25 Popular Styles All Home Buyers Should Know

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Are you considering buying your first home or investing in a new property? American suburbs and cities are bustling with houses of different architectural styles. And with over 4.87 million expected listings in 2023, choosing the best house style that suits you may be challenging.

Understanding various house styles that are popular today will help you make a perfect choice and have prior information before approaching your agent. Here are the top 25 popular home styles to consider in your search for a new property.

1. Colonial

Colonial houses date back to the 17th century. Like their Cape Cod counterparts, these homes have rectangular, symmetrical designs, with windows evenly spaced and the front door at the center.

Colonial houses come in numerous variations, like the Spanish Colonial home, depending on the origin of the people who settled in the region. These variations include the Dutch, English, Georgian, American, and Spanish Colonial houses. British and Georgian Colonial Revival homes are the most common in the U.S., thanks to the massive settlement of the British in the United States.

Colonial Revival homes are typically one or two stories tall, with a centrally placed stairway and grand entryway. They’re quite common on the East Coast (in cities like Pittsburgh or Boston), though you can find them anywhere across the country.


  • Owning a Colonial-style home or Colonial Revival allows you to be part of history
  • A natural environment surrounds most Colonial houses
  • These homes provide you with ample growing space
  • They’re easy to decorate and modify using modern or contemporary elements
  • They’re cheaper to heat in winter
  • The Colonial and Colonial Revival homes enjoy a larger market for resale
  • Room compartmentalization boosts privacy


  • They’re mostly in the countryside, hindering your fast access to government services
  • Most Colonial Revival homes have no steel reinforcement, increasing the risk of the house falling
  • Accessing rooms at the top can be hectic for owners with limited mobility

2. Cape Cod

Cape Cod homes emerged in the United States in the late 1600s, borrowing architectural designs from Britain’s thatched roofs. The English settlers first built these styles of houses in Massachusetts in their namesake city, Cape Cod.

The design borrows from ancient English half-timbered houses, with alterations in frames to match the harsh climate. They’re attractive but hardy houses, designed to withstand the harsh winters in New Zealand.

Originally, Cape Cod homes were simple structures with roof shingles, wood siding, a centrally-placed door, and windows on either side. The current Cape Cod designs incorporate more elements, with the homes having more space and including more windows.

Cape Cod homes are typically one-and-a-half stories and are common in suburban communities.


  • The straightforward shaped roofs are easy and less costly to replace
  • The home layout is warm and welcoming
  • The roofs are strong enough to withstand harsh winter weather
  • They’re the perfect size for small families
  • They have instant curb appeal
  • The slanted roofs make it easy for ice and snow to fall off during winter


  • Keeping Cape Cod homes cool during summer can be challenging
  • The homes are difficult to expand without losing the original design
  • The second floor of Cape Cod homes gets uncomfortably hot in summer
  • It’s not easy to maintain even heat distribution in the home

3. Contemporary

People usually are mixed up between Contemporary and Modern homes. However, each of these two architectural designs has distinctive defining features. Contemporary homes focus more on using sustainable and non-toxic materials, maximizing energy efficiency, and allowing a lot of natural light.

Unlike Modern homes, which represent a definite period (like in Mid-Century Modern), Contemporary focuses on the present. These homes are designed with the future in mind and are meant to remain trendy.

They typically include modernist elements, boast eco-friendly materials, and come in clean lines, minimalist, simple designs, and natural textures. Most Contemporary homes have color palettes, including many neutral shades with pops of other tints to top the interior.

Contemporary homes are common across the country’s cities, especially with new buildings. But, not all new constructions have Contemporary architectural designs.


  • They’re unique and personalized
  • They’re intended to save energy
  • They have an open-floor layout
  • They require low maintenance
  • They focus on natural and sustainable building materials


  • They have large windows that expose your house to strangers and neighbors
  • It can be challenging to incorporate various designs and maintain a unique, chic look

4. Cottage

Cottage-style homes started in small towns and villages in Europe. They were originally used as farm hand residences before spreading to other parts of the world.

Cottage-style homes are popular for their small size, with stone or wood siding, a gravel or brick walkway at the front, and curved entryways. They’re usually one to one-and-a-half stories tall, with small porches and cozy and informal interiors.

