Writing Beginner

57 Best Ways to Describe Buildings in Writing (+ Examples)

One of the key components of any setting is the buildings within it.

Knowing how to describe buildings can transport your reader right into the world you’ve built.

Here’s how to describe buildings in writing:

Describe buildings in writing by utilizing architectural style, historical periods, materials used, and their cultural significance. Incorporate sensory details like soundscapes and emotional resonance. Highlight unique features, transformations, legends, and personal memories for depth.

In this article, you’ll learn all the ways to describe buildings in your writing.

1. By Historical Period

Cartoon image of colorful buildings - How to Describe Buildings in Writing

Different historical periods offer a plethora of architectural designs.

When you mention a building from the Renaissance era, the image of grandeur, classic designs, and meticulous details springs to mind.

Similarly, medieval structures might invoke images of castles and fortresses.

Some historical periods to consider are:

  • Ancient : Pyramids, temples, and coliseums.
  • Medieval : Castles, fortresses, and walled towns.
  • Renaissance : Grand manors, theaters, and palaces.
  • Victorian : Ornate houses, large estates, and townhouses.
  • Modern : Skyscrapers, glass-fronted buildings, and minimalist designs.

2. By Material

The building material not only imparts a physical texture to a structure but also offers a tactile feeling to your narrative.

When we describe a structure made of sandstone, readers may visualize its ruggedness and the warmth of its golden-brown hue.

On the other hand, glass skyscrapers evoke modernity and offer a reflection (both literal and metaphorical) of the urban world.

Examples of materials :

  • Brick : Often seen in traditional townhouses. Think of the classic brownstones of New York.
  • Marble : Conjures images of opulent palaces or Greek temples.
  • Wood : Wooden lodges or cabins evoke feelings of nature, simplicity, and coziness.
  • Glass : Mostly seen in modern office buildings or high-rises, suggesting transparency and sleek design.

3. By Height

Height in buildings can be an implicit indication of many things, including the period in which it was built, its function, or the aspirations of its builders.

A towering skyscraper in a business district implies a beacon of commerce and ambition.

In contrast, a quaint, single-story cottage nestled in a village street whispers tales of simplicity and tradition.

The narrative contrast is stark between the dominance of a city’s tallest structure and the humble abode that clings to the ground, embodying a quiet, unassuming charm.

Both have stories to tell, and the tales are as different as the shadows they cast.

Every building, whether ancient or modern, stands as a silent witness to the passage of time.

When describing an old, moss-covered stone building, readers might imagine the countless seasons it has withstood, the generations it has seen, and the myriad stories embedded in its walls.

A newly constructed high-rise, with its shiny facade and contemporary design, hints at a world that’s rapidly evolving, racing towards the future.

It speaks of innovation, of fresh beginnings, and sometimes, of the relentless march of progress that leaves no room for the old.

5. By Function

A building’s function is its heartbeat. It dictates the rhythm of activities inside, the kind of people who frequent it, and the emotions it evokes.

A school, for instance, might resonate with the sounds of children’s laughter, the rustling of books, and the knowledge pursuits.

Examples of functions :

  • Library : A sanctuary of silence, corridors filled with the musky scent of old books, and seekers of knowledge lost in its aisles.
  • Factory : Buzzing with activity, and machinery noise, indicative of industry and production.
  • Barn : Evoking rustic charm, the scent of hay, and the sounds of farm animals.
  • Theater : A world of art, echoing with applause, dramatic performances, and cultural expressions.

6. By Atmosphere

More than its physical attributes, the atmosphere of a building defines its soul.

It’s the difference between a church’s hallowed silence, which commands reverence, and the bustling, lively cacophony of a market square teeming with life.

While the exterior might give a hint, it’s the interior atmosphere of a building that truly draws a reader in.

The interior offers them a seat in its world, whether that’s the tranquility of a remote mountain monastery or the energetic vibe of a downtown jazz club.

7. By Surroundings

Buildings don’t exist in isolation.

They’re part of a larger tableau. Describing the surroundings sets the stage.

A lone manor at the edge of a dark forest might evoke mystery and intrigue, while the same manor overlooking a serene lake offers tranquility.

Context, in essence, is a silent storyteller.

It provides clues about the building’s purpose, its history, and its relationship with its environment.

The quaint bookshop squeezed between two modern cafes speaks of resilience amidst change.

Just as a historic monument amidst skyscrapers stands as a reminder of the city’s rich past.

8. By Color

Colors are a palette of emotions.

Describing a building’s color is akin to painting its mood.

The pastel hues of a coastal villa might convey a laid-back, beachy vibe.

Meanwhile, the monochrome shades of an urban structure suggest sobriety and functionality.

Whether it’s the radiant gold of a palace under the sun, the deep blue of a nighttime diner, or the rusty red of an old barn, colors breathe life into descriptions, making them vivid and evocative.

Size can be both a physical measure and a psychological one.

A sprawling mansion, with its many rooms and vast lawns, can indicate grandeur and opulence.

On the other hand, a small, compact house might not be grand, but it could brim with warmth and coziness.

It’s about the space, its utilization, and the feeling it imparts.

Does the vastness of a castle make one feel lost, or does it evoke a sense of awe? Does the confined space of an attic room feel claustrophobic, or does it exude intimacy?

10. By Architectural Style

Every architectural style brings with it a set of aesthetics, principles, and histories.

A Gothic cathedral, with its pointed arches and intricate detailing, is more than just a place of worship

It’s a testament to a particular period of architectural achievement.

Examples of architectural styles :

  • Art Deco : Think of the glamorous 1920s, with ornate details, bold geometric forms, and lavish materials.
  • Brutalist : Characterized by raw, unadorned concrete structures, it often evokes strength and functionality.
  • Colonial : Reminiscent of colonization eras, with large porches, brick facades, and symmetrical designs.
  • Modernist : Simplified forms, open floor plans, and a strong emphasis on horizontal and vertical lines.

11. By Cultural Influences

Every culture has its distinct architectural imprints.

Buildings influenced by a specific culture bring with them a rich tapestry of history, traditions, and artistic nuances.

For instance, a pagoda-style temple immediately brings forth Asian influences, whereas a hacienda-style house could transport readers to the heart of Mexico.

A mosque, with its minarets piercing the sky, intricately designed domes, and calligraphy-laden interiors, speaks of Islamic artistry.

A Mediterranean villa with stucco walls and red-tiled roofs tells tales of sun-kissed coasts and leisurely lifestyles.

12. By State of Repair

The condition of a building can be a rich source of narrative information.

A dilapidated mansion covered in ivy, with broken windows and creaky doors, might hint at long-forgotten stories, neglect, or even hauntings.

In contrast, a well-maintained Victorian house, freshly painted with a manicured lawn, suggests pride, history cherished and sustained.

Structures in ruins, especially historic ones, often feel melancholic, reminding readers of the inexorable march of time.

Meanwhile, buildings under construction are beacons of progress, symbolizing hope, aspirations, and the future.

13. By Decorative Elements

Details matter.

An ornate balcony with wrought-iron railings, statues adorning entrances, or stained glass windows can offer readers visual treats and clues about a building’s history and the aesthetic preferences of its inhabitants or architects.

Examples of decorative elements :

  • Gargoyles : Often found in Gothic structures, these stone creatures serve both decorative and architectural purposes.
  • Frescoes : Painted walls or ceilings, common in Renaissance buildings, depict scenes or stories.
  • Mosaics : Pieces of colored glass or stones arranged to form patterns or images, frequently found in Byzantine architecture.
  • Columns : Pillars that might be Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian, each bringing a different historical and aesthetic layer.

14. By Lighting

Light, both natural and artificial, plays a significant role in setting the mood.

A cathedral bathed in the soft hues of sunlight filtering through stained glass windows offers a kaleidoscope of colors and emotions.

Conversely, an alleyway dimly lit by a lone lamp post might evoke feelings of solitude or mystery.

The glow of lanterns in an old inn or the harsh neon lights of a modern nightclub can drastically alter the way a building is perceived, grounding readers in a specific time or mood.

15. By Acoustics

Beyond the visual, what does a building sound like?

The echo of footsteps in a grand marble hall, the muffled sounds in a carpeted library, or the lively acoustics of a music hall can immerse readers deeper into the setting.

Acoustics can also serve as indicators.

Sound bouncing off the walls of an empty mansion might evoke feelings of loneliness or abandonment.

Buildings like opera houses or concert halls, specially designed for optimal acoustics, not only emphasize the significance of sound but also bear testimony to the architectural marvels dedicated to the art of sound.

16. By User Experience

How does one navigate or experience the building?

A labyrinthine palace with endless corridors and secret chambers can give a sense of mystery.

In contrast, an open-plan modern office emphasizes transparency and collaboration.

The ease or difficulty of navigating a space, the viewpoints offered by balconies or windows, and even the experience of ascending a grand staircase versus taking a modern elevator can offer readers insights into the building’s purpose and the era’s design principles.

17. By Integration with Nature

Some buildings seamlessly integrate with their natural surroundings, while others stand out.

A cottage with walls covered in ivy, almost hidden by the woods around it, offers a different narrative than a steel-and-glass structure stark against a forest backdrop.

Consider a treehouse that becomes one with the canopy or a desert abode designed for optimal cooling.

Either way, the relationship between a building and its environment can be a rich descriptor, highlighting harmony or discord.

18. By Innovations or Anachronisms

Certain structures stand out due to their innovative designs or features that are anachronistic for their time.

An ancient building with ahead-of-its-time water systems, or a futuristic house with solar integrations and smart tech in a traditional neighborhood, can be points of interest.

Such descriptions can surprise the reader, make them curious, or emphasize the uniqueness and significance of a structure.

19. By Symbolic Significance

Beyond their tangible attributes, some buildings hold symbolic meanings.

They might represent power (like a king’s palace), spirituality (like a temple or church), knowledge (like a grand library), or even decay and decline (like ruins).

The symbolic weight of a building can add depth to its description and make it more resonant in the narrative.

20. By Popularity or Notoriety

Lastly, how is the building perceived by the masses?

Is it a famous landmark, a tourist magnet with crowds always milling about?

Or perhaps it’s a notorious structure, shunned by locals due to dark tales or unfortunate histories.

The public’s perception of a building, whether a beloved local bakery or a haunted mansion, can influence its role in the story and shape the readers’ attitudes towards it.

21. By Ornamentation and Artistry

Buildings can be embellished with diverse forms of ornamentation, from intricate carvings to frescoes.

This decor often reflects the cultural and historical contexts, as well as the individual tastes of its creators.

A building adorned with gargoyles and flying buttresses, for example, might point towards Gothic influences.

  • Baroque Churches : Filled with lavish ornamentation, gilded statues, and dramatic frescoes.
  • Indian Temples : Carved with intricate sculptures depicting gods, goddesses, and tales from epics.
  • Art Nouveau Buildings : Characterized by sinuous lines, floral motifs, and harmonious curves.

22. By Patronage or Ownership

The patron or owner of a building can provide essential insights into its style, purpose, and decor.

Palaces built by powerful rulers often reflect their ambitions, tastes, or the political needs of their time.

On the other hand, structures erected by philanthropists might emphasize utility and public welfare.

  • The Medici family in Renaissance Florence sponsored numerous buildings that became masterpieces of their era.
  • The Rockefeller Center in New York, financed by the Rockefeller family, is a beacon of art deco design and urban planning.

23. By Architectural Movement

Every era spawns architectural movements with distinct principles and aesthetics.

Describing a building by its movement aligns it with specific philosophies, materials, and designs.

