While many might think the Victorian style homes or Colonial evoke American architecture, it is really the Shingle Home style that most accurately represents Classic American architecture, interior design and living. First created in the late 1800s, it still evokes the traditional American feeling in residential building.
Welcome to the Shingle-style home decor style guide where you can see photos of all interiors in the Shingle-style including kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, foyers, and more.
Shingle-style Homes (Exteriors)
Check out these spectacular homes showcasing the Shingle-style homes.
1.Two-Story 5-Bedroom Shingle-Style Home with a Wide Footprint
This is an aerial view of the front of the shingle-style house that has a large lawn, shrubs and tall trees that complement the light-tones shiplap exterior walls of the house along with its various windows, hipped rooftops, turrets and arches.
2. Two-Story 4-Bedroom Grand Shingle-Style Home with Gambrel Rooflines
This is a view of the side exterior of the shingle-style home showing the covered porch and a French door that leads to the living room inside. The brown exteriors of the house are complemented by the lush landscaping of grass lawns, shrubs and mosaic stone walkways.
3. Two-Story 3-Bedroom Northwest Craftsman Shingle-Style Home
This is a view of the front of the shingle-style home that has brown exterior walls accented by the white elements and the lush landscaping of grass lawns, pine trees, shrubs and a concrete walkway that leads to the main entrance.
4. Two-Story 4-Bedroom Gambrel Shingle-Style Home
This is a close look at the front of the shingle-style home that has gambrel roofs, light beige exterior walls, white frames and accents and lush landscaping that has a concrete driveway, a concrete walkway, shrubs and planters.
5. 4-Bedroom Two-Story Shingle Style Home for the Large Family
This is a close look at the front of the house with a gambrel roof, a round turret main hall and warm lighting that glows from interior to exterior complemented by the landscaping that has a mosaic stone walkway flanked by grass lawns and shrubs.
6. Two-Story 7-Bedroom Exclusive Shingle Style Home with Optional Lower Level
This shingle-style home has white patterns on its exterior walls complemented by the large glass windows and warm lighting. These are then augmented by the landscaping of the front lawn that has grass lawns, shrubs and a stone walkway.
7. 4-Bedroom Two-Story Grand Shingle Style Home
This is a full view of the front of the shingle-style home that has gray textured exterior walls that pair well with the stone mosaic wall accents. These are then elevated by the surrounding well-manicured grass lawn and an asphalt walkway.
8. Two-Story 4-Bedroom Shingle Style Home
This is a close look at the shingle-style home with gambrel roofs, arched windows and a large stone brick driveway and courtyard that are complemented by the miniature lush gardens on the sides of the main entrance.
9. Ornate Gambrel Roof Shingle-Siding Two-Story Home with Rotunda
This shingle-style home has a red brick driveway flanked by grass and stones leading to the gray exteriors of the house with turrets and gambrel roofs. These are then augmented by the warm glow of the interiors and exteriors.
10. 5-Bedroom 2-Story Home with Captain’s Walk and Lighthouse
This is a close look at the front exterior of the shingle-style home with gray exterior walls, white accents on the windows and doors along with tall brick chimneys that match the fences of the front lawn.
Shingle Style Interior Examples (by Room)
The following are photo examples of Shingle-style interiors (room-by-room). Below each photo are links that take you to extensive Shingle-style photo galleries for each room.
This is a bright living room with white walls and white built-in cabinets and shelves that are brightened by the natural lights coming in from the windows. These bright elements make the wooden coffee table and leather armchairs stand out.
The kitchen is dominated by the pure white shaker cabinets lining the walls and the matching shaker drawers on the large kitchen island contrasted by its black counter. These are then complemented by the beige backsplash and exposed wooden beams of the ceiling.
The dark wooden round dining table and matching cushioned oval back chairs stand out against the white wainscoting and white area rug on the hardwood flooring brightened by the natural lights coming in from the large windows.
The primary bedroom has a white skirted bed, comfy tufted seats, and a full-length mirror. These are then complemented by the white walls, multiple windows, arched white ceiling and beige carpeting of the floor.
This is a close look at the primary bathroom with white modern cabinets and drawers on its two-sink vanity topped with a large mirror and sets of wall sconces across from the shower area. These are then complemented by the white wainscoting and gray flooring tiles.
Upon entry into the house, this foyer welcomes you with a textured area rug on the hardwood flooring topped with a semi-flush drum lighting that brightens the white wainscoting and white door frame contrasted by the black main door.
Shingle-Style Home Landscaping
This is a close look at the front lawn of the house that has gambrel roofs and beige exterior walls. These are complemented by the landscaping of grass lawns, a concrete driveway, and lines of well-manicured shrubs.
