February 12, 2014

William Lawrence Bottomley


William Lawrence Bottomley was an important architect of the early 20th century.  Born in New York, New York in 1883, Bottomley is recognized as one of the most notable Colonial Revival designers of homes in the United States.  He attended the Horace Mann School and Columbia University before going to study at the American Academy in Rome and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in the atelier of Victor Laloux.  In 1909, he returned to the US to launch his own architectural firm.

During the course of his career, Bottomley designed many prestigious homes.  Most of these homes are located in Virginia, and several are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Today, Bottomley stands out as an architect with great restraint and an eye for harmonizing details.  His homes are of fine quality and are adaptable to modern living standards, keeping them desirable in today’s real estate market.

We’ve seen many imitations of traditional style homes, or “McMansions,” being constructed over the last twenty years.  Most of these homes are bulky and riddled with failed attempts to create a classical estate.  Often, they are not even designed by a trained architect and show an ignorance of the rules of classical language.  In stark contrast are homes such as those designed by William Lawrence Bottomley.  His interior details are as well thought-out as the exterior, each complementing the other with the harmony that comes from all parts being in ideal proportion.



Sarah A. Blank


Sarah Blank Design Studio is a high-end architectural design firm that specializes in high-end kitchens, butler’s pantries, libraries, and master bedrooms, bath suites.  The firm works predominantly in Fairfield County and Westchester County. Our award winning firm, with 33 years of experience, often works beyond the kitchens and baths of a clients home, and designs the architectural interiors for many of the projects that have been commissioned.


Beautiful Bottomley home in Richmond Virginia, overlooking the James River.


Bottomley’s simplistic in his design, yet extremely elegant. One word he always referred to was restraint. He certainly shows this restraint in his details. As an admirer of his, I am inspired by his works.


paneled jamb
Detail of Exterior Pocket Door with a Paneled Jamb.


Library Entablature
Library Entablature


Simple Back-of-House Cabinetry
Simple Back-of-House Cabinetry.


Beautifully Articulated Staircase
Beautifully Articulated Staircase.


The backyard’s scenic view leading to the James River
The backyard’s scenic view leading to the James River.


Arched Exterior Pocket Door
Arched Exterior Pocket Door.