Everything You Need to Know About Charleston-Style Homes

Charleston, SC, is a city of history and Southern affluence. Its architecture dates back to the 16th century and represents Greek Revival alongside Lowcountry charm. However, it’s more than just the design that makes these Charleston-style homes special—it’s the stories they tell about our beloved Holy City.

Discover Charleston like never before when you access our exclusive Charleston Area Guide. While you’re browsing, be sure to explore our beautiful Charleston-style homes for sale and find your dream home today.

Your Guide to Charleston-style Homes and Architecture

A Brief History

There are over 2,500 historical buildings in the Charleston area, and you’ll find eight distinct architectural styles throughout the Lowcountry. 

These styles include Colonial, Georgian, Federal, Classical Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Victorian, and Art Deco.

Each marks a distinct period in history.

Some basic floor plans transcend the periods; these floor plans include the Charleston single house and the Charleston double house.

The Charleston Single House

The Charleston single house is the predominant building type within the Historic District. Charleston homes with side porches are an iconic image of Charleston architecture.  The home-type was adapted from English row houses and they typically boast an open living room, at least two bedrooms, and stand two stories tall.

The shape of the lot is narrow and long. Nearly every Charleston single house features a distinct piazza with an entrance facing the street. 

The Holy City is home to several historic Charleston single homes. Spot them out during your next walk Downtown!

The Charleston Double House

The Charleston double house is another classic Charleston-style home. Although it is not as common as the single house, its architectural design is prominent throughout the Lowcountry. 

The Aiken-Rhett Museum House and the Heyward-Washington House are two great examples of the beautiful and historic Charleston double house.

Unlike the single house, the double house faces the street at full-length.

It is a two-story design with an interior that features a central entrance hallway that runs through the middle of the home.

There are four rooms total, two on either side downstairs and two additional rooms upstairs.

Charleston-Style Home Color Scheme

One undeniable factor of Charleston-style homes is their impeccably bright color scheme. From the pinks and yellows of Rainbow Row to the reds and blues of Broad Street, Charleston has a unique taste for vibrant colors. However, the homes weren’t always gorgeous shades of pastel colors.

After the Civil War, Downtown Charleston was tired and run-down.

In 1931, Dorothy Porcher Legge decided to try to revitalize the city by painting a section of the homes on East Bay Street pink.

As the street began to look nicer, other residents followed suit with their own choice of pastels. And so the tradition began.

A Great Way to Explore the Lowcountry’s Most Iconic Homes

Discover all of Charleston’s beautiful homes. From Lowcountry house plans to Charleston-style home interiors, we know you’ll love our city’s Southern flare as much as we do. 

One of the best ways to delve deeper into the subject is with a historic house tour!

One of our favorites is the Charleston Architecture Tour with Free Tours by Foot.

This tour offers a unique opportunity to learn about the South Carolina Lowcountry and its people, culture, and history.

Find Your Very Own Charleston-Style Home

Charleston’s most beautiful homes aren’t limited to downtown. If you are searching for your very own Charleston-style home for sale, consider exploring Charleston’s beloved sea islands.

You’ll find Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Charleston and surrounded by the Lowcountry’s most stunning natural scenery.

Our real estate agents at Pam Harrington Exclusives can help you find the home of your dreams.

Browse our collection of over 100 upscale real estate listings today! If you have any questions during your search, contact us.

We can’t wait to welcome you to the Charleston community!

Now that you know the fundamentals of Charleston-style architecture, read our blog on five of the best historic house tours!