"Architecture and interior design should dance to the same rhythm."

Creating a connection between your home’s architecture and interior design scheme is a great way to honor its character.

Imagine visiting a friend’s industrial, urban loft for the very first time. You would not expect to walk into a space that looks like a country cottage, right? It would feel a bit strange to say the least.

Relating your interior to your home’s architecture is not about being completely predictable. It’s about honoring the architecture that surrounds your space in a way that respects its heritage.

Colonial Architecture and Interior Design

So what is the direction you should take for your home’s decor?

Let’s take a quick look at several architectural styles with tips on how you might approach the interior.


Colonial architecture is a very broad category and includes many subtypes such as Georgian, French and Spanish Colonial. Each has its own defining characteristics.

When I think of colonial style I imagine the Georgian variety. These homes are usually formal, multi-story structures with very classic details and a symmetrically balanced appearance (like the one above).

The entry area is almost always dead center in the front and flanked by a large number of multi-pained windows. It looks like each half of the façade is a mirror image of the other.

To synchronize your colonial architecture and interior design consider the following:

  • Early American furniture and crown molding.
  • Symmetrical positioning of furnishings and decor.
  • Fabric patterns featuring Greek key, stripe or floral motifs.
  • A paint palette based on period colors.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid Century Modern Architecture and Interior Design

Mid-Century Modern architecture became prominent in the United States and elsewhere in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

This style of house is typically a one-story dwelling featuring a sprawling, asymmetrical layout, low-slung roof line and large glass surfaces.

Remember "The Brady Bunch" house on TV? That's what I'm talking about.

The interior of a Mid-Century Modern home is the perfect environment to take a cutting edge design approach:

  • Choose furnishings with streamlined or minimalist features.
  • Consider a neutral color scheme with the occasional pop of color.
  • Mix wood, stone, metal and glass surfaces in your decor.

Cape Cod

A Cape Cod style house can be quickly recognized by its sharply pitched roof line and sequence of jutting dormers along the front-facing side.

It is usually a wood-frame house with siding on the exterior and shutters next to the windows.

In actuality, the Cape Cod is a type of colonial architecture that was a favorite in 17th century New England where it got its name.

For the interior:

  • Choose a refined, casual approach in decorating.
  • Consider bead board wainscoting.
  • Wood floors and simple moldings work well.
  • Consider a stone-clad fireplace.


Like other styles, Victorian architecture has many variations and sub-types. Let’s focus on the North American variety prominent in the last half of the 19th century.

These multi-story homes usually feature many gables and sometimes turrets. The focus on decorative detail around the roof line and other areas is unmistakable.

When linking your Victorian architecture and interior design:

  • Gravitate to traditional furnishing such as Queen Anne style furniture.
  • Fringed lamps and bold floral fabrics work well here.
  • For an updated look consider streamlined alternatives to the traditional Victorian shapes and apply pattern more sparingly.

Craftsman Bungalow

The Craftsman Bungalow owes its heritage to the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century.

Characterized by a low profile (usually only one or one-and-a-half stories tall) and prominent eaves, the Craftsman’s defining characteristics are perhaps the tapered, square columns set upon brick or stone pedestals along the front porch entry.


  • Mission Style furnishings and mica-shaded lighting are great decor choices.
  • For a less literal approach consider transitional furnishings – traditional forms defined in a more streamlined way.
  • Wood and stone elements are integral to this style and lend a casual atmosphere.

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Luxury House Plans in various styles and sizes, by Abodesense Inc.

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