Even till today, the romantic, medieval English style houses manage to charm one and all. When colonist Britishers came to America, they brought their special medieval home decor skills along, and bestowed them here, in the form of Cape Cod style houses!
The first ever Cape Cod house in America was supposedly built in the 17th century, along the Massachusetts coastline. To build these houses, they used the hall and parlor house models and modified their features in accordance with the stormy weather conditions of New England region of America. A typical house is a two or one and a half story cottage-styled house with home decor features like steep and shingled roof, a large central chimney, wooden shutters, clapboard, and less or no ornamentation, in short, a picture perfect house!
These houses were the epitome of the typical English houses. Initially, they used to be single storied with wide clapboard siding, steep-pitched roofing, with protruding chimneys. These houses were later replaced with two or one and a half story homes, multi-paned windows that look symmetric with the front door of the house which were typically located in the center of the building. This was replaced by the Georgian colonial, Federal, and Victorian style houses, at the start of the 20th century. Later during the colonial revival era, these houses regained their popularity with a large amount of revival impact! Hence, during this era, the Cape Cod style houses were a bit different than the original ones.
Apart from the characteristic symmetric appearance, the most striking thing about these revived houses was the placement of the chimneys. Unlike traditional central roof position, chimneys of these houses were offset on any of side of the house, excluding the frontal side, of course. Modern Cape Cod style house exterior ornamentation is very limited as compared to the traditional houses. Since these are relatively smaller homes and are quite inexpensive to build, regular houses started being replaced by Cape Cod style houses. This trend was followed by the neighborhood areas of Massachusetts, including Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Today, these houses are the most desired style homes for the hobbyists, investors, and real estate marketers. If you want to purchase a Cape Cod house, then you need to understand that the price gamut of these houses varies with respect to the features, location, size, and age of the house.
There are three categories, namely, full Cape Cod, half Cape Cod, and three-quarter Cape Cod house. The full Cape Cod house has a central front door with two windows at each side, the half Cape Cod house has front door at the side of the house with two windows, while the three-quarter Cape Cod house is flanked by two windows on one side and one window on the other. Apart from this main feature, interior decorating schemes of all these three types are identical. Commonly, additions are done so that it can match with the surrounding landscape. It is the reason why subtle designs and natural colors are prominent characteristics of these houses.
The colors of these houses is the most fascinating thing for you to learn if you are aware of the cottage style decorating ideas. Trim colors and crown molding are the dominant features of these houses. The doors, mantels, cabinetry, and kitchen furniture is colored in pristine white. The rest of the rooms also have clear white detailing. Another feature of the interiors is hardwood flooring throughout the house, except in the kitchen. Kitchen flooring is usually done with linoleum or ceramic. Interior wall paints typically belong to the countryside and hence they are sunset red, ocean blue, sand beige, and sea green. Colors that are seen on the seaside are always preferred as wall colors.
The exterior of these houses is totally subtle, with nude wall paints, uncovered and uncolored shingles, and clapboards that turn to gray or earthy colors with prolonged exposure to the natural elements like sun, breeze, and water. Another characteristic of these houses is that even though they have the cottage style decorating, they do not contain the front porch or veranda. The modern variants however have those chic sunrooms at one side of the house. Still, the main focal point of these houses is their front door, with its intricate carving and eye-catching colors. On the other hand, the windows of these houses have shutters that are either painted white or in the same color of the doors. Some other exterior decorative items include a white picket fence, steep roof with overhang, detached garage, and outdoor shower!
If you go through today's Cape Cod house plans however, you will come to know that the homeowners as well as architects have made a lot of changes and modifications in the original characteristics of these houses. Some prominent examples of this would be those roof dormers and additional wings at the rear end of the house! No matter how many additions and modifications these houses have gone through, they are still holding the place of a dream house for many people!