Italianate Style: A Passionate Departure in 19th-Century Architecture

An example of Italianate architecture The Italianate style of architecture, which emerged between 1840 and 1885, brought a breath of fresh air to the cold and formal designs of the previous decades. Inspired by the...

Italianate Architecture An example of Italianate architecture

The Italianate style of architecture, which emerged between 1840 and 1885, brought a breath of fresh air to the cold and formal designs of the previous decades. Inspired by the charming Mediterranean farmhouses with their characteristic towers and informal details, architects in the 19th century embraced this new approach and infused it with an all-American flair. The result was a unique and artistic expression that revolutionized building design in the United States.

Characteristics of Italianate Architecture

Italianate architecture is primarily characterized by its two-story buildings, although variations include three-story homes with towers and cupolas, as well as urban townhouses. Stand-alone houses in this style can be categorized into six main types: a box with a hip roof, a box with a centered gable, an L or U plan, an L plan with a tower, and a front gable. Italianate townhouses are recognized by their wide projecting cornices with heavy brackets, ornate windows, porches, and doorways. Many American Italianate buildings combine elements from both rural models and formal Renaissance townhouses.

Materials

Italianate homes were a sight to behold, constructed mainly using brick and wood clapboard. While wooden ornamentation was a common feature, some brick dwellings incorporated remarkable cast-iron window hoods, adding an extra layer of style.

Roofs

Italianate roofs typically have a low pitch and may feature a square cupola on top. The cornices of these buildings are often adorned with projecting eaves and large brackets in various shapes and spacing. These brackets, either individually arranged or in pairs, are typically embellished with wide decorative bands and panel moldings, adding a highly ornamental touch to the overall architectural style.

Windows

Italianate windows were a signature of the era, featuring one-over-one or two-over-two glazing and exuberant trims. U-shaped crowns with brackets and pedimented crowns decorated with hoods were popular. The style also introduced arched and curved frames, adding a touch of Italian flair to many homes.

Entrance

Italianate doors were often large and elaborate, supported by brackets and featuring intricate hoods. They were notable for being the first style to incorporate large glass panes in the doors, as opposed to smaller panes in sidelights. Italianate porches were generally smaller and less ornately decorated than other Victorian styles, typically limited to one story. The most common type of porch column was a square post with beveled or chamfered corners, usually measuring 6 inches in width. Doors and porches in Italianate homes were known for their attention to detail and ornate design elements.

Italianate Remodeling Services

Italianate Architecture Preserve the charm of Italianate architecture with our remodeling services

If you own a historic Italianate home in the Washington, DC metro area and are looking to update its interior or facade without sacrificing its timeless beauty, trust Wentworth with the remodel. With a blend of timeless character and modern sensibility, we can bring your Italianate home into a new era of style while preserving its original charm.

Our remodeling solutions include:

  • Italianate home remodeling: Our top-notch remodeling services can turn your dream of a warm and inviting kitchen or a functional bathroom into a reality in your Italianate home.

  • Italianate home additions: Wentworth can help you expand your home in a way that complements its original architecture, ensuring that any addition or renovation project seamlessly integrates with the existing structure.

  • Italianate interior reconfigurations: Preserve the charm of your Italianate home while refreshing its outdated floor plan for smoother traffic flow. Experience the modern comforts of life while staying true to the style.

  • Italianate detailing: Revive your home with the help of our experienced craftsmen. We pay precise attention to accurate historical detailing, from railings and millwork to plaster, breathing new life into aged spaces.

  • Italianate interior design services: Let our team of professional designers transform your Italianate home into a masterpiece. We'll help you choose the right furniture, paint colors, and accessories to create an elegant look that celebrates its rich history.

  • Italianate facade enhancements: At Wentworth, we believe in embracing the true beauty of Italianate architecture. We use high-quality materials that are authentic and reminiscent of those used by the original builders, helping you capture timeless elegance while increasing your home's curb appeal.

Schedule a Consultation With Wentworth

Wentworth stands out from its competitors when it comes to remodeling services in the Washington, DC metro area. Our team is passionate about design and construction, working together to ensure your 100% satisfaction. With our exclusive architect-led design service, we bring comprehensive yet cost-effective solutions to every project.

Call (240) 383-1226 or contact us to learn more about our Italianate home remodeling services and schedule a consultation with our experienced team.

FAQs

Schedule a consultation with our Chevy Chase, MD remodelers!

  • Q: What materials were commonly used in Italianate homes?

    • A: Italianate homes were mainly constructed using brick and wood clapboard. Wooden ornamentation and cast-iron window hoods were also popular.
  • Q: What were the distinguishing features of Italianate windows?

    • A: Italianate windows featured one-over-one or two-over-two glazing and trims such as U-shaped crowns with brackets and pedimented crowns decorated with hoods. The style also introduced arched and curved frames.
  • Q: What sets Wentworth apart in the remodeling industry?

    • A: Wentworth offers a family-like atmosphere with a team passionate about design and construction. Our architect-led design service brings comprehensive yet cost-effective solutions to every project, ensuring your satisfaction.
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