They’re common in the United States, particularly in antiquated residential communities. They come in various designs, including Tudor houses, bungalows, and more.


  • They’re cozy and comfortable
  • Their housekeeping tasks require minimal time
  • They’re cheaper to buy, furnish, decorate, heat, or cool
  • The porches and patios are excellent for enjoying the outdoors


  • They may be smaller for your needs
  • They’re not the best for hosting social gatherings
  • They can easily be destroyed by wildlife or extreme weather

5. Craftsman

Craftsman home designs are inspired by the Arts and Craft Movement during the 20th century. They emphasize the value of handcrafted, well-constructed architecture, with materials and motifs drawing inspiration from nature.

The Craftsman homes feature open floor plans, flat or low-pitched roofs, wide front porches, big fireplaces, built-in furniture, and exposed beams. These homes also emphasize the use of beautiful, hand-made natural materials.

Craftsman-style homes often include geometric stained glass, artisan windows, and naturally toned woodwork, among other beautiful built-in features. Their color patterns often take the earthy and natural feel, with shades like rusty orange, forest green, and natural browns making the majority. They can also include several variations, including bungalows or Mission-style structures, and are widespread across the country.


  • They use top-quality materials
  • The layout is functional and family-friendly
  • They’re unique and beautiful


  • Their maintenance is higher compared to newer buildings
  • They have no central air conditioning

6. Dutch Colonial

Dutch Colonial homes made their first appearance in the 18th century during the arrival of Dutch settlers.

These homes resemble typical barns, featuring gambrel roofing, decorative hoods above the entryway, dormers, and eaves extending from the porch.

Most Dutch colonial homes available today jet back from the early 1900s Colonial Revival era. These current designs are more muted than the original Dutch Colonial homes. But they’re more ornate than the initial designs.


  • They’re gorgeous, with well-proportioned front doors


  • The separate kitchen, dining, and living rooms can make your tasks more hectic

7. Farmhouse

Farmhouse-style houses were first built in the United States in the 1700s and 1800s. They started as rural homes for owners who preferred the agrarian lifestyle. The key features of this design include functional porches, tall ceilings, a central fireplace, exposed beams, and a rectangular design.

Farmhouse-style homes can sometimes have barn-shaped roofs, while others don’t have the feature. These designs boast rustic materials, with bare brick, stone, and floor-to-ceiling windows in the sitting rooms.

While the modern Farmhouse designs keep the rustic look, they appear edgier and include other updated elements compared to the ancient styles.

Farmhouses come in different variations, including Victorian and Colonial architecture.


  • Farmhouses tend to be affordable
  • Excellent environment for rearing animals
  • Spacious enough to exercise your interests


  • The mixture of gable and hipped roofing may mean pricier repairs than usual
  • Farmhouses often have utility challenges

8. Federal Colonial

One of the popular variations under the Colonial architectural designs is the Federal Colonial. These homes mushroomed between the 1780s and 1840s. They’re built using brick and feature flat, smooth facades, curved steps, tall columns, long rectangular windows on each side of the doorway, and a fan-shaped or elliptical window over the door.

Their paladin or three-way windows, two flanking lights, and the elliptical fanlight (windows) are some of the features that set them apart from other options. Also, they don’t have typical elements like pillars.

While Federal-style houses may look like rectangular or square boxes, these homes can be bigger, including two to three stories. Also, federal-style homes have more ornateness and are more elegant than simple colonial-style houses.

Federal-style houses are common in port cities like Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Charleston, Baltimore, and New York.


  • They’re easier to maintain
  • They are easier to spot in a neighborhood
  • They’re stronger


  • They’re older homes, meaning higher insurance costs
  • Maintenance needs a specialized team familiar with the style to keep its originality

9. French Provincial

French provincial homes are popular in French countryside areas. They made their debut in the 1600s and have remained among the top preferences of most homeowners to date. The homes feature withered appearances, Provencal influences, stone exteriors, symmetrical shape, pointed roofs, and shutters that add to the design’s decorative and romantic feel.

The interior of these homes includes a stone fireplace, some subdued palettes with crayons or worn colors, and distressed wood. The natural stone or wood flooring, stone facade, two chimneys, and sloping roof set these designs apart from the rest.


