Cape Cod Home Architecture and Design Features

Cape Cods were built starting in the early 1600s, and the layout is still popular today.

It’s roughly modeled on the traditional English house, which contained a hall and a parlor, although the design was modified to use local materials and to withstand New England storms.

The name “Cape Cod” developed as a result of the design’s New England origins.

Cape Cods are small, usually one to one-and-a-half stories, which makes them very affordable for first-time home buyers.

They’re very symmetrical, with the entrance in the middle and an equal placement of windows and other decorative elements on each side. However, exterior ornamentation is usually kept to a minimum.

The iconic Cape Cod lighthouse keepers home shows the steep pitched roof, dormers and wraparound porch that have come to symbolize the cape cod style house.Cape Cod Exterior Design Features:

  • A steep roof, with side gables and a small overhang
  • Wood shingles, wide clapboard, or sometimes brick exteriors
  • Shuttered, double hung windows, with dormers often found in one-and-a-half story Cape Cods
  • White picket fence

In the early to mid 20th century, simple cape cod style homes  became very popular, with brick or wood siding, steep roofs to shed ice and snow, and cheap to build.Cape Cod Interior Décor Features:

  • Living quarters on the first floor, although they may be expanded into the attic
  • Most floor plans lack central hallways
  • A central chimney linked to each room
  • Cape Cod Interior design details:
    • Crown molding
    • Chair rails
    • Wainscoting
  • Flooring choices:
    • Linoleum or ceramic in kitchen
    • Hardwood common throughout the rest of the home
  • Laminate and soapstone countertops are most common in the kitchen
  • Cabinets are usually traditional inset wood models; maple and oak are common materials

Today, the elegant cape cod style of architecture is featured in many new custom homes featuring dormer windows, exterior shutters and a covered porch.Cape Cod Decorating Suggestions:

  • Keep in line with the design’s clean look by a pared-down decorative approach. Choose furnishings with simple lines. Spice up the decor with decorative elements like throw pillows and other decorative accessories
  • White trim allows the molding, wainscoting, and other architectural features to really pop against tinted walls
  • Since the exterior is fairly minimalist, increase the home’s curb appeal with landscaping
  • Some decorating schemes that work particularly well with the Cape Cod design include:

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