Early Amer­i­can Style

Cabin Living - - Good Design -

THE LOOK: Weath­ered, but steeped in tra­di­tion and aged to per­fec­tion. ES­SEN­TIAL EL­E­MENTS: Early Amer­i­can homes fol­low straight­for­ward, boxy styles. You can have an au­then­tic look with one or two sto­ries. If you choose log con­struc­tion for this style, look for logs that are hewn square and meet at dove­tail cor­ners.

Rooflines are fairly sim­ple, too, but dorm­ers, in dog­house or shed style, add char­ac­ter to flat roof planes. Hum­drum as­phalt shin­gles will ruin the ef­fect of an his­toric-style home. In­stead, pick slate or a metal roof in sil­ver, green or brown. Cedar shakes are an op­tion, but only if your cli­mate will al­low them. In a wet or hu­mid area, wood roofs can suf­fer. Some com­pos­ite shin­gles now mimic the look of wood shakes. WIN­DOWS AND DOORS: Cre­at­ing an au­then­tic Early Amer­i­can home re­quires win­dows with di­vided lights in­stead of pic­ture win­dows. Rec­tan­gu­lar-shaped win­dows are typ­i­cal to the style: Arched or Pal­la­dian win­dows should be avoided.

Tra­di­tional colors on the cabin’s ex­te­rior make sense, such as white, green or dark brown trim. Set off the front en­try with a door in a con­trast­ing color, as well. Look for heavy door hard­ware in a matte or brushed fin­ish. Out­lin­ing the door with small-paned side­lights and a tran­som over­head adds an au­then­tic touch. IN­TE­RIOR: Although Early Amer­i­can homes were tight quar­ters, new home own­ers aren’t bound to re­peat his­tory. In­te­ri­ors can be open and ca­sual or di­vided into more dis­tinct for­mal rooms. Ei­ther way, the fire­place tends to be the fo­cal point of the home and as such, is a worth­while in­vest­ment. Homes in cold cli­mates his­tor­i­cally had fire­places set in the mid­dle of the home. In warmer lo­ca­tions, fire­places were of­ten placed on an ex­te­rior wall. SAGE AD­VICE: Look for his­toric home plans in a shape and form that look orig­i­nal to your area. Two-story Colo­nials are preva­lent in some ar­eas, while salt­box homes ap­pear in other re­gions and, in some parts of the coun­try, dogtrot-style cab­ins are preva­lent.

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