I <3 Architectural Details, NoVA Edition

I have lived in northern Virginia (NoVA) for about two and a half months now, after relocating from Los Angeles. In that time my husband and I have really enjoying getting to know the surrounding area. One of the things that has continually struck me on these trips is the classical architectural detailing in the building facades, doors, windows, moldings, ironwork and brickwork. A great example is Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.


Above is the back of the house, below are details of the front.


Below, a view of the interior molding details in the bright yellow dining room.


The town of Winchester, VA also has some beautiful old buildings. I love the ironwork detail on the front porch and stairs of this 175 year old home called the Piccadilly Mansion.


This building is the Handley Regional Library with a gorgeous copper roof, also in Winchester.


This old home turned office building has a lovely mullion detail on the side lites and transom around the front door as well as classical columns and hunter green shutters.


In old Town Alexandria on King Street there was more detailed brickwork on this old building with a very worn front step.


This building also had interesting layers of brickwork detail.


We walked by this lovely street in Old Town as well that features cobblestone streets.


Most of the row houses have bright jewel tone colored doors like these.


A similar teal doorway in downtown Leesburg with a federal style knocker.


I <3 Architectural Details, Portland Edition


Last month I got to visit Portland for the first time to attend my cousin’s wedding. Staying in the city center I had a chance to walk around with my family and see the city’s beautiful architecture.


There were some great historic Art Deco buildings near our hotel. On the left is 1000 Broadway, an old theater and on the right is the Charles F. Berg Building with inlays of 14 Karat gold.


I saw really unique and intricate door and window metal work details throughout the city. I especially liked these gold doors and the spiky sconces on the US National Bank Building built in 1917.



I’m kind of obsessed with all the details on this building. I didn’t get to go inside but I’m sure that was gorgeous as well.


Another beautiful building with gold doors was the historic Bank of California Building. I especially like the quatrefoil detail on the metal doors and sconces.



We walked to Waterfront Park Saturday morning for the weekly “Saturday Market” where local artists sell their creations. On the way we passed the Old Town Chinatown, shown bottom right.

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I also visited the Portland Art Museum while there and got to see an exhibit on bicycle design called Cyclepedia. To celebrate that exhibit there was an installation above the entrance of bicycle helmets creating the museum’s logo.


These two bikes were my favorite, a bike made to be ridden on the icy streets of Austria in the 60’s and a Parisian bike from the 30’s with a beveled frame and unique gear design.



They also had some great stainless steel sculptures. On the left is “Bolt” by British artist Tony Cragg and on the right “Forest Devil” by Kenneth Snelson.


I like abstract paintings and “Number Six” by Peter Young reminded me of a Rorschach mixed with an Ikat print.


I <3 Architectural Details, New Orleans Edition

I got to see New Orleans for the first time a few weeks ago when I was in town for KBIS 2013. My husband and I have started house hunting and two of my must haves are a front porch and a back deck (a wrap around porch would be even better). So it’s no surprise that balconies in the French Quarter that many times wrapped around the whole corner of the buildings caught my eye. Many restaurants used them as outdoor seating areas and of course on Bourbon Street the balconies are used to throw beads down to the pedestrians below.


Here are some more photos of balcony architecture that caught my eye. I loved the ornate metal railings and the flowers that punctuated the balconies around town. Other details I noticed were dental molding and decorative ironwork grates near the top of the buildings.


Many of the buildings besides having red brick exteriors had green shutters and white mullions windows, as shown below.


I noticed lots of arched top windows and doorways and intricate awnings.


I saw some beautiful exterior light fixtures like the lantern style sconces and pendant (bottom right) and metal sconces with globe shades (bottom left).


I especially love this building below in sage green with french doors with side lights and transoms above. I love the scroll detail on the wrought iron columns and the brackets. The hanging plants and window boxes in front of every set of doors is a nice touch.

IMG_4767I saw some lovely architecture in Jackson Square as well. St. Louis Cathedral first built in 1794 was very impressive. I took a friend’s advice and stopped by Cafe Du Monde for beignets and then walked across to a bench in the garden to devour them, yum!


Along with the lovely buildings nearby like the Cabildo and the Presbytere, I enjoyed seeing the variety of horse drawn carriages lined up outside the square and listening to local street musicians.


Aside from all the traditional French architecture I did see a lovely modern hotel garage area with a horn chandelier and alien looking globe pendants with blue lights. Cresent City Brewhouse also had some interesting jellyfish pendants above their bar area that were very hip and Avant-garde.


I got to check out a variety of great restaurants including Mr. B’s Bistro, Tomas Bistro and Galatoire’s 33 Bar and Steak. I tried gumbo, po boys, crawfish etouffee and fried oysters for the first time. Of course I had try local beverages too like the hurricane and pecan beer. I also got to hear live jazz my last night in town which was a real treat.


I am obsessed with the green that 33 Bar and Steak painted their dining room. The beveled mirror panels and gold chandeliers and sconces made the room so pretty and elegant. I love the French Blue Dining Room I have now but this strongly makes me consider green for the dining room in my new house. What do you think?

I <3 Architectural Details, Santa Barbara Edition

This weekend I had the opportunity to do some sightseeing in Santa Barbara. I toured the Historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse for the first time and it really blew me away.



There were so many beautiful details, but I’ll just point out a few that really struck me. The passage doors were fantastic.



There were flat panel doors with hand painted detail, intricate mullion doors, small multi raised panel doors and leather and wood studded doors.



I also really loved the beautiful Spanish style tile work on the floors and staircases.




The multi size terracotta tiles were punctuated with decorative Spanish style keys. The colors were olive green, terracotta, white, yellow and cobalt blue. Below is a basket-weave pattern and some decorative field and border tiles creating a base detail.


There were many different scales including a more standard 6″ x 6″ size and and an octagon pattern, which was my favorite.


I also really loved the ceiling details; the beams, hand painted designs and the archways made for very interesting and detailed corridors and entryways.



The lighting was also exquisite, from the wrought iron pendants, sconces and chandeliers to the stained glass windows and leaded mullion doors.




Along with these gorgeous chandeliers, this room featured 6,700 sq. ft. of hand painted murals.


The outside was just as breathtaking, including the views from the clock tower that had a 360 degree view of the city.


Special thanks to my very patient friends 🙂