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Styles That Inspire II

Posted on Sep 1, 2020

Continue reading how some of Riverbend’s past clients found their style inspiration and how those perfect moments beautifully influenced their timber frame dream home’s design. Did you miss the first three stories? Read, part one here.

Craftsman Style Homes – A Walk to School

craftsman style timber home
A Riverbend fully custom designed Craftsman style home in Michigan

Born in response to the Industrial Revolution, Craftsman style architecture has never really gone out of style. There are eras of history, however, where the much-loved Craftsman home dominated architectural design. Baby Boomers know this all too well. In fact, entire communities of Craftsman homes were built after World War II. For this reason, many a Riverbend client grew up in one of these storied structures. And if they didn’t, they sometimes wished they had, much like Marc*.

Craftsman architecture has never really gone out of style. There are eras of history, however, where the much-loved Craftsman home dominated architectural design. Baby Boomers know this all too well. In fact, entire communities of Craftsman homes were built after World War II. For this reason, many a Riverbend client grew up in one of these storied structures. And if they didn’t, they sometimes wished they had, much like Marc*.

Marc’s Craftsman

“We didn’t have a lot growing up in New Jersey,” explains Marc. “We were certainly loved, but everyday as a kid, I walked to school and it wasn’t a short walk either. I always passed by this beautiful white house. It was just…perfect. Perfect lawn, perfect roof, perfect porch, nothing like where we lived.”

A man of few words, Marc says, while money was tight, he later attended college, and eventually started his own company. But he never forgot that perfect white house.

Shattuck craftsman timber floor plan design
Modifications to our Shattuck floor plan concept created Marc’s childhood dream home

“So many times I would think of that house,” he admits. “I don’t know how many times as a kid I would say to myself, ‘Someday I’m going to have a house just like that.’ I didn’t know it then, but I do now. That house was built during the height of the Craftsman architectural era.” Years later, Marc added to his childhood admiration for Craftsman homes with a new-found one: authentic timber framing.

Like many Riverbend clients, Marc first stood amidst a timber frame home when a close friend built one. “I attended his Riverbend raising,” he explains, saying he was immediately struck by the process of a timber frame being raised into the sky. “I felt like I was watching history take place. When I went back for the housewarming party, the finished home was even more impressive than I had imagined.”

“I felt like I was watching history take place.”- Marc, on watching his first timber frame Raising

While Marc’s architectural style choice of Craftsman was a given, finding a company that could incorporate timber framing into a Craftsman could have been a challenge had he not previously known about Riverbend. Needless to say, Marc now lives in a Riverbend designed Craftsman style timber frame home, inspired by a childhood dream. He modified the Shattuck, shown above, adding an elevator to accommodate his parents who now reside with him in New Jersey.

See all our Craftsman style architectural design concepts.

While many Craftsman style homes are single-level or modified for single-level living, the subsequent advent of Mid-Century Modern design made single-level living desirable due to aesthetics as opposed to practicality.

Mid-Century Modern Style Homes – Falling Water

The Wright design concept, part of The Moderns™ series,

Today, modern design style beautifully incorporates into timber framing resulting in wildly popular designs. This isn’t surprising because, regardless of life-stage, modern style design’s expansive windows and emphasis on outdoor living spaces, appeals to a wide cross section of the populace. Christine is perfect proof.

Christine’s Mid-Century Modern

“I made the mistake of taking an ‘Introduction to American Architecture’ class in college,” laughs Christine, a regional newspaper executive. “It was pretty obvious from the start that architecture was not my forte but it was my first introduction to the school of Mid-Century Modern design and I especially adored Falling Water.” For those not familiar with Falling Water, it is an icon of the Mid-Century Modern era of architecture. The clean lines, low slope roof, and expansive walls of glass of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residence inspired Riverbend’s aptly named Wright floor plan concept.

Christine says her love of all things Mid-Century Modern led to a Palm Springs vacation several years ago, during that town’s famous “Modernism Week.” While there, she found additional design inspiration in the most intact neighborhood of Mid-Century Modern style homes in the world. “These homes,” she explains, “aren’t just perfectly maintained. They are filled with mid-century furnishings [i] and even sometimes have cars from that era in their carports. It really got me thinking about what [her husband] and I could do with our Florida property.”

