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A Closer Look: Colonial Roots, Fresh Approach

Norwegian-inspired post carvings personalize this home and bring its structural support to an artful level 

Homeowner Dave Arvold's carvings were inspired by old Norwegian stave churches. He used routers, gouges, and chisels to carve scenes from Norse history and intricate vine, leaf, and basket weave patterns into the posts that support his house. He offers up flowers to the street side of the house while Scandinavian legend unfolds on the inside.

Read the article Colonial Roots, Fresh Approach  to learn more about the Arvold house.

Before construction began, homeowner Dave Arvold customized the 1-ft. x 2 ft. posts that support the house with carvings, both inside and out.
On the street side of the house, a trileaf pattern of flowers based on medieval Swedish metalwork top the posts, which are made of four 6 x 12s laminated together.
The posts are revealed on the inside as well, some painted, and others left unfinished. The painted post along the left side of the photo has a delicate basket weave pattern carved into its top, as shown in the next photo.
Interlocking diamonds create a subtle woven effect on this painted post top.
In the office/library, this carving depicts a scene from the Legend of Sigurd, and the sword he forged to slay the dragon.
Like the Sigurd carvings, the serpentine vine patterns were patterned after those found in medieval Norwegian stave church. This one is from the Urnes Stave Church.  Located on the Lustra fjord northwest of Sogndal, the Urnes Church was built from 1100 to 1150 AD. 
Another post in the sitting room reflects patterns from the Urnes Church. Behind it, notches in the ceiling let the windows extend a foot higher, extending the view and gathering all the more daylight.
A window in the office/library bookcase provides a bit of cross daylighting and a view in a surprising place.

Photos by Charles Miller 

From Fine Homebuilding187 (Houses) , pp. 60-65 July 1, 2007