Archways are structural elements of a building that both span a gap and support a structure. They have been used in buildings for nearly 4,000 years, most famously by the ancient Romans, because not only do they have a structural function but they look great, too. In typical arches the stress of the load on top of the archway is transferred to either side of the opening and then it is pushed downwards.
If you are designing a new building, or preparing a brief for an architect, it is a good idea to incorporate an archway or two as a feature, even if your overall look is to be contemporary. Many modern homes have no sign of an archway, but it is relatively easy to convert a conventional doorway to an arched shape one. If you are considering arches in your home, take some time to think about how you might apply them for the most striking impact.
Arched corridors look great in hallways and passages which can be relatively dull spaces that simply connect on area to another. An arched corridor looks best with some supporting archways that break up the space into multiple zones, creating mini rooms. Make a feature of your archways by using a different material from the rest of the corridor. This will give you an additional texture. Wood is an ideal material, but why not go for something a bit more artistic, like feature tiling?
Think of an archway and you may well have a typical Roman arch in mind, one with a semi circle at the top of it. Arches need not be constrained to this design only. With modern building materials, a much longer span can be made. Shallow archways, that span at least double a Roman arch, look great in modern and open plan homes. A shallow arch can create distinct zones in a multi-function room, without shutting them off from one another.
French Doors With Arches.
Open plan uses of archways are numerous. Nevertheless, it can be desirable to have open access for some of the time whilst retaining the ability to make two distinct spaces. If you have a design in mind where you want this sort of flexible living, a good idea is to go for an arched French door. A glazed doorway, set within an archway, will give you the best of both worlds.
Some people love exposed brickwork and would use it over and over again in their designs. For others, it is a look that they will avoid at all costs. It is a matter of personal taste. However, one place where most people are agreed that brickwork looks good is in an archway. There is something about the way the bricks are skilfully arranged in a curve that is appealing. Perhaps it is because you can see the construction of the arch, and its functional nature, that helps a brickwork arch gain an aesthestic edge. If you have a hankering for exposed bricks, use them in an arch.
Make Moulding Masterworks.
If you have an entrance way that you would like to convert to an archway go for moulding. A skilled craftsman will be able to make a moulded arch relatively easily. The arch will have no structural benefit, simply look good. Consider some ornate designs out for you archway, rather than only going for a smooth curve.
Not many people have arches in their bathrooms, but they look great. An arched bathroom will put you in mind of an Oriental bath house. Why not make an archway that creates a separate space for your bath or shower enclosure? This will create two mini rooms in your bathroom.
Arched windows are a stylish addition to any home. If you like the idea of an arched window, go for several in close proximity to one another. Keep them in the same proportion to one another, but feel free to vary their size. Arched windows will make a trendy and chic look for any bedroom or living space.