New Charter Sponsor Brent Hull of Hull Historical

Charter Sponsor Brent Hull of Hull Historical

Hull Historical

I'm excited to introduce Hull Historical as a charter sponsor for Houses Gardens People. Owner Brent Hull, who has a degree in preservation carpentry from the prestigious North Bennett Street School in Boston, is a nationally recognized expert in residential design, historic interiors and architecturally correct moldings and millwork.

Exterior of Brent Hull Hilstorical

He's also the only person licensed to reproduce the historic architecture and millwork at Winterthur, the amazing Delaware country estate of Henry Francis Dupont, which houses historic architecture salvages dating back centuries, including pieces from all 13 colonies.

One of Hull's clients includes Barbara Striesand, a fan of Winterthur, who hired Hull to create millwork for her house in California.

Striesand wrote the introduction for Brent Hull's recent book on Winterthur,

HGP: What are you Obsessed with?

Brent Hull: Learning. Reading. The history of design and styles. I have a growing library of books, and I’m addicted to buying old books and learning from the past. I’m working on a new book, which I hope will give builders and craftsmen a path for becoming master builders and master craftsmen. With the standardization of building products, we have forgotten how to build. I’m hopeful that this will inspire better craftsmanship and better building which is desperately needed today.

HGP: What are you reading now?

BH: I just finished reading The Craftsman by Richard Sennett.

Moorish-inspired architecture and millwork designed
by Brent Hull of Hull Historical

BH: I like museums and the artwork of the early 20th century is very inspiring. A few years ago I saw an exhibit on early modernism highlighting the work of early industrial design of the 1900’s to 1930’s. Some of these simple objects, a vase, or tea pot where stunning. It was very inspiring to realize that even the creation of simple everyday objects can stir the soul.

Gothic-inspired architecture by Brent Hull of Hull Historical

Winterthur-inspired millwork by Brent Hull
of Hull Historical at the Southern Accents Showhouse.

BH: I like pre-Civil War architecture however, I think Greek Revival architecture is especially rich. I think the Americanization of the Greek style communicates the American spirit, a proud democracy, a love of freedom and inherent rights. I love how it is boldly American.

French-inspired millwork and architecture by Brent Hull of Hull Historical

BH: I went to France last summer and was blown away by the building and architecture. I remember in one of the King’s gardens near the Louvre and I was captured by the sense of comfort and harmony of this huge outdoor area. It was like a large courtyard, hemmed in by buildings. I stopped and wondered, why I felt so centered and comfortable, then I noted that it was the architecture around the space that ordered and structured the feel. A colonnade surrounded the garden with columns every 10’ for 200’. The spacing and length created a rhythm and groove that was music-like with a lovely chorus. The buildings had 3 layers with the bottom grounded with doors, tall French door/windows above and smaller windows above them. They were graduated and scaled and the whole composition, the height, the size, the order was very beautiful and peaceful. It was very inspiring to not only experience it, but to see the order that I would have missed had I not learned the rules of classical architecture.

Brent Hull of Hull Historical

English-inspired millwork and architecture by Brent Hull of Hull Historical

BH: I’m inspired by beauty and I love simple pure design. In the past five years I have discovered classicism and I am rediscovering the rules of scale and proportion and the ancient ways of building. Understanding these ideals and then discovering homes, rooms and furniture that adhere, or were built around these ideals, has given me a new ability to look at design and create through this lens.

Brent Hull of Hull Historical

Architecture of Andres Duany, Poundbury Village, Dorset, chosen by Brent Hull

HGP: What architects have inspired your own work?

BH: Having trained in historic preservation, I like architecture with ties to the past. I think a great deal of many traditional architects, John Milner whom I have worked with, Russell Versaci, Gil Schafer, A. M. Stern, and my good friend Christine Franck. I also think Andres Duany is amazing.

Preston Road mansion built by Robert A.M. Stern, chosen by Brent Hull

400-year house in the Cotswolds, chosen by Brent Hull

BH: Many of the styles we admire and copy today grew up in rural and natural conditions. I think of the English Cotswold home, native light yellow stone, steep pitched roofs, small windows, all developed naturally; steep pitched roofs to shed rain and snow, stone because it was readily available, and windows were small to retain heat and because glass was expensive. These natural “styles” develop organically and if we truly want to build in these styles today we need to understand the traditions and history to get it right.

Image chosen by Brent Hull of Hull Historical

HGP: What would surprise most people if they knew it about you?

BH: I enjoy reading comic books.

Mr. Blandings Dream House, chosen by Brent Hull of Hull Historical

BH: I'm a big fan of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. It's a 1940s era movie that inspired the movie, The Money Pit." Cary Grant stars as a NY ad executive who decides to move out to the country and restore a house. They end up building a great Colonial revival era home which was popular at the time. The house is iconic in my mind of the period.

HGP: Who's the actor most likely to play you in a movie about your life?

BH: Jimmy Stewart. He captures the spirit of the “everyman” and I really related to him in “It’s a Wonderful Life” working to scratch out a living for your family, doing the best you can.