There is no doubt that one of the most appealing characteristics of Laguna Beach is its diverse collection of historic architectural styles, nestled amongst a truly beautiful natural landscape. For years, Laguna Beach residents have worked hard to maintain the city’s historic and natural character in order to preserve its charm and artistic spirit. Many who choose to move to Laguna Beach do so because they are attracted by the quality and range of styles that are available to homeowners here. Curious about what types of historic homes populate Laguna Beach’s hills, valleys and shoreline? Read on to find out

Craftsman Style (1910-1930)


Craftsman Style


The Craftsman style was the first architectural trend to begin in the western United States, and emerged around 1910 as a reaction to the industrial movement. Craftsman homes emphasize the importance of craftsmanship and keeping in tune with the surrounding environment. Characteristics of the style include:

  • Asymmetrical designs

  • Large front porches

  • Horizontal massing

  • Clapboard or shingle siding

  • Door and windows with stained or beveled glass

  • Low-pitched roofs with gables and extended eaves and rafters


Bungalow Style (1900-1930)


Bungalows, or small cottages, started in California and are an offshoot of the Craftsman style. Characteristics of the Bungalow style include:

  • Asymmetrical designs

  • Large front porches that are the focal point of the home

  • Smaller versions of Craftsman homes

  • Exteriors made of clapboard, shingles, brick, concrete, boulders or stucco

  • Windows often grouped in threes

  • Low pitched roofs with eaves, rafters and sometimes dormers


Beach Cottage Style (1910-1940)


Birthed out of the local beach culture, the Beach Cottage style is indigenous to Laguna Beach and South Laguna. These were generally constructed as second homes for wealthy families living inland and were often derivative of the Craftsman style. Characteristics include:

  • Simple box plan

  • Asymmetrical

  • Usually one story, often built on later

  • Exteriors made of board and batten, shingled and overlap siding

  • Simple windows and doors

  • Small porch or patio


Period Revival Styles (1928-1940)


Period Revival Styles


As Hollywood began to infiltrate the Laguna Beach community, it brought with it a change in architectural styles, to those that were more fantastical. The most popular styles were the Spanish Mediterranean and Provincial Revival Styles. Characteristics of each included:

Mediterranean Revival


  • Rectangular plans with asymmetrical front porches

  • Arcades with arched openings

  • Exterior stucco walls

  • Dark stained wood in porches and eaves

  • Arched windows and doors that are deeply recessed

  • Low-pitched roofs covered with tiles

  • Wrought iron details


Provincial Revival

  • Rectangular with vertical massing

  • Entry is focal point

  • Gabled and turreted

  • Stucco and half timbering

  • Arched picture windows and steeply pitched dormers

  • Heavy wood doors

  • Decorative chimneys


Moderne Styles (1930-1940)


Born from a fascination with technical progress, two types of Moderne styles emerged in the 1930s: Art Deco Moderne and Streamline Moderne. Characteristics include:

Art Deco Moderne:


  • Rectangular plan with vertical emphasis

  • Stucco or concrete exterior

  • Sunbursts or zigzag pattern decoration

  • Prominent, accented entry


Streamline Moderne:

  • Broad and slick in overall treatment

  • Stucco or concrete exterior

  • Regularly spaced windows with rounded corners

  • Common use of portholes

  • Horizontal banding


Eclectic Style (1915-1940)


These homes exhibit a whimsical style that can be found in no other type of historical architecture in Laguna Beach. These extraordinary homes are often large in scale and have a complex appearance. While many take their inspirations from Revival styles, they build on those with flair and fancy

More Information on Historic Laguna Beach Homes


If you’re in the market for a historic Laguna Beach home, please don’t hesitate to contact an agent at The Stanaland Group. We are experts in all your historic Laguna Beach real estate needs!