Reinterpreting Architectural Styles for the Home of Your Dreams

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 info@tsg-fl.com.

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Color is an immensely evocative medium, possessing inherent powers to provoke immediate and marked reactions in the viewer, and as such it has been developed as a language of symbol in both the natural and the man-made worlds.  Its use in architecture and the built environment is no exception, serving to dramatically affect perception of architectural space and form.
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Don’t be afraid of using color.  As architects, the final result of a space or building design is developed by both the massing of the building and the color of the building.  Whether color is incorporated through the use of materials or actual color selection, the building’s perception and the experience viewers and occupants have of the building can be greatly impacted in a positive way.  Use color to create spatial relationships or as opportunities for accentuation of shapes and building components.

-Barron Schimberg, AIA
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Architecture Competition? Bring It On!

By Barron Schimberg, AIA

An interesting approach to a potential project is a competition. Competitions are prevalent in Europe and provide opportunities for design firms to win large-scale projects.

In the United States, competitions are not as common. But when handled properly (procedurally and financially), competitions allow owners to gain ideas and select the best architect for the job while allowing the architect and design team to explore projects in a different, more creative spirit.

If you are interested in having a competition, I recommend the following:

  • Invite reputable architects
  • Pay them for their time
  • Provide a ‘spec book’ to them with parameters and information reflective of the clients’ desires.

Below are some drawings The Schimberg Group submitted to a residential competition that proved successful for both the architects and the owners.

Images created by The Schimberg Group for a residential competition