Cape cod house is amongst the most popular and recognizable styles of American architecture. It got its name from the Massachusetts coastal region, where it is the signature style. Cape Cod architecture is ubiquitous in England, and you will find it across the US. These charming yet simple houses are closely tied into the American vision of a perfect home – and for a good reason.
Cape Cods are of manageable size, conducive to additions, and efficient to heat. The reasons behind the cape cod’s popularity have not changed since their humble origins during the 17th century. The original cape cods homes were practical structures built with materials that suffice during all climates. If you want to know more about cape cod style house layouts, here is an amazing read.
What Is the Origin of Cape Codhomes?
The Cape Cod style of houses started building from 1690 to 1850, but at that time, the name “cape cod” wasn’t invented. However, the president of Yale University, known as Timothy Dwight IV, came up with the term “Cape cod house” after visiting these cottages.
Timothy Dwight IV observed these structures published in New York and New England (1821-1822). The rise of the term “Cape Cod Home” happened from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was the time when this style gained popularity across the US. Due to the symmetrical design, open living space, and arrangement, this type of houses were named so To minimize the snow weight settling on the roof, Americans constructed steep roofs and low ceilings, and shutters that conserve heat and block harsh winter winds.
After World War II, this style of houses were promoted for filling the soldiers’ housing needs who werew returning home from war. The inexpensive, 1,000 square foot residence was mass-produced for suburban development across the nation.
Style of Cape Cod Homes
Cape cod homes have many similarities to the more traditional American Colonial homes. However, few elements differentiate these homes on the Cape.
According to Peter, 17th-Century cape cod structures were modest, one-room deep, wood-framed houses with shingle exteriors or clapboard. They were low, vast structures with unadorned, flat-front facades. Initially, cape cod homes were small and rectangular cottages, usually one and a half stories high. Although traditional cape cod homes exist mainly along the New England coast, today, in the Midwest and west, you can find the cape cod houses throughout the Eastern seaboard.
How to Decorate the Cape Cod House Style?
To decorate the cape cod style house, you can do various things; read the following to learn more:
Go for the Traditional Accents
If you like a walk down memory lane, you should consider elements and pieces that take you back to Colonial America. From lantern pendants to eye-catching wooden accents to a stately grandfather clock, traditional and antiques are likely to fit with the beloved architecture.
Keep It Neutral
Not only do neutral colors blend nicely with cape cod’s simple structure, but they also work as a black canvas, always ready to evolve with your style. Whereas, anyone wishing to embrace the style’s coastal roots will find a lot of love for a palette of light blues, sea foam green.
During the cape cod revival, black shutters and white paint were a popular combination. However, you can continually reinvigorate the façade with various combinations.
Add Ample Seating
Since the living room is the center of most homes, it is essential to have ample space for the whole family. The space of the living room doubles when there is proper seating arrangement. Use couches and a few stools to add to the beauty of the house while making seating arrangements. A palette of neutral hues can enhance the overall look of the home.
Lichten says, “once you have a full cape with four front windows, it can grow in the back with the help of an extension or a connection to the barn. From a matching Adirondack chair to a new picket fence, you can bring the cape cod charm to the backyard.
What Are the Characteristics of Cape Cod Styles?
Here is a quick sneak peek to the list of characteristics of a cape cod house that you can add to your home to make it alike.
Steep Gabled Roofs
Cape Cod-style steep roofs prevent the buildup of snow and ice and are one of the notable characteristics of the code cap homes. However, many homes like this type also have gabled roofs, having two slanted sides joining to form end walls with a triangular extension.
Large Central Chimney
In New England, traditional cape-cod-style houses have a large central chimney with several fireplaces that heat all the rooms. Those later built in the south shifted the chimney location on the outer wall to help dissipate heat. After the introduction of stoves and furnaces, the need for a large chimney was drastically reduced. As a result, people replaced most of the chimneys in the original home.
Dormers are also one of the distinctive features of the cape cod style home. The paired windows protruding from the surface are the first thing most people notice. Today, people include the dormers in the initial construction of Cape cod style houses.
The cedar or clapboard shake shingles covering the sides and roofs of the house are the notable feature of these houses. It protects against the harsh climate of winters; the shingles are a low-maintenance alternative to the siding.
Unlike most homes of the colonial revival era, Cape cod style houses are usually small. But, their small size induces cozy vibes with the alluring charm contributing to the style’s popularity. In addition, these homes were responsible for treating depression. These homes were usually less costly and expanded the funds, and it is not uncommon to see this house style with countless expansions and additions.
Pilasters are generally one of the main features that you will notice on cape cod-style houses. They project down from the wall and surround the door. Their main purpose is to highlight the entryway. At the same time, pilasters found on traditional Cape cod-style homes are simple in design. Now, you can find various styles with more decorative attributes.
Variations on the Cape Cod Home
There are three types of cape cod home variations, such as:
Full Cape is also popular by the name double Cape; this style is common in today’s time but rare amongst the settlers. This type of Cape fits wealthy people. The full Cape comprises a central front door and two multi-paned windows placed symmetrically on either side. It also has a steep roof and a massive chimney.
The half cape features a door on one side of the home with two multi-paned glass windows on the other, this type of house was the starter home of its day. Settlers would add additions to it as their families grew until it would transform into a three-quarter cape. This type of house is also famous as a single cape.
Three Quarter Cape
This type of home has a front door to one side of the house with two multi-paned windows that are on one side and one multi-paned window on the other side. It was the most popular style of the Cape during the times of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Materials in Cape Cod Architecture
Talking about basic building materials, all cape cod houses were traditionally constructed with the help of local materials. The reason behind it was to stand up against the brutal weather of the England winters. The following materials used in cape cod architecture:
- Oak and pine wood flooring
- Many people use oak and pine woods for post and beam framing.
- All homes contain brick fireplaces.
- People did not paint the cedar or clapboard with side shingles. You can see It in original cape cod cottages.
- During the cape cod revival in the mid-20th century, black shutters on white exteriors were a classic color combination.
Where Can You Find the Cape Cod House?
Cape-cod house styles are most common in Massachusetts and the greater New England region. Modern-day cape cod houses are now usually blended with other architectural styles, such as Ranch, Arts, Crafts, Tudor, or craftsman.
Other than known and loved for their simplicity, they are best for cold and snowy climates. But when you mix it with architectural style, you can create yourself a home that feels authentic to the neck of the woods.
What to Look for in Cape Cod House Plans?
When looking at cape cod house plans, the first thing that comes to your mind will be the façade. Though most residences usually feature side shingles and cedar shake roof and its symmetry will catch your eyes.
An authentic cape cod contains four rooms downstairs and four rooms upstairs with a flat chimney anchoring in the middle. A full cape is with an entrance door in the middle with a staircase immediately when you enter.
For a half cape, the front room is the living room, and the backroom is the kitchen; a three-quarter cape contains two windows to one side of the front door and one on the other.
You can find modern-day cape cod style house details in traditional styles and combinations. These homes have undergone various modifications throughout the years yet traditional models retain their coziness and make outstanding starter homes.
I hope you like this blog and keep coming to Homedesignnow for more interesting tips and ideas on home improvement and decoration.
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