By Barron Schimberg, AIA
If you could design your dream home, what type of architecture style would it be? Mediterranean? Modernist? British West Indies? Or maybe, you would prefer a mix of two or more styles.
Architectural styles typically describe buildings with certain features in common, including: construction materials; roof shape and pitch; window size, shape, and placement; door shape and placement; ornamentation and floor plan. Some styles are named for historic periods or regional influences.
Although each style is defined by a certain vernacular, every architecture style is open for reinterpretation—either on new construction or renovations.
Mixing styles is a wonderful way of creating a successful aesthetic. As an architect, I enjoy creative challenges such as adding modernist elements to a classically styled home.
In some cases, a client’s preferred architecture style must be reinterpreted simply because building codes differ from those of the region where the style originated.
The key to successfully blending architectural styles is to start with a clear understanding of your preferences. I ask clients to provide photos or other visuals of architectural design elements that they like. Having a clearer picture of what you have in mind enables me to do some follow-up research on how to blend elements from different architectural styles.
Then, if the designs we create for you don’t represent what you had envisioned, it’s important to let us know as early in the process as possible! As we design your home, we’ll be making decisions that you can live with for years to come.
So as you start imagining the home of your dreams, keep in mind that it’s not necessary to limit yourself to one architectural style.
Instead, start clipping out magazine photos depicting the types of details you find most appealing. We can then translate your desires into an attractive, cohesive design that artfully merges one or more architectural styles.
Note that reinterpreting architectural styles to create a unique brand of architecture isn’t limited to the exterior of the building. In a future post on this blog, my partner Patty Schimberg will explain why interior design provides another opportunity to blend styles or marry the architecture to interior elements. Balancing different furniture styles (i.e. contemporary pieces with antiques) within a particular architectural environment is a very welcome challenge, and one that we’re seeing more and more often.
If you have any questions about architectural styles and how they can be blended for your home, please feel free to call me at 941-894-6888 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HGTV Guide to Residential Architecture: A Primer about 24 Popular Architectural Styles