The minimalist, functional approach of the Bauhaus contrasts with the ornate designs of the Rococo.

  • Bauhaus : Emphasizes functionality and eschews unnecessary ornamentation.
  • Rococo : Known for its playful, whimsical, and intricate designs, often in pastel colors.

24. By Social and Economic Status

Buildings can often depict the socio-economic status of their inhabitants or the region they’re located in.

Mansions, penthouses, and gated communities often exude opulence.

In comparison, slums, tenements, and worker cottages might highlight poverty or the working-class struggles.

Examples: The elegant townhouses of London’s Belgravia versus the narrow, crowded lanes of Dharavi in Mumbai.

25. By Sensory Appeal

Beyond sight, buildings can be described by how they appeal to other senses.

The scent of aged wood in a historic home, the touch of cool marble underfoot in a palace, or the distant sounds echoing through a vast cathedral can make descriptions more immersive.

  • The warm, inviting scent of freshly baked bread from a French bakery.
  • The gentle, rhythmic tapping of rain on a tin-roofed cottage.

26. By Folklore or Legend

Some buildings are shrouded in myths, legends, or local tales.

A castle might be infamous for its ghostly residents, or a historic home might be revered as a hero’s birthplace.

Such tales add depth, intrigue, and cultural context.

  • The legend of the Tower of London’s ravens, suggesting the kingdom’s fall if they ever leave.
  • The lore surrounding Transylvania’s Bran Castle, often linked with the Dracula legend.

27. By Climate Adaptation

Buildings can be designed or modified to adapt to their climatic conditions.

A desert home might have thick walls to keep the interiors cool, while houses in tropical regions might feature wide verandas and high ceilings for ventilation.

  • The igloos of the Arctic, built from blocks of snow.
  • Traditional Arabian homes with wind towers for natural cooling.

28. By Relation to Other Structures

The juxtaposition of a building with its neighboring structures can offer rich contrasts or harmonies.

A medieval church beside a modern mall might highlight the city’s layered history or the interplay of the sacred and the commercial.

  • The Flatiron Building in New York, with its unique triangular shape, set against the backdrop of modern skyscrapers.
  • Rome’s Pantheon, an ancient temple, surrounded by renaissance buildings and modern cafes.

29. By Adaptive Reuse

Old structures might be repurposed for new functions, preserving their history while adapting to contemporary needs.

Warehouses transformed into lofts, churches turned into bookshops, or palaces renovated into hotels.

Transformations show the evolving narratives of buildings.

  • The Tate Modern in London, once a power station.
  • Book and Bed Hostels in Tokyo, combining bookshops with sleeping quarters.

30. By Emotional Resonance

How does a building make one feel?

Describing the emotional response it evokes can be more powerful than detailing its physical attributes.

A derelict asylum might exude eeriness, while a childhood home could evoke nostalgia.

  • The somber, reflective atmosphere of the 9/11 Memorial.
  • The joy and wonder of entering the whimsical world of Gaudí’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona.

31. By Historical Events

Many buildings carry the weight of significant historical events.

These events can cast a long shadow over the building’s atmosphere and its place in society.

For instance, a palace that was the site of a famous treaty signing or an assassination takes on the weight and significance of those events, shaping how one views and describes it.

The mere mention of such a building might evoke a vivid picture in the reader’s mind, filled with the drama and emotion of the past.

  • The Palace of Versailles in France, which witnessed numerous royal dramas and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., forever remembered as the assassination site of President Abraham Lincoln.

32. By Foundation

The foundation of a building is its bedrock, dictating its stability, longevity, and sometimes even its aesthetic appeal.

It speaks volumes about the building’s resilience, design intentions, and the environment it’s in.

Different terrains require different types of foundations.

A building’s foundation can indicate whether it’s designed to withstand earthquakes, floods, or other environmental factors.

  • Stilt homes in flood-prone areas, raised above ground level, showcase the adaptation to the local environment.
  • Buildings in earthquake-prone regions like Japan might have deep foundations and reinforced pillars to absorb shocks.

33. By Roof

Roofs provide shelter but also contribute to a building’s identity.

They often serve as an architectural highlight or adaptation to the climate of a region.

A roof can be symbolic of a region’s architectural history or a practical response to weather conditions. It can be decorative or functional, or both.

  • The distinct pagoda-style roofs in ancient Chinese architecture, with their upturned eaves.
  • Thatched roofs of English cottages, providing insulation and showcasing a rustic charm.

34. By Landscape Integration

How a building integrates or stands out from its surrounding landscape can be a focal point of description.

A mansion atop a hill overlooking a town tells a story of dominance or isolation, while a camouflaged cabin in the woods speaks of retreat and harmony with nature.

  • Machu Picchu in Peru, a stone city seamlessly integrated into the mountainous terrain.
  • Cliffside dwellings like the Hanging Temple in China, defying gravity and blending with the vertical landscape.

35. By Socio-political Context

Architecture often mirrors the socio-political climate of its time.

Structures built during totalitarian regimes might exude power and intimidation, while those from a renaissance period might reflect hope, curiosity, and the human spirit.

Describing buildings within this context can enhance the depth of a story, setting the stage for the characters’ challenges and triumphs.

  • The grandeur of Stalinist architecture, like the Seven Sisters in Moscow, representing power and state dominance.
  • The democratic openness of city halls and public squares in many European cities, symbolizing public participation and freedom.

36. By Architectural Philosophy

Some buildings are constructed based on specific architectural philosophies or principles.

Perhaps the Japanese philosophy of “Wabi-sabi” celebrating imperfection or the Modernist mantra “form follows function.”

These guiding principles can be a unique way to delve into the building’s essence.

  • Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, embodying the philosophy of organic architecture.
  • The grid-like simplicity of De Stijl architecture , as seen in Rietveld Schröder House.

37. By Spiritual or Religious Significance

Many structures are steeped in spiritual or religious significance, making them more than just brick and mortar.

Temples, churches, mosques, and other religious edifices often come loaded with symbolic elements, rituals, and an aura of reverence.

  • The Notre-Dame Cathedral i n Paris, with its Gothic spires, rose windows, and religious relics.
  • The intricately carved Jain temples of India, representing non-violence and respect for all living beings.

38. By Reflection of the Times

Architecture can be a mirror to the prevalent trends, technology, and societal values of its era.

A post-war building might carry elements of resilience and simplicity.

Structures from a prosperous era might, instead, exude opulence and flamboyance.

  • Art Deco buildings of the Roaring Twenties, like the Chrysler Building in New York, symbolizing prosperity and technological progress.
  • The austere, functional buildings of post-World War II Europe, reflecting the continent’s recovery phase.

39. By Personal Stories and Anecdotes

Every building might have personal stories or anecdotes linked to it.

These tales, whether of love, tragedy, triumph, or everyday life, can turn a mundane structure into something special.

A house might be remembered for the family feuds it witnessed, or a bridge might be iconic for a legendary love story.

  • The Romeo and Juliet balcony in Verona, believed to be the site of the famous Shakespearean love story.
  • The childhood homes of famous personalities, like Mozart’s Geburtshaus in Salzburg, which tells tales of prodigious talent and early beginnings.

40. By Flooring

Flooring can reflect the luxury, practicality, or cultural elements of a building.

It plays a significant role in interior aesthetics and user comfort.

The choice of flooring material, its texture, and design can say a lot about the purpose of a room and the building’s overall theme.

  • Design: The intricately designed marble floors of palaces, indicating opulence and grandeur.
  • Material: Bamboo or tatami mat flooring in traditional Japanese homes, bringing forth an essence of simplicity and nature.

41. By Urban vs. Rural Setting

The setting of a building, whether in a bustling urban environment or a serene rural backdrop, affects its architecture, materials used, and its overall ambiance.

Urban structures might prioritize vertical expansion and efficient space use.

Rural ones might spread outwards, integrating with nature.

  • The compact, upward-stretching skyscrapers of Manhattan versus the sprawling ranches of Montana.
  • Ancient European farmhouses nestled in valleys versus modern urban apartments with their balconies facing busy streets.

42. By Ecological Impact

With the rising emphasis on sustainability, many buildings are now designed with their ecological footprint in mind.

Consider green roofs and walls to structures entirely powered by renewable energy.

There’s a growing trend towards eco-friendly architecture.

  • The Bullitt Center in Seattle is called the world’s most eco-friendly office building.
  • Ancient cliff dwellings, which utilized natural rock formations to maintain interior temperatures and minimize impact on the environment.

43. By Underground Space

A building’s underground space can reveal hidden functions, histories, or layers of utility that aren’t immediately visible on the surface.

Basements, cellars, underground bunkers, or parking spaces can add layers of mystery, function, or historical depth.

  • Ancient catacombs or crypts beneath churches, like the Catacombs of Paris, harboring history and tales of the departed.
  • Modern skyscrapers with multiple levels of underground parking and utility spaces, showcasing urban space optimization.

44. By Human Interaction

How people interact with a building can be a powerful descriptor.

Are its halls always crowded?

Do children play in its courtyards? Is it a place of solitude or social interaction?

Such descriptions bring the building to life, emphasizing its role in the community.

  • The lively bustle of Grand Central Terminal in New York, with commuters rushing, tourists marveling, and couples reuniting.
  • The tranquil corridors of monasteries, where the only sounds might be the soft footsteps of monks.

45. By Technological Advancements

In the modern age, buildings can be described by the technology they incorporate.

Smart homes, buildings with integrated AI systems, or structures with advanced security systems reflect the advancements of the age.

  • The Edge in Amsterdam, touted as the world’s smartest building, where even the coffee machines are connected to the internet.
  • Historical aqueducts and water systems, showcasing the engineering prowess of ancient civilizations.

46. By Adaptability and Flexibility

Some buildings are designed to be adaptable to different needs over time.

These structures might have movable walls, transformable spaces, or modular designs that can evolve with changing requirements.

  • The Habitat 67 complex in Montreal, where prefabricated modules can be reconfigured.
  • Japanese homes designed with large open spaces that can serve multiple purposes, from living rooms in the day to sleeping areas at night.

47. By Fragrance and Aroma

Though subtle, the distinctive smells associated with certain buildings can paint a vivid picture.

A library’s musty scent, the fresh aroma from a bakery, or the mix of incense in a temple can transport the reader to the location instantly.

  • The cedarwood fragrance permeating ancient temples in Kyoto.
  • The unmistakable scent of chlorine in indoor swimming complexes.

48. By Security Features

Security features can provide insights into the importance, vulnerability, or the treasures a building holds.

It can also reflect the socio-political environment of the locale.

A building heavily fortified indicates its importance or the potential threats it might face, whereas minimal security might indicate peace, openness, or a lack of valuable contents.

  • The Buckingham Palace with its guards, high walls, and surveillance systems, highlighting the importance and the need to protect the monarchy.
  • A quiet, open-plan library in a small town, with just CCTV cameras, showcases the trust in the community and the open access to knowledge.

49. By Mystique and Legends

Every region has its tales, its myths, and sometimes these stories are intrinsically tied to certain structures.

A haunted house, a castle rumored to have hidden treasures, or an inn with tales of historical figures stopping by can add a layer of mystique and depth to the description.

  • The Tower of London, with its many ghostly tales including that of Anne Boleyn.
  • Château de Brissac in France, also known as the “Giant of the Loire Valley,” renowned for its ghost, “la Dame Verte” or the Green Lady.

50. By Seasons and Weather

The way a building interacts with different seasons can be enchanting.

How it stands resilient during winter storms, becomes enlivened by spring blossoms, offers shade in summer, or is framed by autumn leaves can bring a dynamic quality to descriptions.

  • Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, often pictured blanketed in winter snow, looking like a fairy-tale come alive.
  • Traditional Japanese homes with engawas (verandas) designed to appreciate seasonal changes, especially the sakura bloom in spring.

51. By Movement and Dynamics

While buildings are inherently static, the environment around them isn’t.

Describe how shadows move across a structure during the day, how it appears through the mist, or how its reflection dances on water.

These details can capture a building’s dynamic interplay with the environment.

  • The play of sunset hues on Petra’s Al-Khazneh in Jordan, making the ancient rose-red city look aflame.
  • The Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, with its surrealistic appearance as it reflects on the bay waters.

52. By Proportions and Geometry

A building’s proportions, symmetry, or lack thereof, and its geometrical design elements can serve as potent descriptors.

They can convey balance, chaos, grandeur, or coziness, depending on the design.

  • The perfectly symmetrical facade of the Taj Mahal in India, representing balance and beauty.
  • The twisted and unconventional design of the Dancing House in Prague, which challenges traditional architectural norms.

53. By Hidden or Secret Elements

Every building might have its hidden nooks, secret passages, or lesser-known elements.

Describing these can add an element of intrigue and adventure to the narrative.

  • The hidden chambers and passageways of Hampton Court Palace in England.
  • The concealed courtyards of Marrakech’s riads, which offer an oasis of calm in the midst of the city’s hustle.

54. By Time of Day

The time of day can drastically change how a building is perceived.

Dawn might cast a soft golden glow, midday could highlight the structure’s magnificence under bright light.

Dusk might lend a serene hue, while nighttime could unveil a structure illuminated in artificial lights.

  • Eiffel Tower in Paris, which transforms from an iron lattice structure in the day to a sparkling jewel at night.
  • Ancient ruins like Stonehenge, which take on a mystical aura during the solstice sunrise.

55. By Parking

Parking can offer a unique perspective on the accessibility, modernity, and practical aspects of a building.

A skyscraper might have a multi-level underground parking facility, while a countryside inn might just have a gravel lot.

The type and style of parking can shed light on the type of people frequenting the building and its location.

Parking is a functional aspect that often gets overlooked.

Yet, it can provide insights into the modern infrastructure and the building’s capacity to accommodate visitors.

  • The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, known for its expansive parking decks, indicative of the structure’s modernity and the bustling crowd it attracts.
  • A centuries-old church in a European town, with only a cobblestone path leading up to it and no dedicated parking, emphasizing its age and the pedestrian nature of the locale.

56. By What Is Missing

Sometimes, what a building lacks can be as telling as what it includes.

The absence of certain features can highlight its history, purpose, or the socio-economic conditions of its residents.

Absence can be telling. A building missing windows might suggest a need for defense or privacy in historical times.

Lack of modern amenities might indicate either a commitment to maintaining historical authenticity or a lack of resources.

  • Castles like the Alhambra in Spain, where certain decorative elements are conspicuously absent due to religious beliefs of the Moors.
  • An old house in a rural village, devoid of any electronic fixtures or modern plumbing, hinting at a simpler time or economic constraints.

57. By Literary Genre

Buildings can be described in a style reminiscent of different literary genres.

A haunted house might be described in a gothic or horror style, a futuristic building in a sci-fi manner, or an old mansion in a romantic or historic style.

Literary genres come with their own set of conventions, moods, and themes.

Utilizing these can offer a distinctive lens through which to view and describe a building, thereby setting a tone that aligns with the narrative’s intent.

  • An abandoned asylum, its corridors echoing with eerie silences and shadows, drawing from horror literature.
  • A building with sleek curves, neon-lit facades, and hovering platforms, reminiscent of science fiction settings like Blade Runner.

50 Words to Describe Buildings

Here is a list of words to describe buildings in your stories, reports, product profiles, and more:

  • Dilapidated
  • Minimalistic
  • Symmetrical
  • Breathtaking
  • Picturesque
  • Verdant (if covered with plants)
  • Cobblestoned
  • Flourishing

25 Phrases to Describe Buildings

Next, let’s look at some of the best “starter” phrases to use when you need to describe buildings in writing.

  • Standing tall against the horizon
  • Whispers of bygone eras
  • A beacon of modernity
  • The touch of nature’s embrace
  • Frozen in time
  • A dance of shadows and light
  • Bearing the weight of history
  • A testament to innovation
  • Merging tradition and modernity
  • Clinging to its past
  • Resilient against the elements
  • Melting pot of architectural styles
  • Crafted with meticulous precision
  • Heralding a new age
  • Cradled in the lap of nature
  • Drawing eyes skyward
  • Seamlessly blending with its surroundings
  • Shrouded in tales and mysteries
  • Rising like a phoenix
  • A canvas of artistic expression
  • Carved with legends
  • Keeping pace with the future
  • Holding the stories of centuries
  • Echoing the footsteps of the past
  • A juxtaposition of epochs

Check out this video about how to describe buildings in writing:

Three Full Building Descriptions

I don’t know about you but I love to see full examples – especially when it comes to writing tips and techniques.

Therefore, here are three examples for how to describe buildings in writing.

The Old Manor House

Nestled on the outskirts of the town, the Old Manor House stands as a silent sentinel of the past.

Its weathered stone walls and time-worn wooden beams whisper tales of bygone eras. The structure, with its vast corridors and winding staircases, holds an enigmatic charm. Ivy covers much of its facade, lending it a verdant embrace.

The large, towering oak trees around it act as guardians, their branches swaying gently with the wind.

Here, every creak of the floorboard and rustle of the leaves seems to echo with stories waiting to be discovered.

Pinnacle Tower

Rising above the bustling city is the Pinnacle Tower, a beacon of modernity.

Its sleek, reflective glass surface mirrors the ever-changing skyline. As the sun sets, the tower transforms into a luminous gem, its lights dancing amidst the city’s constellation. Designed with innovative architecture, it stands not just as a workplace but a testament to human achievement and the possibilities of the future.

Its top floor offers a panoramic view, making the chaotic streets below seem like a rhythmic, orchestrated play.

Lilac Cottage

Tucked away in a quiet lane, the Lilac Cottage is the epitome of quaint charm.

With its cobblestoned pathway leading to a blue wooden door, and windows framed by blooming flower boxes, the cottage seems straight out of a storybook. The white picket fence and the small garden, bursting with colors, add to its picturesque beauty.

Inside, the intimate space, with its wooden furniture and lace curtains, radiates warmth and comfort.

The scent of freshly baked bread wafts from the kitchen, promising a sanctuary of homely delights.

Final Thoughts: How to Describe Buildings in Writing

Each building has stories etched into its walls, stories of the hands that built it, the eras it survived, and the people who occupied it.

By employing diverse descriptive techniques, writers can unearth and convey these tales, making structures more than just static edifices.

We have lots of other articles about how to describe people, places, and things in writing.

Check out a few of the others before you go :).

Related Posts:

  • How to Describe a City in Writing (100+ Best Examples)
  • How To Describe a House in Writing (21 Tips for Beginners)
  • How to Describe Mountains in Writing (21 Tips & Examples)
  • 400+ Words to Describe a Flower Garden: Best Writers Guide

Brittancia (Architechure)

Table of Contents

creative writing description of old house

Author, teacher, coach, geek

describe homes

February 19, 2016

44 Ways to Describe Buildings–Homes I

For the next few months, weekly writing tips will include word choice suggestions. That includes:

  • colorful and original descriptions
  • pithy words and phrases
  • picture nouns and action verbs
  • writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice

After taking some advice from Crawford Home Buyers , I keep a  collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books.

It’s amazing how skilled writers can use just a few carefully chosen words to transport readers into the world of their story, capturing their attention and making them want to stay. While some authors might focus on describing homes in detail, others might take a different approach, relying on powerful imagery and sensory details to evoke a mood or feeling. No matter your writing style, it’s important to find a way to connect with your readers and draw them in. When it comes to bridging the gap between planning institutions and entrepreneurs, one useful resource is  https://netivey-hakama.co.il/ . This service produces professional content and promotes the transformation of licensing into a profession with required training and education, helping to connect planners and authorities with the wider community and promoting effective collaboration.

A note: These are for inspiration only . They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).

  • Fair-sized house built of red Lyons Sandstone with the most god-awful-looking picket fence I’d ever seen.
  • Small upstairs apartment on Newport Island, a tiny piece of land accessible only by a bridge so narrow, it would admit just one car at a time.
  • The weather-beaten slat cottage sat at the far end of a mostly brown lawn. Wood silvered by the sun. Roof shingles warped. Small stands of plantain and giant bird-of-paradise for privacy. Despite the weathered appearance of the slat cottage, there was hope for its revival thanks to the services of a reliable local company specializing in affordable roofing solutions. If you too wish to safeguard your home against the elements and enhance its aesthetic appeal, going for this local company is the answer. Their dedication to quality and affordability ensures that your roof not only withstands weather challenges but also adds to the charm of your dwelling. With their assistance, the weather-beaten cottage could regain its former glory, proving that a reliable roofing projects can breathe new life into any home.
  • Rambling old farm house
  • Gleamed with the spotless silence of for-company-only.
  • He leaned on the old boards. They felt thin and veined, frozen by a hundred winters, baked by a hundred summers. They smelled of dust and age. A big house from buy houses syracuse ny , the kind in which most American kids dreamed of growing up. Secluded among trees on one of DC’s most exclusive streets, it had turrets, gables, dormers, balconies, a screened-in front porch, a free-standing garage, a gazebo, a pool, formal gardents, the American dream.
  • Sturdy two-story residence designed without the least imagination
  • A set of sagging wooden steps descended three treads from the door
  • A room barely big enough to exhale into
  • A room that showed her lack of interest in anything to do with what people thought of her
  • Small with clean white walls, a twin bed, a desk with a blank blotter on it, sliding closets opposite the bed, and thin green shag carpet. Or make a call to Zerorez to do this job professionally.
  • My Writing Area: My computer faces out the window. I like having the sky and buildings in the background. Occasionally a bird or plane flies by in the distance. To my far left is my 42″ flatscreen TV (size does matter), which often displays my daily dose of CNN or Grey’s Anatomy. Next to that is my Buddhist altar, which I need to make better use of. To my right is a framed poster displaying a poem of mine that had been on Chicago buses and trains. And to the far right is a black and white picture of Grand Central Station with wide beams of light gushing in through the windows. The beams look like they are about to make the commuters levitate at any minute and float skyward. A single light burned, casting light on a chintz couch and an antique Quaker chair
  • Improvised kitchenette off to one side
  • Walls and ceilings were covered with mirrors, a high-tech bordello.
  • Furnishings were cheap, black-painted. A worn mustard-yellow bean-bag chair, a relic of the seventies. An old tape deck and a towering set of speakers whose cloth was fraying
  • A front door that could accommodate a family of giraffes.
  • A foyer that would accommodate the Serengeti Plant at the foot of a vast curving staircase that probably went to heaven
  • Polished wood floors and a graceful banister that curved up toward a soaring second floor gallery.
  • Persian rug cove red a shopworn carpet.
  • Prints of gentlemen riding to hounds decorate the walls.
  • Crumbling rock walls
  • Beautiful high arched windows
  • Velvet drapes framed the windows, the lace inner curtains remained drawn, allowing daylight to enter while rendering the heart-stopping view over the city a blur
  • bay windows
  • two tall windows allowed sunlight to flood the room
  • the windows flanked a grey fabric sofa, burgundy throw
  • sheer lace curtains bordered by heavy burgundy drapes matching

Click for the complete list of 70 69 writer’s themed descriptions .

