Awesome Architecture: Amazing Arches

While modern architecture is impressively sleek, sharp, clean, and minimalist – all those buzzwords – it’s often lacking the depth and visual interest of architectural details found in older styles. One statement-making shape that’s unfortunately rarely found in newer homes and buildings is theĀ arch.

Arches are an ancient architectural detail that dates back to Mesopotamia, popularized by the Romans in their implementation of arched doorways as a fortified load-bearing design. Today, arches are largely regarded as a decorative addition rather than a practical aspect; in fact, it’s considerably more expensive to incorporate arches throughout the home than straight-edged designs.

The elegant arch makes a statement in homes of all styles, though it’s typically found in Mediterranean, Spanish, and traditional homes. Here’s how to use arches to enhance your home and bring back some old-fashioned beauty:

Repeat it.

Repetitive arches are timeless, sophisticated, and subtly intensified; they create an illusion of never-ending passageways:

Hall by Carson Poetzl, Inc.
Entry by Maraya Interior Design
Kitchen by Frederick + Frederick Architects
Hall by Studio William Hefner
Heavy on the drama.
Thick arches create an air of drama and intimacy, especially when they’re crafted of stone:
Porch by Summerour Architects

Living Room by Pitsou Kedem Architect
High definition.
Use arches to define zones or separate rooms in an open floor plan:
Living Room by John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA

Living Room by Jennifer Bevan Interiors

Living Room by Zbranek & Holt Custom Homes

Living Room by Tanya Capaldo Designs

Dining Room by Witt Construction
Frame it.
Draw attention to a view, a specific detail, or a niche with an arch over it:
Photo credit:

Entry by Jan Gunn Interior Architecture and Design

Entry by Summerour Architects

Kitchen by Touzet Studio

Hall by De Mattei Construction

Bedroom by ScavulloDesign Interiors

Kids’ Space by Mullet Cabinet
Entry point.
The front door is the perfect place for this striking shape:
Landscape by AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc.

Entry by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Front Door by Doors by Decora

Entry by Homer Oatman, AIA
What’s your favorite almost-obsolete architectural detail?