Stunning Home Architecture

Soaring ceilings, elegant tile work, stunning woodwork. These are the things that create drama in architecture. Take a tour of a few of our favorite awe-inspiring spaces.

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    European Heritage

    A triple barrel-vault ceiling adds dramatic flair to this kitchen. The intrados, paved in brick and supported by wood beams, recall Old World styling. Walls, block limestone, and the arched opening to the adjacent room add more European character. All-white cabinetry offers just enough interest with the glazed tile backsplash and leaded glass door fronts without competing with the architectural finishes. 

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    Grand Entrance

    A sweeping staircase defines this elegant entry hall. Curved to match the home’s front bay, the stair wraps the double height room framing the front door and second story windows. The newel posts, handrail, and stair treads are stained dark, creating contrast against the white bannister and wainscoting. Accents such as the marble floor with onyx inlay and sconces capped with black shades underscore the bold design.

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    Fearless Move

    Creating a graphic statement, this entry hall showcases an elegant play with geometry. Box molding makes a bold impression on the stair wall. Black and white tile floors run at an angle to create welcome tension. In keeping with the bold design, balustrades are weighty and substantial. A settee, dressed in wide chartreuse and white stripes injects contemporary flair with unflinching confidence.

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    Enchanting Journey

    Passageways create a sense of expectation for a room’s reveal. This one offers a journey unto itself. A barrel vault ceiling with curved box molding brings volume to this hallway. Walls trimmed with heavy paneled wainscoting serves as a gallery with picture lighting illuminating the artwork. Black and white marble tile, laid in a diamond pattern, take the place of a traditional carpet runner.

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    Fine Finish

    This handsome seating area showcases a rich finish in floor-to-ceiling wood paneling. The octagonal room boasts a limestone fireplace flanked by double windows with built-in box seats. Bookshelves fill nooks above each window. The paneling tapers to form an octagonal vaulted ceiling creating a grand medallion for the globe-shaped iron chandelier.

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    Make a Point

    The peaked ceiling in this kitchen plays to drama and light with its steep pitch. Framed by beams inset with narrow wood planks aligned with the point, there’s no minimizing the cathedral effect. Strands of cable lighting span the width of the kitchen add a contemporary farmhouse vibe. The all-white kitchen is punctuated with black stone countertops and dark window frames for contrast.

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    Substantial Drama

    This stunning entry hall displays classic architectural designs including the barrel vaulted ceiling and entablature supported by squared Doric columns and pilasters. A deep base molding with raised square trim provides balance. Floors are marble tile, laid in a diamond pattern inset with ebony squares. Walls, painted gray, set off the gleaming white trim. 

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    History Lesson

    This parlor displays Victorian details in the stained glass bay window and built-in bench seat with pew enclosure. A parquetry rose medallion adds interest to the hardwood floor. The fireplace mantel, flanked by Ionic columns, showcases angular graphic lines indicative of Arts and Crafts styling. A French style bell jar lantern light fixture with its gilt finish complements the rich collage of historical details.

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    Sea-Worthy

    Resembling the inner hull of a ship, this ceiling employs a curved framework of wood ribbing. Stained dark, the arched beams are a standout against the lighter stain on tongue and groove panels set between beams and on the walls. The impressive nod to Gothic architecture shows restraint compared to ancient uses creating a contemporary interpretation -- especially when paired with the simple window casings and clean lines of the mantel.

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    Elegant Retreat

    An antique limestone arch crowns the doorway in this elegant medieval-style bath. Mosaic Romanesque tiles take the place of traditional wood wainscoting. More tiles align along the ceiling replacing typical crown molding. The copper soaking tub underscores the terra-cotta hues. The rear wall showcases damask patterned wallpaper.

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    Grand Gesture

    Tall ceilings in this living room make way for elaborate millwork. Corinthian pilasters frame a bay window. Thick crown molding creates depth and interest with alternating plain and carved acanthus leaf designs. In Europe and in older homes, molding signifies wealth and status -- the more ornate, the better. (Historically, most moldings were made from plaster). The fireplace repeats the grand look with its ribbon swag frieze.

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    Indulgent Retreat

    A claw-foot tub becomes the centerpiece of this serene bath. Set in an alcove with a dramatic arched doorway, the tub's gilt footings and a crystal chandelier add glamour, as does the gleaming basket weave tile floor. Blush draperies set off floor to ceiling windows. The woodwork -- painted bright white -- offers traditional details such as the arched doorway and columns. The vanity displays furniture details, mimicking the architecture, with paneled doors and fluted edges.

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    Looking Up

    A coffered ceiling offers a bold framework for this luxurious kitchen. Custom cabinets display recessed panels with paneled glass doors above. The island is substantial, balancing the weight of the ceiling. Here, heavy corner columns support the expansive black stone countertop -- a nice contrast to the room’s crisp white finish. Playing against the strong lines, the range hood is curved -- as is the opening to the adjacent room.

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    Arch Rivals

    Wood paneling creates rich drama in this living area. Thick ceiling beams align with an arcade along a rear wall. This wall of arches frames a bookcase, fireplace mantel surround, and window. Arches continue along perimeter walls framing more windows. Furnishings are simple and streamlined -- perfectly in keeping with the smooth wood finish.

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    Point of View

    Inviting plenty of natural light, this foyer displays a front door with leaded glass sidelights and transoms above. A bull's-eye window keeps things airy while making a strong architectural statement. Once considered an inexpensive way of making windows, the glass from the bull's-eye window was the outer flat edge cut from a roundel (rounded blown glass). Floor parquetry displays an interlocking square and circle motif.

  • Next Slideshow Add Delightful Details Around Your Home

    Add Delightful Details Around Your Home

    Enhance your home's style -- or blend of styles -- with architectural details. From ceilings to floors to the walls of your home, here are 23 character-boosting details for you to consider.
    Begin Slideshow »
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