Most popular collections:

51 Great Similes to Spark Imagination

How to Describe Nature

178 Ways to Describe Women’s Clothing

creative writing description of old house

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Jacqui Murray

How to Describe an Old Home

Kristin dasher.

A setting with an old home can provide an eery backdrop to a story or essay.

Using an old home as an element of an essay or a story can provide a spooky or mysterious backdrop to the story. First, consider and describe several elements of the old house. Focusing on the imagery, including sights, sounds and feelings surrounding an old home is a unique way to influence the reader.

Describe the house's general appearance. Focus on elements of the home's appearance that indicate its age. For example, the floor panels might be pulling up, the paint may be peeling off the walls and the shutters could be crooked.

Mention the house's smell. Use adjectives like musky, damp, dank or stale to describe the aged environment.

Include details about the temperature and atmosphere of the house. Describe the home as chilly, vacant or bare. Use imagery such as dusty furniture or dark hallways to detail the home's age.

Add details about the sounds the reader might hear in the home. You can include creaking stairs or floorboards, whistling in the windows, or mysterious noises in the attic.

  • 1 DePaul University; An Example Story Description; Clark Elliot; October 1997

About the Author

Kristin Dasher has been writing since 2007. She has served as a technical writer for several software development companies and has won multiple awards in the annual competitions held by the Society for Technical Communication. Dasher holds a Bachelor of Science in professional writing and French from Missouri State University.

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Writing Nestling

Writing Nestling

How To Describe A House In Writing

How To Describe A House In Writing (11 Best Ways)

Describing a house in writing is more than just a portrayal of bricks and mortar; it’s an intricate art form, a literary journey through the architecture of imagination.

In this craft, writers have the power to create vibrant, evocative spaces that transcend mere physical descriptions and serve as living canvases for the stories they wish to tell.

Whether it’s a cozy cottage nestled in the heart of a forest, a grand mansion steeped in history, or a modern city apartment with all the trappings of contemporary life, the process of painting the house with words is an opportunity to evoke emotions, kindle memories, and transport readers into the very essence of a narrative.

This exploration, much like a tour through a house’s rooms, is a journey through the senses, an unraveling of histories, and a passage into the heart of storytelling itself.

In this guide, we will embark on a journey of understanding and mastering the art of describing a house in writing , encompassing all its intricate facets to bring vivid life to our stories.

Table of Contents

How To Describe A House In Writing

Describing a house in writing involves capturing its key features, atmosphere, and characteristics. Here’s a step-by-step process for doing so:

Select Your Perspective

Decide whether you are describing the house as an objective observer, a potential buyer, or someone with emotional ties to it. Your perspective will influence the tone and focus of your description.

Observe and Take Notes

Spend some time in and around the house, noting down its details. Pay attention to both the exterior and interior. Take notes on architectural elements, landscaping, and the overall condition.

Start with an Introduction

Begin your description with a captivating introduction. Mention the location, any unique historical or architectural aspects, and the overall vibe of the house.

Exterior Description

Describe the architectural style, such as Victorian, modern, colonial, etc. Mention the size and layout of the house, including the number of stories. Highlight any distinctive exterior features like a front porch, dormer windows, or a landscaped garden. Comment on the condition of the exterior – is it well-maintained or in need of repairs?

Interior Description:

Walk through each room, starting with the main living spaces. Describe the layout, size, and purpose of each room (kitchen, living room, bedrooms, etc.).Note any unique or standout features, like a fireplace, hardwood floors, or high ceilings.

Discuss the decor, paint colors, and overall interior design. Emphasize the lighting, natural and artificial, and how it contributes to the ambiance.

Atmosphere and Feel:

Discuss the overall atmosphere of the house. Is it cozy, spacious, elegant, or modern? Describe how it makes you feel or the emotions it evokes.

Mention any scents or sounds that are particularly notable, such as the scent of freshly baked cookies or the sound of a crackling fireplace.

Outdoor Features:

Include details about the yard, garden, or outdoor spaces. Discuss any amenities like a pool, patio, or outdoor kitchen. Note the views from different areas of the property.

History and Background:

If applicable, provide some historical or personal context. Has the house been in the family for generations, or is it a new construction with an interesting backstory?

Maintenance and Upkeep:

Mention the condition of the house, whether it’s well-maintained, in need of renovation, or recently updated.


Summarize the key points of your description. Mention any standout features or elements that make this house unique. Convey your overall impression and whether you would recommend it to someone with specific preferences.

Proofread and Edit

After writing your description, proofread it for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Make any necessary revisions to ensure the text flows well.

By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive and engaging description of a house in writing, whether for a real estate listing, a personal project, or any other purpose.

How To Describe A House In Writing

Pre-writing Preparation

Pre-writing preparation is the enchanted gateway where your imagination takes its first exhilarating steps into the realm of creativity.

It’s your backstage pass to the show of words, where you gather sparks of inspiration, setting them alight like stars in the night sky of your mind.

With a mood board as your treasure map and the world as your canvas, you define the very purpose of your words, crafting a compass that will guide your reader through the uncharted terrain of your imagination.

In this ephemeral moment before pen meets paper or fingers touch keys, you are the architect of dreams, the weaver of tales, and the creator of worlds.

Observation and Note-Taking

Observation and note-taking are your secret agents in the espionage of reality, your magnifying glass in the quest for hidden treasures.

They’re like the watchful sentinels who stand guard at the gateway between your senses and your soul. As you venture into the world, they capture the minuscule whispers of the wind, the symphony of colors dancing in a sunset, and the delicate aroma of memories tucked in the corners of a room.

In their meticulous scribbles and sketches, you unearth the fossils of emotions and the jewels of detail, piecing together the puzzle of existence.

These notes are the breadcrumbs that lead you back to the forgotten realms of your experiences, and when the time comes to craft your tales, they transform into the keys unlocking the doors of enchantment for your readers.

Visit a real house or imagine one in detail

Whether you choose to visit a tangible, real house or conjure one from the ethereal fabric of your imagination, the journey is equally captivating.

Stepping into a real house is like embarking on an archaeological expedition, unearthing layers of history and stories embedded in its walls.

Each creaking floorboard and fading wallpaper tells a unique narrative, and your senses become detectives seeking clues to its past.

Conversely, when you create a house within your mind, you become an architect, fashioning every brick and beam with meticulous intention.

You have the power to construct a world from the ground up, shaping the very essence of your characters’ lives. Whether real or imagined, these houses are portals to parallel worlds, inviting you to explore the infinite possibilities of human experience and imagination.

How To Describe A House In Writing

Use all senses for a comprehensive description

To paint a truly immersive picture, one must employ all the senses, as they are the palette of life’s canvas. It’s not just about what the eye beholds; it’s the symphony of sensations that makes a description come alive.

The sight captures the grandeur of a house’s architecture, the play of colors, and the interplay of light and shadow. Sound brings us the rustle of leaves in the breeze or the creaking of a wooden floorboard. The subtle fragrances, both inviting and peculiar, breathe life into the atmosphere.

Touch reveals the texture of walls, the warmth of sunlight, and the coolness of marble floors. Even taste, though less common, can be evoked by describing the air’s flavor, or perhaps the lingering essence of a meal in the air.

When all these senses converge, a description transcends words and becomes an experience, transporting the reader into the very heart of the scene.

Organizing Your Description

Organizing your description is like composing a symphony of words, where you’re the conductor orchestrating the reader’s journey through the labyrinth of your imagination.

It’s the blueprint, the road map, the compass that ensures your storytelling ship sails smoothly through the unpredictable seas of prose.

Every carefully chosen word, each sensory detail, and every pause is a note in the grand opus of your description.

Your canvas is the reader’s mind, and you’re the master artist, crafting their visual and emotional experience. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it, creating a literary choreography that dances through the reader’s senses, leaving an indelible footprint in their imagination.

Describing the Exterior

Describing the exterior of a house is like capturing the essence of a soul in architectural form. It’s the first impression, the handshake of the building with the world.

The exterior tells a story, whispering secrets of the past through the choice of materials, the lines and curves of its design, and the weathered patina of time.

Each brick, window, and shingle is a character in the drama of its existence, and the surrounding landscape is the stage upon which this architectural performance unfolds.

From the ornate grandeur of a Victorian mansion to the sleek, modern lines of a minimalist marvel, the exterior is a canvas where the artist of words paints an evocative masterpiece, inviting readers to wander through its living history.

Architectural style and historical context

Describing the architectural style and historical context of a house is like opening a time capsule of human ingenuity. It’s a journey through the annals of history, a glimpse into the tapestry of culture, and an exploration of the evolving language of design.

Architectural style speaks volumes about the era in which a house was born, whether it’s the Gothic spires of the medieval period or the sleek lines of mid-century modernism.

Each style is a chapter in the grand narrative of human civilization, embodying the values, aspirations, and artistic trends of its time.

As a writer, delving into historical context is like becoming an archaeologist, unearthing the buried treasures of a bygone age.

It’s a form of storytelling that breathes life into inanimate structures, giving them a voice that whispers the secrets of their creation and the echoes of those who once dwelled within their walls.

Setting and surroundings

The setting and surroundings of a house are the ever-shifting stage upon which the story of its existence unfolds.

They are the embrace of nature, the neighborhood’s heartbeat, and the silent witnesses to the ebb and flow of life.

Whether nestled in the tranquil solitude of a forest, standing proud in the heart of a bustling city, or perched on the edge of a windswept cliff, the setting and surroundings shape the house’s character and breathe life into its narrative.

The landscape, the neighboring structures, and the natural elements provide context, framing the house’s personality like a portrait.

It’s here that writers wield the power of description to transport readers to a specific time and place, immersing them in the atmosphere, and allowing them to feel the unique pulse of the world in which the house resides.

The setting is not just a backdrop; it’s a character in its own right, influencing the house’s story and enriching the reader’s journey through its vividly painted world.

How To Describe A House In Writing

Describing the Interior

Describing the interior of a house is like embarking on a journey through the corridors of the soul. It’s a magical odyssey where each room becomes a chapter, and every piece of furniture is a character with its own story to tell.

As a writer, you are an architect of emotions, a curator of ambiance, and a storyteller of human lives etched into the walls.

From the cozy, sunlit nooks where laughter and secrets are shared, to the dark, mysterious chambers hiding their enigmas, the interior is a symphony of textures, colors, and emotions.

With your words, you guide the reader through the labyrinth of emotions and memories, making them not just observers but participants in the unfolding drama of a house’s interior, where the past and present mingle in a beautifully chaotic dance of existence.

Entry and first impressions

The entry of a house is the portal to its soul, a threshold where the story of a home begins.

It’s the first chapter in the narrative of the interior, and much like the opening lines of a novel, it sets the tone for what lies beyond.

As the author of this description, you hold the power to guide the reader’s senses as they cross the threshold. The door, whether weathered and welcoming or imposing and ornate, is the guardian of secrets.

The lighting, whether dappled with warm sunshine or bathed in the cool glow of moonlight, casts a particular mood.

The decor, the scent, the arrangement of objects – all these elements come together to offer the reader their initial impression, like the first chords of a symphony.

The entry is where anticipation and curiosity blend, inviting readers to step deeper into the unfolding narrative of the house, each footfall echoing with the promise of discovery.

Character and personality of the interior

The character and personality of the interior are like the beating heart of a house, the very essence of its soul unveiled.

Every room is a chapter in the house’s unique story, and it carries its own distinct character. Whether it’s the cozy charm of a well-loved family room with threadbare sofas and walls adorned with cherished photographs, or the elegance of a meticulously designed library filled with leather-bound books and antique furniture, each space holds its own secrets and emotions.

