Tudor-style homes have a look that’s all their own, with an emphasis on quality materials, craftsmanship, and unique facades.
The style became popular at the beginning of the 20th century in places like the suburbs of New York City and Philadelphia, and in California’s Bay Area. These days, buyers are finding ways to update the design without losing the classic look.
Steeply pitched roofs and gables, slate roofs, and partially timbered or stucco facades are all hallmarks of the Tudor-revival style, according to Kevin D. Murphy, the author of The Tudor Home (2015) and the chair of Vanderbilt University’s Department of History of Art. “They have diverse shapes and layouts and plans. They’re not just square boxes,” he says. “They are more picturesque.
The architecture hearkens back to 16th-century England, appearing in the U.S. in the late 1800s, Murphy notes. It was a go-to style for affluent home builders until the Depression, and part of that movement was a focus on quality materials.
“They emphasize simple, heavy timber construction, leaded glass windows, and prominent use of brick and stone in many cases,” he says. “On the interiors, you’d find a lot of tile, heavy beamed ceilings, big fireplaces, iron work, and pronounced hinges and latches on doors—all of these features that display craftsmanship.”
That craftsmanship was one of the elements that drew people to the style. “One of the things that was appealing about the Tudor revival was that high level of handcraftsmanship, as opposed to the modern period, which is sometimes seen as one in which physical building materials were turned out in factories and didn’t have that kind of human touch,” Murphy says.