From cowboys to NASA, Texas is quintessentially American. But did you know that the state’s distinctive architecture draws from several domestic and international styles? Many Texan buildings reflect the region’s Spanish and Mexican origins, with a healthy dose of modernism, the American South, and Victorian England thrown in for good measure. Here we look at some classic Texas home styles, seeing how they differ on the outside and the inside.
Texas has more farms than any other U.S. state, so it’s no surprise that the humble farmhouse continues to appeal to the population — although the farmhouse style today is more about luxurious rustic design than milking cows and shucking corn.
Characterized by mansard roofs, large barn-style doors, and wooden accents, the Texas farmhouse is often seen with a wooden shiplap exterior. The style is partly inspired by the functional Germanic buildings of 18th century Texas, but today’s incarnations draw from a wide range of influences.
Inside a Texas farmhouse, you’ll find a lot of attention given to the jumbo-size kitchen. After all, in a traditional farmhouse the fresh meat and produce would be coming straight from the land outside. Think rustic wooden features, doors made up of thick planks, and a big farmhouse sink. Outside the kitchen you’ll find more wooden accents,exposed beams, and perhaps some interior shiplap.
Inspired by the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement in the United Kingdom, the American Craftsman style found huge popularity in the Lone Star State with its simple, elegant features. You’ll recognize this look if you’ve spent time in the M Streets area of Dallas.
Your average Texas Craftsman home will have a low-pitched gabled roof, deep overhanging eaves, and — most distinctively — tapered square columns supporting the porch roof.
It’s no surprise that the handcrafted stone and woodwork of the American Craftsman style remains in such high demand. Craftsman interiors are clean, ordered, and angular — a principle based on rejecting the cluttered and over-designed aesthetic favored by the Victorians.
Fortunately, not all Craftsman interiors need to be painstakingly carved by hand. This classic style can be mass produced, hence its continuing popularity throughout Texas and beyond.
Mid-century modern design, characterized by clean and simple lines without unnecessary embellishment, took off in the 1940s and was hugely influential in architecture and interior design. However, the style made famous by architect Frank Lloyd Wright has had a big comeback in the last decade, with Texas no exception to the craze.
Unlike some of the more rustic Texas home styles, a mid-century modern house is all about huge windows, made possible by a post and beam architectural design that was highly innovative at the time. Flat roofs are also common for this style.
Inside a mid-century modern Texas home, you’ll find open floor plans that make the most of the large windows, allowing for unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape, whether that’s prairie, woodland, or a sunset over Lake Travis. Clean, simple lines and geometric shapes dominate, always serving a function, while ornamentation is kept to a minimum.
Texas leads all other states in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. But these days you don’t need livestock to enjoy the comforts of a classic Texas ranch-style house.
Ranch houses are typically characterized by their single-story layout, low-pitched roof, and large floorplan. Picture a wide, close-to-the-ground bungalow with overhanging eaves, usually of an asymmetrical shape.
Though the name might evoke cowboys, the ranch-style house became a nationwide phenomenon after World War II, so expect to see features of the classic American West mixed with modernist elements.
If wide open floor plans are your thing, a ranch house might be just for you. Casual is key when it comes to ranch interiors, with bright and spacious living areas typically opening onto a patio with big glass doors. Some ranch houses feature sunken living rooms and eye-catching vaulted ceilings.
With its mix of Spanish and German influence, the Texas Hill Country can feel like a world of its own, and the distinctive architectural style of the region has become popular well beyond its borders.
Although a Hill Country home can have elements of ranch and farmhouse, this Texas home style is typified by a use of the local white limestone and dark timber, in addition to gable roofs made from metal and a two-story construction. In terms of the windows, a gridded style is more common than huge panes.
Local materials like limestone and timber are used for interior elements as well as exterior ones, contributing to eye-catching features like big fireplaces, stone kitchen islands, and thick exposed ceiling beams. Other interior characteristics of a Texas Hill Country home include high ceilings and luxurious dark wood floors.
With one-story and two-story properties available in a range of architectural styles, Lakeside at Tessera provides the best of Texas: beautiful homes at a stunning lakeside location less than an hour from downtown Austin.Contact us to arrange a tour of the community.