According to me... housing design styles get repetitive and boring in every region.
I grew up in Idaho and I remember being a little girl in grade school and seeing my first stucco house: white, clean, and modern. I thought it was amazing!! I told myself, I have to have a house like that when I grow up. After college, I moved to Phoenix Arizona which, as most know, is full of stucco homes and clay tile roofs. And you know what happened...I couldn't stand the sight of them. They were everywhere. All I wanted was a home with siding and brick, something a little more traditional. When we moved back to Idaho I bought the first home I fell in love with and could afford. It is a lovely home with brick and siding and green grass, just what I missed while living in Arizona. The only problem is that is looks like every other home in Idaho that has been built in the last 10 years, complete with the same mix of random exterior materials, same basic floor plan, same open niches to fill with accessories and dust. I am bored with seeing the same look everywhere.
I just came back from visiting the Oregon Coast. It was beautiful and I am not just talking about the ocean and forest. The houses on the coast are fun and exciting. They explore color and height. They include a variety of windows and balconies so you can enjoy the coastal atmosphere from anywhere in your home. Wood shake siding is very popular and patinas so well at the coast. The longer the wood is exposed to the elements, the more grey and aged it appears which allows it to contrast even more with trees, white edging, and colorful accents. I was inspired!
There was one moment when my sister made some comments about the homes and how she wished to could take them back to Idaho. "But we could never have this type of home in Idaho," she said. Why NOT!!? Is there a written law that says we have stay in a specific regional style? Arizona has the adobe/southwest look. Idaho has the siding and stone ranch look. Oregon plays with the coastal look. Why are we so stuck in a regional look wherever you go? And why do home owners not consider other styles of architecture?
I believe price is the main culprit. Contractors build homes according to a popular trend. But to make the most money they specialize in a specific look to avoid re-engineering each house. It is a lot faster and easier to mass produce the same look. I have first hand experience getting quotes for alternate architectural styles. It can be a bit painful to see what a 3 bedroom 2 bath home is priced in a contemporary or historical style as compared to your basic cookie cutter home. But I think we need to start asking for more style options. With each mass produced house, the beauty is lost. Contractors aren't necessarily asking themselves, does this design still have balance or fit the needs of the user. If you are going to go through the effort to build a home, make it yours. Don't be scared to ask for a different look. As you travel, be inspired. As you pinterest, be inspired. You CAN have that type of house where you live....at least, that is what I believe.
"According to Me..." is a collection of my design viewpoints. Hopefully they inspire others to seek beautiful environments.