What is Shingle Home Style?
Shingle Style home design tends to be one of the top three true American home construction designs dating back to the 1800s, and it represents an evolution from the original architecture much of the colonial American cities brought over from England as communities and building styles adapted to American materials, conditions, climate and far more ample space available in terms of land.
The style started to become very prominent towards the later 1800s, noting a significant shift from earlier Victorian rigidity still followed per European standards. It provides a combination of rustic rural sensibility as well as significant living space and functionality overall. And, more importantly, the building style fits the rugged environment and climates of rural American, able to withstand decades of use without issue.
Interior Style Features
- One of the most distinctive interior features of the Shingle style involves wood paneling. Many of the earlier homes had an abundance of wood all around, so carpentry and fine wood workmanship became expected criteria in a properly designed home. That feature has carried forward to modern Shingle homes with raised-panel constructions for internal wall surfacing as well as incorporated window seating and benches under staircases. Space utilization was always a priority with Shingle style even though the homes were originally built on significant land availability.
- Many Shingle homes include a distinct parlor room that borrows from old country European interior design. Furniture follows either an English or early American colonial style antique setting, and many of the items are hand-crafted wicker, wood, or a combination of the two. Interestingly, a good amount of trade originally occurred and items no one would expect to be placed were frequently included in Shingle home parlors, including Islamic wood carvings and Moorish light fixtures or lanterns.
- Shingle interior design was not restricted to rustic farm styles only. Many homes have formal dining rooms that borrow from French styles of sectioning and construction as well. White-washed panel walls with delicately worked fine tables and chairs would frequently be found in a Shingle home that otherwise operated more like a farmhouse elsewhere in the structure. The coffered ceiling would give the above surfacing a distinct look and French doors were typical of the dining room entrance ways. Detailing with gold and hues of purple can be found in different homes today, emulating styles of the past.
- Everything in an interior room is measured and sighted for linear balance and congruity. A kitchen in a Shingle home typically worked around an island which was perfectly situated with a local fireplace for kitchen heat as well as cooking. The light for the room was frequently gained from wraparound windows allowing natural light in. No surprise, most of the kitchen work happened during the day. Upper cabinets provided the storage for equipment and dishes while the lower counters were dedicated for workspace.
- Sort of between the interior and exterior, the porch area attached to many homes would be screened in to avoid bugs and biting insects while still enjoying the outdoors, particularly in the summer and fall evenings. Once the cold started to appear, a fireplace asset in the porch might provide additional heating.
Exterior Style Features
- True to the namesake, the Shingle style home is easily identified today by the huge abundance of shingle roofing applied over the entire top of the home as well as the siding in many cases. These homes were often works of craftsmanship and art because of the abundance of wood originally, so it’s quite common to see homes today in the style with rolling roofs that bend and curve to the structure of the home, including conicals for towers.
- The footprint for a typical Shingle home will be large. These homes were typically built on very open land, so there was no concern for spacing restricting. The exterior was designed accordingly, with asymmetrical features, and many times the roof would have quite a bit of variation for different upper floor features. This customizing of a home makes the Shingle style so unique today given how many homes follow a standard single-angle roof plan with modern housing. Roof eaves were also very common, providing additional benefits for first-floor overhangs and even utility covers for carriages and extended porches.
- It’s important to note that Shingle homes did not follow a single construction plan, like today’s suburban homes built off of three or four models only. Shingle homes have quite a bit of variety with some focusing on moving upward and others being bulky and “fat” moving outward. Different styles from other eras were typically incorporated in a Shingle home as well, with the roof tying it to the Shingle style, but many interior aspects being Colonial or rustic or even Gothic revival.
- The siting and placement of a Shingle home were as involved as the architectural design itself. The location was intentionally chosen both for integration with the local land as well as how it would view the surrounding area. The placement of rooms, entranceway, porches and similar all anticipated the aspects of the sun to maximize light and natural heat during the day. And many homes were purposely built to mesh with the local woods and forest versus wipe them out.
- Shingle homes also tend to have a bit of a uniform look. The shingle siding approach very much followed a practice of staining or painting all the wood one single color. This, of course, gave many simpler Shingle homes the moniker of looking like a barn home, but inside they were anything but a cattle shelter.
Furniture Style in Shingle Homes
- Interior private rooms and bedrooms reflect a dedication to woodwork both in wall paneling as well as wood flooring and hand-crafted furniture. Wicker-wood chairs were common, hard oak small desks for writing frequently appear, and bed frames with wood poster styles but no canopy were favorites as well. Most rooms have sizable spacing, and the baths were large as well. It would be no surprise to find a private fireplace in a bedroom, providing winter heat during the cold months. All bedrooms were on the second floor when a home was built like a multi-story, reserving the bottom floor for daytime activity, the kitchen, and the library. Hickory flooring was a premium choice of surfacing, with the dark wood color providing a rich contrast to white-washed walls in bedrooms.
