Column Love


I've always loved this photo of my mom with my paternal grandparents, Grandma Maestranzi and Nanoo.  (I know I'm not spelling "Nanoo" the correct way, but it's how I've spelled it my entire life & I'm not changing it now ;)  I'm not sure where they are but I can't get over the columns & all the intricate stone & metalwork.  I think my mom looks so beautiful and her pale yellow dress always reminded me a bit of the lady in Annie.  (the movie)

There's something so awe-inspiring about big white columns.  Do you remember learning the 3 types of columns in art class?  They used to drill it into our heads:


{image via chalk.richomond.edu}


How beautiful???  I've never visited Greece but am dying to...


{Temple of Zeus photo by DeClan McCullagh Photography}


This is my dream:

{by Bobby McAlpine...  if you haven't read his book, The Home Within Us, get to the bookstore now.  It's probably the one of the best I've ever read.  It was so good & so true, I got teary; no joke.  I have been wanting to write a post since I read it last Spring but I really need to do it justice and it'll require a lot of thinking.  It will change your outlook and/or totally verbalize all those stray thoughts you had running around in your head that you couldn't make sense of.  It's done perfectly.}


I love drawings of columns & architectural details and could fill my walls & home with a collection of them.   Check out this ancient book:



I'm considering this drawing originally by Sir William Chambers for a client:
 
 
 
 
One of my favorite paintings is by artist & friend John Matthew Moore


{I love the glimpse of ruins on the mountain in the background.  }

And...  getting funny, is this drawing by Marc Johns:

{Drawing by Marc Johns}

Speaking of columns I don't own, below is a photo of my dad's house in Barrington Hills, Illinois when I was growing up.  He designed it & learned a ton in the process.  I spent summers, every other holiday and random vacations there.  (My parents divorced when I was 2 years old and my mom & I moved to Virginia when I was 4 to be near my grandparents and my dad stayed in Illinois.)  My dad remarried a woman who had two kids near my age (whom I absolutely adored) when I was 7 and built the house for us all.  Without getting all into the crazy very sad details, my dad & my stepmom divorced seven years later and my dad eventually sold the property when I was in college.   But I've always loved this house.  Seeing it built from the ground up, watching my stepmom decorate it and doing my bedroom (eek- spongepainting!! :)  all made me love the design process. My dad built us the best 3-story treehouse in the world and I still dream about it.  I could go on & on so I'll save it for another day.  (I have video tours I made when I was a kid so I'm going to try to upload them if I can.)  But anyway, I remember playing on the front porch, marching around and around the big white columns singing songs with my stepsister.
{This house is like my Tara hahah...  I really do miss it.}

Anyway, I'm off to start the day but have a great weekend!  Stay warm!!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

23 comments:

elisabeth said...

i totally remember learning about columns in art history. something i will never forget! your dad's house is great. what an amazing front yard. i can just imagine cartwheels, games of tag, running and running, and more running!

eclecticrevisited said...

what a beautiful house..It's hard when we have to let go of the homes we grew up in due to parents needing to sell..but we have great memories.. and that's important...
have a great weekend...
maureen

Liz Thompson said...

Our childhood home always holds a special place. The song "The House that Built Me" by Miranda Lambert gives me a catch in my throat for this very reason:)

Jessica Wrasman said...

Vertical lines are awe-inspiring for sure. I just learned in my design class all about the effects of lines. Diagonal creating an active feel of motion due to the associations with resistance in that position, horizontal creating a feeling of rest, and vertical- just what you've explained here. Something about the way we feel when we look up at a tree- knowing it is sturdy, permanent, and massive. Awesome!

greg tankersley said...

Thanks for including our work on your lovely blog. We're glad you enjoyed "The Home Within Us" and you're not the first person who cried when they read it!

my favorite and my best said...

i just picked that book up at the book store last week...i didn't buy it, just looked at it while fiona played in the kids section. i have to say, i thought it was stunning.

Acquired Objects said...

