The Georgian Style Home:
A Classic American Favorite Exudes Elegance and Curb Appeal
Perhaps rivaling the Colonial style in popularity, Georgian style architecture - with its clean lines and symmetrical balance - has remained a classic and enduring favorite in house design since its introduction to the American colonies in the 1700s. Named after the first four Kings George, who ruled Great Britain in succession from 1714 to 1830, Georgian architecture – and ultimately, Georgian house plans – was greatly influenced by British architect Sir Christopher Wren.
Ranging in size from estate mansions and plantations to smaller family homes and vacation getaways, Georgian house plans have survived numerous re-inventions and regional interpretations throughout several eras and generations. Georgian style homes are rectangular, two-story structures usually made of wood or brick, with balanced windows, gardens, and landscaping around the property.
Symmetry and balance are illustrated in these two Georgian style home plans: a two-story, three bedroom plan (#137-1317) that includes a great room (kitchen/living/dining areas), sitting room, study and three fireplaces. Below is a roomy four-bedroom home (#105-1054) with a traditional brick exterior, complete with matched columns and windows.
Features of the Georgian House Style
If you stroll around your neighborhood, you can recognize Georgian house styles by their distinct features. Watch out for the “boxy” look; and remember that symmetry and balance define these designs. Here are the other basic characteristics of Georgian home plans:
1. Multi-paned windows symmetrically arranged to frame the front door
2. Paired chimneys
3. An extended walkway leading to the main door
4. Short covered porch
5. Archways, pediments or decorative element above the central door
6. Sometimes, a white picket fence
7. A gabled or hipped roof with dormers
8. Interior floor plans that often repeat the exterior’s focus on symmetry
9. A center hall and staircase often flanked by formal rooms on each side
This five-bedroom, three-bath Georgian style home shows most of the characteristics of the design: multi-paned windows, a long, paved walkway leading to the front door; a short covered porch, landscaping around the property, plus a white picket fence (Plan # 109-1050).
Early Beginnings of the Georgian Style Design
One of the most adapted and imitated architectural styles, the Georgian house plan took flight in colonial America in the mid-1700s. It was especially popular in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Southern states.
The Georgian design originated in England during the reign of the King Georges, and was developed by English architects Christopher Wren, Indigo Jones, and James Gibbs, who were inspired by the Renaissance and ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Some of their concepts were based on the Renaissance’s models of rigid symmetry, window and door placements, and interior layouts.
Described as “the first architect-inspired style in America,” the Georgian design “arrived” in the colonies through British architectural pattern books. At the time, it was largely linked to the wealthy and privileged classes who could afford estate-like homes with elaborate landscapes and designs.
Much like all architectural trends, the Georgian style enjoyed its period of dominance – during colonial times and the Revolutionary War; a decline – after the revolution; and a revival – that continues to this day.
With its elegant, classic lines, the Georgian house plan has broad appeal because of its timelessness and adaptability. People who love a sense of order, proportion, and history are drawn to its symmetrical elegance. Its architectural design lends itself to creating a home with impressive curb appeal in any neighborhood.
The Georgian design’s “box-like” shape lends to floor plans with flexibility for expansion and additional space. The style works for huge mansions built on several acres of land, for smaller homes on narrow or sloped lots, and even town homes in urban neighborhoods.
Not all Georgian style homes have to be on a grand scale. This modest two-story Georgian house plan (# 170-1303) - originally designed with two bedrooms – can be expanded for a growing family. Check out the gorgeous, landscaped front yard that shows a peek of the extended pathway. You have to love the symmetry and balance of this style!
If you love these homes from our collection, or the red brick residence in “Driving Miss Daisy,” or the spacious house in the “Home Alone” movies, then the Georgian style is perfect for you.
Two elegant red brick Georgian-style homes that rose to popularity in the movies: this home in Atlanta was the setting for “Driving Miss Daisy”.
A classic Georgian Revival style home (Plan #137-1522). The exterior’s symmetry and proportions are the hallmark of a classic Georgian home. Once inside, the home’s floor plans continue that symmetry – but also define what makes it a Georgian Revival home with a layout and rooms configured for modern living, including a large kitchen, a spacious great room or gathering room, and a first floor master bedroom suite. http://www.theplancollection.com/house-plans/home-plan-18640
This four bedroom Georgian house has all the elements of a classic Georgian home design when viewed from the curb, creating an impressive and stately presence. Once inside, the designer has adapted the classic Georgian floor plans to work well for today’s active family. At just over 2460 living square feet, while the home still has a center hall and flanking rooms, the rear of the floor plan takes advantage of an open layout design creating plenty of space for family and friends to relax – as well as take advantage of outdoor spaces.