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  from Professional Remodeler, May 2007
Design You Can Feel
by Meghan Haynes
Excerpt from article—

2006 Professional Remodeler Best of the Best Design Award
Gold Award: Best Conservatory/Sunroom

The common presumption when adding to an almost two-century-old historic Georgian home is that preserving design authenticity is key. But although maintaining authenticity was key in this Virginia sunroom addition, the exacting homeowners wanted casual living space that was modern and of its own time.

They came to HomeMasons of Manakin-Sabot, Va., via referral, two years after engaging another architect who, in the estimation of HomeMasons president C. Mason Hearn Jr., had created a thoughtful but uninspired replica of the existing home. The homeowners couldn't articulate what they didn't like about the approach, but they simply weren't connecting with it. Hearn, however, saw the problem: the project draft was mimicking what was already there. More than being a Georgian, the home also had influences from Federal architecture and hints of other classical styles that together, made the house unique beyond its age.

Hearn saw parallels between the house and the Thomas Jefferson-designed Academical Village on the University of Virginia's campus that was so attractive and fascinating to him: different architectural styles and interpretations blend together in design with the attention to details, proportions and craftsmanship.

"Good preservation ethic for a nice historic home like this means the addition shouldn't look like it's always been there," he says. "An addition should be of its own time architecturally, and it should be respectful. To simply replicate what's there is an injustice to the rest of the home, and it's architecturally deceptive."

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