Thursday, February 27, 2014

Decorating With White Exposed Beam Ceilings

I am obsessed with the loveliness of the creamy white exposed beam ceiling. Whether it is painted or white washed (whitewashing uses paint mixed with water), the result is an elegant rustic charm...... light, and airy but visually interesting. This type of ceiling is prevalent in homes of French design, however all styles can benefit from the quite elegance these ceilings project. 

If you are tired of the bland white ceiling, allow it to become a major design element and focal point via white exposed beams and rafters. We are all acquainted with the rustic beauty of natural exposed beamed ceilings. Natural wood beams are more accentuated and might even be the first thing you notice in the room, especially if they are contrasted against a white ceiling. However the more subtle option is the painted beamed ceiling because of the lack of contrast yet the presence of interesting angles and shadows. Here are some images to inspire you to amp up the look of your white ceiling by letting your rafters show and installing beams, painted white of course!!

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Kelly Harmon

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Decorating Tudor Style

The charm filled English Tudor is an eclectic mixture of early and Medieval English building traditions that create a picturesque, traditional appearance.With its storybook details and countryside charm , it is truly a rustic and romantic style.

Tudors—typically British-style homes with pitched gabled roofs, large chimneys, latticed windows and often, black-and-white facades, sprang up in England during the 16th-century reign of the Tudors and the style permeated all class levels. Tudor revival occurred in North America in the late 19th and early 20th century and it became thought of as a symbol of wealth, as affluent Wall Street executives built large Tudor homes. The style became a symbol of old money and conservatism. 

The key distinguishing characteristic of a Tudor style house is the use of decorative half timbering, which means that building timbers are partially exposed, surrounded with stucco, plaster, or brick. In the medieval era, these exposed timbers were actually a critical part of the structure, but the modern Tudor style house has other structural supports, making the timbers purely decorative.

Tudor homes range from elaborate mansions to modest suburban residences. If you yearn for medieval romance and want to incorporate Tudor architectural details into your home’s interior, consider the tips found on this site. There are images of authentic Tudor homes and new homes that have successfully brought the old world to their interiors. Hopefully you will get some ideas of things you too can do to create this look.

Thornewood Castle

The Tudor period marked an age of prosperity, money from expanding trade, and the gift of land to Royal favorites enabling them to build lavish houses.

Thornbury Castle

Ascott House

Castles gave way to the style we associate more with Tudor architecture.....the half timbered facade

Although brick and stone are the most common types, stucco wall cladding plays a significant role in the Tudor style as well.

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Medieval homes in Europe featured walls in which the spaces between the supporting timbers were filled, leaving the structure exposed. Adding decorative half-timbering is a simple, inexpensive way to get a Tudor look.

Warm colors abound in English Tudor interior design, with a few blues and greens used to create a cool-tone balance. Crimson, yellow and orange are almost always present somewhere.

Walls should be adorned with tapestries and embroideries. I have purchased several beautiful tapestries on Ebay. Go to the UK site....the best treasures are there.

Ann James Interior Design

The fireplace surround is center stage in this updated Tudor style living room. The design is Tudor and should be stone or tile.

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When decorating a home in in this style, use heavy, ornate wood furniture such as trestle tables, benches, heavy chests and carved four-poster beds.

When furnishing your Tudor home, look for sofas will bullion fringed skirts and also tufted furniture.

Another good sofa choice is the Chesterfield.

A typical Tudor hall. Notice the rustic style of the chandelier.

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This room is perfection and encompasses so many elements of Tudor design, from the ceiling to the window treatments.

Wightwick Manor, England

Stained glass with heraldic and ecclesiastical motifs are very much a part of Tudor decor.

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Old World Tudor manor banister with dark wood wainscot

Although some Tudor homes feature double-hung windows, they almost always have at least one set of casement windows. The windows also are usually tall and narrow, typically have multiple panes and are often clustered together.

Berkely Castle's wonderful timbered ceilings.

Many Tudor interiors featured linenfold paneling. It was thought to stiffly resemble folded linens.

Long galleries were used to display portraiture and taxidermy trophies.
If there are no exposed beams or rafters, install decorative ones. Flooring choices are Wide-plank floors , stone or brick, or even harlequin like this.

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Windows don't have to be enormous to give the Tudor look to your home.

The cupboard with the folding bed in the Oak Room at Wightwick Manor

The one design feature that defines English Tudor decor is wood. From furniture to exposed beams, paneled walls to ornate carved mantels, an English Tudor-style home without wood simply doesn’t work.

Overall, Tudor interior decorating is a warmed-up, cozy mix of elements. These include classic English Tudor designs and even pieces from Gothic Europe, Italy and Asia.

In the interior of the home, warmer stained woods are most common. The wood has a slightly polished sheen yet it's still worn in appearance, giving the look of something that’s aged but well-kept.

Truly authentic Tudor houses usually feature at least one set of leaded glass windows, in which metal casings hold together the individual panes as in the window above. Usually there are large displays of glass in very large windows several feet long. Glass was expensive to make in this period and the richer one was, the more windows one could afford. Also there was the presence of rich oak paneling, plasterwork and fabulous ceilings.

Many ceilings and walls were hand painted. Decorative symbols of Tudor rose, thistle and fleur de lys were popular.

Mantle pieces are heavily carved.

A modern Tudor style kitchen.

All the beautiful decorative elements give Tudors their distinctive curb appeal.

The look is achieved by putting rough lumber on the outside of the home, then filling in the space between the timbers with stucco. This is a technique that can be added to an existing home.

Click here to see the previous post!

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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