3,619.4 Sq. Ft., Exterior Dimension
3,387.4 Sq. Ft., Living Area
Gothic Revival in the United States came into vogue as a domestic building style in the late 1830’s and grew to its nadir of popularity in the 1850’s and was in declining favor after 1865. The major proponent of Gothic design was Andrew Jackson Downing who, in promoting the designs, published the first architectural plan books featuring three-dimensional elevations and floor plans. Downing became the popularizer of the style by stressing that Gothic was a rural architecture style, compatible with the natural landscape. Because of the high, multiple-gabled designs and broad porches, Gothic Revival did not lend itself to narrow urban lots and did become a more rural style.
In 1982, while driving through Highland Country, Virginia, I came across the progenitor of the “Serana,” standing abandoned in a grown-up pasture. Even with the building’s current state of decrepitness, I found perfection in the design. Whoever were the craftsmen that built the house certainly were masters of their trade. I spent hours measuring and drawing their architectural details and building layout.
In developing my current portfolio of modular designs, it was complete joy to resurrect my sketches and drawings of the abandoned house and use the long ago builders’ design endeavors in creating the “Serana”.
A broad Verandah populated with boxed columns and pierced cornices and a turned-spindle balustrade surrounds you as you enter the “Serana” though a vestibule that brings you into a large, inner Foyer with a glazed tile floor. The Foyer features an open balustrade, broken stairway that takes you to the second floor, an elegantly detailed Powder Room and a private entry to a tuck-away Master Bedroom suite.
From the Foyer, you pass through a wide, arched portal into a spacious Parlor designed for seating 8 to 10 people. Centered in the Parlor is an ornately carved oak fireplace mantel and façade with a raised hearth and with a faux-marble surround. A back-lighted, coved and coffered ceiling allows for the creation of an intimately lighted ambiance around the fireplace, and large, single-hung multiple windows and French doors allow natural light to flood the Parlor during the day.
The Dining Room is decorated with a pressed tin cove and frieze and a pressed tin ceiling for period décor authenticity and will seat twelve diners comfortably. French doors take you to a widened portion of the Verandah that can be used as an after-dinner sitting porch.
A large Kitchen has commercial-grade appliances installed into copious cabinetry, up and down, with granite countertops. A country-style porcelain sink, an over-sized Pantry and a 5-person eating bar add design and functionality to the area. Adjacent to the Kitchen is a conveniently placed Laundry/Mudroom with a half-bath. A rear entry from the Patio provides easy outside access to the Kitchen.
The Family Room is designed for a conversation group that will seat 6 to 8 people and is centered on a fireplace with deep, built-in cabinetry suitable for an enclosed media center. Double French doors give easy access to a rear Patio and permit unstinted natural light to illuminate the Family Room during the day
The Master Bedroom is amply sized to accommodate a king-sized bed and major case pieces. A walk-thru closet designed with more that 40 linear feet of double-tiered hang rod space, leads you to a Master Bath with double sinks, spa tub, over-sized shower and water closet. A window niche and an arched portal add attractive architectural details to the Master Bath.
The second floor has two spacious Bedrooms, each with a private bath and over-sized closets. A spacious Office with built-in book shelves could be converted into a third bedroom is needed.
The very private attic floor has an over-sized Bedroom with full Bath, a Reading Nook, and capacious storage areas. The entire floor could also be used as a well-lighted artist’s studio.
Bill Garnett © 2004
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