A Bridge, a Road, and a River

Sometimes the most ordinary things can give us inspiration. While a bridge, road, and river alone aren’t necessarily special, together they can create a unique picture. An example is the photo above that captures just such a scene. The picture includes a curving road beside a river that is capped by a symmetrical metal bridge. The early morning sky, sun filtering in through the trees off-camera, and the green grass and bushes dotting the shoreline create a serene picture that would go with any decor. Enlarging a similar picture and placing it in a den or family room is an easy way to update your decorating theme. Can’t find a place nearby with all three elements? Even having two of the three features (i.e. a bridge and a road, or bridge and a river) would still create a great focal point in a room. No matter which combination you choose, photos are an easy way to bring an architectural look into your home.

The Classic Black and White Color Scheme

When updating your decor, there are so many different styles to consider. However, sometimes it’s best to look back at classic themes-specifically the classic black and white. These two colors not only go with everything, but there are a myriad of shades for each to help you customize a look. Add a bit of glamour by adding in black accessories like a vase, lamp, or clock. Brighten up a space with crisp white pillows, flower-filled vase, or rug. Can’t decide between the two? Combine them by displaying a classic monochromatic photograph similar to the one on the right. In addition, you can amp up the wow factor by featuring an image with classic architectural elements such as columns, domed structures, and large stone blocks.

Bringing Architectural Elements Indoors

Often times we find ourselves living in a place that doesn’t match our architectural style. While costly renovations are one solution, it’s not one that most of us can afford. The solution? Add a photo! No matter if you prefer Victorian, Mediterranean, Gothic, Midcentury, Neo-Classical, or Tutor style, a picture is a perfect way to bring that look inside. You can take a photo of a building that features designs you like, have it enlarged, and use it as a focal point in your main living area. The picture can be of just the building or, as pictured on the right, a scene that includes the building and it’s surroundings. I’d recommend the former, since by zooming out you can capture additional elements that add style to your space (note the modern architecture of the building and classic brick of the walkway). No matter what style is your favorite, you’ll be sure to impress by bringing unique architecture into your space.

The Bridge Over the Falls

Walking further down from the location where I took the picture in my previous post, I saw a wooden bridge off in the distance. The bridge, almost appearing to be suspended between two trees, is positioned over the largest waterfall in the park. A similar photo would look great in a living or dining room. The unique look, along with the play of light and shadow, would be a great addition to your spring decor. You can easily take a similar photo by going to your local park or finding an area with a railroad bridge. No matter what type of bridge you decide to photograph, you can easily bring this architectural element into your space.

Brick and Stone

Brick and stone combination buildingAs someone who loves architecture, I couldn’t help but notice the striking combination of brick and stone on a nearby building. The majority of the building’s fa├žade is made up of bricks laid horizontally, with those above the windows laid vertically. The top portion features a plain stone band, with a second band of carved stone below it. The reason this works is because the building’s brick isn’t your typical red variety. It’s a softer color variation that allows the stone bands to pair well in the overall design. In addition, the carved stone creates a unique architectural element that gives an elegant twist to an otherwise ordinary building. You can create a similar look by adding a border to any room in your home. Borders are an easy way to add interest to a space without investing a lot of time or money. With a little imagination, you can add a special touch to any space!

The Vault Door

Vault doorsOne day I passed something unusual as I was walking down a hallway: a vault door! I discovered that over the years, this building had been used for multiple purposes. At one time, parts of it were used to store historical documents. Based on this, it would make sense that they would need a vault to protect and secure them. Instead of having the contractor remove the door when they remodeled the building, they left it in place-a great example of preserving historical elements. If you have an old door, windows, or other architectural details, trying keeping them intact to showcase the space’s history. Not only will you be preserving history, but will also have a great story to tell your guests!

Capping off a Column

Corinthian column capitalWhile many think of columns as purely functional, they can also be quite decorative and unique. An example is the picture above that shows the ornate capital (top portion) of a column. This style capital is a well-known feature of Corinthian columns, which are ornately carved and feature various types of designs.

Corinthian column capital_close-up

While most of us don’t live in homes or buildings with such architectural grandeur, there are ways to bring this look into your space. If you have small decorative columns in your home, there are DIY kits available at home improvement stores that will allow you to add a capital to an already existing column. These kits are made from various types of materials, and can be purchased finished (painted) or unfinished. If you’re like me and don’t have columns in your home, you can take a similar photo, enlarge it, and hang it prominently on a wall. Either way you choose, you can bring classic architecture into any space!

The Arched Passageway

Arched hallwayAs I walked down this passageway, I noticed something unique in its architecture: mismatched archways. I love the combination of different arches in this hallway! It’s very unusual, and the addition of the marble walls and crown molding adds an extra special touch. This a great example of architectural elements that you can bring into your home. While many of us can’t afford to have a similar set of arches installed in our home, there are other ways use this look. You can mix square and round tables in a living room, use multiple styles of furniture, or install lighting in various shapes. Often we feel the need to have every detail in our decorating theme matching. However, adding unexpected details is a great way to make a space your own.

The Architectural Courthouse

The courthouseI spotted this building as I was crossing the bridge mentioned in my previous posts. I love the period details of this historic building-especially the roof! This building, completed in 1911, was a train station that was later turned into a courthouse. I love the architectural details of this building, especially the fact that the city kept it in tact after the remodel. I believe it’s important to refurbish old buildings whenever possible. Though more expensive than tearing it down and rebuilding, it not only helps preserve history, but also the character of a community. Want to photograph historic buildings? Try checking out the National Register of Historic Places, or your local historic registry, for buildings in your area. No matter where you live, you can find beautiful buildings to photograph!

Inside the Cone

Inside the coneThe picture to the right was taken inside the architectural landmark from my previous post. Many people take notice of the outside of buildings, but the inside of a building can be just as interesting. The interior of this cone is a hot shop, so the high ceiling helps funnel heat out of the space (though it’s still very warm in there). I loved being able to see the ‘bones’ of the structure from the inside. It’s a unique perspective that most people never get to see. Looking to add interest to a wall? Try using photos that feature the inside of architectural buildings. You can take these photos in museums, stadiums, government buildings, or even your own building or house. Your photo will not only be a conversation piece, but will give new perspective to some of your favorite buildings.