Architectural Foam – Why Should You Use it in Your Project

You have seen the beautiful homes that captivate your attention as you drive through million dollar additions and the estates that dot oceanfronts with their huge columns and architectural moldings around windows. The massive amount of stone and concrete that goes into these structures is just mind-boggling. You think of how a touch of this elegance could dress up your own home and now it can with architectural foam that looks so real you have to touch it to make sure.

What is Architectural Foam?

Architectural foam is made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) or molded urethane. You have seen the peanuts that are used in packing shipping items; EPS uses the same concept only on a larger and more stable scale. Once treated with high-density coatings, foam columns or windowsills will hold up to the worst of storms just as stone or concrete molds. EPS is also a great insulator for your home that can lend an R-4 factor around windows and interior trim along ceilings and walls. A tough coating will guarantee years of wear.

How do you install Architectural Foam?

Installation of architectural foam is much easier than stone. There is no need for large crews, heavy equipment or running the risk of chipped pieces being delivered. Lightweight and available in hundreds of different shapes and forms, pieces are simple to maneuver and cuts labor costs in half. If your foam column or molding does happen to be damaged through shipping, most companies can have a new one delivered in a matter of days, not weeks or months like stone columns.

Make your Real Estate Dazzle

The aesthetic effect that expanded polystyrene forms can have on your property will increase the value and make it more noticeable to potential buyers because of that extra architectural detail that you have spent the time and money to create. People look for creative beauty and something that will set their property apart from the rest. Architectural foam is wonderful for making this happen with bases, arches, moldings, columns, capitals, wall caps, window sills, brackets, balusters and louvers that can be painted to match any interior or exterior. There are even chair rails and fireplace enclosures molded to take on the look of wood.

Where can I find EPS for My Home?

Manufacturers of expanded polystyrene and urethane either advertise directly or through dealers online. Many have been in business for over thirty years and offer specialty services for your individual needs. A unique place to visit is www.architecturalfoamflorida.com for a huge array of architectural foam and foam columns and interior selections featuring one of the largest warehouses and showrooms in the country. With shipping 24/7 and low costs, you can begin your own project of creative architectural designs today.

Style Guide – Decorative Stone Clocks

Natural stone is quickly becoming one of the most popular decorative materials around the world. This is for a number of reasons, chief of which is our collective rebellion against the molded plastic world of fake doodads and flashing lights. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to architecturally replace all of their interior features with natural stone, and even the installation of just a simple slate floor can be costly and time consuming. That is why decorative accessories, such as natural stone wall clocks, are such an important option for homeowners today.

The great thing about stone clocks is that they are made from real pieces of a soaring mountainside. That’s the real, natural material. But unlike costly and messy architectural installations, a stone clock can be placed into a home using a simple metal peg in the wall.

There are a wide variety of types of stone that can be used in the manufacture of stone clocks. Marble is an elegant stone that has often been used in works of architecture, and art, throughout human history. Usually found in its polished form, marble clocks are a sophisticated way to incorporate the natural world into your home.

Slate is the rustic counterpart to marble. Fierce, multicolored, and clefted dimensionally, slate clocks tend to be wild and untamed pieces of decorative beauty.

Sandstone and travertine act as sort of the middle point between the two types of stone. Generally these materials have a honed, flat surface, which makes them more like marble, yet the colors, and unique, wild features found in their surfaces, gives them the power and spirit of slate.

Onyx is a translucent natural stone, which can be made into a truly unique glowing clock. What happens is that the stone is crafted into a box, and then a light is set behind the face of the piece. When the light is turned on, the glow permeates the stone, filling it and revealing a wealth of hidden colors and features.

Aside from different types of stone, each type is also usually available in a multitude of colors and multi-colors. Multi-colored stones are those which display more than one color in their surface. These colors often mingle with one another to create unique patterns, and one of a kind features which can give a clock a distinct personality.

Other considerations for stone wall clocks include the size, shape, and the type of face that is used. These can often be mixed and matched with different types of stone, to personalize the piece that you purchase.

Architectural Styles

Architectural styles denote the classification of architecture in terms of form, techniques and materials in an integration of architecture designs from over lapping periods of time. There have evolved various and diverse types of architectural styles over the years; listed blow are some of the more popular ones.

Art Deco

The Art Deco style was an echo of the Machine Age and became popular in the 1920s. It was stylized by geometric decorative elements and a vertically oriented design. Towers and other projections above the roofline enhance the vertical emphasis of this style while flat roofs, metal window casements, and smooth stucco walls with rectangular cut-outs are symbolic of the Art Deco exterior. Facades are marked with zigzags and other stylized floral, geometric and sunrise motifs. A distinctly urban style, Art Deco in American architecture was used widely and popularly for commercial buildings during this period.

Colonial

More than simply the design elements, Colonial architecture refers to the time period in American architecture, between the early 1600s, when the first colonists began to build settlements and 1776, the year the colonies declared their independence from England. Economical, refined and basic, the colonial designs reflect the buildings practices of America’s early settlers. Although Colonial architecture is often thought of as stately and symmetrical with an orderly arrangement of windows, it actually comes in several sizes, shapes and styles reflecting the diverse cultural traditions of the English, Dutch, Spanish and French.

Contemporary

Contemporary-style homes became hugely popular between 1950 and 1970. There were two types of contemporary American architecture – the flat-roof type and the gabled roof type. These were characterized by odd-sized and often tall windows, lack of ornamentation, and unique mixtures of wall materials like stone, brick, and wood. Both types of designs were one-story tall and designed to incorporate the surrounding architectural landscape into their overall look.