The personality of the interior is a reflection of the people who have dwelled within its walls, their passions, and their idiosyncrasies.

As a writer, your words have the power to breathe life into these spaces, evoking the atmosphere, the history, and the emotions that have unfolded within them.

The interior of a house is a multi-dimensional character in itself, and it’s through your descriptive prose that it takes on a role, engaging readers and beckoning them to explore its depths, its quirks, and its undeniable allure.

How To Describe A House In Writing

Using Metaphor and Symbolism

Using metaphor and symbolism in writing is akin to infusing a tapestry of enigma and depth into the very fabric of your narrative.

It’s the literary equivalent of an artist applying layers of paint, revealing more than meets the eye. Metaphors are the breadcrumbs leading readers down a poetic path, allowing them to dance between the lines of reality and abstraction.

Symbolism, on the other hand, breathes life into the mundane, turning everyday objects and settings into gateways to deeper meanings.

These tools are the magic keys to the castle of imagination, granting access to hidden chambers of thought, emotion, and understanding.

Writers who wield metaphors and symbolism create a symbiotic relationship with their readers, inviting them to decode, interpret, and become an integral part of the storytelling experience.

The words become a world within themselves, teeming with secrets, revelations, and a symphony of resonating truths.

Dialogue and Character Interaction

Dialogue and character interaction in writing are like the intricate choreography of a dance, where the words become the elegant waltz of storytelling. It’s not just a means of communication; it’s the vibrant heartbeat of your narrative.

When characters engage in conversation, they reveal their true essence, their desires, and their vulnerabilities. Dialogue becomes the window to their souls, allowing readers to eavesdrop on the symphony of emotions and conflicts that course through the story.

The art of crafting dialogue isn’t just about the words spoken; it’s the unspoken sentiments, the silences pregnant with meaning, and the electricity that crackles in the air when characters collide.

As a writer, you are the conductor of this grand opera, orchestrating the verbal ballet that unravels the plot, deepens connections, and thrusts the reader into the tumultuous world of your characters.

In the dance of dialogue, you hold the power to make your characters breathe, laugh, cry, and love, drawing readers ever deeper into the rich tapestry of your narrative.

Highlighting how characters interact with the house

Characters and their interaction with the house are like a silent dialogue, a dance of emotions played out against the backdrop of architecture.

The way they navigate the hallways, touch the walls, or choose a particular spot to sit reveals their relationships, their histories, and their innermost thoughts. Each creaking floorboard, every beam of sunlight that catches their eye, becomes a reflection of their mood.

In a way, the house itself is a character, responding to their presence, bearing witness to their joys and sorrows. As a writer, you have the privilege of crafting these interactions, using them to illustrate the profound connection between the characters and their environment.

Whether it’s a comforting embrace or a source of tension, the house becomes more than bricks and mortar; it’s an essential part of the story, amplifying the drama and resonating with the emotions of those who inhabit it.

Emphasizing the house’s role in the narrative

The house in a narrative isn’t just a setting; it’s a living, breathing entity with a pivotal role to play. It’s more than bricks and beams; it’s a silent character, a reflection of the story’s soul.

The house often holds secrets, serves as a repository of memories, and even becomes a mirror to the characters’ inner worlds. It can be a sanctuary, a prison, or a puzzle to be unraveled.

The house’s architecture, history, and atmosphere can shape the plot, infusing it with mystery, nostalgia, or a sense of foreboding.

As a writer, emphasizing the house’s role is about crafting its presence in a way that makes it integral to the narrative’s progression.

It can be a catalyst for change, a witness to dramatic events, or a source of conflict. The house is more than walls; it’s a silent companion in the characters’ journey, a bearer of secrets, and an anchor in the storm of storytelling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about How To Describe A House In Writing

Why is it important to effectively describe a house in writing.

Describing a house in writing is crucial for creating immersive, emotionally resonant narratives. It provides readers with vivid imagery, sets the tone, and breathes life into the settings and characters.

How can I make my house descriptions more engaging and unique?

To make your descriptions stand out, consider the house’s historical context, architectural style, and the way it interacts with your characters. Utilize metaphors, symbolism, and sensory details to add depth and intrigue.

How do I balance descriptive prose with storytelling in house descriptions?

Striking a balance involves integrating descriptions into the narrative flow. Instead of overwhelming readers with details, make the descriptions relevant to the story, characters, or themes.

What should I keep in mind when describing the exterior of a house?

When describing the exterior, consider the house’s architectural features, historical context, surrounding environment, and how these elements contribute to the atmosphere of your story.

How can I effectively convey the character and personality of the interior in my writing?

Focus on the details that reflect the residents’ lives, emotions, and history. Describe the layout, furnishings, and ambiance, allowing readers to connect with the characters through the space.

Is it necessary to use metaphors and symbolism in house descriptions?

While not mandatory, metaphors and symbolism can add depth and layers to your descriptions. They can evoke emotions, connect to the story’s themes, and make the descriptions more engaging.

What role does the house play in a narrative, and how can I emphasize it effectively?

The house can be a character in itself, influencing the plot, and reflecting the characters’ journeys. To emphasize its role, ensure that it interacts with the story, the characters, and the themes in a meaningful way.

How can I ensure my house descriptions are not overly detailed or boring for readers?

To prevent excessive detail, consider your audience and purpose, and select relevant details that contribute to the atmosphere, plot, or character development. Engage beta readers for feedback to find the right balance.

Are there any resources or books to help me improve my skills in describing houses in writing?

Yes, numerous resources, books, and articles provide insights into descriptive writing. Some recommended reads include “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White, and “The Descriptive Writer’s Guide” by James J. Cramer. Online writing communities and workshops can also offer valuable guidance.

Can you provide any tips for aspiring writers looking to master the art of describing houses in their stories?

Certainly! Start by practicing descriptive writing regularly. Be observant, research, and create mood boards for inspiration. Read books known for their descriptive prowess and seek feedback from peers to continually refine your skills. Writing is a journey, and mastering the art of description takes time and dedication.

Describing a house in writing is more than mere description; it’s an alchemical process that turns words into living spaces, and readers into explorers of the imagination.

Throughout this journey, we’ve uncovered the architectural wonders and emotional landscapes that a well-described house can unveil. We’ve seen how each room, each brick, and every scent carries significance, weaving into the narrative’s tapestry.

The house, be it a humble abode or a sprawling estate, becomes a silent character, a guardian of stories, and a vessel for the human experience.

As writers, we hold the keys to this mansion of creativity, and through the art of description, we open doors to entire worlds. So, as you embark on your own literary quests, remember the power of a well-described house to anchor, enchant, and resonate with your readers.

With every detail, you invite them to walk through the door and join you in the enchanting realm of your storytelling.

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Writing Tips Oasis

Writing Tips Oasis

How to Describe a Mansion in a Story

By Rebecca Parpworth-Reynolds

how to describe a mansion in a story

In this post, we share 10 words you can use to write a mansion in your book. Are you ready to get into the details of how to describe a mansion in a story? Read on!

1. Excessive

“The excessive mansion had so many rooms that it felt like a maze, and the grand ballroom could easily fit an entire football stadium.”

“The amount of gold and marble that adorned the mansion would be seen by many as rather excessive .”

How it Adds Description

Often, mansions can be seen as status symbols of wealth, and as a result, can often be decorated to the extreme with luxury materials and additions. Although some might enjoy this display, others may disapprove, and see it as “excessive”.

2. Expansive

Covering a large area.

“The expansive mansion was a stunning sight to behold, with its towering columns, sweeping staircase, and numerous balconies overlooking the rolling hills.”

“The mansion was so expansive that guests had to charter golf carts to get from one side to the other.”

A mansion is described as “expansive” to emphasize its vastness and size. The mansion is not just large, but it also defies expectations of its size, helping to create a sense of awe and admiration in the reader’s mind.

Impressive and large in size.

“The grand mansion’s intricate architecture, elegant chandeliers, and ornate furnishings exuded an air of sophistication that left visitors in awe.”

“The mansion’s grand entrance with its sweeping staircase, high ceilings, and intricate details gave a sense of majesty and splendor that was fit for royalty.”

Mansions are usually large, awe-inspiring spaces. As a result, you may wish to refer to a room within the mansion, or indeed the mansion as a whole as being “grand”. The word also brings up ideas of status, helping your reader to get a picture of the people who might live there before they even turn up in your story.

4. Luxurious

Comfortable and expensive.

“The luxurious mansion’s expansive marble floors, high-end appliances, and state-of-the-art home theater system were just a few of the amenities that he could simply not live without.”

“The piece de resistance was the mansion’s luxurious master suite, complete with a private balcony overlooking the ocean, a Jacuzzi tub, and a massive walk-in closet.”

Mansions are usually kitted out so that those that live in them can do so in absolute comfort and with every convenience at their disposal. These “luxurious” residences can also help you to be able to create a contrast between the mansion in your story and your everyday home.

Expensive and luxurious.

“The opulent mansion, with its manicured gardens and imposing entryway was the epitome of an exclusive lifestyle that he would never be able to afford.”

“The opulent mansion’s decadent decor, from the imported marble floors and walls to the ornate hand-carved woodwork and gilded accents, was a testament to the owner’s extravagant tastes.”

Mansions are well and truly “opulent”, usually containing many bespoke items, designs, and items that others would never dream of being able to afford. This level of living often leaves those living in them to seem out of touch with the real world to your reader.

6. Ostentatious

An obvious display of wealth or power designed to attract the attention of others.

“The ostentatious mansion’s garish gold-plated fixtures, neon-lit fountains, and over-the-top interior design screamed of tackiness and excess, rather than sophistication and refinement.”

“Compared to the other, sleek and sophisticated mansions on the street, this one stood out ostentatiously as if it needed to one-up its neighbors at all costs.”

Not all displays of wealth are classy. Sometimes mansions can be made to be “ostentatious” by their owners. This can then leave your reader questioning why the homeowners wish to openly show their wealth in such a way, whether it is insecurity or another reason under the surface.

7. Palatial

  • Large and beautiful .
  • Like a palace.

“The palatial mansion’s sprawling estate, with its numerous guest houses, horse stables, and tennis courts, was fit for a king.”

“The palatial entrance hall of the mansion made her feel as if she had stepped into some sort of fairy tale.”

Some mansions can be so large or so decadent in the way that they are decorated, that they are almost like royal palaces! Help your reader to understand the grandeur of the surroundings that your characters find themselves in by describing it as “palatial”.

8. Spacious

Having a lot of space .

“The mansion’s spacious living areas, including multiple sitting rooms, a grand formal dining room, and a sprawling chef’s kitchen, provided ample room for hosting large gatherings and entertaining guests in style.”

“The mansion’s spacious bedrooms were almost like standalone apartments, offering everything the guests could need without even needing to leave their quarters.”

Describing a mansion as “spacious” in your story not only helps to illustrate how large it is, but how open and airy it is even though it has everything one could ever need inside. This space could also help those inside to feel lonely or alone, as they may be far away from people who are still in the same building as them due to the sheer expanse.

Formal in style and appearance.

“The stately mansion’s impressive facade, with its towering columns, intricate stone carvings, and regal symmetry, was a testament to its timeless elegance and grandeur.”

“The stately mansion’s expansive grounds, featuring a sweeping driveway, manicured lawns, and mature trees, exuded an aura of refinement and exclusivity, setting the stage for the impressive home that lay beyond.”

