Architectural Profile: Tudor Style Homes


With a hint of Gothic castles, Hansel and Gretel countryside charm and Game of Thrones fables, the Tudor style house is one of the most recognizable architectural styles in the world. Originally applied to churches and colleges in Europe during the 1600’s, America revived the style and applied it to houses in the late 19th C - beginning 20th C. Today, Tudor homes are ubiquitous in cities and suburbs throughout the United States.

A steeply pitched roofline with side gables, mixed siding materials of stucco, wood, brick and/or stone and at least one set of leaded glass windows are classic giveaways of a Tudor home.  

Whether original, an addition or newly created from an existing home with a steeply pitched roof, here are some enhancements that are signature Tudor. Most do not require changing existing roof or window lines or knocking down walls…

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Entrances to Tutor homes are celebrated. Make sure that your home’s front door announces that celebration with a board and batten entrance. If it isn’t, swap out the old door for one that is and consider embellishing that board and batten door with strap-hinge hardware as well. The hardware will boast the medieval look. To make the entrance stand out even more, add a stucco, stone and/or brick arch around the sides and top of the door.

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A truly authentic Tudor home would have at least one set of leaded glass windows in which metal casings hold together the individual panes. Stone mullions most often separate the casements. Usually these casement windows are narrow, tall, multi-paned and clustered together. Know that windows like doors can be swapped out easily.

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Chimneys, often more than one, are signature elements as well as elaborate ones in Tudor homes. Large and often embellished with ornate pots around the top, chimneys conjure a feeling of solidity and permanence to the house itself.

Both interior and exterior woodworking detail is critical to Tudor style homes.

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Due to the steeply pitched roofline, the interior ceiling often features exposed, heavy timber beams.

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Modern Tudors often have a plethora of floating bay windows to provide far-ranging views from the interior house plus smaller rectangular windows with mullions for maximum interior natural light exposure.  Often, lead glass windows in diamond shapes or grid patterns fill the house to mirror the Tudor period geometric symbolic shapes.

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Custom wood cabinetry with wrought iron accessories fills the Tudor’s kitchen walls.  Wrought iron lighting fixtures extend the theme. The ceiling line is often a shaped, flattened Gothic arch.

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Dark hardwood flooring along with dark wood stair railings and book shelving upstairs and down are common to Tudor styling.

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Common materials to incorporate into the exterior of your Tudor home are rocks, stone, plaster, and oak wood.  Often Tudor exteriors are covered with wood two thirds of the way up from the foundation and with plaster in the upper third of the wall.  Common materials for the interior are wrought iron, brick, and copper.  Most Tudor homes are furnished with a mix of antique, custom and modern pieces.

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Tudor landscaping reinforces the courtly style of the home’s architecture.  Formal gardens, statuary, and well manicured hedges and shrubbery line stone/brick walkways, steps and paths to all consistently styled Tudor pool houses, guest houses and outdoor entertainment areas.