Southern Living House Charm

Balconies, columns and porches are typical of the distinctive features in Southern Living home architecture.

Southern living home designs have a natural charm, elegance and historical tie that few other regions can parallel.

These beautiful design elements of southern living home plans often include alluring double porches, verandas, decorative shuttered windows, arched casement windows, and stylish dormers, which lend the southern living home style to a nostalgia and long lasting appeal.

Why Southern Style is So Popular

Southern Living homes are a popular home-style choice along the Louisiana Creole, low country of South Carolina and other Southeastern communities. Southern house plans styles more often feature metal roofs, giving them a distinctive appearance common to their area.

Large plantation and similar southern estate southern home plans can also be found in this category. Southern style homes have remained a popular choice for individuals that live in such beautiful warm southern places.
Similar to a country home, the southern living house derives its appearance from elegant wrap around porches and an outward facade soft in color and beautifully crafted, like a fine piece of furniture.

Another great favorite are Southern Colonial Homes, the kind of homes that you may have seen in historical movies that depicted the south during the civil war era.

Southern Colonial Home

Southern Colonial Home Style

Some look like mansions from the days of wealthy plantation owners. In fact, some of these homes are just that, historical architecture left over from the days of the old south. These southern classics are identifiable by a large double porch that frames the entryway of the home and is normally supported by columns.

The front hall was the public face of the typical Southern home in the Antebellum era. Reflecting the social standing of the family, the entryway was designed to make an instant impression. Typically located in the center of the home just behind the front door, it followed the symmetrical design of typical Southern homes of the pre-war period.

Functional Floor Plan in Antebellum Homes

In larger homes Antebellum style homes, the center hall typically spans the length of the house, with doors at the front and the rear, and may have even been used as a parlor. Other public rooms such as the library, dining room, and parlor are located next to the entryway. For families with smaller means, such an expansive layout would not have been possible in the average 19th century home.

A more common layout has a front hall that extends half the length of the floor plan with work rooms, such as the kitchen, scullery, and laundry behind it. Other typical features, depending on the size and proportion of the home, might include fireplaces, grand staircases, and the best furnishings in the home.

Staircases are the crown jewel of the center hall in the majority of Southern living home designs. Curving elliptical and spiral staircases provide instant aesthetic appeal to anyone entering the home. Next to white pillars, a circular staircase was traditionally the most coveted feature of a plantation owner’s home.

Southern Antebellum Style Balconies

Balconies are a common architectural feature of Southern Antebellum homes. Often tied to a specific home style, balconies adorn many types of Southern homes including Georgian, Italianate, and Classic Revival Styles. Balconies are typically supported by decorative corbels or brackets, or by columns that framed a lower covered porch or portico.

The overall design of the home determines the specific look of the balcony, but usually classic details are favored. Railings are constructed of wood and typically incorporate turned balusters.

Most of the balconies in Southern living home designs serve little functional use for members of the household. However, one practical aspect of the balcony is that it allows for greater movement of air inside the upper story of a home, as the doors that append to it are often louvered.

The sweltering heat of the summer months would have made this a welcome feature. Regardless, the primary purpose of a balcony on a Southern Antebellum home is for aesthetic appeal and showmanship.

Porches Play an Important Role in Southern Living

Southern Living Porch

The hot and muggy conditions of the South, especially during the summer months, almost always make the outdoors more comfortable than a home’s interior. Porches provide shade and places from which one might hope to catch a cool breeze. During the other nine months of the year, when the climate is more temperate, porches offer a great place to spend their leisure time either swaying on a swing, reading, or sewing.

Porches may have been used historically to socialize with neighbors, but only on a limited scale. In the pre-war Antebellum years, few cities existed in the South. Small farms and plantations dominated the landscape, so connecting with the larger community was not always possible.

Southern living house architecture offers classic style, comfort and practical features that make this design motif a great choice for any new custom home or if you are looking for a classic home to renovate and restore to its original splendor and southern charm.

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