the Not So Big House: Interior Views

Houses are usually designed to take advantage of outside views, with a lot of thought given to getting the windows in just the right places. But we also spend a great deal of time looking within the house, which makes the composition of interior views equally important. If these views are thoughtfully composed, the house becomes beautiful to look at, wherever you are.” Sarah Susanka

In the first home we built, I enjoyed the sightlines from the reading room to the second floor stairway. I liked seeing those posts floating upstairs. However, this wasn’t a forethought plan.

The sightline from the reading room to the basement stairs opening was an unpleasant oversight. It appeared like a lost mountainous cavern awaiting a cougar’s den. I hadn’t considered sightlines in this house, except for the view from the front entry. The sightline of guests!

I understand the notion of open concept and why people like it. I’ve lived in a southwest facing home with tons of light and living, dining and kitchen rooms all essentially in the same room. Feeling a part of a bigger space, a bunch of people experiencing the same space together seems like a bigger space to enjoy.

As a home educating family now, we don’t want to be in the same space together all the time. So semi-open space works for us.

So how will it feel sitting at the island, viewing the slats of the stairs heading upstairs? What will I think of seeing through to main entry from the Great Room? Is there enough space in the front entry for guests to comfortably pass through, and will they have a view into the Great Room, out through to the lake?

Space, and how it used, overused, or smushed, affects our overall experience of our homes.