Popular House Plans in Florida
If you’re looking to delve into Florida’s history and culture, look no further than the architecture that spans it. Popular house plans in Florida echo some of the Sunshine State’s exotic and rural roots, from Florida homes to the distinctive Spanish and Art Deco influences many of Florida’s popular styles.
Below you’ll discover just a few of the architectural styles that are predominant across Florida, as well as the history behind them. We even share a selection of popular choices you can browse while searching for house plans in Florida.
Olde Florida Homes: House Plans that Echo History
Olde Florida style homes, also known as Florida Cracker style homes, date back to the early years of Florida’s history when pioneers came over to the swampy, untamed lands of our Sunshine State and made a living as cowboys.
The term “cracker” stems from the cracking sound of the whip used by cowboys to herd their cattle and, believe it or not, as a way to communicate. Because the cracking sound of a whip carries, it was used to communicate with other cowboys while they were outdoors.
Because of the harsh climate Florida provided through its swampy land, humidity, and high temperatures, Olde Florida style homes were built with certain materials and features to help weather this climate. Some of these features include:
- Steep, hipped metal roofs with wide overhangs
- Deep front porches with overhanging roofs
- Raised foundations due to moist lots
- Numerous windows to welcome in air and create drafts throughout the home
- One-story with a rustic design
However, these days Florida crackers are few and far between. As the cowboy lifestyle gave way to today’s agricultural, farming, and metropolis growth and advancement, the style of these homes also evolved.
These days, house plans in Florida that fall under the Olde Florida style may not be as recognizable as their predecessors. Luxury, air conditioning, and blending with other architectural trends has led to a wide variation of house plans to fall under this category.
Spanish Style Florida House Plans
The Spanish were the first foreigners to explore and settle in Florida prior to the arrival of other European settlers. Ponce de Leon explored the east coast of our Sunshine State in the early 1500’s, yet it wasn’t until the mid-1500’s that Florida officially became a Spanish colony.
This early Spanish influence can be found throughout Florida, from lingering forts to modern day residential and commercial architecture. Styles such as the Spanish Colonial and Spanish Colonial Revival are often used for more luxurious estates, while the Mediterranean style is common amidst Florida homes of all price tags and sizes.
One glance at the stucco walls, low-pitched tile roofs, and terracotta ornamentation of these Spanish-influenced homes and you’ll know exactly why they have been, and remain, so popular. There is something quite enchanting about arching windows, colorful shutters, smooth exteriors, and elegant ornamentation that feels both exotic and romantic.
Art Deco Homes in Florida
Art Deco is an architectural style you’ll find most common in the commercial buildings and hotels within certain Florida cities. They’re older structures that often draw the eye with their “antique” appearance and distinctive traits borne from the contemporary movement. However, you can find them in residential homes as well.
Their predominance in certain South Florida cities, such as Miami, is because of the time period in which these cities experienced a burst in economic and population growth. South Florida saw a rise in population during the 1930’s, right in the midst of Art Deco’s popularity. Thus, as cities grew they took on the trending designs of that time period, which led to the remnants we see today.
What’s interesting about Art Deco is that even as the architectural trends steered into modernism, South Florida still clung to the vibrant nature of this style. You’ll discover that many modern style homes in South Florida still hold fast to the colorful ways of the modern style’s predecessor.