Homes in the American South hearken back to eras long past. Southern architectural home styles are the epitome of opulence, focusing on maximizing the use of expansive spaces and Greek-inspired details.
Let’s discuss what make up the hallmarks of a Southern home and what homeowners can do to incorporate appropriate window and door styles that evoke these traditional styles.
“Antebellum” Architecture and Its Roots
Commonly, pre-Civil war architecture in the South is known as “Antebellum” architecture. Though only approximately 20% of true Antebellum homes still stand today, revivalist builders have taken cues from these classic styles as well as the French Colonial styles that are common in New Orleans to inspire newer builds with an older feel.
What Makes a Southern Home?
One of the hallmarks of a Southern home is the plantation style home from the pre-Civil War era. These homes were sprawling and enormous, with vaulted ceilings, winding staircases (inside and out), and Grecian columns along the home’s facade.
Raised basements are another predominant feature in many of these pre-Civil War homes. At the time of the builds, the raised basements propped up the main floor to help protect it from flooding that occurred during heavy rainstorms and hurricanes across much of the South.
One of the most iconic features of Southern home architecture is the gorgeous wraparound porch. Oftentimes, wraparound porches were built on multiple levels. Some of the more expansive coastal estates even featured rooftop porches, also known as a “widow’s walk.”
These grandiose constructions are as much about practicality as they are style. Wraparound porches provide protection from the hot sun, and continue to be a staple in Southern architecture to this day.
Windows and Doors that Complement Older Architecture
As a homeowner in the South, windows and doors play an important role in keeping the spirit of the true “southern style home” alive. When the Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, and Italian style homes were most popular before the Civil War, the layout and key construction features were all about providing easy breezeways for air to move through the home and heat to rise without making the living spaces uncomfortable. While the modern invention of central air makes those particular uses less relevant, the aesthetic is still popular in Southern living design trends today.
Whenever you’re looking for a big impact, picture windows are the way to go. They may be non-operable and fixed, but they provide large expanses of glass in tall and wide varieties with the option to add grilles for drama.
Hurricane Shield Series
Given that much of the South experiences the wrath of hurricane season, Pella’s Hurricane Shield Series windows are a great choice for Southern homes. Available in a variety of styles, our Hurricane Shield Series windows offer unmatched protection from major storms without compromising on style.
The hallmarks of the southern architecture styles of old are big and bold. If you want to bring some of that boldness to your home today, there’s no better choice than custom windows. Choose the shape, the design, the size, and the details, and Pella will create the perfect windows to match your home’s style. Custom windows provide as much or as little drama as you’d like and can be crafted to mimic classic southern architecture styles, French Colonial styles, and so much more.
As for doors in the South, there’s no need for the big and bold to stop at your windows. Double doors with an arched silhouette and three panel doors add to the luxurious look and feel of your southern style home. They say everything’s bigger in Texas, but we’d argue that bigger is better pretty much everywhere in the Southern part of the country, including your southern style home’s doors.
Make Your Southern Home Shine
Blending the classic historical architecture that the South is so well known for with modern amenities and innovative window and door technology allows Southern homeowners to truly get the best of both worlds. If you’re ready to pay homage to your home’s past while honoring the promise of its future, schedule a free consultation with Pella today.