One of my readers asked what the outside of my virtual home would look like. I can't believe I did not include this! I am such an architecture buff, and one of my favorite things to do is to drive around my favorite Atlanta neighborhoods, looking at houses. Atlanta has a diverse mix of architectural styles, but one of the all time favorites is Georgian style architecture. Georgian architecture, with its beauty and strict symmetry, has really stood the test of time, and is one of the most enduring and beloved of architectural styles in some areas of the United States.
This is what my virtual dream home looks like. Brick, traditional, Georgian architecture (so I assumed). When putting this post together, I looked up classic Georgian architecture in my new favorite architectural reference, A Field Guide to American Houses, so I could give a bit of background on Georgian architecture. Thank you, Brilliant Asylum, for the recommendation!
- In Britain, the style was known as Georgian (1714-1776), and later a more elaborate variant, Adamesque (1780-1820).
- American version of the style was called Colonial until the American Revolution, then Federal (1790-1830). It was adapted to suit American tastes and requirements.
The original Georgian style was quite simple, with very little ornamentation. The Adams style took the Georgian house plan, which was typically two rooms deep, with strict symmetry in the front of the house, and added additional ornamentation primarily to the doors and windows. This makes all the difference in appearance and style. The detailing became lighter and elegant. In the US, it is often called Federal style, but because of the recognition of Adams influence on the architectural style, purists like to call it Adams style even in the US.
Classic Georgian style:
- doors and windows in strict symmetry
- simple one to two story box
- panelled front door, usually capped by a decorative crown
- center hall layout, 2 rooms deep
- twin chimneys
- muted ornament
The Adamesque style was built upon the traditional Georgian plan, but added much more delicate and elegant detailing. Some examples:
- elliptical fanlights with delicate patterns
- glazed sidelights
- large balconied portico, or a half round portico
- more decorative quoins
- cornice with decorative detailing
- white detailing
- primarily brick
- larger windows and window panes (one of the main differences between classic Georgian and Adamesque); this enabled a larger and taller design.
- projecting wings to the side not uncommon
So many of the homes in my computer files are Georgian, or more accurately, Adamesque in nature. Of course, most of these homes were designed in the 20th and 21st centuries, and a more eclectic style of architecture that draws upon all of the architectural traditions of the 17th - 20th centuries is commonly practiced. So, you will see aspects of many different architectural styles in these pictures.
This one is on the Atlanta market right now for $4.65 million, and is on one acre. The door and windows are actually quite simple, but the columns, quoins, portico and grill above provide the detail.
So, how does my virtual dream home hold up to the analysis? Its definitely got the detailing that makes it more Adamesque, with the Palladian window above the front door, the portico with columns, the fanlight above the door and the fanlights to the side. It has the cornice above the top windows, with detailing. The twin fireplaces. This house looks a bit big, as ideally I would like to have a medium size house, but perhaps without the extra wing along the side, it would do quite nicely. I am still going to say that my favorite style is Georgian, because only those 'in the know' - like us - are aware of the subtleties of the Adamesque home. But we now know that my favorite style is truly Adamesque.