Sunday, October 18, 2015

Martha's Vineyard Staircase Details and Hallway

Continuing my story on the design of Wynn and Catherine Newhouse's Vineyard home.....

Opposite the entry window seat were the stairs to the second floor.
Less (the architect I worked with for several thousand years) wanted a half wall to separate the dining room from the entry rather than a full wall with a doorway which was what the house originally had.  This allowed more light to flow into both spaces.
 We needed the added posts to do something boring like hold up the upper floor.
He wanted just a couple of posts set between the two rooms, but it there is a way to gussy something up, I will whip out my trusty drafting board and pencil and go to town working on an architectural detail to make the home builder's life more difficult.
If you've been following along with the story about this house, you may remember that I used a circle motif throughout the whole design.
For the staircase railing I incorporated circles into the balustrade detail. 
It's impossible to see in these pictures from the scanned images I used from Traditional Home Magazine
 (see how I cleverly inserted the credit for the pictures???????)
but the vertical and cross pieces, as well as the circles had two small lines routed into them for a more Victorian look to go with the architecture of the house.
I spent some time drawing the newel post, as I wanted to have the feel of a captain's home.
I also use routed grooves in the ball at the top as well as on the lower part of the post.
 For the half wall, I boxed out the supporting posts with wood boards, adding a simple detail around 9 inches down from the crown molding I added at the top.
These two applied moldings created the look of a capitol for the column.
For the bottom, I added another simple crown molding flipped upside down.
I had the columns rest on the half wall that I paneled to work with the same paneling detail I designed in the dining room.
In the upper hall, we decided..... 
(I can't remember if it was Les or me that came up with the sky detail for the ceiling.....)
to paint a sky.
The builder had some artists he suggested, and we checked out their portfolios.
If I remember correctly.....(it's been a billion years since I designed this house), I ended up bringing my own painter over from the mainland because I wanted a realistic looking sky, not some cartoon rendition.
 Catherine and Wynn Newhouse, the owners of this home, were avid art collectors.
They loved combing the local galleries looking for paintings for their new residence.
They chose this piece that looks like an actual window painted in a tromp l'oeil effect, it even has an actual wooden piece at the bottom to give the impression of a window sill.
We hung it in the upper hall that was windowless to create the feeling of a window to the outside.
(I don't think it fooled no one)
 Less was able to add a small dormer into the roof line that shed natural light down the stairwell.
In one of the most genius filled moments of out trillions of years together, he worked magic on the inside and made it have the effect of a cupola by framing the interior space to look different from the actual roof line, creating a four sided extension above the natural ceiling line of the upper hall. So, instead of the dormer having a slanted ceiling, he flattened it out to fake the look of a flat roof. 
It was still slanted on the outside, it had just been frame to have the false ceiling on the inside.
I'm not explaining this well.....ARRRRGGHH.
He faked the eye out even more by setting fake windows on the three other walls that didn't look outside, just adding mirrors to them instead of glass.
This was why it was so important to have the ceiling painted like sky, the mirrors reflected the ceiling, really creating the effect of a four sided cupola.
 Here's a blow up of the detail.
I still have a couple or so more rooms to review in this house, but that's for next week.....
that's it for today.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
On that note,

Latah, Gatah


Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Just beautiful, your attention to detail is to be commended, as is your writing style!

Jeannine520 said...

Love these details. The half wall, staircase, windows up top, just beautiful.

td said...

Completely brilliant!

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