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Are Gothic Arches a Thing of the Past?

Sandwiched in history between the Roman and Renaissance periods was Gothic architecture, a design style that, like its predecessor and successor, has not entirely faded away. Known for gothic arches, flying buttresses, spires, ribbed vaults and gathered columns, it is a style that makes us think of cathedrals, monasteries and palaces. Though its name may conjure images that are dark and eerie, gothic structures are also romantic and adding a gothic arch or two into your home design can add depth, style, drama and old-world flair.

nave of notre dame

These can also be small additions that look more modern and less 12th century. The key to turning an antique into something current or timeless is to blend it with contemporary or modern fashions. While many don't realize it, the gothic archway is commonly added to present-day home designs for eye-catching additions that are revered, a sign of a job well-done on the architect's and contractor's parts. Here are a few ways to add gothic arches into your home.

An artistic gothic arch over the threshold will welcome people into your home or garden with style.

You don't need to be a fan of Game Of Thrones to love these entrances. Do you have a large, Victorian style home? A pointed entryway will fit right in! The entrance is the first point of contact that someone will have to your home, and gothic arches will help make a great first impression. They are also lovely entry ways to yards and gardens. While curved arches are also popular, pointed arches will add drama and an authentic Tuscan or European flair.

A large arched window will allow natural light to stream in and brighten the room's ambiance.

The effect of large windows in the home can work wonders. In addition to keeping your home bright and airy, they can help heat the home (solar gain) and they give you a clear view of the outside. A floor to ceiling window will also add style. Build a large window with a gothic archway in your master bedroom, especially is you have a beautifully landscaped backyard to look at. And if you like the effect of one arched window, why not place three side by side? After all, when it comes to architecture, it is rare to find too much of a good thing. Three large arched windows will look lovely in a living room or kitchen, where we spend a majority of our time and congregate during social gatherings. You can bet that they will be the topics of many conversations.

They can serve as built-in accents to any room's decor.

A built-in accent is a way to incorporate a decorative feel without actually filling your space with stuff. And arches are not reserved to doorways and halls. Construct an arched wall, build a gothic shelf or use this design to highlight a key feature, like a fireplace. One example that I love is the arch that was built over this French Country Cottage fireplace. And why not further accentuate the arch by painting it a different color? Red is a favorite accent color that will further dramatize the appearance of an arch.

gothic built-in

Pair an arch window with stained glass for added drama.

While we're talking about drama, have you ever considered a stained glass window? You don't need to live in a church to enjoy the pleasures of these multicolored accessories. Just remember that this is a case where a little goes a long way. Add stained glass to a small window above an entrance, or use it to cover part of a larger window. Use the glass to define the characteristic point in the arch. Rather than hiding the medieval origin of gothic architecture, stained glass will further define it since it too has origins from a thousand years ago.

gothic window

They also work well set in A-frame rooms.

Like a gothic arch, an A-frame house features a steeply angled siding that meets at an A-like point in the middle of the ceiling. They are common among beach houses, American colonial architecture and Victorian homes. Do you have an old attic that you plan to convert into a living space? Many attics are also A-framed, and these are great places where a Gothic window will fit right in. The double points from the ceiling and windows will flatter each other. Or, add an arch over the entrance that leads to an A-framed side of the house from another room.

Gothic Arches add curb appeal.

The little extras that make passersby take notice can add value to a home. In addition to the entrance, add arches around your patio and in the form of dormer windows. These are commonly seen in country-style homes and capes. The gothic appearance will be slightly diluted by the overall southern and/or New England style in the home. Conversely, they can be made to look extravagant in a larger, Victorian-era homes. In short, gothic styles are not a thing of the past. Whether you want to adopt a style that is obvious in reflecting the 12th to 16th centuries, or you prefer blending in these old-world additions to modern surroundings, it is possible to do in a visually-appealing and trendy way. Use them to add curb appeal or incorporate them to you home's internal architecture for built-in decor.

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wooden gothic arch

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