The art of grace

A graceful home invites people in at first glance offering a beautiful exterior with the promise of an equally pleasing interior that will make one feel welcome and comfortable.

 

A friend recommended The Art of Grace by Sarah Kaufman. I love the concept of choosing to go through life in an exemplary way. It doesn’t necessarily mean being the best at something but doing something in a way that makes life better, more beautiful and more graceful. Thinking about this idea when applied to homes made me think about initial impressions. One of my first estimations of a home is its ability to welcome.

The new homes being built in my area commonly have large windows without mullions. The windows perforate large areas of the walls exposing much of the interior to anyone passing by. To retain some privacy the next step is to install plain white shades. The end result is a big white box without any clues as to what is inside. Being allowed to catch glimpses inside a home allows one to imagine what life is like for the inhabitants. Just as a woman wears a modest dress but exposes her collarbone or a slight view of her leg with a discreet slit.

One of my favorite Winter Park homes along Lake Virginia.

One of my favorite Winter Park homes along Lake Virginia.

One of my favorite Winter Park houses above handles the privacy issue quite well. Many cars pass by the front of this house daily yet when inside one feels sheltered and unaware of this fact.  The outside view shows shutters that are slightly folded back. At night this allows the soft lamplight within to peek through. Often times the front door is open revealing the staircase just beyond. Pictured here, the door is opened just slightly offering a subtle welcome. The sunroom on the far left has cafe curtains for light to flow in above yet providing the room’s occupants privacy in their tasks.

Rarely have I seen the shades, of the house pictured above, pulled up offering views inside. While I don’t care for this look it is understandable as it would be like a woman parading around in her lingerie. Too much exposure.

This house handles their windows the same way. As it is located on a very busy street these shades will probably never open.

This house has nice curb appeal. It sits on a quiet peaceful street without a constant stream of cars passing by. Once again, the large windows don’t allow for privacy so the windows are covered up completely reducing the pleasing appearance.

The softness of curtains enhances a home’s welcome.

Seeing touches of curtains pulled off to the sides of a window is a soft welcoming look. Above, the lovely arched windows of the first floor have an added layer of natural woven blinds.

The fluidity of the curtains above contrasts beautifully with the strong geometry of the architecture. The way they gracefully hang and are pulled back beckon one inside through the tall arched opening to see what awaits.

Proportional sizing of doors and windows makes a house more attractive and reduces the need to cover them for privacy.

Keeping windows and french doors narrow limits views inside. The louvered doors shielding the breezeway are charming and allow light through. A solid door would have been attractive as well but slightly less inviting.

Narrow windows keep exposure to a minimum. The vines covering the stone facade, the open windows, and the shutters tilted protectively inwards make for an extremely attractive inviting exterior.

Another example of proportionate windows and doors. A welcoming table and chairs encourages guests to linger.

The heavily shaded windows on the second floor are not particularly welcoming however the cascading window boxes counter the effect creating an overall softness.

Despite the upper windows closing off views to the interior they remain hospitable by being slightly ajar. Opening doors and windows is a common trick of photographers.

Casa V Interiors can make your home welcoming from the first glimpse.

The adventures of 2019

2019 was a year that was inspirational, productive, creative, mostly happy, but also a bit sad.

 

With most of my children in college or beyond, I had more time to explore. My 2019 was full of adventures.

There were great trips.

San Miguel de Allende.

San Miguel de Allende.

San Miguel de Allende.

San Miguel de Allende.

Overlooking the Amalfi Coast from the Il San Pietro di Positano.

Overlooking the Amalfi Coast from the Il San Pietro di Positano.

Mission San José in San Antonio.

Mission San José in San Antonio.

Mission San José in San Antonio.

Mission San José in San Antonio.

Which meant trying some new hotels.

Casa Privata in Praiano, Italy.

Casa Privata in Praiano, Italy.

Casa Privata in Praiano, Italy.

Casa Privata in Praiano, Italy.

XV Beacon Hotel, Boston.

XV Beacon Hotel, Boston.

Delicious food was eaten.

My attempt at the delicious cake made at Casa Privata for daily breakfast.

My attempt at the delicious cake made at Casa Privata for daily breakfast.

We can never eat enough Mexican. Maya, NYC.

We can never eat enough Mexican. Maya, NYC.

New friends were made.

Darling Leo at Casa Privata.

Darling Leo at Casa Privata.

My new friend Lionel invited me for lunch.

My new friend Lionel invited me for lunch.

The charming and creative Cynthia Cazort Collins in her studio.

The charming and creative Cynthia Cazort Collins in her studio.

Goodbye was said to my childhood home.

At least I got to see all of my family for a dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.

Goodbye was said to a friend.

The talented soulful Cicero Greathouse sadly left us this fall.

The talented soulful Cicero Greathouse sadly left us this fall.

My mother gave us a scare but she got better.

My mother and Claudia pre-surgery.

My mother and Claudia pre-surgery.

It was another year of great projects with wonderful clients.

The "before" of a new project.

The “before” of a new project.

There was endless Instagram inspiration.

I searched for beautiful houses…

A gracious home seen in Atherton, California.

A gracious home seen in Atherton, California.

A Spanish beauty in San Antonio.

A Spanish beauty in San Antonio.

and secret gardens.

A memorial garden discovered at the University of Richmond.

A memorial garden discovered at the University of Richmond.

There were some things that got away.

A pair of Mexican sconces seen at Round Top that I wish I had brought home even though I didn't have a spot for them.

A pair of Mexican sconces seen at Round Top that I wish I had brought home even though I didn’t have a spot for them.

This lovely rug would have spiced up my hallway.

This lovely rug would have spiced up my hallway.

I can always count on Ponce though to stay with me as my trusty companion.

As soon as Dad goes to bed Ponce jumps up on the sofa. He adjusts the pillow just so.

As soon as Dad goes to bed Ponce jumps up on the sofa. He adjusts the pillow just so.

Casa V is excited about beginning a new decade and all that will come in the years ahead.