamless styles have made them a trademark throughout Westport.


Victorian Architecture

Victorian-style homes are ornamental, bright, and grand. Distinguishing features include a mix of colors and materials, decorative elements, and vertical exterior design. Some Victorian properties look like gaudy dollhouses, while others look like ominous haunted houses.

The style of Victorian architecture became popular in the United States in the 19th century. Victorian-era homes got their influence from old architectural movements including Romanesque and Medieval Gothic.

There are two main styles of Victorian homes, which include Italianate and Queen Anne. Italianate homes have flat roofs that often stick out from the exterior walls, as well as windows that are tall, thin, and have lots of trim. Some of these homes even have towers that ascend from the center of the house, creating a more Tuscan feel. Queen Anne homes feature steeply pitched roofs, bay windows, and broad wrap-around porches. These houses are adorned with pretty trim and bright colors, giving them what is known as a “gingerbread” effect.

With all of their intricacies, Victorian-style homes are the perfect representation of Westport’s sophisticated character.

Contemporary Properties

Drawing on traditional style, but with a splash of the latest trends, contemporary-style houses are considered the architecture of the 21st century. Key features of contemporary architecture include sustainable components, organic lighting, and eco-friendly materials.

Contemporary homes came about in the 1960s with inspirations from Colonial, Georgian, Shingle, and Federalist architectural styles. These abodes were ranch-themed and often painted in flashy colors. On the inside, decor pieces featured large sectional couches and shaggy carpets. Although this style was considered to be all the rage all the time, it no longer reflects today’s true contemporary style.

The current contemporary style of homes focuses on traditional design while implementing features that are important to today’s homeowners. These properties may look simple but are constructed with all of the latest materials and technology. Contemporary homes feature innovative designs that include energy-efficient components, and recycled and non-toxic materials. Green building is the trend, along with “living” roofs composed of plants, ample skylights, and low-emission carpeting and paints. An emphasis is also placed on entertainment spaces, especially outdoors. Contemporary properties often have lavish alfresco kitchens and freestanding fireplaces.

The reimagined classic designs of contemporary homes are perfect for meeting the needs of today’s homeowners while being aesthetically pleasing yet environmentally friendly.

Cottage Homes

Cottage abodes have a cozy feel with vintage character, making them a perfect fit in Westport. The trend of these houses is a mix between casual and graceful. Typically only one story—or one and a half stories—cottage-style architecture contains elements like stucco or shingled exteriors, small porches and balconies, gable roofs, dormers, and bay windows. Inside most cottage homes, you will find stone fireplaces and delightful nooks and crannies. Hallways are also limited in these smaller abodes, making spaces communal and inviting.

The origin of cottage homes traces to the Middle Ages. Back in these times, cottages were home to cotters, who were people that lived on the properties of royals. These tiny properties were built with stone or wood walls and had thatched roofs.

Over time, the architectural style of cottage homes made its way throughout the world. This expansion gave way to five distinct types of cottage styles, including English, Nordic, Canadian, American, and South African.

Cottage homes get a lot of their features from other architectural styles, yet display them on a smaller scale. However, comfort and individuality are distinguishing features of these charming abodes. Newly designed cottages also provide that old-era feel, but with a touch of modernity.

These quaint cottage homes throughout Fairfield County are bursting with timeless personalities.