Comfort Addict

0 Comments Monday, November 10, 2014 | @ 12:47 AM

{Charleston home restored by Gil Schafer}
Being both a Virginia native and a history major, the love of traditional architecture and architectural history runs deep in my blood. Give me a classically built house with symmetry and proper proportions (big or small) and I feel right at home. It's no wonder then, that we bought our house sight-unseen. A few photographs that showed the architectural details both inside out gave me proper assurance to close the deal.
While we have a great deal of aspirations for the house, including a kitchen addition, painting the brick a warm white, a slate roof,and copper guttering, this major overhaul is a few years off. Thomas Jefferson spent 40 years renovating Monticello, which gives me great hope and patience for our home!
Aside from proper maintenance and some interior decoration, we plan to live in our home for the next few years "as is." The "proper maintenance" for this year includes a fresh coat of exterior trim paint to protect the wood trim, the replacement of rotten 80 year old shutters, and minor landscape upgrades in the fall. When the painter removed the old shutters and proceeded to paint the trim, many of my friends commented on how much they liked the house without shutters. I prefer the warmth that the shutters added and do plan to replace them but the discussions led me to look at other classic homes with and without shutters.
The Carlyle House is a beautiful historical home located in Alexandria, VA. It is the only stone 18th century Palladian-style houses in the area. It was obviously designed without shutters and looks stately and grand without them.
This grand white Georgian homes is one of my favorite homes in Nashville. I love how beautifully grounded it is to its surrounding environment. The black shutters punctuate its beautiful wide windows.
Martha Stewart's Connecticut farm house, Turkey Hill, went through major transformations both inside and over the years. The removal of the shutters, exterior paint job, and updated landscaping gave the home an entirely different look. I wonder what the new homeowners have done with it today?

This Williamsburg-style home is also in Nashville. The owners recently removed the shutters during renovation.
This beautiful Atlanta home was featured on the architecturally savvy blog, Things That Inspire. Designed by Architect Stan Dixon, looks as elegant today as it would have 300 years ago. I love its purity of form and perfect proportions. Shutters would take away from its simple beauty.

Gil Schafer, one of my all-time favorite architects, designed this beautiful farm house in upstate New York. Most of Schafer's projects include the use of shutters which give his grand homes a warm and inviting feel.
This gracious Colonial revival was built for heiress Alice Astor by renowned architect Mott B. Schmidt in the 1926. Again, the lack of shutters seems appropriate for it's Palladian lines.
Here are images of our home as it was before the shutters were removed. It is hard to tell from the photographs but the wood trim and shutters were in need of repair. I do love the warmth and depths that the shutters add to the exterior facade.
Here is our home as it sits today, midway through its mini-facelift. The clean and classic lines of the home are more apparent without the shutters and I can see how some prefer the more formal feel.

Do tell, which do you prefer? Is there a particular style of architecture in which you feel most at home?