Inside A Classical Designer's Mind: How a Classical Design Begins I

Nestled atop a beautiful Ozark mountain with a scenic view of the valley below, the old world castle Dromborg is a site to behold. Among its many features are the native hillside stone walls, which were complemented using the loadbearing Tuscan Order in cast stone. Behind this strong exterior façade is the centrally located library, where the decorative Corinthian Order was applied. 

Because of the difference in scale and the importance of the room, a sense of grandeur needed to be achieved without overwhelming the space. The Corinthian order was a perfect choice. It created a hierarchy of design, letting visitors know that this room was not a den or TV room, but a formal and historically-designed library.

The major theme is found in the fluted Corinthian columns and capitals and the massive beams they support. The minor theme is the cabinetry of the same language, but at a lesser scale with less ornamentation. Although they are different, both orders are complete.

Creating symmetry in the room took exacting skill and design expertise. With so many elements - massive columns supporting beams, cabinetry, an elevator door, and an over-sized stone fireplace and symmetry was not inherent to the room and therefore not an easy task.


Considerations of the Corinthian Order

The entablature (beam profile) has been adapted to the "jobsite" height, and the architrave was not used.

The clients' preference was to use in-stock, readily available handcarved cherry mouldings and various accoutrements.

Note the diameter of the top of the Corinthian column shaft and the width of the beams. At 10", these dimensions are the same and these elements align perfectly. This also applies to the double columns on the cabinetry and the offset entablature they support.

The deeply hand-carved palmette frieze above the cabinetry is an Instock profile (RH6084) and adds a focal point of rich embellishments to this very important library. All mouldings are in-stock at White River Hardwoods.


In-stock Products

  • Beams and Radius Beams
  • MLD5840
  • MLD5980 1x6
  • MLD5978 1x10

Curved mouldings are made from resin and are identical to the hand-carved wood moulding profiles on the beams. The resin mouldings are stained to match in a natural cherry finish.


North Elevation

Elevator door designed perfectly into cabinetry and room design. Radiused opening, faux-cut limestone leads to a chapel with curved walls and a domed ceiling, replicating the proportions of the Pantheon, but at a much smaller scale. Embellished cornice motif includes the acanthus, egg & dart, lamb's tongue, and palmette.

West Elevation

Full round Corinthian columns used on north and south elevations, rectangular Corinthian pilasters used on west and east elevations. The rusticated stone mantel adds contrast to the paneled cherry walls, and brings part of the outdoors in. This gives the eye a resting place.


David Pearson is a 25-year veteran Designer and recently completed his Masters Degree in Classical Architecture at Georgia Tech. He is a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and has traveled and studied extensively abroad.

Pearson's expertise includes Classically Inspired Designs for both interior and exterior projects.

In this picture, Pearson is in his studio at the American Academy in Rome, where he was recently in residence as a visiting scholar and artist.

On the left side of this photo, you can view one of Pearson's Classically Inspired watercolor renderings.

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