|Traditional, or a grab-bag of cliches?|
As a result, just about every bozo tried. A lot of architects, contractors, and homeowners copied the superficial elements of Modernism—stark white walls, flat roofs, and acres of glass—but flunked out on the rest. The resulting phalanx of “Modern” designs, some merely mediocre and some exquisitely horrible, was largely to blame for Modernism’s decline during the 1970s.
|No classical columns in history were ever|
piled up in this manner—
And this, alas, demands a little homework. If you don’t want to hire an architect to sort out the fine points for you, try the next best thing: before you undertake your project, comb the internet, or even—gasp—look in a book, to find as many authentic examples of your favorite style as you can (by "authentic" I mean actual historic examples, not some real estate promoter's wet dream). Make a note of your special favorites.
|—or proportioned like these.|
Look a bit closer yet. Do the walls of your favorite examples look thick or thin? Are the windows deep-set, or flush with the surface of the wall? Are the railings open or solid? Is the chimney tapered or straight? Are the stucco corners sharp or softly rounded? Is the color uniform or mottled? Such characteristics are can be crucial to recreating an authentic traditional design. If it’s authenticity you’re after, these little details are the key to recreating an authentic traditional design.
|This is what happens to "traditional" design|
when you skimp on the details.
Isn’t this just copycat architecture? In a word, yes. And there are legions of architects out there anxious to provide more innovative design solutions. But if hiring an architect or other design professional is out of the question, there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by authentic examples of traditional architecture. Being guided by the past is, after all, what tradition is all about.