Residences and commercial buildings exhibiting colonial decorating span a vast array of eras and geographic locations. It's fair to say that the earliest Colonial structures were built some time in the early sixteen hundreds, often by homeowners with the assistance of their local community. Houses were spartan, with hand made clapboard or hand made shingle siding similar to what is seen in the ultra authentic movie "The Witch". When constructing the colonial home decor movie sets they even went so far as to replicate the original style square cut nails for the ultimate in colonial decor decorating fanaticism.
Colonial decorating old world influences and imported stylistic traditions
Oftentimes, colonists brought their vernacular building tradition with them from the old country and that is why we see dutch colonial house with their characteristic gambrel roof. Other structures were more utilitarian such as the conventional salt box with a cat slide roof or a typical cape cod house.
Waning initial influence, first revivals and increased popularity
Eventually, prior to the civil war colonial decor faded it's long run of popularity in favor of the early Victorian period. In the 1876 centennial colonial home decor made a nostalgic resurgence. Early features that had fallen out of favor reemerged colonial decorating scheme including bow windows, bay windows, broken pediments, swan's neck pediments, heavy functional shutters, multipane window sash, Palladian windows, oval windows, and sidelights by the front door.
changing tastes, periodic revivals, influences on later design themes
Both colonial and Victorian styles were swept away by the craftsman style, which remained popular through the mid nineteen thirties, eclipsing colonial decorating. But around that time there was still another colonial revival, mostly found in middle class houses in the newly forming suburbs. Even as that gave way to rancher, split levels and related designs, many of the colonial motifs were carried over in a desire to add a small dash of colonial decor.