Elements of Carpenter Gothic Architecture

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Elements of Carpenter Gothic Architecture

Most subjects we approach on this website refer to interior decorating styles, but architectural styles are just as important when building or redefining a home. Moreover, you can also use elements of architectural styles and insert them in your interior decorating, thus achieving a very original and unique look. Thus, for today we chose one of the less popular, yet one of the most interesting and original architectural styles, the Carpenter Gothic. For those of you who are not familiar with it, this style was developed in Northern America.

A Short Background

The Carpenter Gothic style is derived from the earlier Gothic Revival, which can still be observed on American buildings such as Parliament Hill, or British building Palace of Westminster. This style was itself inspired by the older Gothic architecture style, which can be today admired in Cathedrals all over Europe and America. So as you can see, the Carpenter Gothic is a rather eclectic style, and it is also sometimes called Rural Gothic, because it is mostly present in rural homes. One important element that separates this style from the original one is that it is defined by wood construction, rather than the use of stone. As such, it doesn’t borrow that eerie look that Gothic buildings have, but is rather serene and optimistic in style.

Defining Elements

More free in choice, more improvisational, this style amasses houses that don’t necessarily look alike. Gaining popularity in the 19th century, Carpenter Gothic houses and churches still exist today, and their quaint look is attractive for those who reject industrialist, concrete styles. Another interesting characteristic is that most buildings in this style are rather small, as opposed to the grandeur of Gothic cathedrals; what makes them easy to spot are jig-sawn details, usually around the roof, doors and windows. A building can be as complexly decorated as the builder had patience and inspiration to do so. Buttresses are also elements which can be often seen.

Indoor Gothic?

You can include elements of Carpenter Gothic in interior decor by creating decorative elements that borrow from the style; for instance, your doorway can be sawed in the style, or you can order a custom-made headboard for the bed which introduces these Gothic details. You can also add arches, and arch-shaped windows, put wooden shutters around the windows, and for the indoors, add more wooden elements. A neat idea is to mix this style with shabby chic or cottage style, because they already encourage the use of wood and light colors.

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