If your mansion has a lot of history and reputation behind it, you may wish to describe it as “stately”. This suggests that the mansion is more than just a large and luxurious home: it’s a property that exudes a certain sense of authority, tradition, and respectability, usually mirroring its owners.

10. Statement

Something that has been explicitly designed to be noticeable and stylish.

“The mansion was built not only as a home but as a statement of wealth, power, and status.”

“The grandiose design of the mansion was a clear statement of its owner’s taste for opulence and extravagance.”

Mansions aren’t usually built for no reason, and are usually made in order to say something. As a result, they become not just buildings, but “statements” of power, status, and even the character and personality of their owners. What “statement” the mansion in your story offers to your reader and your characters is up to you!

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NeeNee Member

How would you describe this house.

Discussion in ' Setting Development ' started by NeeNee , Jul 10, 2016 .

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); I am trying to describe how someone would see this for the first time - from the outside. Anyone know what style architecture this is ? I know it was built around 1840 - 1850 and there are several buildings with a similar style in town. I want to describe how my MC is seeing it for the first time.  


doggiedude Contributor Contributor

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Try googling - images - Victorian house - That's what it looks like to me.  


IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Yeah, that's immediately what I thought when I saw that. 1840-50s is the right era for Victorian, too.  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); besides Victorian style, how would you describe it to someone who can't see a picture of it? Give me some ideas on how to word the description.  

Catrin Lewis

Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer Contest Winner 2023

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); North Oxford Gothic Revival. My, oh my. Homesickness in all its hideous beauty. https://www.google.com/search?q=North+Oxford+Gothic+Revival&rlz=1C1SAVS_enUS549US549&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=879&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirxqu9j-jNAhVMVT4KHU3KCFIQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=ABaEjGUI2fs5aM:  


Brindy Senior Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Gothic was the first word that sprang to mind when I saw the photo.  

Iain Aschendale

Iain Aschendale Lying, dog-faced pony Marine Supporter Contributor

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); NeeNee said: ↑ besides Victorian style, how would you describe it to someone who can't see a picture of it? Give me some ideas on how to word the description. Click to expand...

Vagrant Tale

Vagrant Tale Active Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Musty, old, antiquated, dirty, historied  


Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Victorian neo-gothic...with any or all of @Iain Aschendale 's adjectives as modifiers.  


King_Horror Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Haunted, worn-down, rickety, dusty, and eerie. Those came to my mind after lookin' at that photo. It'd be even better if there were eerie clouds surrounding it; or is that cliche?  

Laurin Kelly

Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Stately but dilapidated.  


karmazon Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Like something an elderly reclusive widow, often accused of being a witch by the local kids, would live in.  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); King_Horror said: ↑ Haunted, worn-down, rickety, dusty, and eerie. Those came to my mind after lookin' at that photo. It'd be even better if there were eerie clouds surrounding it; or is that cliche? Click to expand...


googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); karmazon said: ↑ Like something an elderly reclusive widow, often accused of being a witch by the local kids, would live in. Click to expand...


GNRoberts New Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Now that's the kind of little surprise factoid I like to find in a good book.  

Francis de Aguilar

Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Definitely Gothic Revival; The brickwork was somehow blackened, throwing the dirty cream window frames and the ornate doorway into stark contrast. Topped with an unusually steep roof, it had the look of an Alsatian castle about it. The grandeur of its design belonged to a larger structure, leaving the house looking like a segment of something far greater.  

Cave Troll

Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Gothic Tudor style, maybe...  


matwoolf Banned Contributor

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Tudor? Haw haw haw haw...hew. Oh I see, the chimneys  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Looks like a school. I could do a lot with a house like that: a jacuzzi on the roof, my bicycle upon the first floor, views out the window of little people. Probably cycle naked in a house that size. Cook naked even, slip into my twin coffins. Not really, I would wear a silk gown, pipe, slippers, eat steak regularly. Definitely more LP than MP3. How I miss the '40s.  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); @matwoolf Well at least you have interesting tastes, and a little class with house like that. Of course one must cycle in the nude about their expansive house while listening to old 45's.  


Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Yes, yes...white wisps on her chin, her rocking chair, her gin.  


tonguetied Contributor Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Those clouds don't look too sinister but certainly more so than the blue sky. It is a shame that so many saw only the bad aspects of the house, cleaned up with a power washer I bet those walls would glisten, some scraping on the wood work with the peeling paint then some fresh paint, that home would be very nice in many ways. It has architectural beauty that you seldom see in new homes, too costly to duplicate all that fine wood work and no longer appreciated. Is that a clock in the gable? Also I picture it with a multitude of balloons floating it away on an adventure, matwoolf rocking on the front porch.  


peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

creative writing description of old house

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); Victorian Gothic - perfect for the Addams family, Norman Bates, Edgar Allen Poe. A house where their should be a crow on the roof, a dead tree in the yard, and a walled up area in the basement. One has a feeling looking at it that it will smell like a funeral parlor.  


TheWriteWitch Active Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_6b900f87d602475f9991aca781a6e44f'); }); NeeNee said: ↑ View attachment 8169 I am trying to describe how someone would see this for the first time - from the outside. Anyone know what style architecture this is ? I know it was built around 1840 - 1850 and there are several buildings with a similar style in town. I want to describe how my MC is seeing it for the first time. Click to expand...

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Architectural Visualizations | Tallbox

How to describe an old house for sale

  • Post category: Home sellers / Old Houses

Table of Contents

7 Tips on How to Describe an Old House for Sale

Are you looking to sell an old house but you are having difficulty describing it to potential buyers?

Older homes require you to convey their unique qualities in a way that interests potential purchasers. In addition, you want to bring up the sense of history and personality that might be found in an older home.

Here are seven suggestions for describing a vintage home in a listing description in a way that attracts buyers .

architectural visualiser george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

In this blog post you will learn how to describe a house for sale in a property listing, even better than a real estate agent.

When selling a home , whether old or new, it is worth describing it with the most fitting, suggestive, and convincing way. You need to know the various characteristics of an old house because a boring and monotonous description like “this old house is 165 years old but still good as new” will probably keep your house in the market for longer than expected.   

As a homeowner or a home seller, you must acknowledge that a house is not just bricks and mortar to homebuyers, but a dream home to them in most cases. When selling an old home, use words to describe home with the goal of exciting readers until they are compelled to reach out to you. We have cherry-picked the below tried and tested tips and tricks of describing old houses to attract potential buyers.

There are several steps you need to take if you want to write a good real estate listing description without the help of a realtor.

First , you should start by doing some market research to get a feel for how much your home is worth. The square footage and stainless steel appliances are not the only selling points.

As a result , you’ll be able to price your home more accurately. The next step is to compile a complete list of your home’s specifications, such as its square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and list of features and facilities.

In addition , you should take professional-grade photos of what buyers want to see, not what you think is important to you to include in the ad.

After gathering data , you can move forward with creating the listing. Include as much detail as possible, highlighting the most salient aspects of your home. Include the property’s location and nearby points of interest and conveniences.

Let interested buyer s get in touch with you to ask questions or set up a showing and learn more about the story of the home.

It’s important to remember that listing a home on your own can be time-consuming and challenging and that it’s not a good fit for everyone.

Most listing websites provide generalized examples of words that help, but as you guessed, this wouldn’t make your ad the only compelling listing.

If aren’t that confident in your ability to manage every aspect of the marketing on your own, it may be wise to enlist the aid of a real estate agent unless you want to DIY the sale of your home and are ready to invest some time in learning how to do that.

And now, let’s start with the real thing.

P.S. Get in touch with us at [email protected] , if you believe your listing could use some tweaks and don’t have time to bother yourself.

We’ll have one of our specialists help you revise and write a captivating description, it’s free!

How To Describe An Old House For Sale (3)

Create a Memorable Headline

The headline is one of the most important parts of an old house description.

Don’t write it in ALL CAPS.

David Ogilvy, the ‘Father of Advertising’ often remarked that in every ad, the headline takes up 80% of its impression.

This means that an old house description with a bad headline will turn off all your potential buyers even before they read on for further details.

Let’s say your old house for sale is in a near-perfect condition, but the title of your description reads like ‘Executive four-bedroom home with well-maintained gardens and luxury fittings.’

Such a generally stated headline will not make any buyer excited enough to reach out to you. 

A headline like, ‘Imagine coming home to this landscaped 6 bedroom in Windermere’ is enough to excite a potential buyer and get your property noticed for all the right reasons. 

In a nutshell, the headline of your old house can only be memorable if you sprinkle it with words to describe home that add value.

You can use unbiased but admirable words like “ landscaped ,” “ luxurious ,” and “ impeccable ,” which have been found to boost sales prices.

For instance, if the master bedroom of your old house has a Jacuzzi tub, using the world ‘ luxurious ‘ in the headline will be positively reflected in your subsequent descriptions.

If you are into luxurious houses, recently we’ve posted in-depth blog post How To Describe A Luxurious House

It’s worth checking-in to gain even more knowledge on writing real estate listings.

Describe the Old House Systematically

To help readers visualize the position of every room, ensure you describe your old house for sale systematically.

This means that depending on where you start your description, don’t skip to another room in the far end of your old house; for example, starting with the garage and skipping to the kitchen and then to the attic.

Help your potential buyers picture the house in mind by describing rooms that are closest to each other before moving on to the rest. 

Take time to tour the house and jot down description ideas for each conspicuous part. 

  • Does your house have a bead-board ceiling? Columns? Porch? 
  • What sounds do an old porch make? 
  • Are the walls, ceilings and floorboards painted? What colour?
  • Are there any chipped paint on the walls? How many layers of paint?
  • Are the doors and windows wooden-framed? Any creaky hinges? Broken handles?
  • Does your old house have a screen door? Painted? Wood? Gingerbread on it? 

As you write the description of each room, you don’t need to mention any dimensions. This is not only because they can be easily taken out of context, but also because they interrupt the flow of the story when readers find the numbers too difficult to understand.

On almost all listing portals, real estate listing description has a dedicated place for dimensions. However, dimensions are a must when describing floorplans.

Generally, aim to write an intriguing and emotionally convincing opening paragraph, followed by a ‘tour’ of the house.

Supercharge Your Adjectives When Describing Your House

creative writing description of old house

Is your old house description sprinkled with adjectives that induce homely warmth and relaxation?

Staring at the blank page, wondering how to describe a house and what adjectives to use, we’ve all being there.

When you try to find another word for property, but it does not come to your mind, what is the best way to approach this problem? We got you sorted, in the table below you 15 example adjectives how to describe a house:

How to select adjectives describing old house

  • Historic – Highlights the home’s original era and architecture
  • Charming – Evokes cozy appeal of an older home
  • Traditional – Fits classic or period style like a farmhouse
  • Well-preserved – Indicates it’s in good shape for its age
  • Pedigreed – Suggests distinguished history if known
  • Renovated – Shows desirable updates were done
  • Vintage – Used for older homes with retro design
  • Timeworn – Romanticizes the natural signs of aging
  • Established – References being part of community for years
  • Stately – Implies grandeur for larger old homes
  • Picturesque – For storybook cottages or scenic settings
  • Handcrafted – Used if original owner built home

The goal is to positively frame the home’s age and imply nostalgic charm. Focusing on condition and updates is also important for older listings.

Words like welcoming and cozy may appeal to buyers initially, but you need to go the extra mile to pull their emotional buying strings.

Be descriptive, and avoid going overboard with your compliments. Get creative with relevant adjectives to paint a picture of your old house but do not distract potential buyers from reality by using too many extra adjectives.

To influence the reader uniquely, first, describe the imagery of your old house, including sounds, sights, and a general aura of the home.

