Most people familiar with its history will probably not find it surprising that European designs play such an important role in the most popular house styles in North Carolina. The state was, after all, one of the 13 original colonies. The first Europeans who settled here mainly came from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany.

 The state’s traditional style homes have a long history of offering timeless beauty combined with beautiful designs. Apart from the elegant Federal, Colonial, and Georgian styles, North Carolina also boasts many contemporary, log cabin, modern, bungalow, farmhouse, and plantation designs along with modern farm style houses. Among the many different house styles, another popular option here is the mountain vernacular style that has been adapted to fit in with the geography and climate.

Let us embark on a tour of the most popular house styles in North Carolina, covering everything from modern to traditional style homes. It’s an exciting journey through many different eras.

Modern Architectural Style

This house style is characterized by the use of different levels, huge glass windows, open spaces, and geometric lines. These residences are also known for their extensive use of concrete and exposed steel.

Only top-quality materials such as wood, stone, and marble are used. In many ways, this style is, therefore, a reflection of the minimalist preferences of today’s tech-savvy homeowners. The largest concentrations of modern architectural style homes can be found in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and the Research Triangle.

Victorian Style Homes in North Carolina

During Queen Victoria’s reign, some of America’s most popular house styles (quite understandably) included Victorian and Folk Victorian.

Many of the most beautiful examples of Victorian style homes in North Carolina can be found in cities such as Raleigh, Davidson, Elon, and Greensboro. Coming back specifically to real estate in Raleigh, in this city’s Oakwood neighborhood, the majority of Mid-Victorian homes were constructed in one of four forms; the side-hall plan, the central hall, the shotgun, and the gable-front-and-wing. Many of these properties have since been restored to their original stylishness and beauty.

Ranch Style Homes

Nice Wooden Ranch Home With Beautiful Landscape in the Countryside.

Many people still find single-story, U- or L-shaped ranch style homes enchanting. Characterized by sliding glass doors, low rooflines, porches, and attached garages, this style followed not long after the Victorian style. A ranch style home is typically a single-story building. The floor plan often features an open-plan layout, with the kitchen acting as the focal point. These homes are particularly popular among those who like a simple design without much in the form of decorations. 

The Bungalow Style

The bungalow style came to North Carolina at the start of the 20th century. Between 1910 and 1930, it became one of the more popular house styles among young families who preferred affordable, simple, yet comfortable homes far from the hustle and bustle of the city. With their extensive porches, open floor plans, gardens, and balconies, these homes soon became very popular in the suburbs of those days.

To find a bungalow-style home in North Carolina, head straight for the Charlotte area.

Contemporary Style Homes in North Carolina

Many people confuse this style with the modern style, but they are not the same. Contemporary house styles concentrate on using energy efficiently, sustainable living, lots of natural light, and open floor plans. These types of homes also often feature vaulted ceilings, lots of wood, and exterior walls that can be moved or removed to best utilize outdoor and indoor space.

The emphasis throughout is on sustainable and natural building materials like granite countertops and bamboo floors. Particularly in the greater Charlotte area, many of these homes feature a mix of contemporary and historical that creates a one-of-a-kind ambiance.

Colonial Style Homes in North Carolina

In all of the US, these are the most traditional homes. Two of the hallmarks of this style include balance and symmetry. Colonial homes also often feature decorative shutters, a centered front door, a hip roof, paired windows, white columns, and a foyer with a high ceiling.

The early colonial style in New England typically features an open floor plan, a chimney, a gable roof, and a fireplace in a simple 2-story wooden-frame structure. The Southern Colonials were, however, quite large 2-story or 3-story brick structures with colonnades stretching across the whole length of the exterior, porticoes, and high ceilings to improve airflow. Most of these traditional style homes can be found around Mount Vernon.

The Southern Plantation Style

Let’s face it: many of the early inhabitants of North Carolina clearly had a somewhat romanticized view of plantations and the mansions in which the owners lived. Think lots of land, impressive staircases, horses, and cheap labor.

When examining the most popular house styles in North Carolina, it’s interesting to note that the early plantation style homes were beautiful brick buildings with massive columns, statues, lawns with lovely fountains, formal gardens with trees and flowers, and even lagoons.

The majority of them can be found in the state’s eastern part, where owners grew cash crops such as corn, tobacco, wheat, cotton, indigo, flax, and rice. Sizes varied from really small (around 4 acres) to well over two thousand acres. In our time, the majority of these plantations have become historical places, and some of them offer public tours.

Although the days of the grand plantations might be something of the past, North Carolina and some other regions in the South still retain the concept of a plantation home, albeit with various contemporary touches. Even in the 21st century, these types of homes still remind us of the refinement, gentility, and elegance that formed part of 17th-century plantation homes.

Mediterranean Style Homes in North Carolina

Mediterranean Style House


The Mediterranean Revival drew inspiration from a variety of cultures, including the Spanish Revival and Italian Renaissance. These homes encompass the allure of tropical getaways by bringing the feel and look of a beachside villa to the suburbs. Their luxurious appeal often includes features such as plaster walls, tiled roofs, wood beams, patterned tiles, bright colors, patios enclosed by wrought iron, and a wide outdoor area with verandas or courtyards.

Townhomes and Condos

Similar to most other urban regions in the United States, townhomes and condos are very common in the popular and densely populated areas of Brier Creek, North Hills, and central Raleigh. Many of them boast facades that reflect both modern and traditional style homes. This, to a large extent, depends on the predominant characteristics and building styles of the suburb where they are located.

The Bottom Line

After reading all of the above, you are fast approaching expert status on the different types of homes that are popular in North Carolina. We tried to cover the most common styles, but once you sit down with one of our experts, you will soon realize that there is much more on the menu than the ones we mentioned. If, at this stage, you would simply like to have your questions about buying a home in North Carolina answered, head straight for our website. There you will find more information about our new home construction services and other offers. There are also a number of very interesting blogs related to custom home construction.