What Is a Cape Cod Style Home?

A Cape Cod style home is a traditional American architectural design that originated in the 17th century in New England. This classic style has stood the test of time and remains popular today.

Cape Cod homes are known for their simple yet charming aesthetic, with a symmetrical design and steep pitched roofs. Let’s take a closer look at the key features and characteristics of a Cape Cod style home.


The exterior of a Cape Cod style home typically features:

  • Steep Pitched Roof: One of the defining characteristics of a Cape Cod home is its steep roof, which helps to shed heavy snowfall common in New England winters. The roof often extends down to cover the first floor windows, creating a cozy and protective feel.
  • Shingle Siding: Cape Cod homes often have shingle siding, adding to their rustic charm. The shingles are usually painted in muted colors such as white, gray, or beige.
  • Dormer Windows: These are windows that protrude from the sloping roof, providing additional light and ventilation to the upper floor.
  • Central Chimney: Many traditional Cape Cod homes have a central chimney, which serves as the focal point of the house.


The interior of a Cape Cod style home reflects its cozy and practical design:

  • Symmetrical Layout: The layout is often symmetrical, with an entrance door at the center flanked by windows on either side.
  • Limited Ornamentation: Cape Cod interiors tend to be simple and understated. The focus is on functionality rather than excessive ornamentation.
  • Open Floor Plan: Many modern Cape Cod homes feature an open floor plan, creating a sense of spaciousness and ease of movement.
  • Fireplace: A cozy fireplace is a common feature in Cape Cod homes, providing warmth during the chilly New England winters.

Decorating a Cape Cod Style Home

If you’re looking to decorate your Cape Cod style home, consider the following tips:

  • Nautical Touches: Embrace the coastal charm by incorporating nautical touches such as anchors, shells, and stripes into your decor.
  • Neutral Color Palette: Stick to a neutral color palette with shades of white, beige, and gray. This will create a light and airy feel.
  • Natural Materials: Choose furniture and decor made from natural materials like wood, wicker, or rattan to enhance the warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Cozy Textiles: Add comfort with cozy textiles such as throw blankets, cushions, and rugs in soft textures.

The Timeless Appeal of Cape Cod Style Homes

Cape Cod style homes have a timeless appeal that has endured for centuries. Their simple yet elegant design continues to captivate homeowners who appreciate classic architecture. Whether you live by the coast or in a suburban neighborhood, a Cape Cod style home can bring a touch of New England charm to any location.

In conclusion, the distinctive features of a Cape Cod style home include steep pitched roofs, shingle siding, dormer windows, and central chimneys. The interior is characterized by symmetry, limited ornamentation, and a cozy fireplace.

When decorating, consider nautical touches, neutral colors, natural materials, and cozy textiles. With its timeless charm, a Cape Cod style home is a beautiful choice for those seeking a classic American architectural design.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet