The Colonial home is a classic, New England style, which means it’s steeped in practicality. There are many reasons to admire this style, and not purely for nostalgic or aesthetic value—though both sentiment and appearance count. One can see the beauty in the gabled roofs while realizing that the steep pitch of roofs was eminently useful because the inclement weather of yore could slide right down them with minimal damage to the houses. Likewise, the thick wooden shutters kept out the draft, and the houses were built from timber which was abundantly available in New England. In the South, bricks were used to build the houses and larger windows were installed in order to take advantage of the breeze. The Colonial is about pragmatism in whichever region it is built.
Colonials started out with one all-purpose room on the ground floor and the sleeping arrangements above. In one corner of the ground-floor room was a fireplace which had the dual purpose of cooking the food and heating the room. As the family expanded, rooms could be easily added on with this basic floor plan. Cape Cods and the Saltbox style both sprang from the Colonial in the 1700’s, and all three styles shared a common theme of practicality over appearance. Minimal, really, with economy of space being the goal. Of course, the style flourished over time, much as everything else in America. There are a number of sub-styles of Colonials, mostly differing in ornamentation.