Federal Period Paneled Living Room Design Development/Progress Report
I periodically post design sketches of the projects we’re working on on our WKD Facebook page. I thought I’d consolidate a series of sketches and mockups we have done on the interior renovation of the living room in an Antique Colonial/Federal Period Reproduction home to show the progression we go thru with a client when we’re working thru the design of the interior architecture of a room with them.
First it’s the ideas and inspiration.
Sometimes it comes from our own work, as in the paneling and mantel surround we designed for a home in Lincoln, MA several years ago.
Or it can come from from the traveling Sally and I do, as we continue to educate ourselves, learning about our profession and architectural heritage. These are pictures I took in the basement of the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia last spring. They are of the paneling that was in Philip Trammel Schutze’s apartment, the architect of the Swan House.
We often turn to our library as a resource. For this project, I pulled Brent Hull’s, Traditional American Rooms off the shelf. It is a fabulous documentary of many of the Federal Period Rooms at Winterthur. I referred to this book recently as I worked on the mantel and cabinetry design for a project we are doing in Wellesley and Charlestown.
The Marlboro Room
The Hampton Room
I reviewed these and other images with our client, went thru their own extensive library with them and began sketching, quickly coming up with 4 ideas.
I call these little sketches/doodles “cartoons”. They don’t communicate much detail, rather they express Gestalt – feel, emotion, a sense of place.
Our client pounced on the bottom left because of the mantel. They asked that we keep the door frame assembly simple, as shown on the right of the sketch.
We then moved into more detail and larger scale, reconfirming the selected mantel design in the process.
Yes, the walls will be green – not this intense…
Next we drilled down to the panel trim.
This shows the panel trim within the confines of the stiles and rails of the paneling. Note how the door trim/assembly has been pulled forward, proud of the paneling, emphasizing it’s verticality, giving the room “lift”. (Lesson learned when visiting Paris last January.)
Here the trim sits proud of the stile/rail assembly by about 1/8″. We liked the shadow line created by the difference in height.
We moved on to mock ups and what I call the “eyeball design” phase, confident of the outcome…
Six different mockups were done. I”ll keep it simple.
Here are the two finalists.
We got fooled. What we thought would be best was not. The trim that sat proud of the stile rail called too much attention to itself. You saw a series of picture frames as opposed to an integrated whole, which is what we saw with the trim that sat fully within the stile/rail assembly. it was softer, more delicate – in balance with the room.
Repeat after me.
Pencils are cheap. 2×4’s are expensive.
Mock ups, mock ups, mock ups!!!
Fractions of an inch actually matter – tremendously!!!
And so, the unfinished room awaits its final assembly.
Take a close look at the flu assembly – how it corbels to the right to pass steel beam supporting the second floor.
I wonder what happens on the second floor…
To visit our website, click here.
To follow us on Facebook, click here.
To follow us on Pinterest, click here.
If you would like our assistance on your design project, contact us here.
Get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.CONTACT US
Join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest posts.