  • It’s elegant, softer, and more rustic than Farmhouse
  • Remains among the top stylish picks today
  • It fits different settings to match your style needs


  • Not perfect if you don’t like the vintage look
  • Might not be the ideal design for every region since it takes cues from its natural environment

10. Georgian Colonial

Georgian-style homes became the most popular designs during the reigns of the first four British kings (between 1714 and 1830). They look like a simpler version of the Federal Colonial architectural design, featuring strict symmetry and a box-like shape.



  • The beautiful elements create a sense of grandeur
  • It has well-defined spaces
  • The key features of this style, including wide windows and lofty ceilings, let in a lot of natural air


  • The cost of maintenance tends to be high

11. Greek Revival

Greek Revival became a prevalent architectural style for American homes between the 1830s and 1840s, drawing inspiration from Greek philosophy, democracy, and culture. They feature painted plaster in the exteriors, tall columns, symmetrical shapes, pediments, horizontal transoms, and bold decorations and embellishments.

Greek Revival homes were first built in Britain in the 1700s but only debuted in America in the 19th century. Thanks to their majestic columns and white facade, it’s easier to spot a Greek Revival home even from a distance.


  • Lavish, extravagant, and secluded residences
  • High ceilings encourage proper airflow during summer
  • These homes are unique and stylish


  • Relatively costly to buy and maintain
  • Areas of low pitches in roofs may lead to leaks

12. Italianate

Italianate designs loosely follow the building style of the Italian villas. This home design peaked during the mid-to-late 19th century. It features decorative corbels, rounded windows, rectangular windows, cornices, porches, and doorways. The style stands out thanks to its romanticism, asymmetrical design, and medieval influence.

Italianate-style homes are characterized by two-to-four stories, wood clapboard or brick façade, overhanging eaves, and low-pitched gable roofs. They’re more popular in the eastern parts of the United States, though some scattered examples are also available in the west.


  • Built from resilient materials to boost longevity
  • The masonry walls can last for several decades
  • Wooden Italianates are easily movable


  • Wood-sided homes require frequent painting to keep the glamor
  • There are better choices than the gently slanting roofs for snowy climates

13. Log Home

Log-style homes are ancient European structures that first came to America when the settlers from the origins arrived in North America. They featured log walls, one to three rooms, and a center passage (dogtrot). These structures were built to shield against harsh weather conditions.

They were easy to construct and use for protection in the wilderness since they used the most abundant material—wood. However, due to the aesthetic, many people around the country build log cabins as primary homes in several rural and suburban locations.

Even in recent times, walls of such homes are made using logs or wood to keep the originality of these structures.


  • They’re unique and compact
  • They cost less to purchase, cool, heat, furnish or decorate
  • They’re warm, comfortable, and welcoming
  • The housekeeping tasks don’t take long


  • Extreme weather and animals can cause damages
  • They don’t appreciate at the same speed of other styles, especially in rural settings
  • They’re smaller, meaning less working space for you

14. Mediterranean

Mediterranean-style homes populated American neighborhoods between 1918 and 1940. They feature elements from Italian and Spanish villas, significantly emphasizing indoor and outdoor living.

Thus, Mediterranean-style homes are more prevalent in temperate climates like Florida and Southern California.

Mediterranean-style homes’ common features include arches, white stucco walls, red tile roofs, porticos, balconies, plaster surfaces, and ornamental elements like multicolored tiles and wooden doors.


  • Mediterranean-style homes are cool and breezy during summer
  • These homes have antique lime plaster walls, which allows for consistency in indoor temperatures
  • Mediterranean homes are sturdy
  • The design offers a conducive outdoor space


  • They might not be the choice for colder climates
  • The maintenance may be costly

15. Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern homes started after WWII from the Bauhaus movement. They became popular between 1945 and 1980.

Mid-century modern homes focus on flawlessly incorporating nature into daily living and simplistic designs. They possess a smooth, orderly design that matches an appreciation for nature.

Also, these designs feature open plans, large glass windows, and flat planes, with a blend of natural and man-made materials and well-thought-out architectural design. Mid-Century Modern-style homes’ interiors are built for functionality, with beautiful arts and crafts.


  • The large glass windows make an excellent statement
  • Mid-century modern homes mix flawlessly with other styles


  • Open-plan homes may be difficult to heat or cool

16. Modern

Modern and Contemporary architecture are two distinct styles that often confuse home buyers, with many using the terms interchangeably. But, Modern architecture has several features that set it apart from Contemporary home designs.

