Old architectural stars

As evident in the header design of RowHouse - I'm obsessed with old stars! To me, they say classic, American, old, and beautiful. What else could be better? Growing up near Old Town, Alexandria I became accustomed to seeing these old solid metal stars on just about every home exterior, especially old rowhouses. Now, I enjoy walking around Capitol Hill looking at these and other architectural details.

Here's a bit of history for why they were actually very useful: Tie rods and these star-shaped "washers" were often used to connect the gable walls of masonry structures. The floor joists would hold the weight bearing walls from spreading, so these were often the solution for the non-load bearing walls.

Design idea: Collect a bunch of these stars in different sizes. You can find them at just about any salvage shop. Find some large nails, and nail through the hole in the center to hang on a wall - hang several. If you are using tiny stars, you could even use a thin piece of rope, twine, or ribbon to hang frames, with/out photos in them. ...Or simply just prop up on a mantel or shelf.

(images via flickr)


teaorwine said...

Have you stopped by the newly opened Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town?? Great shop with quite reasonable prices.

BallerinaGurl said...

Hello! Just popping a comment as I did an internet search and came accross your blog. I am a ballerina turned designer and currently live in a row house as I am building a new custom one. What a cool blog site you have here with cool ideas!

Just complimenting you! My blog is family only but thinking of opening it up for design ideas to share with others. You have inspired me!

Have a great weekend!

nunu pepe' said...

With a bit of know how, you could create an intersting side table, placing the star underneath a sheet of round glass. Perhaps using another star at the base to keep it steady. I love stars myself but mine are 1cm x 1cm ;)

RowHouse said...

teaorwine: Red barn Mercantile - not yet, but I need to check this out! Their site looks promising. Thanks for the tip.
ballerinagurl: -welcome! Let me know if you decide to move your blog towards design.
nunu pepe': great idea about the side table.I'm a huge fan of making furniture from salvaged pieces.

Broarne - lantliv som livsstil said...

Very nice stars om the wall

Juliana said...

Actually, you can get the stars new as well--star bolts are currently used to keep older row homes from belling out as they get older and deal with gravity. The bolts are screwed into the floor joists and work like a belt on the outer brick wall.

We live in an old row home and put in star bolts to stabilize our outer wall when we renovated a few years ago.

Pandora said...

That is a fabulous inspiration that has escaped me. I am going to start looking out for these stars myself!

Pandora from Home and Decor

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