Georgian Style Vs Colonial Style Homes (Easy Ways to Tell)

Colonial style homes in American were inspired from Georgian style homes of England and are typically used to describe the same architecture style.

Have you wondered what is the difference between Georgian and Colonial style home? If so, this post can help! When you read or hear a reference to a Georgian style home or Colonial style home in the US, they are the same thing. The terms are commonly used interchangeably.

Take a look below to learn about Georgian style vs colonial style homes.

What is a Georgian Style Home?

Homes built from the 1700s to the early 1800s are typically referred to as Georgian when referencing British architecture. Georgian architecture is the name used in most English-speaking countries that were built during the time period mentioned above. This style of home got its name from when King George I was ruling and is when this design style rose in popularity.

Across the globe, the U.S. who was still then a colony of England, known as British America. Basically, what was a favorite in Britain was the same as America, including its buildings.

Georgian is well known for its symmetry, classic details and was the most popular style throughout the 18th century. This style was inspired by the aesthetic designs of the Italian Renaissance and Ancient Rome and the desire for more formal buildings.

Georgian Style Home Features

  • Home is square or rectangular
  • Made wide with the highest point in the center of the home
  • Door in the center with symmetrical windows
  • Multi-pane windows (6-20 panes in each sash)
  • Traditionally made of brick often disguised with stucco
  • High ceilings
  • Crown molding
  • Often placed in impressive landscaped settings
  • Corner quoins
Example of Corner Quoins on a Georgian Style Home

Georgian style homes are colonial and Colonial Style homes are Georgian.

In the early 1900s the Georgian style had a revival and is referred to as a neoclassical Georgian style home.

What is a Colonial Style Home?

In America, Georgian style architecture was referred to as colonial because they were a colony of England. In other words, the term is interchangeable. American colonial style (design styles associated the colonial period) homes have distinct features that set them apart from other styles of homes and can be seen in different subtypes such as French, Spanish, Dutch, Mid Atlantic and American Georgian style.

Colonial Style Home Features:

  • Two to three stories with a rectangular or square shape, a gabled roof and dormer windows
  • Door is located in the exact center of the home and the same number of windows are on either side of the door. Symmetry is key in this style of architecture.
  • Decorative crown over the front door that’s supported by pillars or columns
  • Construction consists wood or brick siding
  • Grand entrances and porticoes(a porch supported by column or walls) that lead into living areas on the first floor while bedrooms are located on the upper floor levels
Example of Dormer Windows

While both Georgian and colonial style homes share some similarities, they also have distinct differences.

Georgian style homes are typically more formal and symmetrical in design, while colonial style homes often have a more relaxed and eclectic style. Additionally, Georgian homes are more common in urban areas, while colonial homes are typically associated with more rural areas.

In Ending

While Georgian and colonial style homes may have some similarities in terms of their architectural features, they are distinct styles that developed in different regions and time periods.

Georgian homes are known for their elegance, symmetry, and formality, while colonial homes are characterized by their eclectic mix of styles and materials. Whether you prefer the classic lines of a Georgian home or the charming character of a colonial home, both styles offer unique and timeless designs that can provide a beautiful and comfortable living space.

Ultimately, the choice between a Georgian or colonial style home comes down to personal preference and the specific needs and desires of each homeowner. In modern times, examples of these magnificent homes still exist. Take a look at the Old Historic Houses guide Georgian Style Historic Houses and Places to Visit.

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