Georgian

Fanciful and royal, the Georgian architecture was styled in honor of the first three monarchs of England, all of whom were named George. Formal and majestic Georgian homes are known for their refined and symmetrical design with paired chimneys and a decorative crown over the front door. Another unique feature is the orderly row of five windows across the second story. With sport side-gabled roofs, Georgian houses are two to three stories high, and constructed in brick. Besides symmetry, this kind of architecture is symbolized by rich classical detail such as large Greek or Roman style columns, elaborate entryways with beautifully arched windows resting atop them and elegant ornamentation.

Gothic Revival

Gothic Revival became popular in the mid 1800s. This style was largely influenced by English romanticism and intricate wooden millwork. It was characterized by Gothic windows with distinctive pointed arches and featured exposed framing timbers and steep vaulted roofs with cross-gables. They also included extravagant features such as towers and verandas.

International

European architects initiated the modern style of architecture in the 20th century. Using materials such as concrete, glass and steel, it was devoid of ornamentation or decoration. The architectural landscape in the international style introduced the idea of exposed functional building elements such as elevator shafts, ground-to-ceiling plate glass windows, and smooth facades.

Prarie House

The first Prairie-style house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago in 1893. This American architectural style peaked between the years 1900s and 1920s and focused on modest homes that blended the natural beauty of the Midwestern landscape. It consists of two main styles – boxy and symmetrical or low-slung and asymmetrical and the materials used are brick and clapboard. It has low pitched gable roofs with eaves extending well beyond the walls, creating an effect that allows it to blend with the scenery. Other details included pronounced overhangs, stone belts to accentuate the horizontal designs, rows of casement windows, one-story porches with massive square supports as well as stylized floral and circular geometric terra-cotta or masonry decorations around doors, windows, and cornices.

Shingle Victorian

This American architectural style was used widely in cottages along the trendy, wealthy North-eastern coastal towns of Long Island and Newport in the late 19th century. Wide porches, unadorned doors, windows, and cornices, steeply pitched roof lines are symbolic of this style. Continuous wood shingles cover the entire surface of the home, giving it a cohesive look. Some unique features in this style include dormers, recessed balconies, and side towers with bell or conical roofs structured under the shingles.

Tudor

This architecture was initiated in the 1920s and 1930s, but continues to remain a popular architectural style in suburbs across the United States even today. It is characterised by half-timbering on bay windows and upper floors with facades that are pronounced by one or more steeply pitched cross gables. Patterned brick or stone walls, rounded doorways, multi-paned casement windows, and large stone chimneys are also some of the features of this architectural style.

Victorian

Victorian architecture in America originated in the second half of the 19th century, when America was identifying new approaches to building and design. Victorian styles include Second Empire, Italianate, Stick, and Queen Anne among others. Advances in modern technology ensured the incorporation of ornamentation such as brackets, spindles, and patterned shingles into the Victorian designs.

Front Entry Design and Architecture

The front of your home sets the visual tone and appeal for your guests when they first arrive at your front door. Whether you like it or not, your front entry may be the deciding factor if your home looks inviting and welcoming or the complete opposite.

Materials such as stone, copper, wood, steel and brick can be used to finish a specific landscaping architecture or create a new one. Your house’s exterior paint color may be the most visible design decision you make, especially if showcased with exterior lights. The landscaping ideas in the front and side yards offer both a welcoming transition from street to door and a buffer between your home and the public spaces it shares. Architectural details on your home can enhance your front area and help set the tone for your interiors. Popular home designs in the U.S. include Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Cape Cod, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Prairie Style, Art Deco, Modern, Mid-Century Modern, Ranch Style and today’s sleek, utilitarian LEED-certified “green” design, among many other architectural styles.

If you are trying to enhance your front entry, the colors and architectural style details you choose can provide all beauty you are looking for. The right set of landscape pictures can add dramatic impact to your garden plans and landscape plans.

Following are four design hints to make your front of house an everlasting positive image of you and your family.

Light the way

Have you ever been to a beautiful home in the daytime, but when you drive by the house in the evening the front entry is dark and uninviting? Landscape ideas that include architectural lighting can enhance your home, and make your home more inviting and safe to walk up to. Landscape lighting can also be included with architectural details, as they light the walkways, sidewalk, and front porch of your home. Use up lighting to also enhance architectural details like columns, niches, and trim enhancements on your exterior.

Highlight architectural period details

Whether your home is a modern and minimalist home or it is a Victorian styled home from hundreds of years ago, architectural period details are what makes your home unique and personalized. Look at your front entry and look for details that can be painted, enhanced or updated. Trim around windows, and doors, shutters, and cornice details can be painted in a contrasting color to stand out, or blend with surrounding features. Look at the front façade of your home as a whole and determine which details run around the perimeter of your home. Roof eave details and gutters can be highlighted with color and can make a bland front façade more visually appealing.

Mix and match materials

Often times the best way to beautify your front entry is to use existing materials and enhance them with a variety of others. Brick, stone, siding, cedar shingles, exposed wood and metals can all enhance each other in separate details of your front entry. To unite your front entry with other areas of your front façade, use the same geometric shape, but differentiate with colors, scale, and materials to bring your theme together. Strong geometry can beautify a front entry, and can be mimicked in you porch decor, front door, and even roof details.

Simplify your front entry

Have you ever noticed that the smallest details can often make the biggest difference and impact? Instead of using color to signify the front door, how about changing your front door style and shape to mimic surrounding exterior details? If you have stairs leading to your front door, use mosaic tiles and quarry tiles to highlight the way. Even simple walkway banisters and handrails can make a huge presence. Try updating your existing house numbers, wall mounted mail box and door hardware to complete the look!