Architectural Styles in Scotland
Traditional houses in Scotland range from the Crofter’s cottages in the countryside to high-rise tenement buildings in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Other types of houses in the country are similar to standard house styles across England such as 1930s semis, 1960s semis and millennium new builds.
Tenement buildings were an economical way to use space and building materials in cities and the tall buildings are a typical building style of the cities in Scotland.
Tenements are usually three or four floors high and built from stone with pitched slate roofs. At the back was a garden or drying green shared by everyone in the block.
Tenement buildings for the wealthy featured large rooms, high ceilings and bay windows. However, the slum-style tenements were a long way from the luxury homes of the wealthy and often had only one room per family. These run-down and overcrowded tenements gave the buildings a bad name.
Today, the remaining tenement style is still popular with high-ceiling rooms and tall sash windows.
In Edinburgh, the New Town tenements are built from sandstone and feature white wooden sash windows.
Edinburgh Old Town has some of the oldest high-rise buildings in the world and the New Town was built in the 1700s in symmetrical terraced streets. Both old and new towns are considered one of six UNESCO world heritage sites in Scotland.
For tenement-style period properties we recommend:
Windows: Sash windows in white.
Door: Six-panel wooden door with traditional furniture, in dark colours such as black, dark blue or red.
In the 18th century, detached houses for middle-class families were built on the edges of towns and cities across Scotland. Although they began as detached houses, later many semi-detached villas were also built as a more affordable option.
Pollokshields in Glasgow, Broughty Ferry in Dundee and Minto Street in Edinburgh are all examples of Scottish Villa-style houses.
Early Villas had plain exteriors but later began to feature more expressive facades inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. Windows are multi-paned casement or sash wooden frames in white.
For Scottish Villas, we recommend:
Windows: Sash windows or casement windows in white with Georgian bars.
Door: Timber or composite panel door with glazed panels in white, black, brown and blue, or a natural varnished timber finish.
The typical and rustic cottage style of Scotland is the Crofter’s cottage, a basic dwelling of one or two rooms on one floor. The buildings have thick stone walls, low thatched roofs and small recessed windows.
Crofters cottages are mostly built across Northern Scotland and often in coastal areas. Other cottage styles in Scotland are also usually arranged on one floor and built in terraces.
For Scottish Cottages, we recommend:
Windows: Wooden (sometimes uPVC) flush casement windows with traditional Georgian bar styling in white, cream or grey.
Doors: Wooden or composite door or stable door in white, cream, brown or grey muted shades.