From American Farmhouse to French Provincial, Nashville real estate features a wide range of architecture to suit any buyer. Let’s take a look at the seven most popular architectural styles in the area.
Image: A Georgian Revival-style house at 907 Overton Lea Road for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
Originating in the early 20th century as a subtype of the Colonial Revival style, Georgian Revival houses gained popularity between 1900-1950 and have remained a fixture in neighborhoods across the U.S. due to its signature symmetrical design and classic look. Georgian Revival houses are commonly sought-after by homebuyers in Nashville.
Georgian Revival reigned as the dominant architectural style between 1700 and the Revolutionary War. Although popularity dwindled with the emergence of the American Federal style, examples of classic Georgian Revival buildings can still be found today in American cities throughout New England and the East Coast.
These impressive homes are characterized by their rigid symmetry, as well as the predominant use of brick or stone on the exterior. Large windows, often built with decorative brick headers above, are consistent features in a Georgian Revival-style home. Ornate entrances commonly provide a statement focal point at the center of the front of the building.
A well-known example of a Georgian Revival-style home is the large, main house featured in the popular movie, Home Alone.
Closely related to both Colonial Revival and Greek Revival, all three styles typically share a symmetrical theme throughout the house and a striking statement entrance. The entrance is commonly centered at the front of the house and is highlighted by signature columns on either side, which exude a dramatic and inviting appearance.
Image: An Antebellum-style house at 3801 Mistico Lane for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
Historic Antebellum-style homes are portrayed in popular media as the picturesque pinnacle of Southern charm and hospitality. Iconic movies such as Gone with the Wind and The Notebook depict memorable scenes set against the romantic backdrop of a historic Antebellum house.
Antebellum, which means “before war” in Latin, often refers to a style of houses originating in the Southern states prior to the American Civil War (1861-1865). The eye-catching architecture pulls elements from Neo-Classical and Greek Revival design. The architectural style of these elegant, pre-war mansions remains present throughout various areas around Nashville today.
Common characteristics of Antebellum houses include Greek-style pillars, multi-level balconies, and grand staircases. Vast ballrooms, elaborate foyers to greet guests, and detailed plaster designs were staples in traditional Antebellum houses.
The signature wraparound porch of an Antebellum home continues to be ideal for days relaxing in the sun sipping a cold drink and evenings spent listening to the calming sounds of nature. Nashville residents who appreciate slowing down to take in life’s simple joys or enjoy entertaining visitors will take full advantage of everything an Antebellum home has to offer.
Image: A French Provincial-style house at 2 Saint James Place for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
You don’t need to travel to the French countryside to experience the breathtaking beauty of French Provincial architecture! A simple drive around Nashville neighborhoods exudes a similar feeling of rustic elegance.
Inspired by 17th- and 18th-century manor houses built in the French countryside, French Provincial-style houses were originally inspired by the en-vogue styles of Paris during the reign of King Louis XIV—a more subdued version of the lavish Versailles.
The style began to gain popularity in the U.S. in the 1920s after American World War I soldiers observed the grand homes and small cottages throughout France and returned back to the U.S. to build French-inspired homes. French Provincial houses experienced a second wave of revival in the 1960s.
Key elements of the style include brick or stone exteriors featuring ornate roofs adorned with curved top windows protruding through the roofline. Arches can be found throughout this design, from doorways to windows and ceilings. Ornate carvings, painted shutters, decorative wrought iron, exposed wooden beams—and even a tower—are frequently incorporated into this sophisticated, yet country-esque design.
Vintage furnishings and antiques complement the romantic design elements of French Provincial homes. In the interior, the simple elegance of the style utilizes colors that match the landscape of the French countryside. Colors such as cream, white, brown, gray, and subdued greens and blues accentuate a natural and comfortable environment and provide a softer approach to the rustic farmhouse look.
