14 Different Types of Houses Found in Countries Around the World

Cape Dutch Architecture (South Africa)

Cape Dutch house, Paarl, South Africa

Primarily found in the Western Cape of South Africa, Cape Dutch-style homes were built to resemble the townhouses of Amsterdam. They appear in locations where the Dutch settled during the 17th century, but many are still lived in today in historical towns such as Stellenbosch, Paarl, Swellendam, Tulbagh and Graaff-Reinet.

They are characterized by ornate rounded gables, whitewashed walls, wooden shutters, and thatched roofs.


Tiny Houses (Portland, Oregon) 

Different Types of Houses Around the World

Photo: Tammy (Weekend with Dee) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Today, many aspiring homeowners are foregoing standard-sized housing for less spacious alternatives. Communities dedicated to tiny homes have popped up across the United States, with Portland, Oregon, at its epicenter.

Easy to erect and relatively inexpensive, these small houses are perfect for people interested in downsizing.


Victorian and Edwardian Houses (San Francisco, California) 

Different Types of Houses Around the World

Photo: Tobias Kleinlercher [CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons

In addition to its hilly geography, San Francisco is known for its Victorian and Edwardian houses. Featuring bay windows and ornate decoration, most of these colorful homes were built in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Today, they can be found all over the city.


Adobe Buildings (Acoma, New Mexico)

Different Types of Houses Around the World

Photo: Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on a mesa, Acoma Pueblo is a historic site in New Mexico. The Acoma people have lived on the site for 2,000 years and began to build ladder-accessible homes out of adobe brick back in the 17th century.

Today, roughly 300 of these mudbrick homes exist in Acoma.


“Gingerbread” Cottages (Martha's Vineyard, USA)

Different Types of Houses Around the World

Photo: Michele Schaffer (DSCF0625) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Charmingly named after the quaint Christmas candy tradition, the gingerbread houses of  Martha's Vineyard look like they're straight from a sugary-sweet storybook.

According to Around The World L, these wooden homes popped up in the late 19th century. Since then, they have creatively been characterized as “Carpenter’s Gothic” due to their ornate decoration.


Canal Boats (London, United Kingdom)

Different Types of Houses Around the World

Photo: Oast House Archive [CC BY-SA 2.0via Wikimedia Commons

While, like the rest of the world, most Londoners live in homes built on land, some have found that life on the canal floats their boats—literally!

Regent's Canal—a waterway that spans nearly nine miles of the city—is home to a community of canal boats. A less expensive alternative to London's pricey flats and homes, houseboats are becoming an increasingly popular way to live and work in the capital. But before you pick up and move into one of these “narrowboats,” make sure you're on board with the nomadic lifestyle; local law states that canal-dwellers cannot “remain in the same neighborhood for more than 14 days.”


This article has been edited and updated.

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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