They say “don’t judge a book by its cover” but the reality is – first impressions really do matter. This is true in life and this is true in architecture. Many real estate agents will tell you that while staging the inside of a home with beautiful decor is important when showing a home, the exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer will see and it will set the tone for their experience once inside. This is true whether or not you are selling your home. To enter your home your guests must first approach your home and walk through the front entry. If it is lackluster, boring, or unattractive it will set the tone for their experience. Even if the inside of your home is stunning, your guests will remember that boring or strange front entry and it will skew their experience negatively. When you have invested time and money in the architectural style and decor in your home nothing should detract from that beauty. Rather, a front entry should introduce your guests to your home in a positive way and set the tone for what their experience will be once inside. If you want to truly stun your guests and introduce them to the elegance and beauty of your home the ideal way to do so is with a carved stone entry.
A cookie cutter door is adequate but is adequate really the statement you want your entry to make? Carved stone has been used for centuries by the elite and royalty because it is not only durable but incredibly elegant. There are many ways to incorporate stone into the front entry of your home. The path can consist of beautiful stone pavers. The steps to your home can be made of stone, the rails or columns can be made of stone. But, the true showstopper is a carved stone entry that surrounds your front door. This can be made of a variety of different stone types and colors and can be cared in an assortment of patterns and styles to uniquely coordinate with your home’s architecture. Cantera, limestone, marble and travertine are some of the stone varieties that provide beauty and durability along with style to your front entry. While you may think of this as an exclusively classic or rustic look it can be done with modern architecture as well. And, while it will seamlessly integrate to existing architecture, it will also enhance the overall look of your home by adding depth and layers of texture for increased visual interest.
There are many different types of architectural elements that can be added to a home or building to give it additional architectural interest and enhance the overall design aesthetic. Some architectural elements are purely decorative while others provide both form and function – serving an important purpose while also adding an element of decor. One architectural element that has been around for centuries is something you have probably seen but may not have known the name of – balustrades. Balustrades are a row of balusters, which are posts or columns that support a railing. Architectural Digest explains the purpose of balustrades and why they have been around for centuries and continue to be used today, “‘The balustrade’s functions are multiple, from reducing the possibility of a person falling off a stairway to cordoning off an area for the purposes of privacy, such as the gilded balustrade that separates the bed in the king’s chamber at Versailles from the rest of the room,’ says Mitchell Owens, Architectural Digest’s decorative arts and antiques editor. The earliest examples of balustrades come from ancient bas-reliefs, or sculptural murals, dating from sometime between the 13th and 7th centuries B.C. In depictions of Assyrian palaces, balustrades can be seen lining the windows.”
While balustrades can be constructed from a variety of materials including wood and iron, stone is the traditional material and its durability and elegance have given it its timeless appeal. Today, stone balustrades come in a variety of different types of stone and carving styles to coordinate and accentuate different architectural styles. Many envision that stone balustrades are exclusively for large residences and, while they do look excellent in large residences, balustrades are not too opulent or over-the-top for smaller residences. In fact, they often add much needed character and function that helps enhance the existing architectural style. Stone balustrades can be used inside or outside. Whether you want to complete the look of a patio or distinguish particular areas of your landscape or inside a home to define areas in a large room. Carved stone balustrades will elevate the look of any space and the variety of stone colors that they are available in ensures that they will seamlessly coordinate with existing style and decor. Beyond a purely aesthetic value, the also add safety just like a balcony or hand rail would. When you invest in quality carved stone architectural elements you invest in timeless elegance and durability that can weather any elements and stand the test of time. The investment adds unique character to your home that could not otherwise be achieved and actually enhances the overall value of your home as well.