Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of modernist architecture, is often associated with the adages, “less is more” and “God is in the details”, concisely expressing that purposeful design elements transform good buildings into extraordinary ones. When remodeling or designing a new home, seamlessly blending form and function with attention to detail creates a lasting impression.
Simple elements, like columns, baseboards, moldings, trims, hand railings and banisters, can have a dramatic impact on the design of your home.
Columns are a great way to separate rooms without using walls to achieve an open floor plan. They can be used as load-bearing elements or just visual additions. Similarly, pilasters may be used to separate rooms that share common walls or to add vertical separation between two areas of a home. Pilasters can be used decoratively around fireplaces or in lieu of normal casings, to create a grand entrance for any formal room or doorway. Both columns and pilasters can enrich the ambience of your home.
Baseboards are a defining feature serving as a visual link that travels into every room in your home. As part of a remodeling project, replacing or enhancing baseboards can go a long way. If baseboards have stature, a room becomes regal; when they’re skimpy, that same space can look unfinished. Modern homes have a minimalist approach to baseboards. An experienced residential architect ensures a home’s baseboards are in harmony with its overarching design.
Door and window trims add a completely different look to your home with very little work. Adding details to windows and doors brings a certain elegance to any home and often creates a first and last impression.
Other fine details, such as moldings, give rooms a sense of depth. They can be used on ceilings to mimic architectural details in a room, run along hallways or stacked in layers to create the illusion of length and height.
Thoughtful lighting design can transform a house into a home allowing the personality of the owner to shine through. Without good lighting, no other design elements have an impact. Experienced home designers create spaces that maximize natural light year-round using a combination of floor-to-ceiling windows, clerestory windows, above-counter windows, corner windows, skylights and glass doors.
Other fine elements, such as lighting fixtures that are distinct and look like works of art, can add emphasis and creativity to ordinary rooms.
Lighting coves are a great way to indirectly create a warm space. With this detail, light can shine up if the ceiling is vaulted, or down if there’s a painting or other feature on a wall to highlight. These are great places to add lighting while at the same time, creating an architectural detail within your home.
While the focus on interior details is often thought of when considering a home remodeling or new design project, the exterior of a home is just as important. The facade of every home needs balance and symmetry in order to appear properly designed and pleasing to the eye. A professional architect manages the complicated process of balancing detailed color choices, materials, shapes, and lines with functionality and durability.
Most modern exterior detailing is free from heavy ornamentation of classical building design and replaced with simple linear forms. Rooflines may have distinct cantilevers or large overhangs. Unique features such as seemingly flat rooflines constructed with materials from the exterior can blend harmoniously with nature around your home.
Windows serve as the eyes into a home; they should not only reflect the character of your house but also need to be durable and functional. Modern homes often incorporate large expanses of floor-to-ceiling windows, while traditional homes tend to look best with symmetrically placed, white-paned, rectangular windows. Other factors to consider include: UV ratings, privacy, proper ventilation, ease of cleaning and views beyond.
According to renowned designer Frank Lloyd Wright, “The architect must be a prophet… a prophet in the true sense of the term…if he can’t see at least ten years ahead don’t call him an architect.” Wright designed buildings in harmony with their environment and according to his vision of what the future would be, not what the world was. He saw the need for homes to be more fluid, more open, more livable, and less restrained.
A professional architect continually improves upon his/her craft, understands current trends, is attentive to detailed distinctions, and designs with an eye for the future.
If you’re considering a home remodeling project, contact us today (703-255-9861) and we’ll help turn your dreams into reality!