Bob Vila Radio: How to Identify a Queen Anne House

Learn the distinguishing features that make up this ornate architectural style.

There’s nothing quite like the Revival Queen Anne style of homes that swept through America at the turn of the 19th Century. In fact, their abundantly ornamental exteriors are the exact opposite of “cookie cutter”—each is essentially one-of-a-kind.

But, if you’re looking to spot one, they’re hard to miss. You can identify a Queen Anne home, also called a “Victorian,” from a combination of these telltale features.

Queen Anne Style House


Listen to BOB VILA ON QUEEN ANNE STYLE or read below:


Queen Anne homes stand two or three stories tall, often featuring turrets, towers, and complex roof designs. A large covered porch supported by elaborate columns will wrap around a side of the house. And you’re also sure to find “gingerbread” architectural elements, including hand-carved latticework under the roof eaves and ornate wood balusters on porches.

Finally, there’s over-the-top color. Expect painted exteriors in multiple shades, often three or more colors, as well as bright picket fences and front yard flower gardens.

Intrigued? If you get the chance, you see one of the best examples of the Queen Anne house—the Carson Mansion—in Eureka, California.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!