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5 Features of Greek Revival Architecture


Some home designs reach way back through history. Greek Revival architecture is inspired by the principles of design formed in ancient Greece. These stately homes evoke a formal and traditional atmosphere akin to the feeling you get standing in the presence of the Parthenon. Let’s explore the history and features of these unique homes to understand what makes them so special.

5 Features of Greek Revival Architecture

1. Grand Entryways with Columns: The columns found in Greek Revival architecture are the defining characteristic of the style. Without these towering features, these homes simply wouldn’t feel the same. When used in a residential setting, columns help to create a feeling of grand stature by combining stories and stretching the verticality of the house. Columns were commonly found in important buildings constructed in ancient Greece, and today, they give Greek Revival architecture its timeless appeal.

2. Large Front Porches: In a residential setting, ample porch space creates a natural connection between the home and the outdoors. For all their grandeur, the way these homes are designed, there’s still a connection between them and their surrounding environment. As Greek Revival spread throughout the United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, different variations of the style were adopted to fit needs of the homeowners in different regions. However, porch space remained a universal feature of homes created in this style.


A street-level view of an example of Greek Revival architecture. It is a white house with columns in the front, a second-story balcony, windows with shutters, and an overall formal appearance.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: tose


3. Decorative Windows: If the columns don’t give it away, the decorative dormer windows found in Greek Revival homes are a telltale sign of the style. These important features maximize natural light, which is perfectly displayed in the open layouts commonly found in these homes. The windows stretch vertically to complement the columns and give a very structured look to the exterior.

4. Ornate Details: Looking back at the most inspirational and renowned design works of ancient Greece, it’s no wonder that the opulent detailing of these magical buildings continued to be an important feature during the revival period. Intricate molding, ornate carvings, towering columns, and luxurious tile designs all reinforce the beauty of these homes. Marble was commonly used throughout these homes originally, inspired by the ancient Greeks’ preference for the rock in their building construction.


A closeup view of a Greek Revival architecture house. The large front porch is straddled by tall white columns that reach up to the second story of the home.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: YangYin


5. Greek Revival Architecture Color Scheme: The dominant color in the Greek Revival palette is white. Yes, white marble was prevalent throughout temples in ancient Greece, but the preference for white amongst the designers behind the revival movement had just as much sway in how we see this style represented today. Many Greek Revival homes found today are constructed with wood or stucco and painted white. In terms of interior design, this typically whitewashed palette gives you a clean slate to decorate on top of. Primary colors and natural, organic hues pair well with these classic buildings.


To refine your taste in real estate and learn about different residential exteriors, explore our Architectural Styles page.


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: mtcurado


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