Sparks - the Blog of Interior Designer Schuyler Samperton


I was out walking Tricky in my neighborhood the other day, when I noticed this handwritten note scribbled on a construction site document.

Clearly a desperate plea, the author was begging the developer to create something beautiful.  Full of gorgeous small-scale apartment buildings from the 1920s and 30s, my neighborhood has a lovely charm that is slowly being overtaken by unattractive, architecturally-soulless, multi-unit monsters.

In his book, Creating a New Old House, Russell Venturi outlines the specific path to architectural authenticity for a number architectural styles, from California Spanish Colonial Revival to Cape Cod Cottage.  He explains (and insists!) that the details matter – the thickness of a column, the proportions of a window, the slope of a roof.  All of it has a significant impact, so with that purity of intent in mind, I wanted to capture some of the special buildings and details, that make my neighborhood so great.  With a little luck, perhaps the new architects and contractors will take a walk around the block, pause for a moment to appreciate the past, and actually create something “nice.”

A few of my favorite places, old and new…

Citrus trees scattered in front yards

Tudor was big on my block in the 1920s

These numbers tie in perfectly with the Hamilton Arms vibe

New Spanish Colonial done right

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