When describing the sounds, use relevant adjectives, such as ‘whistling’ in the windows, ‘creaking’ for stairs or floorings, or ‘mysterious’ noises in the attic.

And then, you can describe the smell in the old house using adjectives like damp, dank, musky, or stale, which generally describe an aged environment.

Secondly, describe the general appearance of the house by focusing on the elements that can be used to estimate its age. For example, there may be ‘chipped’ walls, ‘crooked’ shutters, or ‘cracked’ floor panels.

You can also add details of the house temperature using adjectives such as chilly, warm, vacant, etc. In addition, to detail the age of your old house, use imagery such as dark hallways or dusty furniture. 

How To Describe An Old House For Sale (2)

Highlight Unique Features

If you’re trying to sell a home and can’t quite put into words why it’s special, use adjectives describing the house. Below is a table including 15 illustrative adjectives that can be used to describe a property and highlight its unique qualities.

The character can help sell a home . This is why mentioning a few remarkable home features in your old house description is essential, especially if it is for a real estate listing. Highlighting some unique features can easily convert one of the potential buyers into the right buyer. In addition, if your description includes a home feature that many potential buyers appreciate, they can be excited enough to schedule a showing. 

You must be detailed about some key features of the home that suggest its age. For example, is there an original stained glass window in the entryway? Panes of glass in older homes were relatively small because they were expensive. For example , windows were taxed during the 18th and 19th centuries in England, France, and Ireland. Is there a fireplace in the primary bedroom? Homes originally had fireplaces for heat and light before coal and gas were used for lighting. 

Dirt floors and rock foundations characterized many old houses and basements since they were built by carving out the ground. In some countries , older homes did not have closets, but cupboards, because a closet could be taxed as another room. As you highlight the unique features of your home, conduct some research on similar old homes to help potential buyers differentiate your listing from thousands of others.

Avoid Red Flag Words

Your choice of words in the old house description is the key to making potential buyers fall in love with it online. Find euphemisms that can throw some flattering light onto your old home, obscure any imperfections, and boost the final selling price, but avoid red flag words.

In a study that targeted 24,000 homes carried out by Zillow, it was found that certain words have the potential to hurt your home listing.

These red flag words to describe home include:

  • Cozy – While this word inspires many positive vibes, it is usually a code word for small in real estate listings. You can find unbiased ways of hinting to potential buyers that a room is tiny before they schedule a physical viewing. For example, if your old house is tiny, describe it as ‘intimate’ or ‘efficient.’

Avoid these terms unless your home needs major renovations and is priced accordingly. 

Have a listing? We can help you write it for free (no catch).

Use Quaint Descriptions Carefully

Realtors often use words like “quaint” or “charming” when listing an older home to portray a cozy, unique feel.

Terms like cottage, picturesque, idyllic, and charming can conjure up pleasant images of a storybook house rich with character.

However, be cautious about overusing these descriptions with old homes, as they may inadvertently hint at small size, very old features, or excessive quirks.

Some buyers may find too much “quaintness” a drawback, equating it with dated infrastructure, less living space, or features like slanted floors that are endearing to some but inconvenient to others.

Rather than generically describing an old home as “quaint,” identify specific elements that lend charm and highlight them.

For example, note built-ins that add character, stained-glass windows that drench rooms with color, or a clawfoot tub that provides vintage appeal without modernizing updates. This showcases the home’s unique style versus glossing over flaws with vague quaintness.

With thoughtful word choices, you can pique buyer interest in the unique qualities an older home offers while still portraying it as both livable and lovable.

Double Check Your Punctuations

In an analysis of listings priced at more than $1 million, it was found that ‘perfect’ listings that are well written with grammatically correct spellings and sentences not only sell three days faster but are also 10% more likely to sell for more than their list price. Therefore, an old house description written using complete sentences and proper punctuation is easy to follow for most readers.

Furthermore, whether your old house for sale is close to perfect, you don’t have to end every sentence with an exclamation to emphasize your descriptions! This does not mean you don’t use any punctuation. Break the description into small paragraphs of 2-3 sentences because long, run-on sentences are hard to follow and information gets lost.

Add a Call to Action

creative writing description of old house

Even with a captivating description of an old house, it is important to make it easy for potential buyers to feel invited to view the property. Towards the end of your description, don’t forget to provide the reader with various ways of contacting you if they like the property. Feel free to add some urgency to it by setting an offer deadline and making it clear that you won’t accept any offers before then.

Adding a call to action, such as a phone number, email address, or office location can make the buyer take action immediately if possible instead of letting them skip to other listings because you did not provide a way to contact you. 

Creative real estate listing description (examples)

Here are some guidelines for homeowners who want to adapt an existing listing description example:

Take a close look:  Do yourself a favor and read the sample listing description word by word, taking note of the tone and vocabulary used. You can use this as a guide for creating your listing.

Create a list of your property’s most notable qualities:  Consider the unique attributes of your home that you’d like to highlight in the ad. The size, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, design, and extras may play importance here.

Modify the sample to fit your own home:  Adjust the sample listing description to reflect the unique selling points of your home. Add specifics to the report, such as the size of the backyard or the condition of the kitchen, if these features are beautiful to potential tenants.

Use vivid language  to paint a picture of life in the house for potential buyers. Remember to describe the home’s unique features and facilities, as well as its layout and flow.

Make sure your listing is error-free  and easy to read by giving it the last proofreading and editing before you release it to the public. It will help you show your home in the best possible light.

The best way to use a provided listing description example is to adapt it to your specific property and use descriptive language to encourage potential buyers to picture themselves living there.

Description of an old house (example text) - standard version

This beautiful old home is a must-see!

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom farmhouse in the middle of Anytown is the definition of quaint.

Original hardwood floors, a wood-burning fireplace, and large windows characterize the living room.

The kitchen is fully equipped with state-of-the-art gadgets and has an abundance of storage space.

Both a private bathroom and a walk-in closet can be found in the master suite.

The spacious backyard features a patio and several established trees, making it ideal for outdoor gatherings.

The home’s location is also ideal, as it’s close to a variety of amenities, including stores, eateries, and educational.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so seize it!

Description of an old house (example text) - creative version

This beautiful old home is a sight to behold; In the heart of Anytown, it’s a story to be told.

The living room has hardwood floors that shine, A wood-burning fireplace, and plenty of divine light.

The kitchen has been updated with modern appliances galore, And plenty of cabinet space for storage galore.

The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet, too, making this home perfect for you.

Outside, you’ll find a large backyard with mature trees, A patio perfect for entertaining with ease.

This home is conveniently located near shopping, restaurants, and schools.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity – it’s no fool! 

Key Takeaways

Now you should be ready to make your old house stand out.

Incorporating the tidbits of wisdom in this article into your real estate listing should prove to be a straightforward process.

Get in touch with us at [email protected] , if you believe your listing could use some tweaks and don’t have time to bother yourself.

  • Don’t write the headline in ALL CAPS.
  • Describe the old house systematically to help readers visualize the position of the rooms.
  • Get creative with relevant adjectives and avoid going overboard with compliments.
  • Be detailed about some key features of the home that suggest its age.
  • Avoid words to describe house that are red flag words: cozy, charming, and TLC.
  • Use complete sentences and proper punctuation.
  • Add a call to action, such as a phone number, email address, and office location.

What is Non Exclusive (Open) Listing?

What is Non Exclusive (Open) Listing?

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How To Install Shingles In A Valley Effectively & Safely? 

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Write a descriptive piece called The Old House, about an abandoned house in the countryside. In your writing, focus on light, colour and sound to help your reader imagine the scene.

Essay type:, descriptive writing.

Setting: The story is set in the rural outskirts of a small town, in the present day. An old, abandoned Victorian-style house, once grand and lively, now stands silently amidst overgrown gardens, giving it an air of mystery and desolation. Main character: James, a 30-year-old photographer and urban explorer, known for his curiosity and courage. His passion for unraveling stories hidden within the forgotten corners of the world leads him to the old house. Theme: The theme centers around exploration and the beauty found in decay. The story will unravel the forgotten charm of the old house as James discovers it, highlighting the nostalgia and memories it holds. Tone: The tone should be eerie yet beautiful, evoking a sense of curiosity, wonder, and a touch of melancholy. It should subtly hint at the grandeur the house once held and the life it once sheltered. Pacing: The story should start slow as James approaches and studies the house from the outside, then gradually pick up the pace as he steps inside, discovering the remnants of a bygone era. Optional: The story should be around 400 words, with a focus on the vivid description of the house and the emotions it evokes.

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creative writing description of old house

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The old House - Creative writing.

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Kaycee Groves

The old House

In the Western Part of Virginia, America, an old tattered house, sadly sat waited for a visitor. A year and then two past but still no one visited the sad lonely house. But on a cold September Night, a man with his dog came across the old lonely house. The man glanced into the woods, and noticed the old house in the distance. The trees were swaying backward and forward that surrounded the full moon in the sky. The man and his dog slowly walked across toward the house; where the old house cried for attention. The old house sat patiently in the dark windy woods. The loud sound of ‘hooting’ from the owls distracted the man walking toward the house. The old house got angry and was no longer patient. Thunder and rain fell from the dark sky; and crashed down into the woods. The man anxiously looked around with paranoia like an American soldier in Vietnam. The man looked for his dog but was she was no were to be seen. The man ran toward the house.

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Through the trees, the man entered the house’s territory. The war had begun. He fell into the mud with his face drenched with soil and water. The storm stopped. At last they were face to face; the house stared at the man. The man slowly looked up towards the house like a puppy that has just wet itself. The night sky was lit up with tiny candles. The man wiped the mud off his face like if he was a criminal unmasking himself. The moon was just visible over the roof of the house, light shined into his face like a torch revealing his face. The mans face was like an old soggy newspaper. The old house looked at the man not knowing what to do. The man got up and picked up a shovel by the house and he held it underneath his arm like a gun. The man climbed up the old wooden stair. The old wooden house’s defence was low, and he kicked the broken doors in revealing the house’s secrets. The enemy was in.

The moon disappeared into the sky. Dark clouds blanketed the wet house drying it like a towel. The man inside looked around seeing nothing but an empty rooms. The sound of footsteps entered the room; the man had big old army boots on. The house was quiet but ‘scared’. However the man was terrified, he looked around anxiously with his long hair caught in his face like glue. His clothes were all wet with his green trousers all covered in mud, and his leather jacket that looked like it had been chewed by his dog.

Crows sat on top of the house. The wind became strong; the window blinds Banged and Crashed. The water was brushed off the roof of the house that watered corpses by the window. Inside the house the man heard the noise. It was from a small room by the watered window. The room was dark and dusty, the floorboards was broken. He heard a soft and quiet sound of humming of the song ‘You are my Sunshine’. The man slowly entered the room. He smiled and slowly put the rusty shovel down by the door. It was a little girl sitting, facings towards the wall. He asked the girl what she was doing here, she didn’t reply, but kept on humming the song ‘You are my Sunshine’. The sound of the old grandfather clock struck twelve midnight. He looked around, he saw masks. Masks of humans, faces of humans, the flesh decomposing on head stands. The man was span around seeing people’s body on the wall, arms and legs that had rotted and the stench was like milk that had gone off.

The man screamed to the girl: “let’s get out of here”.

He grabbed her, she turned around. Her face was filled with rooting flesh and blood, and her eyes were all white. Her face crinkled up revealing her inside of her mouth. Her teeth, rotted in blood like the house is in the woods. The man stared at the girl screamed. The crows flew away with their wings brushing in the wind. Now just the sound of the clock that struck twelve midnight filled the sound in the air.

