Recently I was asked by a reporter about house styles and the benefits of each house style. The question was fairly general, so at first, I didn’t know how best to answer it. But I collected my thoughts and answered it this way.

I can say that house style preferences are regional, so there is no “best” or “favored” style. What is popular and appropriate for California is quite different from what is popular and appropriate in the northeast. This is because of differences in lifestyle, climate, and regional costs of materials and labor.

If I had to state one style that may be the most popular in the United States on average, I would say Transitional would be it. That’s probably because it is loosely defined.

Here is an example of a Transitional house I designed.

Here is an example of a Transitional house I designed.

Many versions of Transitional fit the category. I also think that transitional houses can suit today’s preference for open floor plan living while still maintaining a feel for traditional, non-modernist design. Traditional houses usually are subdivided into distinct rooms. That is not a popular feature in new homes. Today’s families prefer the kitchen, family room, and dining spaces to be open to each other so everyone can be together. This is a lifestyle change from fifty or sixty years ago.

Whether you like them or not, the fact is there is only a very small market for modernist houses. That is why Colonial houses in the northeast, Spanish or Mediterranean style houses in Florida, adobe style houses in the southwest, Mountain house styles in the Pacific northwest, and Transitional houses throughout the country are strongly preferred. They have better resale appeal and value.

Here is a sketch of a Pennsylvania Colonial design from a past project

Here is a sketch of a Pennsylvania Colonial design from a past project

The reporter asked about modular houses. These are not a house style, per se. “Modular” means they were at least partially assembled in a factory, shipped to the site, and the assembly was completed on-site. Modular houses could be any style you choose. Eastern modular houses tend to be traditional styles and western modular houses tend to be more modernist styles.

I hope my answers helped this reporter out. I suggested she should visit this website and my other one, www.about-home-design.com, to read the many articles I have about home design, remodeling, and homebuilding. I invite you to do the same. And feel free to send me questions. I enjoy answering them.