Unlike Contemporary, which focuses on the present, Modern design refers to styles inspired by historical trends and the art movement of Modernism. They focus on the period when the style became popular, like in the case of Mid-Century Modern designs.

Modern architectural homes emphasize functionality, minimalistic designs, open plans, and clean, sharp lines with trifling ornamental details. Mid-Century Modern is a good example of subcategories in this home design.

These houses generally became popular in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s and are quite popular on the East Coast.


  • The design maximizes the use of space and ensures it blends the whole structure
  • Modern-style homes are built with a focus on open-plan living
  • Modern-style homes are energy efficient


  • Unless optimized for solar gain, heating or cooling open-plan homes can be costly
  • Their eco-friendly elements come at a price

17. Neoclassical

In their authentic form, Neoclassical designs draw inspiration from the beauty and elegance in Roman and Greek architecture. These home styles emerged in the mid-1700s. They emerged in response to the splendor and aesthetic frivolousness of the Rococo and Baroque designs.

Neoclassical-style homes are designed with perfection in mind, incorporating simple geometric forms, balance, and symmetry. That’s an ironic contrast to the Rococo and Baroque designs that feature asymmetry, elaborate ornamentation, moldings, curves, and serpentine lines.

In their uncluttered looks and splendor of scale, neoclassical homes feature simplicity of symmetrical forms, full-height front porticos crowned with front-facing pediments, elaborate doorways, evenly-spaced windows, and flat roof lines.

Neoclassical designs are common with universities, government buildings, and rich homes.


  • It’s a sign of grandeur and splendor
  • Neoclassical homes are sturdy
  • It’s a perfect choice for vintage lovers


  • It takes effort to build
  • Might not be a good choice for everyone

18. Asian

Asian-style homes feature elements from Chinese culture to bring glamorous, superb Asian designs. This style’s common features include beautiful landscaping and curved roofs that expand beyond the outside walls.

Asian house designs revolve around mixed natural colors, with every piece, style, and layout reflecting serene beauty and aesthetics.


  • Elegant, clean designs
  • Perfect for minimalist lifestyles
  • Perfect choice for décor and furniture


  • Most Asian-style homes aren’t properly insulated

19. Pueblo Revival

Pueblo Revival homes are common architectural designs in the Southwest, influenced by Native American pueblo architecture. The style dates back to the early 1900s and has spread to public and private buildings.

Pueblo Revival design features earthly materials like adobe, stucco, concrete, mortar, and large wood beams. The designs also incorporate elements like flat or slanting roofs and enclosed courtyards.

Pueblo Revival houses make a perfect option for multifamily residences, which is common with Native American pueblos’ multifamily nature.


  • The thick, clay walls boost natural cooling
  • The enclosed yards are excellent for entertainment and lounging
  • The contemporary imitation of ancient styles applies well to modern lifestyles


  • Flat roofs can be prone to leaking
  • Clay houses function better in dry weather
  • Critters may create tunnels through the adobe bricks weakening the walls

20. Prairie

Prairie-style homes trace their debut to the innovations of the architect of the century, Frank Lloyd Wright. The founding architect had an excellent relationship with nature, inspiring him to create a design that conforms to his interests. The design features rows of windows, long, flat roofs, and horizontal lines.

Prairie homes also incorporate volumes of handcrafted architectural details, including stained glass, simple woodwork, built-in furniture, and organic decorations. While it was also significantly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, Prairie home design differs from Craftsman home styles. Prairie homes are mostly available in the Midwest.


  • Prairie homes boast striking concrete and stone massing
  • Prairie properties stand in very secluded environments


  • Prairie ceilings are a little low, making them uncomfortable during summer

21. Spanish

Authentic Spanish-style architectural homes draw inspiration from the ancient Spanish missions dating back to the 17th to 19th centuries. By the 1920s, the style had found its way into the United States and was a popular home design in California, Florida, and the Southwest.

Spanish-style homes boast stucco exteriors in salmon, yellow, white, or peach, terracotta or low-pitched red-tiled roofs, wrought iron fences, and arched windows. The design also features balconies with comprehensive grill work to complement this warm-climate style.

