You can do some of the renovations yourself, while others, like re-shingling your roof, might need to be done by professionals.
Whether your budget is large enough to completely renovate your home or you’d rather just add a few touches reminiscent of the Tudor era, here are a few simple ways to make your home look like it belongs in the English countryside.
Arched Front Door
One of the defining characteristics of a Tudor-style home is the arched entryway. Entryways are often emphasized with decorative brick or stone; Tudor homes don’t conform to the typical American suburban look of the wrap-around porch with a swing. A simple stoop is more common, which enhances the solid, austere look typical of the Tudor style.
The door itself is usually made of board and batten wood with strap hinges, and is often either arched or has decorative arched windows above it. Even if you can’t afford to remodel the whole entryway, replacing the front door is easy enough to do, and that alone will add a flair of the Tudor.
Another feature of the classic Tudor home is the magnificent flower beds and landscaping. Many Tudor homes have lush, gorgeous flowerbeds with bushes and shrubbery that sit close to the house and are often tall enough to obscure the lower portion of the first-floor windows.
Landscaping can be as much a part of the Tudor appeal as the house itself. Curved walkways, terraces, and plenty of greenery all contribute to the idea of connecting the house to the yard, which is the central Tudor landscaping motif. If your house is done in brick or stone, use the same material to accentuate your landscaping. Planting creeping vines or hedges close to the house creates the “English country cottage” look, and the more you can connect your house to your yard, the more “Tudor” your house will look.
Original Tudor homes had thatched roofs, but since those are no longer practical, Tudor roofs are now often slate, though other materials can also be used. If you want to achieve that rough, “medieval” look, go with rough slate shingles or imitation wood. This is one of those projects that you can’t really do yourself. Call a professional residential roofing company (Vancouver has some good options, if you live in the area) and make sure you let them know exactly what you’re aiming for before they begin.
In many cases, professional roofers can also add false dormer windows to your roofline, which can allude to the Tudor look without breaking your budget with expensive structural changes. Extravagant gables might be out of the question, but dormers might just be enough…especially if the rest of your roof looks sufficiently Tudor-esque.
Textures and Colors
The classic Tudor exterior is comprised of several different textures. In many homes, the first floor is done in dark red or brown brick and the second story in stucco with wood accents. That means that (including a slate roof) Tudor houses often have as many as four exterior textures, which is part of their unique style. If your home is already a brick and siding combination, it might be within your budget to replace the siding with stucco, and you’ll be halfway there!
Tudor-style color schemes are varied, but they have certain characteristics that make them instantly recognizable. Brown or red brick is often coupled with tan, white, or gray stucco. Doors and window shutters can be painted in accent colors such as bright reds or muted greens and blues. Some homes are bold enough to choose a palette that brings together browns, blues, greens, and reds; others are more conservative. But any combination of these colors will give your home a Tudor feel.
The wood accents that are such an integral part of the Tudor style home are called “half-timbering.” In medieval England, these timbers were actually part of the framing, with the gaps between the timbers filled in with plaster or stone. Half-timbering is no longer a necessary part of a house’s structure—now it is used for decorative purposes only.
If you do it right, adding half-timbering to accentuate your English landscaping and arched front door can make your home fit right into the Tudor Revival period—and you might not even be able to tell if it’s decorative or actually holding up your house!
The Tudor look is not an easy one to replicate, but if you have the ambition and the proper materials, you can turn your everyday American home into one reminiscent of old England…with all of the charm and style that goes with it.