Saturday, August 5, 2017

Antebellum inspiration

Kentucky designer, Lisa Farmer, writes on her wonderful blog,

Who hasn't fallen under the spell of the Southern Antebellum home? This elegant style is actually named for a time period, not a design. The word "Antebellum" comes from the Latin "before war" and this architecture is named for the 30 to 40 years before the American civil war from 1820 to 1860. 
Styles of architecture and interiors were varied.

Wikipedia has a similar description for the word:

You might describe a plantation, an antique dress, or other artifacts of that historical period as antebellum. Officially, the word antebellum can describe the time just before any war, but it's usually used in reference to the Civil war. It comes from the Latin phrase ante bellum, literally "before the war." 
The details in restored antebellum houses are fascinating to me. While I have toured several of these stunning homes, it would have been a delight to have a private visit to study all the details of the trim, the fabrics, lighting, flooring, wall treatments, window treatments, hardware, door and window styles and furnishings of a few homes while we were in the planning stages. Instead, we simply took guided tours, made notes and took photos when allowed. And we studied scores of photos to pick and choose favorite elements to use in our home.

(Borrowed photo)
 Note the patina of the incredibly beautiful wood on the floors (above), the muted area rug, mahogany-like stained furnishings and banister, plus the stunning trim work in the hallway and door. The transom window above the door helps to open the space, giving it more light. Photos like convinced us of the value of a transom window with the high ceilings in our foyer.

(Borrowed photo)
 The charming, raised front porch with a brick facade that matches the home, shutters, and dormers windows were an inspiration. We considered tile or wood for our front porch floor, but brick won out because we loved the charm it added to the facade.

(Borrowed photo)
 Twin chimneys add to the grandeur of this home.

(Borrowed photo)
 Although this is a favorite space, we did not have murals painted in our home. We did however, use similar door trim.

When looking through photos, circle the elements that you like. These details tend to get lost in stacks of unmarked photos that you will gather while "planning." I remember looking through a stack of photos and staring at one particular page, wondering why I had torn it out of a magazine. After putting it aside for a few minutes, I suddenly remembered a single lantern in the space was a shape that I admired. It would have saved time if that lantern had been circled before throwing the photo in a pile.

(Borrowed photo)
The keystone on the arched trim, the flooring, and Queen Anne furnishing create a welcome, yet elegant space.

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