I love hearing your stories about your childhood, sounds like you had a nice one! My husband and I collect antique capitals we have them arranged on a wall they're great art work.

John J. Tackett said...

I, too, love columns, especially if they are correctly proportioned. And I am particularly pleased to be introduced to the wonderful work if your talented friend John Matthew Moore. __ The Devoted Classicist, http://tdclassicist.blogspot.com

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- This is a beautifully written post. Homes are just buildings, but they hold so much more than memories. Your father's home looks like it was a wonderful place.

Did a search, and "The House Within Us" is my library! I'm excited to read it!

Loretta

Jesse said...

columns are such a distinct detail in architecture; i really appreciate when they can add warmth as well as a statuesque quality. btw, i always loved the style of the character of grace in annie, she had such a katherine hepburn ease and chicness, don't you think?

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

We live in a 1904 Victorian with beautiful Doric (non-fluted) columns on the front porch. I love 'em!

Windlost said...

Lovely columnar post! I got the Bobby McA. book for Christmas and LOVE it also!!
Hope all is well there!
xo T.

Kathysue said...

I remember in the 90s designing clients homes and adding columns in areas of their homes with columns, it was a fun architectural feature. We took a trip to Greece and Rome this year and The Ancients really knew how to use a column. I was in awe at the city of Ephesus where the main street was once lined on both sides with columns I can only imagine how gorgeous and grand it was.
Your childhood home was beautiful, it sounds as if you have some wonderful memories from there. Have a good weekend with your sweet family,Kathysue

Maria said...

what a beautiful house! lovely greetings!

http://design-elements-blog.com/

Wives said...

i soooo remember memorizing corinthian, doric and ionin columns in elementary school -- good pull!!! That pic of your mom is GORG!

Tiffany Larson said...

I have similar memories about a house I lived in between the ages of 3 and 7. Then my parents divorced and sold the house. Unfortunately, I went back to see it recently and the current owners have let it fall apart. I decided not to see the inside, lest it change all the wonderful memories I have.

Andrea said...

Let's go to Greece! I'll be your travel partner :)

I have visited ROME and it's amazing! The columns are extensive and some still stand among the ruins. A definite hot spot if you haven't been.

Have a great week!

Aubrey said...

Oh my gosh, where have I been this week??? Catch up: LOVE your friend's new line of shirts, that casablanca is so darling...but mostly her model is *stunning* (c; You look fabulous! I'm totally going to have to make that chickpea salad...I'm a huge fan of anything with capers and this sounds amazing! Last...love this post. I think everyone has that place from their childhood that will always be like their "Never Neverland"...just filled with great memories. Very sweet. Have a fantastic week (now that everyone is feeling better!)!

http://loveallthingsbrightandbeautiful.blogspot.com

simpledaisy said...

I don't think I would ever be a column kind of girl!!

Debra Phillips said...

not much more to add lauren but to say "what a brilliant, interesting post" from your mother to antiquity, what a touching segue
xo
debra

donna said...

Lauren,

The photo was taken at St. Genevieve's Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, IL. I was being Baptised,receiving First Communion, first Pennance and Confirmation all on one day. Your grandparents were my Godparents. My dress was off white polyester, with a cowell neckline very much in style in 1978. Your dad and I were married there a year later on September 22, 1979.

Love you,
Mom

Danielle said...

You could have interviewed Charlie, my son, for this post. Last year he learned about columns and whenever we are in DC he has to point out every single column he sees and gives us a mini-history lesson. It's so cute really!

dovecotedecor said...

Lauren: I'm posting tomorrow about Addison Mizner. You will love the Mediterranean revival, old world architecture of 1920's Palm Beach. I was lucky enough to visit the Acropolis and Ephesus. There is no imagining the size of these temples, amphitheaters and libraries. No film or photograph can prepare you to see the ancient world. The Pantheon in Rome has solid, massive carved pillars from Egypt, delivered by primitive means. It is mind boggling how the ancients produced architecture that is impossible today!! Save every penny and take the children.
Best,
Liz