Inside A Classical Designer's Mind: How A Classical Design Begins III

The initial step was to establish the proportion of the mirror in a perfect "golden section." Height and width proportion, recognized as a design device, is used by the Ancient Greek Architects as well as modern-day Design Professionals. 

The golden section creates beauty and balance — this proportional layout of the mirror and flanking pilasters helped create the lower cabinet layout.

The lower cabinets were designed with one large center bay and 2 flanking side bays. This was not only a practical layout, but reminiscent of a 3-bay Triumphal Arch.

The lower cabinets' paneled pilasters align vertically with the mirror pilasters. The top drawers align horizontally with the decorative frieze panels above the main bay doors.

While designing a large — yet feminine — furniture-look vanity, combinations of small panel moulds created lavish detail without becoming overbearing.

Pearson's task was to design a proportional vanity, using White River's™ in-stock product to oblige the client's preference. Pearson's design process was inspired by a White River™ mantel (MAN9018), which inherently had pilastered columns and a fluted frieze creating a surround. Pearson appreciated White River's™ EZ search engine when he went to import the CAD image of this mantel for the vanity design.


  1. Use of rosette at top of pilaster — to create a break in the frieze
  2. Alignment of base pilaster — to upper pilasters — that flank large mirror
  3. Paneled pilaster has base moulding and delicate ornament

From the above dimensions, you can see that the vanity wall is expansive. To satisfy proportionality, this space demanded a large, furniture-like vanity piece. The mantel (MAN9018) that inspired Pearson is an inset to the left of vanity.


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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