Ornamental gardens have complemented North American houses for more than three centuries. As successive architectural styles moved in and out of fashion, however, so did the design of the ideal garden, leading many old-house owners to wonder what garden design fits best with their building. Fortunately, residential architecture can provide important clues to an appropriate landscape.
For most folks, the business end of a chimney is the hearth that throws off the warmth and the mantelpiece that grabs center stage in the room. For architects and builders, however, almost as important is the chimney top.
Architecture is all about the details—Modernist architect Mies van der Rohe expressed this best with his famous statement that “God is in the details.” Shutters are inarguably one of a house’s most significant details; historically, they shielded delicate fabrics from the sun, protected fragile glass from inclement weather, and also offered security, privacy, and ventilation. Now merely window dressing, shutters are frequently misunderstood and installed as an afterthought.