The rustic, farmhouse style interior is incredibly popular among homebuilders and has been for a long while. Kitchens, living rooms, and even bathrooms have been decked out with rustic décor and reclaimed woods.
However, you rarely see this design on the outside of a house, except out in the country.
Few people with homes in towns or suburbs implement this style on the outside of their house but for those looking to stand out and showcase their style, adding a cupola to the roof may be the answer.
What Is a Cupola?
The direct definition of a cupola is a small dome, especially a small dome on a drum on a larger dome, adorning a roof or ceiling.
Cupolas typically look like little turrets sticking out of the top of a roof and do not have to be round, they can be square, hexagonal, or any shape the builder likes as long as it is sturdy enough to stay intact on the top of the roof.
They are usually made of wood, metal, or plaster depending on the style of the building it is being added to and the local weather conditions.
Shingles or metal plating will often be added to the top of the cupola to protect it from damage during storms or other weather events.
Cupolas rose to stardom in Italy during the Renaissance as decorations on the top of the large, decadent buildings of the time and can still be seen all over Italy today.
Originally used for ventilation on larger buildings that typically housed large amounts of livestock or people, cupolas quickly became another way of expressing style and decorating a house.
Cupolas may also double as skylights or hold a weather vane. People building large barns may still put a cupola on the roof for not just added flare, but ventilation for the animals inside.
Below are some design examples, but all of which can be customized to the needs of the building.
Best Cupola Plans
This cute cupola is a great example of common cupula designs, with ventilation on the sides and a sloped roof on top to keep rain from collecting on the roof.
The shingles also help protect the cupola and prolong its life, just like shingles on a regular roof do.
Adding a weather vane on top adds to the rustic charm and will work to draw other’s eyes to the rest of the beautiful home.
This design is perfect for anyone wanting the classic cupola looks to bring the farmhouse vibe out from the kitchen and living room and onto the outside of the home.
Find the building plan and tools needed to build this cupola here.
This design is similar to the first and is another popular design for homebuilders to choose from.
The roof is flatter but still tilted so rainwater just runs down, but the entire cupola is shorter and fatter than the first one.
This one lacks shingles, but they can still be added to lengthen the lifespan of the cupola.
Because of the cupola’s shape and design, it may hold up to the weather better than some other cupolas might.
The image shows the cupola unfinished with no paint, leaving the homeowner more room to take artistic liberties with color and design.
Adding a quirky weather vane on top will make the home stand out even more than before, drawing people’s eyes up when they see the home.
To find the plans to build this cupola, click here.
This cupola features tall, slatted windows and pointed roofs on each side of the cupola, giving it a little bit more flair than the previous two.
This one is also unpainted, but painting the cupola to either match the home it sits on or its own color may help the cupola last longer and stand out better.
A weather vane is still an obvious choice for the top, but is not required to make a cupola a cupola or for it to stand out.
The height of this cupola also helps it stand out more than the others, even unpainted, and draw the stranger’s eye to this house.
To build this cupola, click here for the plans.
This design has more of an Old World farmhouse appeal than the others that are more reminiscent of more modern farms typically found in most cupola’s today.
That makes this cupola stand out among the other New World farm-style cupolas, as well as the rounded windows on the side.
This cupola can also be painted to suit the homeowner’s needs and instead of shingles, metal plating can be added to the top to protect the rest of the cupola.
A weather vane of the homeowner’s choosing on top would help accentuate this cupola’s beauty. For the plans to build this cupola, click here.
This red cupola with grey shingles is guaranteed to catch the neighbor’s eye when they are out walking their dogs. The overall design of the cupola lends itself to a more rustic, cottage feeling, giving the house a more “homey” vibe on the outside. What better way to make people feel welcome before they even step in the door? Of course, different colors will give off different feelings for others, so the end color of the cupola will depend on where the homeowner wants to go with it. However, no matter what color the homeowner chooses, this cupola will still look exceptionally cozy. For the building plans to build this cupola, click here.
These designs can be tweaked to suit the shape of the home’s roof for more stability or for design preferences. Whatever changes are made, it is important to make sure to measure twice and cut once because making sure the cupola is sturdy is incredibly important. If the cupola is not on correctly or falls apart it can fall and cause damage to the property. This is also why, before making any major changes to the outside of a home, owners should contact a contractor for advice or help.
Besides changes in measurements, these cupolas all have four sides, but it is not uncommon for cupolas to have six sides if the creator wishes. Designs can also be carved into the sides and choosing paint will always make all the difference in a project. Over the years there have been many cupola designs, with many home owners putting time and care into carving or painting the exterior. And, of course, selecting the right weather vane to sit on top is just as important as the cupola itself.