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Cape Cod Style House: The Perfect Blend of Classic and Contemporary

Cape Cod Style House: The Perfect Blend of Classic and Contemporary

Building a house is a time-consuming process. But everyone dreams of a comfortable home with a beautiful interior.

If you’re considering building a new home and crave classic charm, you can’t go wrong with a traditional cape cod style house.

It is a timeless architectural beauty. It is steeped in historic New England charm. The cape cod conveys an aura of history and sophistication that is hard to beat.

This traditional design stands the test of time and is instantly recognizable by the steeply pitched roof line, mansards, shutters, symmetrical façade, and large central chimney. This traditional cape cod style house has timeless appeal.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need about the popular cape cod style house, from exterior elements like windows and doors to interior features like fireplaces.

Read on to be inspired by stunning examples of beautiful cape cod style homes!

What Is a Cape Cod Style House?

Cape Cod Style House

Image Source: Greg Premru Photography, Inc.

The cape cod style emerged quite a long time ago. The cape cod style was first established in the United States by early settlers from England.

Cape cod style houses are usually quite recognizable. They protect residents from the cold ocean winds. This structure originated in New England in the 1600s. It has since become popular in the U.S. for its charming, quirky aesthetic.

Let’s break down the main architectural features of Cape Cod homes:

  • They are most often single-story, with a living attic.
  • Dormer windows are always very prominent. They protrude slightly and are part of the decor of the facade and roof.
  • On the windows are still often put shutters. They can cover the glass in an autumn storm or a heavy snowstorm.
  • The windows themselves are small and rectangular.
  • The roof always has a steep slope so that snow is not delayed.
  • In the cape cod style house, a brick chimney is prominent. Earlier, when wood heating was the main thing, people installed the chimney in the center. So one stove or fireplace heated several rooms. Now it is not a prerequisite. You can place the chimney at the edge of the roof. Or two of them on the sides.
  • The shape of the house is traditionally strictly rectangular.
  • Now, people have decided to build a garage on the side of the house.
  • The facade can be asymmetrical due to the protruding gable in one part of the house.
  • The roof is usually tiled. Traditionally, people used wooden shingles. Now people use more modern options. You can choose polymer or ceramic shingles.
  • People used to finish the facade with siding, wood shingles, or bricks.

According to the architects, cape cod style houses are very practical. The builders designed these houses with the northern climate in mind.

It’s easy to understand because of some obvious things. These houses have items that are designed to provide heat and energy efficiency for the house:

  • Relatively low ceilings
  • A steep roof;
  • A central fireplace;
  • Shutters
  • Double glazing.

Around the traditional cape cod style house, it is customary to arrange to pale. It is better to do it with a painted white picket fence.

The front garden with flowers is also located in the central part of the building. And the backyard is safely hidden behind the house. Here, you can arrange an open veranda.

A Little Bit About the Interior of Cape Cod Style House

Cape Cod House Interior

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As for the interior, the inside of the cape cod style house is simple. They have minimal decor throughout the house. The interior is usually done in light colors. Usually, it is white, soft blue, or pastel colors.

The bedrooms are usually located on the attic floor. The space below becomes a common space where the family spends most of their time. In particular, people gather in front of the fireplace on long winter evenings.

Because of their simplicity and practicality, cape cod style houses are excellent options. These are solid, family homes designed to provide comfort and convenience to all residents.

They are less prominent than colonial cottages or classic mansions with columns. But that’s the beauty of a cape cod style house. In addition, it will be easy to translate into reality!

History of Cape Cod Style House

History of Cape Cod House Style

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The Cape Cod style is one of the earliest to develop independently in the United States. This style in the original is English. But the cape cod style house has acquired some territorial features in the United States.

The cape cod style originated from the colonists from England to New England. They adapted the English hall. But they used local materials for better protection.

They protected their homes from New England’s infamous stormy weather. Over the next few generations, more houses appeared. 

The Rev. Timothy Dwight IV, president of Yale University, coined the term “Cape Cod House.” He coined it after visiting Cape Cod in 1800.

His observations came to light after the death of the president of Yale University. They appeared in the book Travels in New England and New York.

The style became more widespread in a somewhat more elaborate version of the colonial revival popular in the 1930s and ’50s, although traditional organized capes remained common in New England.

The cape cod style house ranged mostly from 1650 to 1950. But even now, this style is being copied in new homes worldwide.

The cape cod style is “a true icon of patriotic America. The same America that knows its ancestral tree to the first colonist and is proud of the emigrant’s past.

The classic look of this house has stood the test of time. It remains a staple in American neighborhoods. You can often see this cape cod style house in ordinary residential areas.

Cape Cod Style House Types

Cape cod style houses are iconic symbols of American history and architecture. The simplicity and charm make these homes incredibly popular for coastal living. But you can find them on the East Coast and throughout the United States.

There are different types of cape cod style houses, too. And while, for example, bungalows have several types that differ in the roof or something else, cape cod houses vary in size.

They come in a wide variety of sizes. You can find everything, from small cottages to huge mansions.

These homes are incredibly versatile and timeless. Are you looking for a cozy space with wonderful characters? Or do you want something more modern with subtle historical references? Either way, a cape cod style house is right for you.

