For Christmas decorations, I start with the outside first. Mostly, because I love arriving at home in the evening to the lights! Again, I wanted a more natural look with a fresh cedar and boxwood garland and wreath. My kids said they wanted colored lights this year, so up they went (definitely more noticeable in the evening!). It would be nice if I added pots with miniature pine trees but not sure I'll be getting around to it. Did you notice the big newfoundland head through the glass of the door? She's probably wondering what the heck I'm doing taking a picture while it's snowing.
Three years ago we went through a renovation of our home which included replacing windows and adding a new portico, stone porch and walkways. Below is what the front door used to look like. The portico added some much needed architectural interest to the front of our colonial saltbox house. It also provides shelter from the weather and it's a great place to put up a garland at Christmas time!
I recently had the opportunity to go on a walking architectural tour of Annapolis. In school I studied the classical (Roman and Greek) and western european architectural features that have been replicated in the United Stated over the past several centuries. It was great to get a refresher course and see these architectural elements in Annapolis.
Below is a picture I took of a Georgian style door I just loved. I'm a big fan of shiny black doors, especially with big red lush wreaths! At this point in the tour, I had walked four hours and was starting to zone out. I so wish I could remember the details of this home that our guide, an experienced historian in architecture and decorative arts, told us. I vaguely remember a story that sounded terribly romantic and the couple built this home for their daughters in the 1700s.
This door belongs to the Hammond-Harwood House and is a gorgeous example of Georgian style. Georgian style was popular during the 18th century, from King George I (1711) to the American Revolution, or King George III. Attributes of a Georgian style home includes symmetry with center entrance and equal number of windows in each side. A paneled front door with pilasters (columns attached to the wall), entablature (this one has a decorative tobacco leaves - guess what Hammond did for a living?), and a cornice with dentil molding. Americans replicated these details from English architecture books. The details of this door are gorgeous and it is has perfect proportions.
We walked by this house which was not on the tour but I thought it was adorable. The siding was painted a very pretty aqua and the shutters and door trim were painted a navy blue (a bit darker then the picture)
We also walked by the William Paca House, a another famous example of Georgian architecture in the States, and also happens to be where Reid and I got married 14 years ago. It's so great to live close to where we got married because every time we walk by the Paca House we are reminded of our wedding!
The English style gardens in the rear was the location for our ceremony and reception. The garden used to be a parking lot for a hotel that was restored and opened to the public in the 1970s. Below is a picture of the summer house where our ceremony took place. It is a classic dome styled design with pretty coining on the corners.
The last stop on the tour was Reynolds Tavern, another Georgian style building. The tavern originally operated from the mid 1700s to early 1800s as a tavern. Then it become a bank, a home, a library and finally a tavern again in the 1980s. The building has a steep slate gambrel roof, is flanked by large slab chimneys on each side, and has the eye-catching segmental arches above the first floor windows. Reid and I have only been to the outdoor Sly Fox Tavern in the rear of the building (because dogs are allowed). But know I'm looking forward to seeing the inside!
It was a wonderful tour that gave me a much deeper appreciation for Annapolis' history and architecture.
If you are still looking for something for someone special on your list, consider purchasing a gift certificate for interior design services by me! Contact me at melissa@melissamclayinteriors for more information.