Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Seeking: The Perfect Corbel

We've hit a hiccup in the design of our arch.  Everything worked out fine (measuring issues, always measure twice and cut once!) but we need to choose a corbel with a narrower width.  The one I had originally chosen was 8" wide, and we need 4 to 5" wide instead.

I get indecisive if I look at something too long, and reading all the tiny little measurement numbers caused me to dawdle through all the options just long enough to make me reconsider the classical acanthus shape that I had originally chosen.  Below are options that would fit our measurements, I like the "Damon" corbel on the right side the best.  It looks most similar to the one I originally picked out.  I like how it terminate at the bottom in a leaf shape instead of a roll (unlike the left two) and I don't much care for the kind of gloppy "egg and dart" molding at the top of the Attica corbel.

Although I like the Acanthus style, I debate with myself about whether it is right for the house.  Our house is Craftsman-era, that means linear, boxy lines.  It came about at the end of the late Victorian era in stark contrast to the over-saturated interiors of the 1890's.  Walls were painted, never papered, and wood was stained not painted.  Trim and molding were simpler, rectangular shapes.  

When I started looking, I had convinced myself that the Acanthus style was classic.  Having existed in architecture since Ancient Rome, it's not at all new.  The word "classic" actually means "perfect" and when we talk about the Classical Era in art and architecture history, what we're actually saying is the "perfect" era, or at least as perfect as the early art historians thought art and architecture could be, which is why they named it as such.  So, it might be right for the house, in that it is a classic style.  Plus, the rectangular molding at the top lends some gravitas to those somewhat flowery leaves.  I don't really know.  However, I did start looking at other options that seem more in line with the other trim and molding in the house.

Below are the options that I found.  The "Bedford" bracket below is very true to the house, with a shape that's still very pleasing.  I keep trying to picture it with the arch above it and it sort of confuses me though - maybe it's for a more rectangular opening?  I need to draw it out and see how it looks.

I also like the "Arts and Crafts" corbel, named after a similar house style to Craftsman.  It just seems a *touch* boring though, and I have to prime and paint it, which is boring.  The others come already primed.  

My favorite is the far left "Hampshire" corbel.  It might be the perfect compromise - it's rectangular at the top, it has the leaves at the bottom - but they're oak leaves - which is lovely, and also more geographically correct!  I really love it, but I have to see if I can convince Ben about the shallow 2.5" depth.  Not sure if that will work.

Edit: Ben agrees with my choice!  Wow, I did not think that would happen.  Found the corbel on Amazon Prime, so I get free shipping and Amazon points.  For those of you that do as much Amazon shopping as I do, I really recommend the Amazon credit card.  You get 3% back, and it's calculated monthly, and appears on your Amazon account as a credit (with no expiration date).  Plus, Amazon has almost anything, including architectural details, lighting, etc.  Three percent adds up when you're making big renovation purchases.  Also, another tip, search Amazon.com directly, don't try it through Google Shopping.  Google Shopping must not like Amazon, because they never list them as a seller.

Purchased and due to arrive soon!

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