Half Cape Cod Style House

Small Half Cape Cod Style House

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The cape cod style house is a timeless classic of American architecture. Its iconic steeply pitched roof and symmetrical facade create an understated elegance. Trust us; it never goes out of style.

The half cape cod house is a classic version of this style. These houses were usually smaller and built back in the day. However, they have all the same aesthetic characteristics as their larger counterparts.

Because of their features, the half cape cod reflects the traditional colonial style.

If you don’t have great needs, a half cape will satisfy your desires. Let’s be honest. This cape cod style house is suitable for small families.

But they also all have a timeless beauty. Their classic features bring an air of old-world charm. And they add rustic elegance to any neighborhood.

Three-Quarter Cape Cod Style House

Three-Quarter Cape Cod Style House

Image Source: Oleg Albinsky / GettyImages

Three-quarter cape cod style house is one of the most popular cape cod cottage projects. It is a classic cape cod house in its own right, but with big additions.

It combines a roof line with gables and dormers. It has siding, which gives it an instantly recognizable aesthetic.

These homes have a main entrance with a centrally located staircase. It leads to two floors, creating an added distinction in the home. And while in a classic cape cod style house, this one has the option of two stories.

Inside, these homes usually have large rooms and a simple, symmetrical layout. It makes them desirable for families who may need more space.

Modern building technology has made it possible to create various interpretations of this classic style. But the three-quarter cape cod style house is timelessly charming. It is sure to stand out in any neighborhood.

Full Cape Cod Style House

Full Cape Cod Style House

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A full cape cod style house can be characterized by a symmetrical rectangular shape. It has a door in the center and symmetrical sides. This style dates back a long time.

But cape cod style houses came into use only recently. All this is due to the constantly evolving world. In today’s world, people focus on minimalism. And full cape cod style houses are the perfect embodiment of this principle.

Full cape cod style houses give the landscape a unique character. They represent true elegance and historical reference. Its classic lines and delightful details make it stand out against any backdrop.

The full cape cod style home is perfect for the modern family. It has plenty of room for large families. And you can easily make this style unique to your home, too. You will surely fall in love with the cape cod style house’s classic features and timeless beauty.

No matter what type of cape cod house you choose, you will be rewarded with a beautiful and comfortable home. It is an iconic piece of American history that will charm your neighborhood.

You’ll delight in the result whether you choose a half, a three-quarter, or a full cape. The cape cod style house is an ideal choice for any home buyer. All because it mesmerizes with its classic lines and historical references.

Pros and Cons

Cape cod style houses may be an ideal choice, but they have some cons.

On the one hand, cape cod style homes are generally meant to be smaller. And this can mean less space for a larger family.

Let’s look closely at all the pros and cons:


  • Timeless charm. It’s an iconic colonial style. It will fit perfectly into the interior of any neighborhood. It will never go out of style.
  • Durable materials. This cape cod style house has extremely durable materials. Thus, you won’t have to worry about repairs.
  • Excellent insulation. Your home is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
  • Unique aesthetic appeal. It doesn’t have a big difference from other styles. Besides, it stands out a little bit for its peculiarity.
  • Symmetrical layout. It’s easy to design and decorate. And, of course, it fits perfectly into modern trends.


  • Small living space. This type of house is not suitable for a large family. But you should also consider the type of house you have.
  • Limited opportunities exist for individual layout. Most cape cod style houses have one design. And most often, they have one color scheme.
  • High cost of construction. Because of the need for special materials and labor, building a cape cod style house can be expensive.
  • Need more maintenance. Cape cod style houses built for the long haul, but you must spend more energy on careful maintenance than other styles of homes.
  • Risk of wind damage. Cape cod style houses are more vulnerable to wind damage.

Who Is Cape Cod Style House For?

Front door color for gray house idea featuring a red door on a gray cape cod style home sitting on a well manicured lawn

Susan Law Cain/Shutterstock

You already know a lot about the cape cod style house. But is this house right for you? Let’s figure out who this housing option is right for.

A cape cod style house is perfect for those looking for a versatile home that resembles classic New England architecture with its steep roof line, spacious porch, and symmetrical design.

It’s also great for minimalists. Since cape cod style houses are built with minimal design and simple materials, they’re perfect for those who prefer a clean look.

And cape cod style homes are great for couples or smaller families looking to save space in their homes.


How much does a cape cod style house cost?

The cost of a cape cod style house depends on the size and location. On average, a cape cod style home will cost between $180,000 to $375,000.

Is a cape cod style house suitable for a large family?

Cape Cod style homes are usually smaller in size. Thus, they are best suited for couples or small families.

What are cape cod style houses made of?

Cape cod style houses are typically built with durable materials such as:

  • Wood siding;
  • Cedar shingles;
  • Clapboard. 

They also have excellent insulation to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.


Obviously, cape cod style houses have a timeless charm. They combine classic architecture with modern advantages.

From durability and insulation to symmetrical design, they are all in the same style.

Whether you’re looking for a permanent or temporary residence, cape cod style houses are perfect.

So if you’re looking for an iconic piece of American history, cape cod style homes are the ideal choice. It’s a classic that will always stay in style.