Defying the highly ornamented architectural trends of the time, Shingle style house plans came into fashion in the wealthy seaside resorts of Newport, Cape Code, and the Hamptons just before the turn of the century. With their rambling, multi-storied floor plans, breezy porches and windows randomly placed to take advantage of sea views, Shingle homes are the quintessential beach house, yet the style also caught on in urban areas, where it blended well with both Victorian and Craftsman style homes in the streetcar suburbs of the era. Their origin in the rugged coastlines of New England also makes them a perfect fit for the Pacific Northwest and the shores of the Great Lakes.
Distinctive towers, protruding gables, and complex rooflines connect this style to the rest of the Victorian school. The difference lies in the wall surfaces. While Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Stick styles rely on a variety of materials and trimmings to embellish wall surfaces, Shingle style homes strive for the appearance of a smooth, continuous wall surface by the application of wood shingles, whose small size enables them to wrap corners and protrusions like a skin. Embellishments are minimal but may include Romanesque arch shapes, Palladian windows, and a variety of dormer windows. Deliberately rustic on a grand scale, typical Shingle home plans invite relaxed, informal living that is ideal for vacation homes as well as primary residences for families who enjoy the idea of summering all year long.