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. A graceful home invites people to come inside.
New homes should look more carefully at the older varieties to remember why they appeal.
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 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.
Oversized windows are not conducive to charm.
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 charming 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 house a graceful home from the first glimpse.