Living in Style: The Shingle Home

Andersen Windows explains why the shingle home style is the architecture of the late 19th century American summer.

The Shingle style home is distinctly American and traces its beginnings to the late 19th century. This style is a direct result of a renewed interest in Colonial American architecture happening at that time, as well as a desire to move away from the highly ornate Victorian style that had become widespread.

The first appearances of Shingle style homes originated with architects designing summerhouses for their well-established clients in the popular summer communities along the East Coast. One of the architects’ many goals was to create houses that differed in appearance from those of their clients’ more formal city homes.


Key features of the Shingle style include:

  • Gently sloping gable roofs with narrow eaves
  • Conical-roofed round towers
  • Wood shingle wall surfaces
  • Asymmetrical façade
  • Multi-light windows
  • Exterior colors in greens, grays and shades of brown to allow the home to blend into its natural surroundings

These two Coldwell Banker listings are the perfect example of the shingle home style:

55 Broadview Terrace in Gilford, NH listed by Susan Bradley with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

4408 95th Ave in Yarrow Point, WA listed by Wendy Lister with Coldwell Banker BAIN

Often wrapped in unpainted cedar shingles, these unmistakable, picturesque homes embrace a natural, casual style with minimum classical details, especially in comparison to Victorian style homes. The interiors feature minimal ornamentation and borrow heavily from the handcrafted Arts & Crafts style.

With the Shingle style’s charm, character and unique vacation home origins, it is more than a style of home; it is the architecture of the late 19th century American summer. Visit the Andersen Home Style Library to learn more about Shingle and other popular home styles.

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