Home architecture: design ideas, inspiration and pictures

“If I were asked to say what is at once the most important production of art and the thing most to be longed for; I should answer, a beautiful house …”

There aren’t many who would disagree with designer and novelist William Morris. Over the years, family houses have changed a lot. New artistic influences and technological developments have left their marks on home architecture. But this evolution hashad little or no impact on the aspiration of building or owning a dream home. Want to learn about architectural styles for house plans? From traditional to modern, homify has a complete collection to get you started or contact an architect via our free consultation.  

Is it a good time to buy a house in Canada?

If you are Canadian, you are probably aware of our hot housing market and the fears of an impending crash. The Canadian Real Estate Association forecast a bit of a slowdown in some parts of the country in 2017. Tightened regulations are expected to reduce the number of first-time buyers who qualify for mortgage financing, particularly in pricier markets where there is a severe shortage of lower-priced listings. In 2017, national sales are forecast at 518,900 units, representing a decline of 3.3% when compared to 2016. 

But the price of houses continues to climb. The national average price for homes sold in May 2017 was $530,304, up 4.3% from a year earlier. The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are two of Canada's most active and expensive housing markets.  

If you are a first-time home buyer, consider markets away from larger city centres, near a university or industrial hub. If you are considering an investment property, experts recommend multi-unit rental properties such as duplexes, triplexes as better than single unit condos.  

How do I choose the right floor plan for my home?

Whether you are buying or building, selecting a house is a decision most don’t take lightly. The size and shape and where the rooms are located can enhance or destroy your home experience. Choose a style that is suitable for the location and size of your plot. Check out the neighbourhood and note the architectural styles of the building. 

Experiment with the design of your dwelling, but avoid a clashing style. Choose your floor plan first and exterior look afterwards. Most plans can be finished in nearly any architectural style whether Craftsman, Bauhaus, Classic or Contemporary. Before you get overwhelmed, there are a few ways to ensure you pick the right floor plan for your home. 

Create a list of your needs and lifestyle. The size of your family will determine the number of bedrooms you need. Consider the features of the plot of land. Which direction gets the most sunlit or has the best views? Think about privacy. Are you in a tightly packed neighbourhood or on a rural lot with vast tracts of space? Browse through building plan catalogues for ideas. There are plenty on homify!   

What are the most popular housing styles in Canada? 

Knowing the style of your house can help you develop a successful plan whether you are renovating, building an extension or just give it some curb appeal. While some might think that Canada is a land of suburban monstrosities, we have a rich architectural heritage that might help guide your choice.  

Arts and Crafts houses: Arts and Crafts Movement and the works of Augustus Pugin and William Morris had a defining impact on Canadian family residences, so much so, that even after a century and a half later its charm has not faded. 

The image of charming houses with multi-paned intricate brick, stone and stucco work set in the middle of a lush garden still feels everyone’s mind with pleasure. If you have a taste for classical designs and own a reasonably sized plot to convert it into a picturesque setting for your abode, then this is a style that you may opt for. 

Art deco houses: The glamour of art deco continues to live on. It is not uncommon to see new structures emulating an art deco style. A combination of geometric forms and luxurious features tend to give the home interiors a very special look. Use of crystals and glass panels are quite common in art deco homes. The city centres of Vancouver, Ontario, Montreal and Toronto are replete with art deco buildings. 

Contemporary architecture: While planning a residential dwelling, modern urbanites frequently opt for contemporary styles. This, however, does not imply that contemporary houses cannot be built on a secluded spot far away from the city’s limit. Contemporary architecture has evolved further from the days of David Ewart and Frank Gehry. 

Now you see buildings not only embracing simple and clean forms, but also fluid styles. Experimentation has introduced a futuristic scheme in contemporary design, as well. Whether you have a small plot or a sprawling area, you can easily opt for a contemporary design for your residence.      

Affordable housing options in Canada

Supported by technological advancement and ingenuity, modern architects are coming up with ways to counter rising residential house prices. Recycled container houses, prefabricated dwellings and laneway houses are the results of this ongoing experimentation. 

Shipping container houses are sprouting up in Ottawa and Vancouver, but have yet to gain a strong following because concerns over insulation and the sustainability of the structure as a residential dwelling still need to be addressed. 

Prefabrication is the next cost-effective and quick-to-build option. These modular buildings are surprisingly adaptable. They are excellent as mortgage helpers if you have a large plot of land for a granny flat or coach house.