8 California Style Homes: From Mid-Century Modern to Colorful Victorians

by
Updated on June 5th, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Golden State is known for its sunny and sandy beaches, historic cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, picturesque national parks like Yosemite and Joshua Tree, and array of outdoor activities – hiking, skiing, surfing, and running trails. It’s no wonder that 39 million people live in California. There are many draws to the state, no matter what city you’re living in. So, if you’re looking to buy a home in California this year, you might be wondering what kind of classic California style homes you’re likely to find.

Look no further, Redfin is here to guide you. We’ve gathered 8 quintessential California style homes you might want to consider buying whether you’re looking for a home in Sacramento or rental property in Irvine. While home styles vary across the state, here are some of the most common home styles in California you’re likely to find. Let’s jump in.

cape cod home with red front door

1) Cape Cod

Cape Cod homes are a well-known and loved house style across the US. They’re most recognizable for their symmetrical design, steep roof with pitched triangular areas, and large chimney. These homes often have two-to-three bedrooms and an open floor plan. They’re typically single-story, but you can often find Cape Cod style homes with more floors. Cape Cod style homes have lots of windows to let in natural light, adding to the charm. You’ll find these homes have cedar shingles, brick, stucco, or stone exteriors.

2) Contemporary

If you’re looking for a home that’s got modern and chic elements consider a contemporary style house. These homes are common in many cities up and down the state, from Malibu to Vacaville. Contemporary homes typically have sleek and streamlined designs, with plenty of natural light and an emphasis on functionality, perfect for the sunny California days. Expect to see a mix of materials and textures, such as wood, metal, and glass to complete the home.

3) Craftsman

Craftsman style homes in California are known for their unique blend of traditional and modern elements. These homes have low-pitched roofs with exposed rafters, wide front porches, and a mix of materials like stone, wood, and brick. Inside, expect to see plenty of natural light and an open floor plan, with built-in cabinetry and detailed woodwork adding to the charm. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bungalow or a larger, more spacious home, you’ll find options with the Craftsman style.

single story mediterranean home styles in california

4) Mediterranean

Mediterranean-style homes are a popular architectural choice in California, drawing inspiration from the historic buildings found in Spain and Italy. These homes often feature stucco exteriors, red roof tiles, and metalwork accents, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. Many Mediterranean homes also incorporate exposed wooden beams, adding to their rustic charm. 

One of the defining features of these homes is their seamless blend of indoor-outdoor living, making them ideal for California’s mild climate. Whether you’re looking for a seaside villa or a cozy retreat in the hills, you’re sure to find the perfect Mediterranean-style home in California.

5) Mid-century modern

A home style that gained popularity during the 1940s through 1960s, mid-century modern homes are still very loved today, including in California. These homes have clean lines, functional design, and natural elements. Mid-century modern homes in California are typically single-story or split-level with floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding doors, and an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living. Additionally, mid-century modern homes showcase neutral colors and natural wood finishes throughout the home, creating a minimalist and sleek look.

new construction home with pool in california

6) New construction

New construction homes in California typically feature modern and sleek designs with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living. They often incorporate sustainable materials and energy-efficient features to help reduce their carbon footprint. Many homes offer open-concept living spaces, large windows, and high ceilings to maximize natural light and create a sense of spaciousness. Smart home technology is also common, allowing you to control everything from lighting to temperature.

7) Ranch

California ranch homes are typically a single-story design with a low-pitched roof and wide eaves. These homes often have a simple, open floor plan, with a living room, dining room, and kitchen all connected. You may find large sliding glass doors leading to outdoor living spaces, like patios or decks, to take advantage of California’s mild climate. Many ranch homes in California also feature mid-century modern design elements, such as floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed beams, and natural details.

victorian homes in san francisco

8) Victorian

You can find variations of Victorian homes throughout the state, but, by far, the most well-known Victorian homes are in San Francisco. The “Painted Ladies” are recognized by their ornate and colorful facades. They feature bold hues and intricate details such as gingerbread trim, stained glass windows, and decorative brackets. The Victorian style homes in California were primarily built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The main architectural styles are Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.
Sussy Brown | Redfin Realtor®

Sussy Brown | Redfin Realtor®

Serving homebuyers and sellers in the San Diego area, Sussy Brown is a top real estate agent at Redfin with the latest market insights and local expertise. With years of experience as a real estate agent in the greater San Diego area, Sussy Brown possesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the local market.

Connect with Sussy
Start your home search on Redfin
Scroll to Top