Re-creating Old-World Charm

Tips for creating a sense of history and place when building a new home

Add container gardens. Small houses without yards first used containers as kitchen gardens to grow food. Window boxes (and decorative containers) also gained popularity as ornament in the Victorian era. Today, they are both practical and decorative.

Utlilize pea gravel. Originally used for paths and courtyards by the ancient Romans and Japanese gardeners, the age-old material later became popular in England and Europe as part of the entrances in front of estate homes. For this house, a long, paved drive turns into pea gravel upon arrival. Landsape designer Troy Rhone continued the material in the gardens.

Use reclaimed materials. Antique wooden beams give depth indoors. Outside, salvaged bricks instantly provide a warm, timeless look. If antique brick is not available, opt for new brick with time-worn mortar applications and washes to create an instant sense of age.

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Dress up interiors with paneling and moulding. In the living room, pecky cypress adds warmth and texture. The grooves in the rare wood are inherently attractive despite originating as damage caused by a fungus. (The fungus dies after the trees are harvested.) Elsewhere, deep trims and paneling lend regal appeal.

Create transitional spaces between indoors and out. Floor-to-ceiling steel-and-glass doors open to courtyards, while the splash of a fountain offers a soothing sound outside and in.

Resources:

Builder: Dilworth Development
Architect: Long & Long Design
Landscape design: Troy Rhone

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