Well, we just made it back, with a bevy of young’uns in tow, from a week away at my second most favorite place under the sun. That place being St. Simons Island along the gorgeous Georgia coast. I love it for its strength in resisting the trap of commercialization. You know, a sell out of any kind has always rubbed me the wrong way. While we were there, despite the pulls of all those little guys, I was really hoping to get caught up on a little R & R. However, between football, soccer, dodge ball, four square, skim boarding, and a slew of other activities, things weren’t exactly going in my favor. It wasn’t until my wife and I snuck away for a little home tour down the backstreets and alley ways of the Isle, that I finally decided I had to set aside some time to explore one of my latest prized possessions. Not so long ago, I had received a copy of the much-anticipated, beautiful publication from Historical Concepts.
I have been looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this for quite a while, but, to be honest, I truly thought that I knew what to expect. I had anticipated it to be a study on historical perspectives. One of which, is certainly aesthetically beautiful. One where I could learn a thing or two on the layering of applied moldings. Or maybe even gain a better understanding of the relationships of period construction. However, what I found was strikingly unique. A deeper message hidden underneath. One that caused me to take a step back and pause to reflect a bit.
Too often, we think about classical architecture primarily in regal terms such as columns, entablatures, balustrades and pilasters. When in reality it is about how succinctly the pieces of the composition fit together. How well the living environment makes one feel. How meticulously the structure is nestled into its surroundings. And, how perfectly the home displays the personality of its inhabitants. Under this definition, a home of a classical nature is no longer relegated exclusively to the upper echelons. Thus, as it happens to be, there was a period of time when there was a generation or an era of people who got it. And, they were committed to establishing just such a Home.
While some of the feature homes on these pages are certainly of a noble stature, there are quite a few, if not more, who represent a more modest disposition. These homes are described to have been fashioned from other residences in the region whose owners could have been “farmers or whalers or shrimpers or stevedores”. A common citizen who worked hard at his profession, who was somewhat frugal, appreciated what he had and was willing to invest in it. These owners understood what was valuable. And you can see it in the Homes that they imparted on us. Somewhere along the way, I think we lost touch with these traits.
Here’s a glimpse of what I am talking about.
And now for my favorite one:
Yeah, I chose a lot of beach properties, because, well, I was at the beach. Irregardless of the locale though, you will find a similar approach to all of their projects. And the result ~ Genuine, Authentic, Elegant and Sophisticated. What more can I say.
Very little when compared to how they have so eloquently expressed the methods and rationales for reaching such effects.
“We also paid attention to the ways buildings work together, not only with their surroundings but also as collections of structures serving a community”. (emphasis mine)
“We start by analyzing the character of the land, the heritage of the region and the vision of the client…The magic comes when you put them together to express the complex soul of a place”.
“Houses should not just be academic exercises in proven architectural canons. They need to feel right, both in the places where they stand and to the people who live in them”.
By taking the level of design to such an exhaustive detail, reaching far beyond the boundaries of the Home’s walls, a lasting gem of immense value is created which will be treasured and cherished for generations to come. Not just by the Home’s inhabitants, but also, by their families, friends and the collective community or society as a whole. We all stand to benefit from it. And we are all much richer because of them.
If you love beautiful architectural photography. If you would consider yourself a “Home Enthusiast” of any fashion. If you’re looking for pure inspiration. You really need to pick up a copy for yourself. Or, to take it a step further, Follow Historical Concepts on Facebook and catch the next public book signing for your own autographed edition. More importantly, lets take these lessons to heart and start incorporating them in our own households and neighborhoods.
All my Best,
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