7 Home Architecture Styles it’s Common to See in the Mountains

One of the great joys of house hunting is seeing the great variety of homes that are in our community. Because of our terrain, our neighborhoods show little of the cookie cutter suburban sprawl of large cities in the South and West. 

But can you articulate just what exactly you’re looking at? More importantly, do you know what style of home you’re looking for?

There are many beautiful home styles, as unique as the architects and cultures that created them. The sophistication of Italianate buildings. The classical dignity of Greek Revival homes. The relaxing opulence of Mediterranean-style homes. And while it’s possible to find these examples scattered throughout Western North Carolina, they are few and far between compared to other home architectural styles. 

Here are seven home architecture styles that are common to find in the mountains of WNC.

204 Maple Hill Drive in Flat Rock | See the listing.


Often lumped in with modern homes, contemporary homes are actually quite distinct. The term “contemporary” refers to the present, and “modern” refers to a specific time period that has already passed (e.g., mid century modern). In the present, contemporary homes do incorporate modernist elements, such as simple forms, geometric lines, lots of glass, and natural textures. But contemporary homes also draw from traditional and other styles, as well. They are best classified by their neutral color schemes (sometimes with pops of color), abundance of natural light, and eco-friendly elements or materials. On the outside, contemporary homes often feature a mix of contrasting materials and textures and incorporate landscaping into their overall look.

Search all available Contemporary homes.

157 Cedar Lane in Arden | See the listing.

Cottage / Bungalow

Cottages and bungalows are also quite distinct from each other, but have many overlapping aesthetics. Popular in the 1920s and 1930s, cottage-style homes tend to be on the smaller side, and are often listed as “cozy” or “charming.” Inspired by the English countryside, they’re characterized by steep roof pitches, small porches, arched doorways, small living spaces, cozy fireplaces, and lots of personality. Often, they feature brightly painted wood siding or wood shingle siding and a gravel or brick front walkway.

Bungalows—also known as Arts and Crafts homes or Craftsman homes from the magazine that kicked off their popularity—were originally a 20th century response to the ornate designs of tall, gingerbread Victorian homes. In contract, bungalows feature a horizontal, sturdy build with beautiful hand-worked materials, exposed beams, low-pitched gable roofs, and tapered, square porch columns. Inside, true Craftsman homes often feature custom elements like built-in bookshelves or a hand-laid fireplace. California bungalows, modern bungalows, and prairie bungalows are also popular around the country.

Search all available Cottage / Bungalow homes.

1384 Charlotte Highway in Fairview | See the listing.


We’ve all been inundated with farmhouse chic in recent years. Architecturally, farmhouse-style homes pull inspiration from their namesake buildings, valuing function over form. Large, wraparound front porches (“rocking chair porches”) serve as open air mudrooms for farmers to remove muddy boots. Farmhouse-style homes are also characterized by tall ceilings, exposed beams, a rectangular layout, a central fireplace, and rustic elements like exposed brick and stone. Some farmhouses even have barn-shaped roofs. Horizontal siding and shutters complete the look. Modern farmhouse-style homes combine a rustic look with the clean lines and other updated features of contemporary homes.

Search all available Farmhouse homes.

469 Smokey Cove Road in Canton | See the listing.

Log Cabin

Cabins, and especially log cabins, have a unique and sentimental place in the American psyche. They connote hardscrabble lives, westward expansion, and a pioneering spirit. Physically, cabins integrate smaller floor plans with large windows and integrated outdoor spaces to bring nature inside. Iconically, their accent log and timber structures—sometimes lightly milled, if at all—result in high indoor air quality, soft acoustics, and a pleasant scent. Together, the features promote a standard of living that is natural and nurturing. Rustic finishes, such as metal roofs, weathered siding, and shingles, complete the look and the relaxed atmosphere.

Search all available Log Cabin homes.

7 Patton Avenue #1104 in Asheville | See the listing.


“Modern” and mid century modern homes initially drew their inspiration from the Bauhaus movement. Emerging on the scene after World War II, these homes combine the sleek, uncluttered look of brutalist designs with a more approachable appreciation for nature through large windows. They are primarily characterized by clean geometries and open floor plans, foregoing previous trends for arched doorways and ornate details in favor of functional, distraction-free spaces. Modern-style homes better represent the “less is more” mentality of the post-war days. The well-considered combination of natural and man-made materials “allows function to inspire form.” 

Search all available Modern homes.

17 Boyd Cove Road in Leicester | See the listing.


First constructed in the 1930s, ranch-style homes took off in the 1950s with the boom of the suburbs and quickly became the most popular home type in the U.S. for a time. Typically built of brick as low-slung, sprawling single-story homes, ranches spread out in a manner characteristic of their namesake. They’re typically characterized by low-pitched roofs, large picture windows, sliding glass doors, large back yards, and attached garages. They generally boast simple floor plans and efficient living spaces. Living rooms combine with open dining rooms and kitchens; a patio and full basement are obligatory. There are several varieties of ranches, including California, split-level, storybook, and raised ranch. 

Search all available Ranch homes.

Queen Anne-style Victorian home in the historic Montford neighborhood of Asheville, NC.


Named after Britain’s Queen Victoria, these are quintessential gingerbread houses made real. These homes rose to popularity with the queen’s reign, starting in the 1830s, peaking in the 1860s, and continuing through the rest of the 19th century. They are typically on small plots (often in a row), are two or three stories in height. And they are characterized by asymmetrical facades and many ornate elements, from the fabrics and patterns to the millwork, colors, and textures. They often feature cutaway bay windows, small towers, porches, steep gable roofs with patterned shingles, and brightly colored facades. Several other home types use the Victorian as a jumping off point, including more ornate styles like gothic revival and Queen Anne, or less ornate, like the folk style.

Search all available Victorian homes.

Discover the Perfect Home for You in WNC!

Do you have a favorite architectural style for your ideal mountain home?

Beverly-Hanks makes it easy for you to search for the right home to fit your needs. Our custom property search lets you narrow down your choices by location, size, and more—including the architectural style. When you fill in your criteria, just choose your favorite from the General Home Features options.

Begin your custom property search today!

All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, it’s important to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in Western North Carolina. View all Beverly-Hanks real estate listings.

End of blog post Beverly-Hanks logo


Back to News

Leave a Reply