- Combination woodcraft furniture is typical pieces found in many Shingle homes, providing both utility as well as interior classic design ambiance. Many multi-purpose storage units would be found in the dining rooms, parlors, and even hallways of Shingle homes.
- Bedroom units would also emphasize a high reliance on wood, both for structure as well as storage and utility.
- Further, many cabinets and storage units focus simply on the wood itself versus high decoration. Shingle style, no surprise, gives folks a solid country-living feeling versus the artificial nature of city living.
- Wood-crafted chairs, whether a combination of wicker and wood or wood only were standard in Shingle homes, exhibiting how much wood as a material was regularly used both in crafting tools and benefits of all types as well as how versatile it was in American home building and furnishing.
- Kitchen furniture was regularly a combination of a solid wood base with plenty of drawers on the sides and a sturdy stone or solid oak work surface. Modern kitchens might opt for a sturdier and easier-to-clean surface like Corian, but the base of the unit should still reflect natural wood, often placed in as the island and central point for the whole room.
- Cabinets, cabinets, and more cabinets. Shingle homes put an emphasis on plenty of storage that was functional but out of the way. There was never a corner, space, or underhang that would end up being used to place an additional set of shelves or a draw or cabinet system in with a Shingle home, which allowed plenty of storage since these home typically didn’t have a modern garage, today’s answer for having too many things.
- Natural woods like oak and hickory were the most commonly used material for Shingle homes but not always. Depending on what was locally available, a good number of Shingle homes were designed with stone and tilework as well. Where wood was not as plentiful, it instead provided framing and beams and local stone was used for the primary fill surface for walls and foundations, definitely. This was more frequent in areas like New England and the northern coast.
- White paint on interior walls was almost a standard in many Shingle homes. Unless the room was the parlor or a grand entrance surfaced in a dark wood, most hallways and bedrooms were whitewashed. This of course provided distinct eye focus on the furniture and flooring, which were accented with homemade blankets and fabrics, oftentimes quilts.
Styles that Mix Well with Shingle style
Just about anything classic Americana is going to fit well with the Shingle-style home. Many of the homes in the 1800s utilized prior Colonial and French furniture, so there was a lot of mixture of earlier antiques with later Shingle design as the style became more and more popular.
Given how much effort went into furniture, it was rarely given up, instead passed down from generation to generation unless broken and not repairable. So many Shingle homes today tend to reflect a good number of Classic American style interiors and furniture choices as a result, emulating the original blend.
A Brief Historic Overview
The primary catalyst starting the Shingle Homestyle occurred with a push away from the traditional Victorian standards in buildings that were a well-known pattern up to the 1870s. While the Shingle home might seem like construction from an earlier Colonial period, the style really began to be established between 1874 and 1910 as many families went about rebuilding older homes and moving to new locations.
Most of the original homes were contracted for by wealthy businessmen and families in partnership with a specific architect famous for new designs.
By the 1920s the style was exiting desired builds and began to fade from demand. That said, after the World Wars and a re-focus back into normal life, the Shingle style began to show up again in experiments and retro architecture.
Many architects began to play with the approach when orders looked for something “classic” and a good number of new buildings at tourism sites or congregational organizations reflected the Shingle style in new builds. One of the most prominent today includes the Disney World Yacht Club building.
Some would refer to Shingle homes on the East coast as simple fisherman homes, but that was very far from the truth. Most common fishermen could not afford these homes, and they provided a subtle but deceptive getaway location for the wealthier class, often being used as vacation homes during the summer.
Even in modern times, the Shingle home-style gained prominence with George Bush, Sr.’s summer home in Kennebunkport, MN. That particular property not only regularly hosted the Bush family, but it was also the location of many private meetings with the President and world leaders at the time.
Why it Looks Great
If one was to claim they lived in a museum of Classic American architecture, then the Shingle home would definitely qualify. The build, workmanship, and style evoke a summary of 1800s American residential architecture that became a distinct design discipline all its own, and very different from what had been expected from Victorian and European standards just prior.
Because so many prominent architects were involved in building unique Shingle homes from the late 1870s to the 20th century, the design has definitely placed itself in the architectural history books and is still studied today as a specific American building approach. It helped a lot that most of the homes were financed by very wealthy patrons and owners who could afford the significant amount of work that went into each home.