Using Arches to Create Architectural Interest

by Carmen Corbin on January 13, 2012

For thousands of years, arches have been used by builders for both their structural strength and architectural appeal.  The ancient Romans were the first to make widespread use of the arch, and many of their aqueducts, churches and public buildings still stand today.  Other cultures throughout the world also incorporated the arch in various ways, and these graceful curved elements can frequently be seen in and around private homes as well.

Whether you’ll soon be building a new custom home or you’d like to add some architectural interest to your existing home, read on for a few ideas on how you can use arches throughout your property to make your house stand out from the crowd.

Cutting Corners

As you consider your home improvement plans, let’s start with the foyer or entry area.  You can easily convert an open, squared off doorway or passageway into a curved arch opening by simply filling in the corners with drywall and using an arch kit from a company such as CurveMakers (www.curvemakers.com).  Very basic kits start around $200, with higher prices for custom and solid wood kits that can be stained or painted.

Interior Arches

As you look around your home, it’s fun to think of surprising places to put an arch, like a small hallway alcove with built-in shelving or a coat closet with a curved door and trim.  Grander impressions could be made by using stone or fluted columns for dining room entries or even curved ceiling beams in a home office.  If you’re going to be doing some bathroom remodeling, think about putting an arched opening between the sink and shower/toilet areas, or installing a frosted arched window near the bathtub or over the door.

Exterior/Outdoor Arches

The semicircle shape can also add a lot of interest to your grounds and home exterior as well.  Curved top iron gates, arbors, pergolas and small wooden bridges are welcoming features.  A rounded, covered front portico or arched garage door will greatly enhance your curb appeal.  In the back yard, consider surrounding a shaded patio or pool area with a row of arched openings for a bold statement.

Using Curved Accessories

You can continue the curved theme by balancing a room with round accessories, such as mirrors, pictures or pillows.

For more ideas on the creative use of arches in your home, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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