While there is a lot to be said for modern style, it’s hard to argue with design elements that have endured for decades or even centuries and have only gotten better with time. In a testament to their lasting appeal, classic elements such as hardwood floors, staircase balusters, and crown molding have never ceased to charm. And if history is any indicator, they’re not likely to fall out of favor any time soon.
Keith Dmytryck, owner of Innovation Construction Co. a design and build firm located in West Wareham Ma. and a renovation firm specializing in the remodeling and restoration of period homes, has been bringing historic homes back to life for more than 30 years. But Keith believes the charm of long-standing residences need not be restricted to existing housing stock. Take a look at some of his recommendations for design elements that will ensure new homes age gracefully.
Staircase Baluster: In stately period homes, the staircase was usually placed at the entry and was among the first interior features encountered by visitors. Balusters placed between stair treads and the banister prevented falls off the side of the staircase. But this safety function didn’t preclude elegant design, and for centuries staircases featured distinctive balusters. Traditional styles enjoyed hundreds of years ago remain popular today
Hardwood Floors: In the past, local availability and durability were the driving factors behind finding wood for flooring. In New England, heart pine and oak were used extensively because they were plentiful and both are extremely durable. In an effort to save money in many New England homes, eastern white pine was used in second floor rooms and back staircases. Since these were not public spaces, a softer, less durable, and less expensive wood was used.
Crown Molding: Modern design eschews crown molding. But for many, the handsome framing, which became standard circa 1850, gives the modern home tremendous appeal. Like many other decorative home features, molding was initially possible for only those who could afford the necessary craftsmanship. The industrial age changed all of that, allowing the mass production of elaborate styles and their introduction into middle-class homes across America.
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Chuckle of the Week
The son of a builder is approaching his sixth birthday and his father asks him what he’d like as a present.
“What I really want is a baby brother.” says the boy.
“Sorry, son,” says the father. “Your birthday is five days away, I can’t get you a baby brother in that time.”
The son replies, “Can’t you do what you do at work and put more men on the job?”