Category Archives: Design Details

Garden Urn in Tile Entryway

Design Details… Garden Urns

“You say ‘Po Ta Toe’… I say Urn.” I know that some garden purests will contend that many of these examples are actually planters and not urns; technically, they would be correct.  The term “Urn” seems to me to give these wonderful tiny potted gardens more their do. First Hill, Seattle, WA USA

Design Details…Belvedere

Belvedere Overlooking Los Angeles Harbor

Belvedere Overlooking Los Angeles Harbor

Belvedere Overlooking Los Angeles Harbor

Side View

“Belvedere” italian for “beautiful view.” I found this house compelling. It stands on a hill overlooking Los Angeles harbor. The closed staircase to the belvedere is an unusual detail. (I wonder who built this feature? Who stood there looking and waiting?)  San Pedro, CA, USA Queen Anne, Victorian, 1890

Design Details…Pilaster


Pilasters: Do they still mean anything?

First off, what is a “pilaster”? A pilaster is a flat rectangular column attached to the face of a building, usually at the corners. These are particularly fetching examples. Note the ionic capitols (see the scrolls at the top of the column) There is also a very inventive detail just above the capitols where the brackets turn into triglyphs complete with guttae.

If you block the pilasters with your fingers you will see that the facade is actually much less attractive. So…yes, pilasters are still a space and cost effective way to enliven a building, something contemporary designers may want to revisit. Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA USA

Design Details…Clinker Brick

Clinker Brick

Clinker Brick

Clinker bricks are bricks that were fired in a very hot kiln when they were still a bit wet . The water and high heat causes them to have interesting earthy colors and more organic shapes. Until their use was popularized by the architecture firm of Charles and Henry Greene, they were often discarded. Now they are collectible. Note, the name “Clinker” comes from the distinctive bright “clink” sound they make if struck against something. Snohomish, WA, USA