The Spanish-style homes also have a courtyard with decorative tiles all wound the doorways and windows.


  • Original plaster walls helped to keep the interior temperature balanced
  • Spanish-style homes are built for natural cooling, making it cool and breezy during summer
  • The courtyard in this home design offers maximum adaptability, with some people using it as an atrium or primary living room


  • Terracotta, marble, or granite tiled floors need extra care while cleaning
  • Being so distinct, it may not blend well with modern amenities like a standard garage door
  • The design uses clay tiles on the roof, and you’ll need to carefully treat it, especially if you live in a cold and damp climate

22. Townhouse

Townhouses, sometimes called townhomes, are single-family homes that share walls with at least one of the other houses. They look more like row houses, except that townhouses can appear in lines or clusters that aren’t parallel to the street. They can also have small private outdoor spaces or private garages.

Some townhouse communities are under the Homeowners Association (HOA), which controls the public areas and is responsible for exterior maintenance.

Townhouses are constructed quickly on small plots of land. Thus, these designs focus on heightened functionality and efficiency. Townhouses feature two-to-three stories, with side hallways leading to the upstairs, limited lawn spaces, and old-style floor plans. They’re typically privately owned, with each house having an independent entrance from the street.


  • Townhouses are more affordable than other single-family houses
  • The small lawns mean less exterior maintenance
  • The close quarters promote togetherness in the community
  • The HOA membership fee covers maintenance
  • They’re typically located in metropolitan locations, meaning you’ll access many government amenities.


  • You have to seek HOA clearance before completing renovation tasks
  • You’ll share at least one wall with your neighbor, limiting your privacy
  • You’ll need to pay HOA fees if they apply to your community
  • Limited outdoor space for personal use
  • Living in a townhouse may mean limited or no off-street parking space

23. Tudor

Tudor-style homes found their way into the United States, thanks to the European-trained architects’ arrival in the country in the late 19th century. By the 1920s, Tudor homes had become a popular architectural design in the country.

This design also got a lot of inspiration from architectural elements of the early Renaissance and Late Medieval homes. The steep roofs, stone masonry, and timber framing all pay tribute to the designs

Tudor homes incorporate elements on the exterior, including stone accents, pitched multi-gabled roofs, arched front doors, ornamented half-timber framing, and tall narrow windows.

Thanks to the asymmetrical facade, light-colored stucco, ornate brick elements, and timber detailing, you can easily tell the design from far away. They’re more popular in wealthy American suburbs, especially in the north.


  • The design is excellent for cold climates
  • Tudor roofs are durable
  • They have unique designs
  • It’s a good choice for vintage lovers
  • Spacious enough for large families
  • They don’t require frequent maintenance
  • They’re among the super-expansive types of houses
  • The asymmetrical designs allow for more layout and renovation freedom


  • Steeply-pitched roofs are susceptible to leakages, especially on the lowest points.
  • The construction repairs and maintenance may be costly
  • They might be more expensive
  • The big space may be unsuitable for small families

24. Victorian

Victorian houses, sometimes called Gothic revival, got the name from Queen Victoria, who was reigning at the time of their debut. Victorian homes emerged in the 1830s but became prevalent in the early 20th century.

Victorian houses feature bright exterior colors, decorated trim work, steep gable roofs, turrets (minor towers at the roofline), big front porches, dormers, and double-hung windows. They typically have two to three stories, with ornate elements, brightly-colored facades.

Victorian houses have different design varieties, including the more ornate designs such as Queen Anne and gothic revival, or less decorated variants like the folk style.

Victorian-style houses are typically larger and more extravagant. The homes are widespread across the country.


  • They carry historical significance
  • They come in various architectural styles
  • They have unique, beautiful elements
  • The thick walls ensure privacy between you and your neighbors


  • Repair and maintenance must be conducted by professionals familiar with the design, which may be more pricey
  • The wiring structure may not suit the modern needs
  • They stand on relatively thin foundations
  • The rooms are smaller

25. Art Deco

Art Deco homes started in Paris in the early 20th century and soon found their way to the United States neighborhoods. It features sleek materials, flat roofs, linear or stepped frameworks, consistent geometric lines, long stripes of windows, bold exterior details, parapets and spires, and contrasting colors.

