Country Living Bathroom Chair

Terry cloth slipcover in Country Living

Photo by Claire Richardson

The Face of HomeI’m currently reading a book by architect Jeremiah Eck, The Face of Home: A New Way to Look at the Outside of Your House, and he has some easy-to-follow “hallmarks” about what makes the exterior of a house work:

  • look at how the shape and scale of the home relate to its site
  • mass (volume or bulk) and scale (relative size of the house’s elements) should be balanced
  • the exterior should be a guide to what’s going on in the interior of the house
  • all the smaller details (materials, color, windows) should make sense visually as a whole
  • details should come from the whole–textures, trim, and accessories should give it character and “flow naturally from the other choices that have already been made”

Jeremiah Eck Shoebox ChallengeHis point about mass and scale were especially interesting. He pointed out that the massing and scale of many new houses today “just seem plain wrong” because the “massing tends to be to boxy or clunky, and scale seems out of proportion to the people who use the house.” I’ve noticed this on many houses, but now I know what it is technically.

Here is one of his firm’s houses that he uses as an example of working with the site. He calls it the shoebox challenge because of the regulations they had to work within (20 ft. wide, 65 ft. long, 35 ft. wide).

The book has lots of great exterior (and some interior) photographs, and he also uses examples from other architects too.

This past week the Chicago area had snow–accumulating, traffic gnarling, slushy snow. Sure, we should be used to winter here, but mid-April is pushing it just a bit.

I was on the Rug Company‘s website today, and their floral rugs helped me forget the snow and think spring.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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A recent Country Living article on a renovated Federal-style former schoolhouse in New York’s Catskills, included this image of the master bedroom. The ceilings remind me of our home’s unfinished attic that I dream about one day remodeling into an upstairs escape, with built-in bookcases, much like this bright room.

Country Living bedroom

“The low-pitched roof created a seemingly unusable three-foot-high gap on each side of the room. A carpenter was contracted to fill one side with bookshelves, and the other with cabinets and storage drawers.”

The photographer for the story, Lucas Allen, also has some interesting photos of interiors on his website.

Lucas Allen image

(The Sound of Music references will end there.)

To sum up why I’m starting this blog: In my free time I enjoy reading magazines and browsing websites. My husband and I recently bought our first house, and since then my magazine reading and web surfing has become focused on interior decorating, house renovations, etc.

I had been keeping a binder with my favorite clippings from magazines and creating Google notebooks for images from the webthen I came across the blog desiretoinspire, which inspired me to start my own.

The image below is from a NY residence by interior designer Sheila Bridges (www.sheilabridges.com); I love the stripes and the rows of artwork on the wall. It’s one of the first images I saved to my “Decorating Inspiration” notebook, so I thought I’d start the blog with it as well.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and posts here, and please send me links to your blog or your favorite blogs so I can enjoy them too.

Sheila Bridges interior