Last week we discussed the importance of what views you see looking out from the inside of your house.
We discussed how to capitalize on, avoid or even create better views from your windows.
As we continue our discussion on views, we can’t forget interior views. If we get creative, we can build spectacular views within our homes.
First, we should consider the sight lines in our homes. This means as you stand in one place/room, what do you see both in the room and beyond?
Consider each corner and wall, and then look at the other rooms you can see from where you are standing.
Rooms that you see together should relate to each other in color and design.
This does not mean all the rooms have to be the same, but they should coordinate. If you have ever been in a home that has different color carpet in every room, you know the disjointed feeling it creates.
Uniform, or at least coordinating, floor coverings are critical in composing pleasant sight lines.
For example, using the same flooring in a living room and dining room unifies the two separate spaces. When going from carpet in a bedroom to tile in a bathroom, the flooring material can change but the colors should coordinate.
Paint is another tool that pleasantly pulls the eye from one space to another.
Again, you don’t have to use just one color. Using different hues in the same color family gives variety and avoids clashing or dueling colors.
Paint companies make it easy to accomplish this by the way they market their colors. Simply choose two colors from the same sample card and you can be assured they will complement each other.
Besides making sure rooms are visually connected in color and design, check out exactly what you see when you look from one space to another.
The worst example would be if you are standing in an entry hall — or any other space — and look into a powder room to see the toilet! (It happens more than you may think.)
The minimum goal is to have nothing offensive visible; the ultimate goal is to have something interesting, charming or unique to draw the eye into the next space.
If you are designing from scratch, a sure bet is to place windows so the eye is drawn through a room and out to the yard. This gives an impression of more space than the house actually contains.
In an existing home, this may not be possible, but you can create pleasant views with works of art, dramatic lighting or displays of interesting furniture or collectibles.
Keep your interior sight lines open to give your home the maximum spacious feeling possible.
Try not to block sight lines with large pieces of furniture or doors you don’t need. Older homes often have doors on everything, from the stairs down to the basement to the hall going to the bedrooms. If you find you never use such doors, you can create more open space just by removing any that no longer serve a purpose for you.
Clear circulation paths will make a home more functional. With our current penchant for wide open spaces, we try to avoid too many actual walled-in halls.
However, the path of the former hall needs to remain clearly defined and unobstructed to enable us to move comfortably and efficiently from one space to another.
Having to pick your way through one room to reach another gives the feeling of a cramped, disorganized space. By dedicating space to defined paths of circulation, you allow visual flow in addition to actual physical movement.
As your eye travels these corridors, consider ways to enhance the views both along the way and, especially, at the end of the path.
If you are designing from scratch, a sure bet is to place a window at the point of termination so the eye is drawn through the room and out to the yard beyond. This gives an impression of more space than the house actually contains.
In an existing home, a window may not be possible, but you can intentionally create pleasant views with works of art, dramatic lighting or displays of interesting plants, furniture or collectibles.
In this case, looking beyond the mark of each individual room is a good thing.
By considering the interior views of your home, you will find additional opportunities to enhance the overall experience of graciousness and comfort you desire to create.
Architects Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the founders of Renovation Design Group, www.renovationdesigngroup.com, a local home remodeling firm specializing in home remodels.