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Defining the Design: An Ode to Gingerbread Houses

Written by Kelly Weimert on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 at 3:07am.

Gingerbread House History and Types of Gingerbread Houses

In honor of National Gingerbread House Day, December 12th, we want to give some love to what has become a delicious seasonal staple for so many. Gingerbread houses first sprouted up in 16th-century Germany, when they were decorated with sparkling (and inedible) accents like foil and gold leaf. But it wasn't until Brothers Grimm wrote the famous Hansel and Gretel story in which a gingerbread house was the star that they became popular in the United States.

These days, it's almost impossible to get through the holiday season without stumbling upon a gingerbread house - or three. And many people have taken decorating these tasty homes to truly spectacular heights, crafting houses that are as beautiful and detailed as they are delicious.

Check out a few of our most unforgettable favorites on Instagram right now:

 
 
 
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Gingerbread Architecturals

The 'gram isn't the only place to see jaw-dropping gingerbread houses. We looked across the web and pulled together some stunners in various architectural styles:

Tudor

Tudor Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: Preservation Maryland

Mid-Century Modern

Modern Gingerbread House Design
Image Source: Preservation Maryland

Spanish Pueblo

Spanish Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: Preservation Maryland

A-Frame

A-Frame Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: waitrose.com

Craftsman Bungalow

Craftsman Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: prettyinspiration.com 

Colonial

Colonial Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: prettyinspiration.com

Log Cabin

Log Cabin Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: sbs.com

Victorian

Victorian Style Gingerbread House
Image Source: prettyinspiration.com

Of course, creating a beautiful gingerbread house like the above examples doesn't come easily; it takes quite a bit of time, practice, and creativity. Fortunately, there are a ton of fun gingerbread house kits you can use to make the process a lot faster and easier without sacrificing a gorgeous result.

The Best Gingerbread House Kits

Business Insider reviewed some of the best gingerbread house kits out right now based on factors like cost, ease, and creativity, and below are a few of the standout favorites. Check out this link for the full list of extensive reviews.

Wilton Petite Gingerbread House Kit

Wilton Petite Gingerbread House Kit

This classic kit is a winner for its simplicity. While it's smaller than some of the other options out there, it comes pre-assembled, so all you have to do is decorate it, which is pretty much everyone's favorite part.

Juvale Gingerbread House Silicone Mold Kit

Juvale Gingerbread House Silicone Mold Kit

If you want more creative liberty than a pre-assembled house provides, then pick up this silicone mold kit, which gives you the basics to create any sort of house that you want. That said, you'll want to make sure your gingerbread baking skills are on point because you'll need to make your own from scratch.

Chanukah House Cookie Decorating Kit

Chanukah House Cookie Decorating Kit

This sweet Chanukah house, complete with gelt chocolate coins, colorful icing, and multicolored dreidels, is the perfect way to get into the Chanukah spirit. Plus, the walls are premade, so all you have to do is secure them together with the included icing and get to decorating.

General Gingerbread House Decorating Tips

    • Always assemble the house's structure before you do anything else, and be sure to wait for it to dry before decorating. If you try to decorate before it's dry, it'll likely collapse.
    • Speaking of collapsing, be conservative with your icing. If you glob on too much, it'll create more weight than your little house can hold.
    • Don't feel limited to your kit's decorations; pick up a few bags of colorful candy of your own to expand your creative opportunities.
    • You also shouldn't feel limited to your candy's size and shape. Feel free to cut your pieces to really customize your look.

Stay in a Real Life Gingerbread House

If you want to take your love of gingerbread houses to the next level, then consider staying in one of the following gingerbread-esque Airbnb rentals featured by Brit + Co.

Jandia, Canarias, Spain

Real Life Gingerbread House For Rent in Jandia, Canarias, Spain

Geyserville, California

Real Life Gingerbread House For Rent in Geyserville, California

Lieren, Gelderland, Netherlands

Real Life Gingerbread House For Rent in Lieren, Gelderland, Netherlands

While there may not be an abundance of actual gingerbread houses on the market, head over to our innovative Search With Style® tool to search all homes for sale by your favorite architecture style. 

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