Monday, September 21, 2015

The Skyline Effect

I read an interview with Brian McCarthy where he mentioned learning in his early career about using the furnishings and artwork in a room to build a skyline that moves the eye around the room. I love the term skyline, by which he means the varying heights of the furnishings and artwork guide the eye around the room. It really is like a skyline in that you are seeing it as you first take in a space. I learned it as a wave - your eye should travel in a gentle wave-like motion around the room, with no drastic jumps up or down. While I think it's more common now to talk about the rhythm of a room including all the elements (colors, textures, shapes, positions) which guide your eye through a room. But I am still a believer in the importance of the basic "skyline" effect.

An example of this is the bedroom at left where, if your eye was going around this room from left to right, it would start at the lamp, go up to the artwork, straight across then down to the lamp on the right. To be truly effective, this gentle wave-like motion would continue throughout the rest of the space.

Windows and window treatments should also be incorporated into the skyline. This can be a little trickier with very tall windows, but a little careful planning should do the trick.
As an example, the stripes on the panels in this living room, while not only raising your eye, also lower it into the room. So the rhythm in this snapshot begins with the artwork, down to the lamp, up to the window panels, straight across, then the stripes lead you back down into the room.

Of course there are many variables that are included the rhythm of a room. But I believe the "skyline" is where it all begins.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Longing for a New Cigar Box

I used to love getting ready to go back to school in the fall. It meant everything was new, and not just my clothes. Not only did I get new notebooks, but also pens, pencils, crayons - and that wonderful new cigar box to hold it all. Those days are long past, but when September arrives, I find myself yearning for things to help me organize my office, but (just like that cigar box) aren't necessarily intended to do that. So assuming some of you have a bit of the same yearning, I've taken the liberty of sharing with you a few of my favorite repurposed office organizing tools.
This is a great office organizing tool!

One of the things I love is the 3-tiered hanging baskets often used in the kitchen to hold fruit. While useful in the kitchen, they work very well in my office to hold things that clutter up my desk, like checkbooks, mail, and Post-Its. And while the more traditional style works just fine, and comes in all kinds of different materials (even copper!), I really like this cutie.

Mason jars are also great organizing tools. While I love them for outdoor summer decorating, they are wonderful ways to corral paper clips, pens, and scissors in my office. Egg cups are also a clever way of organizing smaller items like stamps. And if you set up a pegboard, you can easily attach either of them to the board to keep them off your desk. For the Mason jars, put them into a wine rack to keep them together in one place.

Gym baskets are a great tool to keep projects separated. Whether it's notebooks, folders, or (in my case) fabrics, photos, paints, and miscellany for different clients, putting what I need separated by client makes life so much easier. If  your "clients" are different projects, they work just as well.

Of course there are all kinds of beautiful, colorful tools ready-made for office organization. But for me part of the pleasure is in finding unique uses for objects I love. Whichever you do, just make sure it brings a smile to your face every time you see it. That can make an office day a fun day!