The British are coming! Why English exteriors are making a huge comeback

October 17, 2012

If you were ever fortunate enough to have had a pair of parachute pants, checkered Vans or a headband then you probably remember the super sweet 80’s. In this era fads quickly flared up and just as quickly burned out. It was during this time that the English Tudor style became incredibly popular. It only took a quick drive around your local neighborhood to witness evidence of this British invasion.

Unlike many other styles that have stood the test of time such as Craftsman or Colonial, the English Tudor crashed hard. What happened? English Tudor has very distinct architectural rules to follow which include steep roofs, particular window treatments, and timber elements. As the style became more and more popular, builders, designers and architects alike were not adhering to these rules. As a result the Tudor style became so watered down and diluted it no longer was (nor looked like) anything special. The consumer became burned out, the builders stopped building the style, and alas the near death of English Tudor in America.

All is not lost however. As I travel the country working with builders I am noticing a sea change. There is an English Revival in the making! The fussy English Tudor is starting to creep its way back in the charts but far more exciting is the appearance of the Cotswold cottage look that initially developed in the Cotswold region of Southwestern England.

Cotswold architecture is very casual, and the rules are not so strict. The style employs sloping uneven roofs, one sided shutters, timber detailing and a variety of killer storybook like details. This is a great European alternative to French Country, which like the 80’s Tudor, is currently getting more than a bit overplayed.


Todd Hallett, AIA, president of TK Design & Associates has been designing award-winning homes for more than 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of its homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was president of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. Todd welcomes your feedback at or 248.446.1960.


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