Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drayton Hall, Georgian Palladian Design Inpiration

I just got back from a very rejuvenating family vacation week in South Carolina (the 2nd of 3 trips I will be making to the area in 2010!) When we weren't kicking back on the beach or trolling for crabs, we found time to make a few little sightseeing trips. One of these was to Drayton Hall, a plantation home located just north of Charleson on the Ashley River. The home is a fine example of Georgian-Palladian architecture as you can see the nearly perfect symmetry achieved below. (I tried to stand right in the middle so as not to throw it off!)

There are a handful of plantations open to visitors, and some with a lot more to see than Drayton Hall, but none of the others are perhaps as architecturally significant; and so we chose this one to visit. Built between 1738 and 1742, the house is one of the only plantation houses still intact after Civil War, hurricanes, an earthquake and fires have reaked havoc over the past 2oo years. The other thing that makes this structure really special is that the interiors are basically untouched since the days that the house served as a permanent residence to the Drayton family...

I literally gasped when I walked through the front door to find these achingly beautiful pine floors, the patina on them could never be re-created, I don't care how good of a floor guy you have! The blue-ish gray paint color was unearthly, and was original to the 2nd owner in the mid-1800's if I understood my guide correctly.

Every wall, fireplace (I think there was one in nearly every room!) window, door and ceiling was decorated with breathtaking molding and panel detail. The carvings were distinctly Georgian in nature and Mr. Drayton definitely envisioned himself an English gentleman. This hand-carved plaster ceiling remained intact in the Withdrawing Room. (And there is Mr. Maynard listening intently at the bottom left!)

The 2 sides of the house are mirror images of each other architecturally. Perfect symmetry was so important that when necessary, there were even false doors fashioned to achieve the intent. (The door panel no longer remains but once covered the brick facade seen here.)

A view of a Drawing Room window seat...

Here I am (4 months pregnant I might add!) enjoying a view of the Ashley River before going home...

If you are in the area, I highly recommend paying Drayton Hall a visit. The tour is short and sweet but will leave you feeling plenty inspired. Here is a link to the official website: Drayton Hall


  1. Yay for cute baby bellies! So glad the secret is out! I totally miss my days of traveling lots and sightseeing....enjoy it while you still can. Your days are numbered my friend....hehehe. See you later today! xo

  2. You mean I should cancel our trip to Thailand when Baby Maynard is only going to be 2 months old!!! Still have to talk to the doctor about that one:)


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