A Guide to Camas's Most Popular Home Design & Styles

A Guide to Camas's Most Popular Home Design & Styles

  • David Merrick
  • 08/17/23

It’s not uncommon to find some of the most visually interesting home designs in the U.S. in the pacific northwest. Camas home designs, in particular, stand out for their great variety of architectural styles on view in this part of greater Portland.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the abundance of home styles in Camas, Washington, or you’d simply like a bit of background information about what goes into timeless architecture, you’ve found the right place. Read on to learn more.

The importance of home styles in Camas

Bordering Washougal and Vancouver, Washington, Camas has a long and storied tradition as an eccentric and proud west coast city. Since 1906, the grid for Camas (which was, by the way, named after the camas lily, prized by local indigenous groups), has continuously been updated to reflect the artistic trends and culture of locals. Home design is just one element of that pattern.

Historical Context: Architecture and Design Influences

Of course, long before the city of Camas was established in the early 20th century, there were already a great number of people living in the area. The influence of Native American architecture is, therefore, deeply embedded in tradition. The proximity of the paper mill in Camas and the Port of Camas-Washougal also had a huge effect, attracting new homeowners to settle in the area from all parts of the world.

Native Architectural Styles in Camas

First Nations people were the earliest pioneers of home design in the Camas. They used a variety of building methods, but the earth shelter may just be the most infamous. These subterranean or partly submerged homes helped to moderate temperatures and keep out heavy precipitation throughout the year. We still see a few beautiful examples of these structures in historic Camas.

Modern and Contemporary Influences on Home Design in Camas

In the 21st century, a full slate of new and interesting home designs began to crop up around Camas. Many creative people and academics moved to the area and experimented with cutting-edge architectural styles like the Mansard, Curtain wall, Miesian, and Bungalow designs. Washington as a whole also has a reputation for custom homes like geodesic domes, earth shelters, and A-frames.

Most Popular Home Design & Styles in Camas

Now that you know a little more about the history of home design in and around Camas, it’s now time to take a closer look at a few of the most popular architectural styles you’re likely to find here.


The craftsman home traces its roots back to the 1920s and 30s when architects and designers began to experiment with more rustic building materials like hand-carved wood detailing, rough-hewn timber, and more. The craftsman home often has an understated exterior of one to two stories with extravagantly decorated interiors.


The colonial home is one of the most popular Camas home designs. This is especially true among the more high-end pieces of real estate in the area. These private homes are usually symmetrical, with a bold facade that features columns and a grand entry. Colonial homes may not be exclusive to Washington and Oregon, but they certainly are common.


Ranch-style homes took off in popularity in the 1940s and ‘50s as more and more people had the means to own a small house and raise a family. These structures feature split-level designs, a warm and cozy interior, and charming detailing. Ranch homes are relatively easy to build and maintain, making them an ideal choice as a starter home or rambler house with no frills and a low-pitched roof. From the exterior, these structures often appear to have a single story.

Mid-Century Modern

The last popular home style in Camas comes from the second half of the 20th century, the Mid Century Modern. These buildings rely on simplified surfaces, clean interiors, and innovative building materials. You’ll frequently find frosted glass room partitions, bold geometric style, and strong horizontal lines in the mid-century modern that extend the house over a wide area.

Elements of Camas Home Design

Here’s a little more about the architectural details you frequently find in many of Camas’ finest houses.

Colors and Materials

The color of a house is perhaps the first thing one notices about a structure. Camas’ proximity to fresh water, the ocean, and the great wooded region of the pacific northwest has had a huge influence on this part of home design. Consequently, many houses here are built in timber with subdued color schemes in hunter green, brick red, or mauve tones.

Lighting and Furniture

You find many homes in the styles of Academic Eclectic, Art Deco, and Beaux-Arts in Camas that feature elaborate lighting and furniture. Whether a home has stained glass chandeliers and windows, responsibly sourced leather armchairs, or cut glass crystal lighting fixtures, Camas has a little bit of everything.

Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces

Camas’ most distinctive feature might just be its huge variety of natural wonders on view in the area. As such, it’s no wonder that architects and designers have modeled home design on the surrounding landscape. Backyards are frequently small, incorporating a wooded vista or water feature to invite the outdoors in. Floor-to-ceiling windows often get equipped with retractable hardware that allows homeowners to blend the environment with seating spaces.

Find your perfect Camas house today

Overall, it’s safe to say that this part of the pacific northwest has a very strong sense of local architectural styles that date back to the early 20th century. But modern design is also popular among homeowners living in luxury abodes.

If you have any questions or comments to share, or you’d like to learn more about buying and selling luxury real estate in the pacific northwest, reach out today! Contact David Merrick for more information. David is a local agent with an abundance of real estate experience and expertise, and he looks forward to connecting with you.

*Header photo courtesy of David Merrick

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