In the Western Part of Virginia the tattered old house, sadly sat and waited for another, unsuspecting visitor...

The old House - Creative writing.

Document Details

  • Word Count 750
  • Subject English

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creative writing description of old house

Decaying House: Student’s Descriptive Writing Piece + Teacher Feedback

Below, you’ll find a descriptive writing piece, plus my feedback about it which was written by a GCSE student.

Many of the creative writing and descriptive writing questions in exams require you to focus on an object, person, place or thing. In this mini-lesson, I’ll go through the basics of how to describe a place in detail – and not just in a boring way!

Lots of my students get stuck on descriptions; they tell me that they can’t think of anything to write. Or they feel like they can only just list details or features of the object without being ‘creative’. So, if this is relatable for you then keep reading as we’ll be breaking down how to go beyond basic descriptions and transform them into something personal, powerful and meaningful.

Descriptive Writing: What is it and How to do it

Thanks for reading! If you find this useful, take a look at our full  Basic Descriptive Writing  and  Advanced Descriptive Writing  courses.

Decaying House: Descriptive Writing Essay

The house, rather old and shabby, as Katherine would describe. The glass windows were broken and shattered across the floor board like an explosion. The floor board squeaked and cracked as a step is taken. Dust fell from the roof and danced like a ballerina in the air.

As the days passed the rooms began to look like a jungle. Bugs crawled on the remains on the bed. Drawers now filled with moss and bugs and plants began to coil around the legs of tables and chairs. Plants grew into communities and more came as time passed by. Bugs gave birth to more bugs, they are like kings, ruling over the room. Across the hall is another room, but there were no other plants except lavender, and no other bugs than bees.

The trees surrounding the old house grew every few millimetres a day, the plants has grown onto the porch of the house and the road leading the way toward the mystery of the world. Moss has grown onto the walls of the house. The dampness inside of the house made a disgusting smell, as if it could kill someone instantly, but is was different before it was abandoned.

Summer came and went. The house grew old and would one day become plain wood again. Leaves fell and grown, the trees, too, would one day be gone and used as something else. Something that is un-useful to the world. The trees surrounding the house protected it from rain and wind. The house still stood like a soldier, even when it knows that it won’t live long.


I love your imagery and details in this piece, you have an imaginative mind and the concept of a decayed house is really well executed – you have excellent use of techniques and clear organised paragraphs that progress the imagery forwards. Each paragraph also signifies a clear shift or change in a focal point. The sense of the house being personified as an entity is also excellent! To improve, here are a few tips: 

  • You have  a shift in tense between past and present – try to stick to one tense the whole way through be very specific with imagery, for example instead of saying ‘disgusting smell’, try to describe the smell in detail – is it like rancid milk, or rotting grey meat? Is it the sickly smell of decaying flowers that have sat too long in stagnated water? Go through your memory of terrible smells and find something that fits there! 
  • Try to execute a tonal shift somewhere – go from one clear mood or tone to another in one of the paragraphs 
  • Develop a greater control over punctuation, using more experimental pieces of punctuation such as colons, speech marks and semicolons.

Great work!

Thanks for reading! If you found this useful, take a look at our full  Basic Descriptive Writing  and  Advanced Descriptive Writing  courses, as well as other  English Language and Literature  courses.

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Helping writers become bestselling authors

Setting Description Entry: Haunted House (inside)

May 23, 2009 by BECCA PUGLISI

creative writing description of old house

Sight Dust, cobwebs, sheets on furniture, broken tables, chairs, windows, lamps, peeling wallpaper, gaps in the floorboards, holes in the walls, flickering lights (if there’s electricity) chandelier with broken strings of crystals, broken glass on the floor, spiders, cockroaches, rust, mildew, ripped curtains, shadows, gloomy staircases, old portraits & paintings, cracked…

footsteps on the stair, creaking doors, window shutters rattling on the outside, wind scattering/rustling paper through a broken window gap, words whispered in ear, screams, crying, wailing, laughter, glass smashing, the scrap of a chair moving, the scritch of tree branches scraping at the windows, rats squeaking, movement in the walls, a…

Phantom perfume or cologne, burning smells, pipe or cigarette smoke, mildew, rot, dank, rusty or metallic smells, wet wood and stone, rancid breath, yeasty beer smell, food, dust, dry rot, rat/mice feces, urine

Sour & dry mouth from fear, dust floating in the air and coating the tongue, salty tears

A phantom hand on the shoulder, the puff of breath on the earlobe or the back of the neck, the sensation of being grabbed on the arm, pushed, pulled, pinched, poked, slapped, burned, a feeling of light-headedness and nausea, hair rising on arms or the back of the neck, the body’s reaction to a drop in temperature (chills, shivering, breath puffing out…

Helpful hints:

–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:  I cringed at each creak on the old warped stairs, but it didn’t sway my determination to make it to the bedroom on the second floor. Halfway up, a shadow flickered at the corner of my vision. I froze, and as I stood there, caught a woody scent lingering in the air. Tobacco smoke? A shiver curled through the hairs on the back of my neck then cascaded down my backbone. It was all I could do to not hurl myself back down the stairs toward the front door…

–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Metaphor ) The dining room chair suddenly jolted back and tilted toward me, a gracious invitation by an invisible host…

Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers

creative writing description of old house

Setting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers.

Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in these locales, and setting-specific notes and tips, and the collection itself has been augmented to include a whopping 230 entries—all of which have been cross-referenced with our other thesauruses for easy searchability. So if you’re interested in seeing this powerful Setting Thesaurus , head on over and register at One Stop.

creative writing description of old house

On the other hand, if you prefer your references in book form, we’ve got you covered, too, because both books are now available for purchase in digital and print copies. In addition to the entries, each book contains instructional front matter to help you maximize your settings. With advice on topics like making your setting do double duty and using figurative language to bring them to life, these books offer ample information to help you maximize your settings and write them effectively.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers —a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.

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Reader Interactions

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May 14, 2021 at 1:51 pm


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May 8, 2021 at 6:48 pm

Oh wow. It hadn’t occurred to me to make a list of all the things to do with my settings. Thank you for this. Brilliant!

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It’s so much easier to get the setting exactly where we want it when we know beforehand what to aim for :).

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March 31, 2021 at 11:41 pm

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November 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm

This is so helpful for everyone . People can use them in essays while describing a haunted house .

November 10, 2020 at 5:43 pm

That is exactly what i used it for

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November 11, 2019 at 7:02 am

This is so helpful! Definately the best website for writing! Thanksssss❤️❤️

November 11, 2019 at 10:42 am

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October 25, 2019 at 4:58 am

I really like it. It’s really good.for.young children and writers. I love it do much

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July 1, 2019 at 6:21 pm

wow I really needed this thank you sooo much

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May 25, 2019 at 11:22 am

Amazing. Im a 14-year-old writer and all these descriptions inspired me on how to write my mystery book. Thanks so much Becca

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February 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm

I really liked it because it helped me a lot to inspire me with my writing for greater depth.It was all very creative and amazing 😃👍🏻

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January 28, 2019 at 11:34 am

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November 11, 2018 at 4:21 am


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October 23, 2018 at 10:49 am

This story describes the house and starts to leave an image of what the inside of the house looks like. I get shivers reading it.

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December 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

Thank you so much it really helped write my writing assessment and get full marks, don’t worry i didn’t cheat that much!

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October 25, 2019 at 12:17 pm

lmao “that much”

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November 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

It Game Some Ideas What To Write

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April 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Its just awesome because I get a idea to write it in my suspense story??

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March 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

thanks alot it really helped me in my suspense story writing and it did really gave me some ideas to write it thanks 😉

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December 3, 2016 at 8:15 am

Thank you very much. This is helpful to do my English HW. Zabit Khwaja

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September 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm

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October 6, 2016 at 9:45 am

this helped me do my English course thank u sooo much

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September 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

this is awesome! 😀 helped me do my coursework for English! thanks a lot 😀

October 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm

this story is awsome i want to read another one.

September 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Thanks Aloot It Helped Me In My English Homework:) But I Think It Would Be Better If There Were More Examples Of Haunted Houses:D x

April 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm

this has helped me a great deal with my story for my English class 🙂

May 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

I love the image of the child riding a phantom rocking horse — very effective.

May 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm

This one was so fun to do. There are so many unusual settings to explore–stay tuned!

May 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm

You gals cover some of the greatest topics!!! Hope you can get these out in book form soon or eventually! Keep up the good work!

May 24, 2009 at 7:21 am

I can hear the wind moaning around corners…whhoooooooooowhoooooo.

May 24, 2009 at 7:14 am

Fantastic! Thanks!

May 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Gives me the shivers too. =)

May 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Gives me shivers just reading it. 😉

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  13. Manor

    manor. - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing. To the mountains in their timeless grace the manor house was but a spring flower in momentary bloom. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, January 21, 2021 . At the dawntide the manor roof was alive with the compendium of the birds, for in their song was their rich emotional ...

  14. Decaying House: Student's Descriptive Writing Piece

    Many of the creative writing and descriptive writing questions in exams require you to focus on an object, person, place or thing. In this mini-lesson, I'll go through the basics of how to describe a place in detail - and not just in a boring way!

  15. How To Write Descriptions And Create A Sense Of Place

    Set the scene early on - then nudge. It may sound obvious but plenty of writers launch out into a scene without giving us any descriptive material to place and anchor the action. Sure, a page or so into the scene, they may start to add details to it - but by that point it's too late. They've already lost the reader.

  16. Quotes and Descriptions to Inspire Creative Writing

    cheesecake. "Throw in a cheesecake and you've got a deal," she always said that, my mum. So when we wanted her to slow down, to take it easy, we came prepared. We gave her the reasons, we set out an easier life and she huffed, "Throw in a cheesecake and you've got a deal." When she saw it she knew we were serious, and she nodded, "I'll get the ...

  17. Setting Description Entry: Haunted House (inside)

    SightDust, cobwebs, sheets on furniture, broken tables, chairs, windows, lamps, peeling wallpaper, gaps in the floorboards, holes in the walls, flickering lights (if there's electricity) chandelier with broken strings of crystals, broken glass on the floor, spiders, cockroaches, rust, mildew, ripped curtains, shadows, gloomy staircases, old portraits & paintings, cracked… Sounds footsteps ...

  18. Abandoned house

    abandoned house. - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing. "Come abandoned house," sang the birds with gaity that outshone even the summer blooms, "come and see we have made the perfect place for you!" By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, September 22, 2023 . That abandoned house was a comeback story in the making.

  19. Descriptive Essay : My Old House

    8/29/13 Descriptive Essay: Final Draft My Old House My old house has some of my greatest memories and experiences as a child. My mom, dad, uncle and grandma were the caretakers of me, my older brother, and two older sisters. As you can tell, we had a huge family. They immigrated to America 20 years ago to start a family.

  20. Descriptive Essay On The Old House

    1013 Words 5 Pages Open Document The old house has been abandoned for years but on one day I saw a light shine throw the old house window. I thought to myself wondering how there was a light no one lives there. At least that's what I always thought….

  21. Quotes descriptions and ideas about old house

    Describe old house : search results on Descriptionari. 19,885 quotes, descriptions and writing prompts, 4,964 themes

  22. Arts Institutions & Programs

    Opportunities to lead a rich, creative life are everywhere—at the University, in the city of Chicago, and in our surrounding neighborhoods. An artistic community on the South Side. ... The Committee on Creative Writing gives students a rigorous background in the fundamentals of creative writing, while the Program in Poetry and Poetics expands ...