4/18/12

Georgian Houses by Vyna St. Phard

 
Today I have the great pleasure of introduce you to Vyna St. Phard the mind behind High End Weekly, a blog dedicated to the highest standards of luxury lifestyle.  Vyna is a New York-based interior designer who draws her inspiration from culture, fashion, art, travel and nature.  Her aesthetic style is greatly influenced by the Art Deco style and Bauhaus movement.  Her daily posts cover everything from, of course, Art Deco, the luxury market, and lifestyle blogging.  Raised between Paris and New York she speaks perfect French and what I love more about Vyna is her bonne vivante personality and how easy going she is.  I asked Vyna to contribute to Belle Vivir and share with my lovely readers some of her extended knowledge.  Thank you Vyna for accepting.
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When my friend and fellow designer Julie asked me to do a blog post on Belle Vivir, I was thrilled to accept and be part of all the excitements and inspirations she create every day on this blog. I hope you too get inspired by these beautiful georgian houses because they have long been cherished, and stand as exemplary homes of long ago and a perfect standard for progressive architecture of the future.
It's all in the details

Here's a quick rundown of the history of Georgian Houses. They were built in a style that was popular in England from roughly 1715 to 1830, during the reigns of the four King George. The Georgian style homes are noteworthy for their distinctive appearances and for the influence they still have on modern building styles which is why I'm especially fond of them.

Stella McCartney's England country side home.
Classic example of an early Georgian House
Georgian Presidential House, circa 1733, via History Org
Fun Fact: Did you know that this house (above) in Colonial Williamsburg served as a home for various presidents from the University of William & Mary? All but one president of the 300-year-old college lived in brick Georgian homes. Who what the odd man out?
CHARACTERISTICS
OF THE GEORGEAN HOUSES
  • A square, symmetrical layout.
  • A row of horizontal, evenly spaced sash windows on each floor of the home.
  • Early Georgian homes had sash windows.The principal of the double-hung sash, with pulleys and counterweights in sash-boxes, remained unchanged, even in modern times. The same goes for the arrangements of internal folding shutters.

  • Fun Fact: Did you know that this house in Colonial Williamsburg served as a home for various presidents from the University of William & Mary? All but one president of the 300-year-old college lived in brick Georgian homes. Who what the odd man out?
  • The average Georgian house had 2 to 3 stories, with a chimney on each end of the house.
  • The traditional number of windows is five on the upper floors, often with a Palladian window in the center over the door.
  • The above pictured doors are early examples of Georgian designs from William Salmon's Palladio Londiniensis of 1734. It has a sober Doric doorcase and an enriched Corinthian doorcase.
 
Tory Burch's South Hampton home via Vogue
  • Georgian houses are known for their large paneled door, usually topped off with a pediment or arch. The doorway is also often framed by pedestals or columns.
  • Georgian doors are tall, often filling the entire opening, but have often been cut down later to accommodate a fanlight. Front doors were painted in dark colors or grained to imitate wood.
  • Fashionable homes have a main staircase and a secondary "backstairs" for servants.
  • Ordinary homes have one wooden staircase of straight flights joined by landings, or winding flight for each story.
  • You will most likely find the most elaborate decoration on the main flight from the entrance hall to the floor above.
  • In late Georgian homes, staircases were made of wood, and were now open-string, with a stepped profile rather than a straight one.

A couple of years back, I toured a few Georgian houses, while my girlfriends and I were in the UK. This was way before I met my husband Michael, who happens to be British. Michael later told me that as a young man, he rented an apartment which was in a Georgian house. How delightful it must have been to live in such a stately house, I thought! These types of homes evoke lighthearted emotions, and I sometimes image Virginia Woolf slowly walking through such house, as she meditated on the characters for her novels. By the way, did she ever live in a Georgian house? As for me, I can easily imagine renovating one, and decorating it in a modern style. Perhaps I will forgo the renovation and live well enough alone (provided that the plumbing is working, of course). Even though I consider myself a modernist, I have a soft spot for Georgian houses, because they hold this timeless appeal, and boast an elegance which is hard to find in modern architecture.

Contributed by Vyna St Phard for Belle Vivir
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2 comments:

classiq said...

So nice to meet Vyna. Wonderful, informative post. A lesson in architecture styles is always welcome. :)
Ada

Indhira Paulino Polanco said...

Very good article, Julie, do you know? Seeing these houses I realize that my house has a similar concept.

Indhira