The interior of an Art Deco home includes elements like chevron patterns, smooth stucco walls, block house fronts, geometric decorations, and fluted details around the windows and doors.

This design is most common with private properties and office buildings. For live examples, check the United States skyscrapers buildings and other structures along the coast, including Empire State Building.


  • Art deco structures are typically close to essential amenities like shopping, restaurants, or public transport
  • The design blends well with modern elements, making it easy to renovate with current materials without losing authenticity
  • Art deco homes are stylish


  • Soundproofing in art deco houses isn’t optimum, lowering the privacy standards
  • The lack of a balcony, car space, small windows, and narrow hallways may not suit everyone’s needs
  • Old Art Deco homes may need new wiring to match the current standards

FAQs: House Styles

That’s it for the popular home styles across the United States. Do you still have questions about the topic? Here, we included some related questions and answers to give you more information.

What is the most common home style?

The Ranch-style house is the most searched architectural design in most United States cities and suburbs. However, there are other popular house styles across the country. There more common ones are:

  • Cape Cod
  • Craftsman
  • Victorian
  • Colonial
  • French Provincial
  • Tudor

What style of house is popular in 2023?

Art Deco, a style that caused a stir in the United States architectural space in the 1920s and 1930s, is returning to the streets in 2023. According to various sources, the style’s decorative styles are among the reasons many people are building a renewed interest in Art Deco.

But it’s not the only style making a comeback into the scene. Mid-Century Modern homes, Contemporary styles, and Farmhouse styles are also causing major discussions in 2023.

What house styles appreciate in value the most?

Houses in urban areas generally appreciate faster compared to rural properties. Also, single-family homes, townhouses, and condos have shown impressive appreciation levels in the order.

If you’re considering the best home style to buy for an easy and profitable resale later, consider Cape Cod, modern farmhouses, Mid-Century Modern, Colonial, or Craftsman homes for their expandability, family-friendliness, cozy elements, and clean lines.

What is the cheapest house design?

Cheapest home designs refer to structures that depict concise layouts. Ranch-style homes are typically the cheapest to buy or build in the United States. They come in single-story designs with garages attached. Thus, they’re perfect choices for families.

However, if log homes are enough for you, consider this option. They need limited materials to build and are the easiest to construct. Their simplicity in design and space requirements make them among the cheapest to plan and build.

How many types of houses are there?

There are over 33 types of houses available across the United States. The most popular types include Greek Revival, Victorian, Farmhouses, Townhouses, Cape Cod, Colonial, Cottage, Spanish, Asian, and Art Deco styles.

What are American house styles?

American house styles refer to the type of physical appearance, structural characteristics, and architectural engineering involved in designing and constructing homes. These styles have largely evolved over the centuries to reflect the dynamics of taste, environments, and lifestyles. Some popular American home styles include:

  •  Dutch Colonial
  • Federal Colonial
  • Georgian
  • Mediterranean
  • Tudor

What is the 1920s house style called?

Art Deco was the most popular home style in the 1920s, which later streamlined into the Art Moderne style. These two designs are popular in most commercial structures today, like the Chrysler Building in New York City.

What are the four basic house designs?

Residential homes come in four standard designs, including split-level homes, one-story, one-and-one-and-half-story, or two-story. Each home design has perks and challenges; the best option depends on your needs.

What are timeless home styles?

Contemporary-style homes are the timeless house designs of the United States. This home style focuses on keeping the designs timeless and relevant in the present. Thus, it includes features and elements that appeal to the current generation and those to come.

What are modern-style homes called?

Modern-style homes refer to the architectural designs and structures that conform to artistic, cultural, and social attitudes referred to as Modernism. It focuses on experimentation, the omission of the programmed laws surrounding the freedom of expression in architecture, music, and literature.

It also focuses on clean lines and other features that reflect a specific period’s luxury, trends, and art states.

What style are ‘70s houses?

The ‘70s depicted a period of luxury and epic architectural elements in the U.S. residential home landscape. Modern home styles, for instance, became popular between the 1930s and 1970s, offering the industry’s best functionality, minimalist designs, open plans, and clean lines.

What style is a 1930s house?

The 1930s had several unique home designs and styles on trend. Among the styles that were popular in the 1930s include:

  • Georgian Revival
  • Art Deco
  • Modern

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