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Spindle Styles and History

gray and brown Victorian house

Spindles are an often overlooked part of your home’s design. Adding a new style of spindle to your deck can go a long way in adding character to your outdoor space. Finding the right type of spindle can be difficult because there are several different styles and some are better suited for specific styles of homes.

Classic Spindle

Neoclassical architecture is mostly found in government buildings like the ones in Washington D.C. or classroom buildings on older college campuses. Large, white columns will support the porticos that extend over the building entrance. While this style is typically reserved for bigger buildings, you can find Neoclassical architecture in some mid-century townhomes. The prominent feature that carries over from government and classroom buildings is the portico that hangs over the front door. With homes, the portico entryway is scaled-down and takes up only a small portion of the front of the house.

A Classic style spindle can be identified by its ornate, symmetrical accents that are both subtle and smart. Having this style on your front porch area will harken back to the time when this style of architecture was the standard.

Colonial

You can immediately recognize a colonial-style home by its symmetry, abundance of front windows, and in some cases, a large porch that extends across the entire front of the house. Some of these houses don’t have any porch at all and just a door with two or three steps up. It’s truly a historic style of home that is recognizable by its simplicity.

American Colonial homes evolved from the homes built on some of the first European settlements in America like Jamestown. 17th Century cabins are also considered to be an early version of the Colonial home. You are likely to find this type of home in New England and Pennsylvania. 

If your Colonial home has a porch or back decks, a Colonial spindle is the way to go. This style is characterized by rectangular tops and bottoms and rounded accents at the bottom, top, and middle of the spindle’s middle region.

Heritage

The Heritage style spindle is versatile because of its ability to complement most American architecture styles. Because of the subtleties of its accents, you can find it a nice way to decorate your Colonial home’s porch or the deck on your Early American house. If you are looking for something that embodies the qualities of S&L’s other popular spindles.

Whether you live in a Vintage style home out west or a Victorian home in the Northeast, Heritage spindles are a great option to bring style and elegance to your deck or porch.

Vintage

Vintage style spindles typically suit Victorian homes. These types of homes have a lot of depth, meaning, the second floor might have a small deck or the top floor might be a cylindrical tower or turret with a coned roof. Sections of the home may jut out slightly This is in stark contrast to the colonial home that is symmetrical and plain.

If your Victorian home is lacking the appropriate spindles to tie your house together, Vintage style spindles are a fantastic option.

Early American

Following the colonial-style home that was prominent in the 17th century, houses in America evolved beyond their roots.

The 19th century saw the rise of Greek Revival architecture. This style of home was popular not only in the northeast but also out into the midwest.

Greek Revival homes have porches that are typically supported by large columns but will also feature spindled railings in between the columns. Roofs are gabled and have a low pitch. The Greek Revival style is seen in its purest form in buildings like city halls and some older churches.

Around the same time, Gothic Revival was gaining popularity in the Northeast. These houses are made out of a variety of building materials, including brick and stone. The most recognizable feature that all Gothic Revival homes have is steeply pitched roofs. This style of architecture results in unique home designs where one Gothic home could look entirely different than the one down the street.

When it comes to spindle choices, the Early American style of spindle compliments this eclectic style of home very nicely. If you live in an Early American home, these spindles feature rounded accents that will undoubtedly complement any rounded features of your home, whether that be a window upstairs or the large, Roman-inspired columns on your porch.

Plain

Plain spindles don’t align themselves with any one style of architecture which gives them a lot of flexibility. They can be used in a Colonial or Victorian home. Plain spindles lack the flair of the other styles mentioned but can still be an attractive option nonetheless.

S&L’s plain spindle has squared ends and zero accents. From top to bottom, it is a long 3-dimensional rectangle shape. If you like simplicity, this is the spindle for you. People might not make comments about its ornate design, but you can be confident that you are investing in a high-quality product.

If you feel that one of these styles could suit your deck, check out S&L Spindles for their wide array of spindles and balusters that come in a number of sizes. Our products are high quality, affordable, and ready to paint straight out of the box.

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