Searching for Nashville architects designing classical Georgian houses in the Belle Meade neighborhood? Look no further. Ken Tate Architect works nationally.

Searching for Nashville architects designing classical Georgian houses in the Belle Meade neighborhood? Look no further. Ken Tate Architect works nationally.

I have had the privilege of designing three contemporary Georgian / Federal houses in Belle Meade over the last ten years. The Belle Meade neighborhood was started in the early 21st Century when Colonial and Classical Revivals were the prevailing styles. However, in this particular neighborhood, Georgian and Federal homes seemed to be much more desirable than other historical styles. So, I and all of my three clients (separately) wanted their own houses to follow those same early prototypes. In the Colonial Revival period, Georgian and Federal styles were ingeniously adapted to more modern lifestyles by illustrious architects of the period such as David Adler, Mott Schmidt, Phillip Trammel Shutze, Charles Platt and John Russell Pope just to name a few. So, while my three Belle Meade projects were all entirely different, my approach was the same: to channel the creative development of the early 20th Century Georgian and Federal Classicism into houses that work for today's lifestyles while still conveying the spirit and aesthetics of those time-tested styles.

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To achieve this, it was not easy! Besides the necessity for correct proportions and massing, I also needed to use natural materials that were similar to, or the same as, the ones used in the Colonial Revival period. So all three house's exteriors were designed with the following: salvage slate roofing, handmade brick or native Tennessee fieldstone for walls, painted horizontal wood siding in either salvage Douglas fir or mahogany, painted wood custom-made double-hung windows with light restoration hand-blown glass (in the same woods as above), very detailed wood cornices, dormers and entrance doors (in the same woods as above) using Classical Georgian and/or Federal designs, cut stone (Indiana limestone) or Pennsylvania bluestone paving at walks, terraces, porches, porticos, etc. Likewise, all three of their interiors were designed with custom handmade Georgian-style brass door and window hardware (the brass is unlacquered of course!), salvaged wood flooring (chesnut, pecan or heart pine), custom-made classical doors, cornices, casings, baseboards, etc., classically designed paneled rooms (painted wood, perfectly matched cypress and heart pine), ashlar stone flooring (Pennsylvania bluestone), painted kitchen and bathroom cabinets in simple straightforward styles to echo the utilitarian nature of those rooms in the period, classically designed wooden stairs and stair railings (metal stair railings were not typically used in this period), the occasional cabochon-style marble flooring in master bathrooms to emphasis and reference back to the classical nature of the house, etc.

Of course, one can still fail in attempting to design these Colonial and Classical revival houses if one doesn't possess the experience, talent and wherewithall to do so. So, please, whatever you do, if you are looking for architects capable of designing these Nashville houses hire someone like me or Gil Shafer or other such talented architects before ever starting.

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