Symmetry, balance and proportion are the classic hallmarks that comprise the stately exteriors of Georgian and Federal style homes. Constructed with clean lines and measured features, Georgian and Federal homes have been popular home styles for centuries. Though this architectural style is more prevalent along the East Coast of the United States, both Georgian and Federal homes can be found from coast to coast.
Most commonly constructed of brick or stone, Georgian architecture brings to mind quaint cottages dotting the verdant English countryside. Traditionally, the most common colours for these historically inspired homes are red, tan or white, but modern day trends allow for a broader range of exterior colours to be used. Give your Georgian home a lovely presence by choosing a downy dove-grey colour for the main body. Contrasting against this, the shutters in a deep, violet-blue make a distinguished statement. Meanwhile, the deep, earthy brown of the front door provides a strong focal point, grounding the home to its surroundings. From the roof to the shutters to the trim, the shaded hues of this home’s exterior lend themselves perfectly to the Georgian style architecture.
The creamy, hazelnut exterior of this Georgian home stands out prominently against the lush backdrop of the garden. Outlining the home’s classic design is the clean, almost iridescent white trim on the front pillars and windows. A dark, chocolate brown is an ideal choice for the door and shutters, which truly makes a statement against the home’s pale exterior. The elegance of this architectural style is further enhanced with verdant landscaping. Shade trees, leafy shrubbery and pale blooms add to the serene nature of this residence and the balanced placement of the plants is in keeping with the proportions of the home overall. Surrounding your home with the natural beauty of lush plants and formal gardens can add a soft touch of graciousness to your home.
Similar to the Georgian style, Federal homes are known for the proportional beauty of their exteriors. Following the Revolutionary War, Georgian architecture was blended with the neo-Palladian style, the columns of which resembled classical buildings in Greece and Rome. This new architectural fusion became known as the Federal style, a tribute to the political and philosophical ideals emerging from our young nation. The clean lines and regal structure of the Federal style are enhanced by the striking contrast of black-on-white. As elegant and pristine as the keys on a grand piano, this Federal home is a testament to the dignified ingenuity of 18th century American architecture. The inherent beauty of this home lies in the tradition and simplicity of its colour palette. The inky black of the home’s shutters add an attractive distinction against the snow-white of the exterior walls and pillars, instantly drawing the eye to the home’s symmetrical design. When in doubt, choose black and white—it’s impossible to go wrong with this traditional yet classic combination.
Many Federal homes maintain a traditional colour scheme, but modern sensibilities do allow for a bolder pop of colour. Often, the best place to experiment with colour is on your front door. This is a perfectly acceptable way to add individuality to your residence without sacrificing your home’s historical appearance. The contrast of a strong colour on the door against the softer colours of the main home exterior draws the eye to the entryway. It creates a welcoming entrance to your home. Additionally, a vibrant hue on the door, such as this fire engine red, can give your home an instant facelift, thereby differentiating it from the rest of the neighbourhood. The traditional colours used on this home’s exterior create a streamlined appearance; yet the bold red door adds eye-catching interest to the home’s regal style.
While white, black and other pale, neutral colours are the conventional choice for Federal homes, choosing a richer colour alternative can instantly add unexpected depth and warmth to your home’s appearance. The mossy-brown colour used on the siding of this home is a departure from traditional white yet the home still maintains a dignified presence. Adding a deep, almost-burnt, red to the front door is an excellent complement to the main colour and brings focus to the architectural features of the entryway. The dark, smoky grey of the shutters is in keeping with the calm character of the home while also calling out the symmetry of the design. This restrained and tranquil colour palette lends the home a sense of well-rounded style and serenity.
Whether you own a Georgian or Federal style home, there’s no doubt that what attracted you to it initially was the innate beauty of the clean design. But keep in mind that the historical grandeur of your home can be customized to adhere to your personal style. A boldly coloured door, rich-toned shutters or classic black and white are all colour decisions to be made. But no matter which colour direction you select, you can rest assured that your Georgian or Federal style home will exude splendor and distinction for years to come. After all, the symmetrical and orderly appearance that made these homes desirable as far back as the 18th century continues to entice 21st century homeowners across the country with sophisticated and refined ambiance.