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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

Renovation Detail: The Chippendale Balustrade

Posted by Holli McRae on 5/18/15 9:00 AM

In my quest to replace the iron railings on our front porch, I discovered the Chippendale balustrade and fell in love. Affectionately inspired by the work of Thomas Chippendale, an 18th-century English furniture maker, the fretwork is also influenced by Asian designs trends.

The geometric pattern is typically set within a rectangular frame and is often repeated. With careful mathematical calculations, a skilled craftsperson is able to construct the regimented balustrade, which is often found on porches, decks, widow walks and staircases.

The next time you find yourself in a historic neighborhood with well-preserved homes, take a look-see at the balustrades. You're guaranteed to stumble upon a Chippendale or two. Heck, even Thomas Jefferson used them at Monticello.

Chippendale balustrades combine with a custom pergola and garage doors to create an exterior millwork montage. Also note that the rail height is low enough that it does not interfere with the view out the deck windows.


Houzz Contributor. I'm an interior designer, homeowner and founding blogger of the before + after super-site, http://www.raenovate.com/.


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