British homes over the years: styles that influence today’s new-builds


The way British homes have been designed and constructed has changed drastically over the years. From grand to minimalist and from cosy to spacious, it’s interesting to see how today’s properties have been shaped by history.

When you think of a modern, state-of-the-art house built in recent years, a number of distinctive features might spring to mind. Today’s new-builds represent not only some of the best features from historic houses, but also aim to cater for the unique needs of today’s households.

According to a recent analysis of British homes by house builder St Modwen Homes, sustainability is one of the most crucial elements of today’s housing. Buyers of new-builds today might be looking for features such as electric vehicle charging ports, UV panels and maximum insulation. This will not only affect the property’s carbon footprint, but also keep costs down.

Style-wise, modern houses sometimes come with taller ceilings than has been the style of some of the country’s pre-existing homes. More natural light is also a focus in many cases, with large windows creating a brighter ambiance.

The house builder’s blog adds that homes are arguably now more than ever a big part of our lives. From raising families to creating a space to work, our homes have changed to make our lives easier, more enjoyable, and more sustainable.

British homes from Georgian to Victorian

There are thousands of houses across the country that were built during the Georgian and Victorian times. What’s more, many modern homes contain features that emanate these styles.

In Georgian properties (1714-1830), grandness was the priority. According to St Modwen Homes, “symmetrical and tall facades matched Greek-style motifs and spacious interiors”. However, the window tax of the time meant that natural brightness would have come with a premium, unlike today.

During the Victorian era (1837-1901), bay windows became popular as well as red brickwork in British homes. Again, these can often be seen in many of today’s new-builds. Certain types of tiling, including geometric and ornate patterns, became popular and are still seen in many modern properties.

Edwardian to post-war

There were some big changes in typical British homes built across these eras. “Edwardian and early twentieth-century homes build on the architectural stylings of the Victorian period,” says the blog. “A return to symmetry, bay windows were boxed, and doorways became ornate and trimmed with white wooden frames.”

Homes also became simpler during Edwardian times (1901-1910), with lower ceilings creating cosier rooms.

By contrast, the post-war period (1945-1979) was characterised by a housing crisis. There was a national shortage, which then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill tackled by building masses of temporary accommodation.

“Alongside 1.2 million new homes, over 150,000 prefabricated homes (or ‘prefabs’) were built between 1945 and 1951. Prefabs were intended to be used by occupants for up to ten years.”

Amazingly, some of these so-called temporary homes are still being used today. And the idea of a prefab property has gone full-circle, with modular housing now coming back into fashion as a sustainable, eco-friendly and modern construction option.

Turn of the century – to now

“By the 1990s, the style of the modern new-build house had been refined,” says the blog. “The brickwork was neat, featuring classic red or newer beige colours that helped create vibrant estates, echoing the stone facades of the Georgian period. Meanwhile, streets of semi-detached or townhouses maintained a consistent style that helped create culture and inclusivity within communities.”

Between the 1990s and 2010, double glazing and better insulation became more common. These added features helped to keep homes warm and lower energy bills. Today, these factors are now high up the priority list, with a particular focus on protecting the environment now at play.

BuyAssociation has a range of investment opportunities available, from ultra-modern new-builds to state of the art converted, period properties. Browse some of our current offerings, or get in touch to find out more.

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free

British homes old and new

British homes over the years: styles that influence today’s new-builds


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.