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Exploring the Charm of New Orleans Style Homes

New Orleans is a city renowned for its vibrant culture, rich history, and unique architectural styles. Among its most celebrated features are its distinct homes, which reflect a blend of French, Spanish, Creole, and American influences. Walking through the neighborhoods of New Orleans, one can see a tapestry of styles that tell the story of the city’s diverse heritage. In this blog, we will explore the key characteristics and history of New Orleans style homes, delving into what makes them so special and beloved.

The Classic Shotgun House

One of the most iconic styles of New Orleans homes is the shotgun house. Characterized by its narrow, rectangular structure, the shotgun house is typically one room wide and several rooms deep. The name "shotgun" is believed to come from the idea that if all the doors were open, one could fire a shotgun through the front door and the shot would travel straight through the house and out the back door without hitting anything.

Key Features:

  • Long, narrow design: Typically 12 feet wide and up to 48 feet long.

  • Raised foundations: Protects against flooding.

  • Front-facing gables: Adds architectural interest and street presence.

  • Ornate trim and details: Reflects the Victorian influence with decorative brackets, cornices, and railings.

Shotgun houses are often brightly painted, adding to the colorful and lively streetscapes of New Orleans neighborhoods like the Bywater and the Irish Channel.

The Creole Cottage

Another quintessential New Orleans home style is the Creole cottage. These homes date back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries and are found primarily in the French Quarter and the surrounding Creole neighborhoods. They blend French, Spanish, and Caribbean architectural elements.

Key Features:

  • Symmetrical façade: Often with four openings, either doors or windows.

  • Steeply pitched roof: Gable or side-gabled, often with dormer windows.

  • Brick or stucco exterior: Reflects the Spanish influence.

  • Raised on piers: Like the shotgun house, to mitigate flooding risks.

Creole cottages typically have a simple, elegant design with a focus on proportion and symmetry, reflecting the classical European influences brought by early settlers.

The Double Gallery House

The double gallery house, also known as the double balcony house, is a grander style found in the Garden District and Uptown New Orleans. These homes are inspired by Greek Revival and Italianate architecture and were built primarily in the mid-19th century.

Key Features:

  • Two-story structure: With double galleries (balconies) on the front façade.

  • Tall columns: Supporting the galleries, often in classical styles like Doric or Ionic.

  • Large windows and doors: Designed to catch breezes and provide ventilation.

  • Elaborate ironwork: On railings and balconies, adding to the decorative appeal.

Double gallery houses are often set back from the street with lush gardens, giving them a stately and elegant appearance.

Orleans-styleThe Shotgun Double

A variation of the classic shotgun house, the shotgun double, is essentially two shotgun homes joined together, sharing a central wall. This style is common in New Orleans and provides a more affordable housing option while still retaining the charm and character of the shotgun design.

Key Features:

  • Shared central wall: Maximizes land use and cost efficiency.

  • Mirrored layouts: Each side typically mirrors the other, creating a balanced design.

  • Separate entrances: Each unit has its front door, often with a shared front porch.

Shotgun doubles are a testament to New Orleans' adaptability and community-oriented living, offering a practical yet stylish housing solution.

Preserving History and Embracing Modernity

New Orleans-style homes are not just relics of the past; they continue to be cherished and preserved by residents and visitors alike. Many of these historic homes have been lovingly restored and updated with modern amenities while retaining their original charm and character. Preservation efforts are crucial in maintaining the unique architectural landscape of New Orleans, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy and be inspired by these beautiful homes.


The architectural styles of New Orleans homes are as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. From the narrow shotgun houses to the elegant double gallery homes, each style tells a story of the city's rich cultural heritage and architectural ingenuity. Whether you're strolling through the French Quarter, the Garden District, or any of the city's historic neighborhoods, the charm and beauty of New Orleans-style homes are sure to captivate and inspire.

For those interested in exploring or investing in New Orleans real estate, understanding these unique home styles is essential. Embracing the history and character of these homes not only preserves the city's heritage but also enhances the living experience in this one-of-a-kind city.

For more information about the Mow to Own Program in New Orleans please visit:


The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as professional advice. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability concerning Orleans-style to the content. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. The architectural descriptions and historical context provided are based on publicly available sources and personal knowledge. The characteristics of New Orleans-style homes may vary, and individual properties may not conform exactly to the styles described. For specific real estate advice, historical verification, or architectural consultations, it is recommended to consult with a licensed professional in the respective field. The author and publisher are not responsible for any actions taken based on the information provided in this blog. By using this blog, you agree to the terms of this disclaimer and acknowledge that the use of this information is at your discretion and risk.

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