Around The World in 10 Houses

The world of housing is truly diverse and many countries have given us very different kinds of homes.

Here are some of our favorites.

1. Tent living: Yurt (Mongolia)

A yurt or ger is a two-meter high round tent, often lined with skins or felt, that traditionally has been favored by nomadic people in the steppes of Central Asia.

The outside and inside materials are often decorated with various motifs and the tents are usually large structures held up by wooden beams and some with a stove in the center.

The warrior Genghis Khan was said to have commanded his empire from a nine-meter wide yurt guarded by his men.

2. Communal living: Apartments (France)

While apartments date back to Roman times, trust the French to turn the communal living into something that is both stylish and functional.

Constructed mostly between 1853 and 1870, Parisian apartment blocks were designed to fit into an urban landscape rather than stand out from the crowd.

These apartment buildings, which many associated with more romantic visions of Parisian life, typically feature mansard roofs and garret rooms.

3. Grand living: Plantation mansion (USA)

Plantation owners in the US built opulent mansions with multiple bedrooms, drawing rooms, libraries, studies and entertaining spaces to show off their wealth. Many have interiors full of priceless European art and imported furnishings.

4. Colourful villas: Spanish Colonial (Spain)

Spanish Colonial architecture spread as far and as wide as the colonies of Spain itself and can be seen in both north and south America.

This Spanish Colonial style house in Pinar del Río in Cuba is now the provincial museum. Picture: Getty Images

These brightly colored villas and mansions dated back to the 17th century and were often single-level dwellings with thick stucco walls and an internal courtyard.

Like this old colonial house in Cuba, many of these vintage structures remain standing and are now tourist attractions.

5. Water living: Houseboat (Netherlands)

The Dutch aren’t the only ones who live in boats on canals, but almost everyone who has been to Amsterdam has seen the rows of houseboats, which includes a youth hostel.

Due to the number of moorings, houseboats in this part of the world can actually be quite expensive.

These largely wooden structures have a small terrace, a living room, bathroom, bedrooms, toilet and a kitchen.

6. Verandas a plenty: Queenslander (#straya)

While the world may not thank us for inventing brick veneer, the Queenslander with its wide veranda has stood the test of time.

The homes are made from a mix of timber and iron that is specifically designed to suit the unique climate of the sunshine state.

The InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the Gold Coast has a design based on the classic Queenslander. Picture: Getty Images

Built to sit on top of a tall wooden frame, these large houses date back to the 19th century. With typically four to six rooms and a series of wide verandas, the Queenslander provides protection from both extreme heat and rain.

7. Ye olde mansions: Tudor (England)

The old country has given us many different types of houses, including those wood houses built by the Tudors. We won’t mention what our friends in the US have done to re-create this unique style in suburban mock Tudor mansions.

Little Moreton Hall in Congleton, England

This house, Little Moreton Hall, which took more than 100 years to build, showcases Tudor design in the chevron and diamond patterned exterior, the use of wood,  the mullioned windows, the wall paintings and the unglazed garderobes or toilets with a perpendicular drop into the moat.

8. Extravagant chateaus: Baroque  (Europe)

Most Baroque palaces were built in the 17th and 18th centuries and were colorful buildings with dramatic and ornate facades, much like this place, Prague’s Troja Palace.

The Troja Chateau is located in the historical center of Prague, Czech Republic. Picture: Getty Images

Built for the Counts of Sternberg this lavish residence features priceless wall paintings, heavy furnishings, grand entertaining spaces, sculptures, frescos, large fountains, well-manicured gardens with hedges and grand staircases.

9. Cave living: Rock House (Spain)

While building from the stone was hardly unique, in parts of both Spain and France some built into stone caves to create fortified houses that were protected from both the enemy and the elements.

Cave houses at Puig de la Bauma in Catalonia. Picture: Getty Images

These houses were carved from the rocky landscape and have thick walls and were typically decorated with heavy furniture.

10. Coloured houses: Cinque Terre (Italy)

While certainly not the first, Manarola in Cinque Terre is known for its brightly painted colorful houses, similar to those in Guanajuato, Mexico.

The bright, compact houses built on rocky terrain, many with an upstairs terrace, stand out from the narrow and windy streets. Many of these dwellings have stunning views of the sea.

Manarola in Cinque Terre is well known for its brightly colored houses

Originally published as Around the world in 10 houses by Danielle Cahill. Author at