Washington DC’s Most Common Housing Styles

Sky view of Washington DC's and its most common housing styles

Washington DC is a diverse city with a rich cultural scene and a lot of new opportunities. Whether you want to move there or only to visit, one thing is sure – you’ll never be bored. It’s a city full of energy and life and with plenty of exciting events and places to explore, not to mention the low unemployment rate and decent climate. There will never be a shortage of things to enjoy and do. Therefore, buying a dream home in this beautiful, historic city is an excellent idea. For that reason, you might want to learn more about Washington DC’s most common housing styles. Luckily, there is a variety of options for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a simple or lavish home, you’re bound to find the one that will suit your wishes.

Colonial style

Colonial architecture is one of the most popular home styles in the US. You can find many examples of it in the cities in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states. This style takes inspiration from the late 19th century that gives it a classic feel.

Colonial style features a centered front door and a rectangular, symmetrical facade. Ornate pillars usually frame the doors. Additionally, double pane windows often have decorative black or green shutters as well. Slanted roofs with paired chimneys provide it with extra charm.

Victorian style

This style incorporates many subcategories such as Gothic Revival, Queen Anne’s, and others. What they all have in common is a grandiose flair with steeply pitched roofs, classic turrets, and front-facing gables. Also, they often feature curved bay windows and decorative millwork. Lots of ornaments, curved staircases, and high ceilings set Victorian houses apart from all others.

If you’re planning to relocate to Washington DC, Victorian homes are definitely worth consideration, especially if you’re looking for a large, several-story home with four or five bedrooms. However, moving to your new home is never easy. Therefore, hiring reliable movers would be the smartest idea you could make. Likely, your goal is a simple relocation with the right help. Therefore, even before you find a dependable moving company, it’s a good idea to prepare for the move.


Similarly, if you’re looking for another housing style with lots of detailed ornamentation, Beaux-Arts is the right choice for you. There are many things to think about when buying a new home, and the home style that suits your personality is important. If you find inspiration in the splendor of the Great Gatsby, look no further than Beaux-Arts architecture.

Not only are these homes formal and symmetrical, but they are also lavish and grandiose. Ornate detailed marble, carved wood, and granite features add a sense of luxury. What’s more, these homes often feature a master staircase and columns, as well as balconies and balustrades.

Tudor style

One of Washington DC’s most common housing styles is Tudor architecture. In contrast to Victorian and Beaux-Arts, this style is more simple and traditional. Also, with their pointed roofs and dark wood trim, these homes have a European, almost Medieval look. Since this style started in the early 19th century as a transition between Gothic and Renaissance styles, it is often called Revival-style. Decorative dark wood often outlines both windows and doors. In addition to that, one of the main characteristics of Tudor Revival is asymmetrical, vertical structure. They usually have three to five bedrooms. You can find these charming homes in Petworth, Mount Pleasant, and Northwest of the city.

The Federal style

On the other hand, if you want to buy a simple, single-family home, the Federal housing style is a good idea. You’ll easily recognize them – they usually feature simple facades, straight lines, and low front stoops. Since they mostly have one to two stories with two or three bedrooms, they are ideal family homes.

If you’re planning to relocate to Washington DC and buy your first home there, the Federal style is perfect for you. Although moving into your new home is a stressful task, good preparation is half the work done. In case your home needs some remodeling before you move in, consider renting storage space in Washington DC. That way, you’ll be able to keep your possessions in a safe place until your new Federal-style home is ready. These modest yet charming homes are common in Capitol Hill and Burleith.

Contemporary style

Juxtaposed against the more traditional styles of Washington DC, contemporary architecture is striking and modern. They feature clean lines and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows as well as wide open-concept interiors. Other characteristics of this style include flat rooftops and rectangular shapes. Furthermore, you can distinguish them by the open, sleek design and modern appeal.

Craftsman style

When exploring Washington DC’s most common housing styles, don’t miss Craftsman homes. These unique houses became popular in the early 20th century. Contrary to Beaux-Arts and Victorian styles, they feature simple yet beautiful designs. The goal was to elevate craftsmanship and take a step back from modernism and downplay machinery.

As a result, Craftsman-style homes feature less ornamentation and details on the outside. However, they are expertly built and often have large, covered front porches. Inside, you can find large fireplaces, built-in cabinets or shelves, as well as furniture in this style.


Although they’re more common in Florida and California, you can see a lot of bungalows in Washington DC as well. They have low-pitched roofs and shaded front porches. These single-story homes with wide verandas are ideal family homes.

On the whole, there’s a great variety of Washington DC’s housing styles, from simple to lavish and luxurious. Whether you’re buying a new home or enjoy history and architecture, don’t miss the opportunity to visit and explore these beautiful homes. And once you have found the style that suits you best, it’s time to explore all the financing options available to you. And then, before you know it, you will be enjoying your new life in a new Washington DC home.

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