Architectural Inspiration

One common question around the architectural office is: “How do you guys think of new ways to design each home?”

It truly amazes me to see each creation appear out of thin air as the architects sketch at their desks. Architectural inspiration can come from anywhere – the site,  the natural elements, the client’s direction or a neighborhood guidelines. But historical homes in the region or beyond also play a HUGE part.

While not everyone wants a home with historical touches, the details in historical homes often are key to making a new home feel right. I had the chance to travel to St. Louis, Missouri, earlier this month and explore the beautiful St. Louis Botanical Gardens. The gardens are full of historical homes and structures that capture the architecture of the early 20th century.

Just as lovely as as these architectural wonders were the gardens and “follies” that surrounded them. Many of the gardens in this section were based on traditional formal English gardens. They even included a hedge maze, which my little girl loved! We got “lost” in there several times that day.

The “follies” were my personal favorite and a great inspiration for the architecture team here. These structures were common in England in the 1800s throughout the large estates and manor homes. They served no purpose, hence the name “folly”, except as a visual point of interest in the landscape. Either ornate or simple, they do contain some beautiful architectural details, which make for fantastic details to consider on today’s modern homes.

The last picture here is the original caretakers cottage at the Botanical Gardens. It’s currently undergoing some renovations, but I included the photos to show you one more architectural example. You never know what may spur you to start dreaming about a new home.