Jun 29, 2023

6 Traditional Interior and Exterior Design Ideas From around the World

Post by 

he traditional home design of large and small countries from around the world were largely popularized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, the integrity of traditional homes have lost their cultural charm as a result of the natural takeover of Western culture. In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 unique homes reflecting their surrounding cultures through some practical, and some spiritual, architectural designs.

Traditional American Home

A traditional american ranch home is pictured with a long driveway, grass, and red siding.
The traditional American home developed into larger two-story homes with a basement and an attic. Image courtesy of Home Buyer.

The California suburban ranch home has a single-story layer and low roofs. Reflecting southwestern influence, the modern ranch turned into the suburban ranch home. Throughout the 1940s and the 1950s, ranch style homes dominated suburban areas until the two-story design became more notable and desired. Many ranch style homes were renovated into two-story homes like we know today.

Outdoor space, overhangs, large windows, and low roofs characterize a traditional ranch style home. Like other traditional western homes, ranches did not have an open-concept interior layout. As modern appliances became normalized, suburban homes had TVs, dishwashers, and intercoms that connected other rooms.

Traditional English Country Home

A traditional english country home is pictured with light colored stone walls and long windows with grass hedges out front and a long walkway
Traditional English homes were large, elegant, and sturdy. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Right below castles and wealthy land-owners, English country homes began as monasteries. Later, these country homes became summer homes, much like a vacation house today. In the beginning of the 20th century, country homes were taxed highly because of the coming war. Many homes were abandoned, used as military bases, or renovated, if not destroyed by the war. The surviving homes became what we now know as residential homes or commercial properties.

Within a traditional English Country home, one could expect to find an abundance of ornamental decorations such as heavy floral curtains, large cushioned couches, exposed beams, and large fireplaces with brick or stone. Intricate designs usually accompanied the trim along the walls or ceilings, and wainscoting trailed some cabinets and walls in the bedroom or living room. The country home carried lots of wallpaper, heavy colors, and fabric, fabric, and more fabric.

Traditional Japanese Homes

Traditional Japanese homes are pictured surrounded by trees and grass
Japanese homes were often built within nature, the interior reflecting the exterior. Image courtesy of KCP.

Traditional Japanese homes, known as “Minkas” were designed as Gassho- zukuri or “constructed like hands in prayer” houses were built in an A-frame structure to keep ice, snow and rainwater from pooling on the roof. They reflected a Buddhist monk’s hands while in prayer. A practical exterior of thin, sliding doors, large paneled windows and A-framing reflected the weather, while the interior reflected traditional Japanese culture.

Before the Westernization of Japan, cushions or mats sat on the floor as traditional seating. The “House of the People” was similar to the traditional western farmhouse--lower-class workers lived and worked out of these homes. These homes were characterized by their open-concept architectural design and minimalistic, clean interior. The sturdy, exposed beams were used by families as means to hang lights, swings, and other decorations around the home.

Traditional Australian Homes

A large white and yellow Australian home is pictured with a front white gate
The traditional Queenslander incorporated light colors to keep a cool house and give a pleasing aesthetic to the eye. Image Courtesy of BAA Studio.

Queenslander architecture surrounds the outback of Australia. Large wrap around porches and verandas exemplify the symmetry a Queenslander makes. Practical for a tropical climate of floods, erosion and runoff, and breezes, a Queenslander allows for a raised base, large windows and doors, and an open-concept interior

The interior of a traditional Queenslander has long hallways, small living areas, and an open floor plan. Although there are large windows, the small living areas and surrounding exterior overhang keeps the interior dark and cool, but does not allow for much storage space. Incorporating nooks and built-in cabinetry optimizes space. That little nook under the staircase or that empty wall in your living room can turn into a shelving unit for books, storage, or valuables. To match a traditional exterior, timber flooring, high ceilings, and wall paneling keep the integrity of the home intact.

Surrounding porches are a large part of a traditional Australian home. Incorporate timber or wood decking with French doors and large windows can create a fluid push of natural airflow throughout the house.

Traditional Thailand Homes

A raised home is pictured with large overhangs and open patio decks
Thai homes encourage uniformity and harmony inside and out, reflecting its melodic culture. Image courtesy of Thailand Home.

Traditional Thailand Teakwood homes carried a large part of Thailand home architecture in the twentieth century. Because of flooding and erosion, most were built on stilts and made of wood or bamboo. Large overhangs provided protection from harsh weather and large windows allowed for natural light to shine indoors.

Inside, a minimalistic design is favored. Small stoves and kitchen sinks do not allow for much storage, so overhead hanging supplies were common, as well as outside underneath storage, and wood or bamboo cabinets for storing cookware. Asian influences were apparent through rich tapestries, detailed trinkets, and heavy silks. With an emphasis on symmetry and harmony, a traditional Thailand home makes room for only the key essentials in a home using natural wood or bamboo.

Largely influenced by its tradition, most Thailand homes include mini home shrines or “spirit houses” built to appease the spirit who inhabited the land including offerings of food and gifts.

Traditional North American Homes- Igloos

A family stands posing next to an igloo home made of snow over rocks
Traditional snow Igloos can still be spotted in Canada and Alaska and are used during the cold winter months.

Unlike popular belief, traditional Inuit homes were not meant for living year-round in North America. Used only in the coldest areas of the northern lands, tents made from animal hides were favored by Inuits living in the southern parts of North America. Residents of Igloos would pack snow into blocks, cut them, and pack them with more snow to achieve a dome style home. 

Quickly built, these igloos included indoor snow cabinets, shelves, and beds. The small area included  a stove which made the home warm, despite the outdoor temperatures. For insulation, animal skins lined the walls and covered the residents for sleeping. Now, while we don’t encourage the use of snow to build shelves and cabinets and animal skins to keep heat inside a modern home with a traditional twist, we have much to learn from Inuits’ minimalistic lifestyle built around family. Much like the heart and soul of a home, the kitchen, the socialization and gathering of a family of Inuits took place surrounding a central oil lamp in the igloo.

Get Inspired with These Diverse Interior Design Ideas

From the most practical and simplistic architectural designs, to the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, homes from around the world carry their own cultural significance. Western architecture has supplied us with technological and sustainable developments, though some of the cultural integrity of these homes have been eaten up by the progression of the West. Hopefully these 6 uniquely styled homes give you design inspiration for your future home.

Get a free Honest Renovator Fleece when you request an estimate >

Free Hoodie

Get an estimate from us and get a free hoodie to keep you warm this winter so that you don't get Corona Virus.

How can we afford to give out such a high quality free hoodie over and over again?

It's because when you wear them, it's free marketing. So you're like a human billboard for us. You're welcome, and thanks in advance.

View on
View on
View on
View on