colonial + federal styles // DESIGN HISTORY

The American Colonial & Federal periods went from 1607 to the late 1700s.  As might be expected, decoration was at a minimum, and design favored the hand-made The period is split into several main styles: Jacobean, French Colonial, Spanish Colonial, Dutch Colonial and Georgian.


Josiah Dennis House + Modern Ontario Home

Early American Colonial homes featured a centered chimney, designed to act as central heating, reaching all areas in the home.

This modern home in Ontario also features a centered chimney that is open to the public rooms in the home.  The chimney breaks through an angled roof and skylight for an creating an even more dramatic feature.


Colonial Saltbox + La Grange in Quebec

The saltbox building style has a long pitched roof that slopes down in the back.  It was a unique feature of the Early Colonial home that was not derived from Europe but instead from a common Colonial container called a saltbox that was used for curing meats.

This modern version features a cut-out on the steeper slope side for a balcony.  It also shares the centered chimney with its colonial counterpart.


The Windsor chair from the Federal Period often featured a rounded back and arms.  Round poles fit into the back of the saddle seat and make up the backrest.

This modern version shares the the same round back and saddle seat, but is updated by the simple curve of the back into the arms.


The gateleg or drop-leaf table is made up of one fixed section and one or two sections hinged leaves.  The main identifying feature of the gateleg style were the extra legs which would fold out to hold up the leaves when opened, allowing the table to be used for dining or as a console table.

This updated version from Crate and Barrel features the folding gatelegs but is much more simple in its design, with straight legs and a simple top as opposed to the William & Mary version with turned legs and a round top.


Wentworth House staircase + Rose Uniacke custom table

The turned legs on this custom-table have a spiral effect going into a simple round top.  This is reminiscent of the turned wood found throughout American Colonial period including these stairs from the Wentworth House from the end of the 17th C.

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