There was, however, one small issue. Unbeknownst to Christine, her husband had been browsing Riverbend’s website, becoming interested in a timber frame home. “Luckily, a meeting of the minds happened,” says Christine. “Once I told him I had to have a modern design, he admitted he wanted a timber frame, and showed me your [Riverbend’s] website. It only took a few minutes to realize we could have both.” She’s referring, of course, to The Moderns™ series from Riverbend.

“Even the kids are excited, and that’s saying something because teenagers are hard to impress!”- Christine

Fast-forward to the present, and Christine and her husband, a contractor, just signed a Riverbend Design Development Agreement (DDA) to modify the Wright conceptual design. In a bit less than two years, Christine’s version of the Wright will grace a waterfront community, perfectly blending with both the neighborhood and their property’s slight slope. “We are so excited,” she says. “Even the kids are excited, and that’s saying something because teenagers are hard to impress!”

Explore The Moderns™ collection.

Some homes stand-out, delivering a stunning impression regardless of how many times you see them. Some homes nestle into their community or landscape as if they had been there from the very beginning. Traditional style homes can do either — or both. It’s a wonderfully flexible, classic home style that never fails to exceed expectations.

Traditional Style Homes – Simply Home

traditional timber frame home style
North Carolina Traditional style timber frame home by Riverbend

The natural appeal of a Traditional style timber frame home rests on more than one element. To start, Traditional style homes look great and function well virtually everywhere they are built. Prefer a relaxed lifestyle on green, rolling hills? Traditional style architecture delivers. Own a lot amidst a historic community? Your home seamlessly blends into the area. For Sai, who happened upon a vacant lot for sale in a new development, Traditional style design simply made sense.

Sai’s Traditional Home

“I had no idea what kind of house to build, or even if I would actually build a house. I just knew the property was in a great neighborhood and the price was right, making it a solid investment,” says Sai, an educator, author, and part-time real estate speculator. Upon seeing the lot, however, Sai’s wife and eldest daughter insisted he consider building his long-talked-about “dream home.”

Pheasant Ridge floor plan design
Sai and his daughter, Amoli, worked with Riverbend to modify the Pheasant Ridge concept

“He had been talking about our family dream home since I was a kid,” says Amoli, Sai’s adult daughter and (co-designer.) “Of course that didn’t happen while we were living at home,” she laughs. “But I’m thankful he and my mom live in it now and, of course, we kids and our kids get to enjoy it too.” So, why a Traditional style timber frame home? Sai explains there were two reasons. But, it began with simplicity.

“I like simple,” he says. “Simple is my word. My daughter calls it a clean aesthetic, but either way I don’t like fussy or ornate things.” In addition to its decidedly un-fussy style, Sai says his and Amoli’s version of the Pheasant Ridge, modified with their Riverbend designer’s assistance, fit into the new development; yet, it somehow stood-out.

“It’s a Traditional home style. So it perfectly fits onto the neighborhood.”- Sai

Standing out is the other reason Sai found inspiration in a Traditional style of architecture for his timber frame home design. Both father and daughter admit feeling like the new development’s first phase of homes, underway at the time of Sai’s property purchase, were a bit too similar. “Not cookie-cutter homes for sure,” Amoli emphasizes. “But certainly very, shall we say, ‘homogenous’, right down to the landscaping.”

Approximately two years after closing on the lot, Sai, together with his wife of nearly 30 years, ceremoniously turned the key to their new Michigan home’s front door. “It’s a Traditional home style,” says Sai. “So it perfectly fits onto the neighborhood. But the timber trusses, gabled dormers, and custom landscaping make it far more beautiful than the other homes.” His wife agrees, “Our home has presence,” she smiles.

The well-known versatility of Traditional design is due, in part, to its simplified roof lines. These roof lines most often form gables on the sides of the home while gabled dormers add architectural interest. Most Traditional design style timber frame homes incorporate natural stone, clapboard siding, or both, lending an air of both warmth and timelessness to the home.

What Inspires You?

Whether you find your inspiration from a timeless architectural style, a childhood memory, or an urge to own something special, the Riverbend design team works with you to bring your cherished vision to life. Make your dream a reality with a design you love– for the home you always wanted.

Are you ready to start your dream? Download or order your 30-page booklet today.

*some names and identifying details have been changed or omitted based on individual owner preference



[i] including a number of authentic Eames and Nelson pieces

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