Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Architecture 101

A colonnade...
A colonnade is defined as a half wall topped by columns that extend to the ceiling. These features add definition to rooms without sacrificing openness. They are often found in late Victorian and Craftsman era homes, usually dividing a living space from a dining space. The half walls can be simply covered in plaster (or drywall) with wood trim; more elaborate examples are paneled and trimmed in wood. The columns come in many varieties. They can be round, square, octagonal, tapered, fluted, champhered. They are surrounded by some form of base and capital (trim at the top) which matches the overall style of the columns and the room.

The images I am showing you today are of the newly-built colonnade that separates my living room from my kitchen. The base is paneled in beadboard and augmented with trim at the sides, top, and bottom to provide some depth, heft, and definition. The columns are square and trimmed with a simply detailed base and capital. The columns connect a shelf and beams that are made from reclaimed douglas fir that was originally used in a corn crib.
Lets' take a look.
This is the view as one enters from the front door, looking toward the kitchen. Notice many of the elements I have highlighted in other homes. All the furnishings are cream-colored with accents of pure white. Wood, both painted and natural, is used liberally. Off to the left is the colonnade, where the beadboard base wall and blocky trim are evident. The columns are intentionally hefty to add a sense of stability.
This is a view from the kitchen looking back toward the front door. This snapshot reveals more wood: on the island, on the living room walls, on the beams, on the cabinetry. All the white paint keeps the space light and bright. A large mirror reflects natural light into the living room. The pipe from the woodstove adds another vertical element and carries the eye upward, just as the columns do.
Another view from the living room. The colonnade frames the view into the cooking area of the kitchen. Light pours in from the triple window above the kitchen sink. The stainless steel refrigerator shimmers in the sunlight.
This is the view from the kitchen door toward the front door. Notice the black accents in the living room-- the chandelier, the pillows, the iron key hook, the woodstove. As you can see, my favotrite palette is white, black, tan, and wood. The curtains are simple panels that also add a vertical element, as do the linear grooves in the solid pine paneling.

A close-up of the colonade, with the kitchen to the right and an old buffet to the left. More accents of black and pure white are visible on the shelf above the buffet.

There you have it. I hope this has enriched your knowledge of architecture just a bit and provided you a glimpse into my own home and my decorating style.

Until next time...



  1. Absolutely gorgeous! I love your home.

  2. Thanks, Tiff! It is coming along nicely.

  3. I LOVE your pictures! I also am interested that you have left the wood trim unpainted, but it seems to really fit the style. We just moved into a 1970 home and I would love to make the cottage style work - I love it - and am in a debate with my husband about painting the trim or not - it looks very similar to yours in color and style. (I think for him it is just the extra effort.)


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