Image: An American Farmhouse-style house at 2050 Old Hillsboro Road for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
An enduring symbol of early America is the American Farmhouse. Named after its functionality and use as homes for farmers and their families, this traditional style is a real estate staple in Nashville, the country music capital of the world.
In the early 18th century, American colonists built farmhouses using logs or stone. As a wider range of materials became available in the 19th century, elements such as columns and porches were modernistic additions.
This simple, yet practical style of home design is currently experiencing a modern renaissance (à la Fixer Upper and the design work of Chip and Joanna Gaines) and a sharp increase in demand in recent years.
Quintessential components of the American Farmhouse are white or light-colored walls and exteriors, rustic materials, designated formal and informal areas, and large, wraparound porches.
With a functional tradition of serving as a transition area for farmers and children to take off their shoes before entering the house, these porches now provide additional space for families and friends to gather together. Their unpretentious aesthetic emits the feeling of simpler times spent in quiet farmlands.
Image: A Tudor Revival-style house at 225 Lake Hills Road for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
The fairytale appearance of Tudor Revival houses makes them easily distinguished compared to other architectural styles. The iconic decorative half-timber framing on the exterior exudes an Old World charm that continues to attract Nashville homebuyers.
Named after the Tudors, a powerful family of English royalty, Tudor Revival style continues to hold the aura of an English countryside manor, perhaps evoking scenes from Downton Abbey.
Incorporating elements from English Medieval times, Tudor homes grew in popularity in the U.S. beginning in the mid-19th century. Nearly all Tudor Revival structures include an element of half-timbering on the exterior walls. This signature element was a construction method utilized in the Tudor-era, which transitioned throughout the centuries into a decorative element still found in today’s homes. Other signature features include steeply pitched roofs, exterior brick accents, tall, narrow windows, and chimneys.
Tudor Revival homes often accompany an English-style garden and well-manicured landscaping. A quiet walk through the garden is sure to replicate the serenity and grandeur of a traditional English manor.
Image: A contemporary-style house at 4606 Shys Hill Road for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
Contemporary-style dwellings often appeal to homebuyers seeking a modern and sophisticated refuge. Homes in Nashville with a contemporary flair stand out among more traditional styles in the area.
Popularized in the 1920s to 1950s, modern architecture embraced clean lines and minimalism. Although ever-changing, in today’s terms contemporary or “the style of the moment” architecture continues to incorporate clean lines and minimalist design—with the addition of high-tech features and the mindful selection of sustainably-gathered building materials. A contemporary home gives designers the freedom to create a truly unique structure.
Common components of today’s contemporary homes include an angular, asymmetrical exterior, large windows to bring in natural light, the inclusion of geometric shapes, and green, eco-friendly utilities. This architectural style is ideal for homebuyers seeking forward-thinking designs, carefully considered and sustainable elements, and the flexibility to adjust the design based on lifestyle and needs.
Image: A Mediterranean Revival-style house at 1613 Whispering Hills Drive for sale by Nashville Luxury Estates.
One look at a Mediterranean Revival-style house and you’re instantly transported to the green, rolling hills and picturesque beaches of the balmy Mediterranean. This exotic aesthetic can be found in houses throughout the Nashville region.
Rising in demand between the 1920s and 1930s in the U.S., the modern-day, luxurious Mediterranean villa was largely influenced by Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival architecture. Structural and design elements, such as columns, rounded arches, and thick roofs were all borrowed from the Italian and Spanish styles—mixing the old with newer concepts.
Modern Mediterranean homes incorporate traditional heavy red roof tiles, a white, stucco exterior, outdoor living spaces, the use of towers, and elaborate landscaping. Mediterranean Revival homes bring exotic beauty and relaxation to homebuyers seeking an escape from the traditional.
Lisa Peebles Chagnon has a variety of luxury homes for sale near Nashville, TN. If you’re looking for your own unique piece of Nashville luxury real estate or are ready to schedule a showing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It would be our pleasure to help you find the perfect piece of Nashville luxury real estate surrounded by a vibrant community!