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Friday, April 9, 2010

Architectural Details: On the Fence

As we all know, you only have one chance to make a first impression. So why do so many people with beautiful homes not pay close attention to the fences that frame their property and are the first thing to greet their guests? For so many of us fences are a necessity to keep a dog or kids in the yard or maybe to keep a neighbor's dog out, and so it's easy to just head out to Home Depot and pick up their stock picket fence or call your local fence company and get a cedar stockade fence or dare I even say chainlink fence. But after we pour so much time and effort into the inside of our homes, shouldn't the fence get equal attention? Even if you live in a little bungalow, having just a little customization to a fence really sets the tone for what people are about to enter into. I'm lucky enough to live in a place that is rich in customized homes from the grand mansions of Bellevue Avenue to the colonial homes of Newport's Historic Point neighborhood and literally everything in between. Here are a few that caught my eye when cruising around town (I stuck to wood ones only-the stone walls and iron fencing are going to have to be an entirely different post). I am obsessed with the chevron fence (above), and I love the shadow it casts as well. Not only is the pattern great, but it's not white. A lot of colonial homes match the fence color to the house color which can make even your standard fence look a lot more customized.
Here, just changing out a few of the rungs in the center creates an entirely custom look.
I love the curvature of the top rail in this fence that helps it smoothly "step down" the hill it sits on.

The two tiers of pickets in this fence and the finials on each post create added interest.

I was surprised to find that Walpole Woodworkers has really expanded their line of fencing and offers a wide selection of fencing with a more customized look. I'm really liking their Lattice Fence which would be great in place of your standard gothic fence while still providing a fair amount of privacy.

And their Nottingham Fence is so charming and it just seems to beg for a beautiful rose garden to sit by. It would be perfect for a cottage style home.

Walpole Woodworkers also does custom designs and historical reproductions. I am in love with this custom diamond fence pattern. Unfortunately, my dog would jump right through those diamonds. I have to admit that while I knew Walpole Woodworkers did high quality work, I went to their site to use them as an example of what a limited selection of stock fences there are, but I was really surprised by some of their amazing options now. So the good news is that a more customized look for your yard is very easily accessible. And remember that your home begins at the curb so put that "welcome mat" there.

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