The first Italian style house plans appeared in America in the 1830s and remained popular through the end of the century. These picturesque two-to-four story homes are designed to resemble Italian villas. Classic proportions are dressed up with a Mediterranean twist, with some Italianate house plans displaying a stately symmetry while others are more rambling and rustic. Almost all houses in the Italian style feature a low-pitched hipped or flat roof with wide, overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets. Some sport square cupolas atop the roof. Windows are typically arranged in orderly ranks and enhanced with elaborate crowns or frames.
These tall windows allow plenty of light to enter the gracious interior, which generally offers a bit of formality within a convenient layout. Italian designs are an elegant option for suburban houses or urban town homes.