Vibrant Varieties of Portland’s Home Styles

The search is our favorite part of working with buyers and investment clients! Especially with the variety of homes in the greater Portland area, narrowing down exactly what excites and intrigues our clients to find a home that perfectly suits them is rewarding, to say the least.
Just like the culture of Portland, the city is bursting with variety. Between the five quadrants (Northwest, Southwest, North, Northeast, and Southeast), even from one street to the next, you’ll find a range of home styles. If you are in the market for a new home, new investment property, or new adventure, allow us to inspire you with a tour of Portland’s homes!  

Craftsman & Bungalow

Iconic, local architectural style in Portland, dating back to the 1920s. The terms Craftsman and Bungalow are often used interchangeably, however, Craftsman refers to the architectural “Arts and Crafts” movement. As Portland’s population skyrocketed in the early 20th century, created a demand for sturdy structures, built to house families through generations. 
Architectural Features:
  • Between 1-2 stories
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Exposed rafters
  • Covered front porch, adorned with rectangular columns
  • Custom built-in features, including bookshelves, cabinets, and dry bars.

Traditional Ranch

The American Ranch style first became popular in California in the 1930s, inspired by Spanish Ranches, and began trending in Portland between 1950-60. These homes sit low and wide, with single-story, open floor plans. Architects vetoed the maximalist trends of the time and opted for clean lines, hardwood floors, and easy access to the outdoors. Similar to Mid-Century Modern floor plans, rooms tend to be large and flow naturally between each other. Think, Mid-Century with 21st Century, modern design trends!
Architectural Features:
  • Single story
  • Open floor plan (rectangular or L-shaped)
  • Low-pitched roof with wide eaves
  • Sliding glass doors

Mid Century Modern

In Portland, where rain and cloud cover dominate 6 months of the year’s weather, we want to soak up all the natural sunlight we can! Midcentury Modern architecture has grown in popularity since the end of WWII. Homes feature minimal walls, extensive glass windows, and seamless connection to the outdoors. Portlanders can stay cozy while feeling connected to nature… a win-win!
Architectural Features:
  • Clean lines and “muted” curves
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Indoor and outdoor living 
  • Emphasis on geometry
Midcentury vs Northwest Modern: What’s the Difference?
While you may see the two interchanged, Northwest Regional Modern homes incorporate native wood and natural materials to connect homeowners to nature from the inside out. Portland’s best known Northwest Regional architects include Pietro Belluschi and John Yeon. Check out a few of their magnificent builds!


If you have explored the city, you’ve likely come across the vibrant, gothic-inspired homes that Portland is known for. While original structures built between 1830-1900 are becoming increasingly hard to come by – many were demolished with the expansion of downtown Portland – those that stand are well-maintained and prized in the community. 
Architectural Features:
  • Asymmetrical shape
  • Unique, colorful exterior paint
  • Textured wall surfaces, interior and exterior
  • Steep roof


Close your eyes and picture a random residential neighborhood in Downtown Portland. Chances are, you’re picturing the well-known “Portland Foursquare!” This style is named for its cubic design and uniform floor plan, with four rooms on the first floor and four bedrooms on the second floor. The style was popularized between the 1900s and 1930s – many of which are still standing, due to its sturdy and geometric architectural design. 
Architectural Features:
  • Pyramidal or hipped roof
  • Cubic shape
  • Wide front porch
  • High ceilings
  • Simple, “striped-down” design

The Right Style for YOU

Architectural styles are just as unique as the people who live in the home! The main considerations that we take when searching for potential homes with our clients are aesthetics and function. While every home style has room for personalization, some may better fit the needs of our clients. If you are in the market for a new home, keep structure in mind. 
Which features align best with your style, needs, and household dynamic?
  • Open floor plan or segmented rooms?
  • Single-story or multiple floors?
  • Direct access to the backyard or an elevated porch?
  • Large windows for natural light or an emphasis on privacy?
All of the above are considerations to make prior to starting your house hunt. We are here to help! When it comes to buying a home or investing in a property, there’s a lot to cover. Reach out! Let’s secure your future and get you into your new home. 

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