05 February 2011

Get Inspired: A Perfect Porch

The town my family and I call home most of the week is graced with all manner of charming houses. A walk down almost any of its tree-lined streets bears witness to a mid-to-late-19th-century heyday: here a Victorian mansion with a whimsical tower, there a Greek Revival cottage dignified by a temple-like façade. After dropping our daughter off at school one morning, my husband and I walked past a particularly delightful residence extensively renovated by an owner with a romantic streak.

Clad partially in shingles, partially in clapboard, and painted a pleasing shade of biscuit, the house has been made memorable by the addition of an L-shape double-porch that stretches across the street façade and around one side of the building. But instead of deploying balustrades of turned-wood spindles or fancy gingerbread that would have been common around here a century and a half ago, the owners and their architect came up with captivating railing treatment: wood pales rounded at the top, pierced with a single hole, and then set closely together in a manner that provides privacy but without being standoffish.

My husband, who lived in Turkey as a teenager, says it reminds him of yalis, the lacy wood Ottoman houses built along the Bosphorus. To me the overall impression is of a summer house in Eastern Europe, say a dacha located an easy carriage drive away from the bustle of Budapest, the sort of house where white linen is worn when the temperature rises and whose female inhabitants protect their complexions with lace parasols.


The Swan said...

There is a definite tinge of the Bosphorus...with that dash of Dascha.

I remember seeing a movie-'LOVERS PRAYER'-a while ago. Kirsten Dunst plays a Russian Princess living in the country. A young neighbor boy narrates the story and of course is in love with her but the twist is not for me to divulge, she dies tragically in the end. The home used for filming is set lives within a field and reminiscent of this.

YOUR town is the perfect little history lesson to learn from...a small town to be cherished and NEVER let in the usual suspect chain stores who dash the dreams of boys and girls for a store on Mainstreet USA.

John J. Tackett said...

The porch reminds me of interior Scandanavian balustrades.

cotedetexas said...

notice how the side porch offsets the door which isn't centered. hard to believe there wasn't a porch there before? the snow is amazing!

stay warm.

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

A beautiful winter wonderland. Your blog is everything! Thanks so much, truly.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Dear Côte, Actually the front door of the house is perfectly centered on the façade. It looks off-center because I took the photograph at a slight angle, unfortunately, due to a pile of snow in my way.

home before dark said...

To me it looks like a bit of eyelet lace. Charming.