Originating in England, inspired by Ancient Greece and embraced through revival styles in the U.S. and Canada, Georgian architecture boils down to one basic thing: it’s a “beautiful box.”
- Inspired by Palladian-style classical architecture, Georgian architecture is named after George I of Great Britain, and connected with the four British Monarchs of the same name who reigned from 1714 to 1830.
- Revival styles include Georgian Colonial, Colonial Revival and Federal Style.
- In the U.S., Colonial Revival was the number one revival architecture style during World War I and II and included interior design, landscaping and more.
- In Canada, Georgian architecture was embraced by British Loyalists and was dominant in the early 19th century. The Grange in Toronto is a great example of the style.
What to Look For:
- Boxy and Beautiful: Symmetrical in style, a classic Georgian-style home really does resemble a two-story rectangular box, decorated simply and beautifully like a present. The façade is usually flat with simple, classic details.
- Symmetrical Door: The door will be right in the centre of the building and will feature rectangular inlaid panels.
- Pillars and Pediments: Often, the door will have a decorative piece over it — a crown or pediment. There are usually columns or flattened pilasters flanking it. In some cases, the pediment is narrow and other cases, extends out to create a mini-covered entranceway.
- Decorative Cornice: Along the roof, you’ll see an overhanging cornice that will have dentil moldings (a series of small blocks that project out of the cornice and resemble teeth). Simple, but elegant.
- Multi-Pane Windows: Along with the symmetrical style, you’ll find larger windows on the main floor, with smaller windows on the second level. Often, you’ll see five windows across the top, and four on the bottom (with the door being directly below the top fifth window). And you’ll definitely see shutters on either side of each window.
- Off to the Side: Sunrooms or small porches are common additions to the side of these homes. Siding materials include brick and wood.
- Roof Options: On the medium-pitched roof, you’ll often see small windows with individual gabled roofs and paired chimneys at the sides. There is also often a narrow overhang, and the roof will be laid with either slate tile or wood shingles.
Classy, symmetrical and simple, this architectural style has the look, and appeal of an elegant birthday present you just can’t wait to unwrap.