how’s your view?

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, My House49 Comments

A door frame is not just a door frame.  It’s a frame.

Whether it’s intended or not, it frames out the view of the room that is beyond the opening.

A couple of years into blogging, which involved taking lots of pictures of my home, I started to take notice of this idea.  How does a room look through a door frame?  How does one room invite you in from the next?

What are the common design threads that tug on your senses and delight as you round a corner?

When decorating a home is approached like this, it isn’t just a building with connecting rooms.  It becomes a home with a story that is told throughout.  The story might be one of color or style or something else altogether.

As I’ve been working through this house, specifically the first floor that is full of “frames”, I’ve been keeping this in mind when I make choices about the colors used in each room as well as the placement of furniture and accessories.

What story am I telling in this collection of connected rooms?

And I’m not just looking at the view, but what is surrounding the doorframe and how it relates to the room beyond.  That doesn’t mean everything has to match, but the decisions should support one another and play nicely together.

I know I’m a little weird and perhaps overly attentive to things like this…

But sometimes when the house is empty and quiet, I’ll pause for a few minutes to enjoy the views we’ve created and the story our house is telling.

I see a color story of blues, greens, grays, whites, and wood tones.  I see a love of ironstone, textiles, and things that are old.  I see form balanced with function and style balanced with hominess.

And I like what we’re saying through our house and what our house says about us.

So, how’s your view?

how’s your view?

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49 Comments on “how’s your view?”

  1. My view is full of colour and dogs. Every room in my house is a different colour, connected by the same trim and soft cream hall colour. Neutral is not my thing. It looks lovely in photographs but it doesn’t work in my world. The only other neutral colour in the house is on the kitchen cabinets/countertop and those are taupe and grey. The walls, however, are pistachio green.

    I also have 3 large dogs so there are dog beds everywhere!

    1. Ha! I am so behind on my cleaning, too. It was hard to clean with my shoulder, so my house is a bit fuzzier than usual!

      1. I highly recommend a Roomba. Like you, I have hardwoods throughout and a dog. I never have sand or dust bunnies any more
        . Roomba has made such a difference for me.

  2. I have so enjoyed seeing your homes story come to life! I have done the same thing… made sure each room relates to the next and I’ve enjoyed seeing the views and the story our home tells… a love of cream and warm colors, lots of antiques and old wood, leather books, pewter, pottery and pieces that have stories I’ll never know! I hope it invites in those who enter Behind My Red Door!

    1. It does make such a difference in the flow of a house, doesn’t it? It sounds like you have created a beautiful, inviting space.

  3. I have a cottage palette of colors in my house. Aqua, spring green and coral with lots of white and wood floors. There is color so it feels cheerful and cozy but still serene rather than busy. My favorite thing to do is look through doorways at the colors beyond. Ice never seen a post about it but I definitely do the same thing you do!

  4. Same thing at my house, people walk in and kinda get the gist of who we are from the front door….love of transferware, (red, blue, brown), they know we love antiques, textiles, history, nature and color. Neutral background to show case all our treasures. Main color schemes are Red and Green, and all throughout the spectrum of that color scheme, light, dark, pink to red (only my kitchen has a nod to aqua, one of my favorite colors, but it is on the green spectrum). I have learned to use green as a neutral, practically every color will go with it, God used it, so will I. I learned early i liked to move furniture around so, almost every upholstered piece can move from room to room, so all need to fall in the color spectrum, and yes most have color. Your house is beautiful, was a good house before, but now it is a beautiful HOME.

    1. You hit on something that is very smart and that is to have pieces that can move from one room to another give yourself lots of options! I also like how you see using the full spectrum of the color palette (pinks and reds, greens and aquas). As long as the colors are in the same family and relate to one another, it works!

  5. Very thought provoking post. Just in time for us as we are deciding on trim for our house and I have been planning how each room will flow together with colors and style. Thank you!

  6. Right now my view is a mess! I’ve got projects going on the whole downstairs in my home. But back during the holidays, my daughter had come in the back door of our home (this door goes out to backyard and we don’t normally come in this way) and she told me how pretty our little townhouse was from this view. I think the reason she said that is because it wasn’t our normal view of the rooms.

    1. I love when you discover a new “view” in your house. In our last house, I sat down in a chair that I rarely sat in and discovered what became my favorite view of the dining room through a doorway. It took me years to notice it!

      1. This has happened to me also….sit in a different spot….and it’s really wonderful to see a view of my house I never noticed before! How could I go years and not see it!

  7. I’ve noticed this in your photographs before – how your rooms flow so nicely. You definitely have an artists eye. My home needs much attention in that area,

  8. A disadvantage of the open floor plan that many people love is that one sees everything at once. When you have individual rooms, one sees only a glimpse and the suprise awaits. Open floor plans do not have wall space for art, etc.

  9. Seeing your beautiful rooms make me want to rearrange all the rooms in my home… but since morning brought another covering of snow, I will instead curl up in a nice warm blanket, read a book or take a nap!!! Marion, you have so much energy— wish you could bottle it!!! Love your style. Blessings.

  10. I love your approach to various ideas/rooms/decorating/life, etc. Your blog is just one of my favorite. I get tons of email everyday but I have learned…..to never skip your post…….because I always gain something valuable and useful to my life.

  11. I can see why you stop and look. You have so many beautiful views! I’m not there yet, but working on it. Slowly but surely!

  12. ” I’ll pause for a few minutes to enjoy the views we’ve created ” – I do the same thing – it’s not weird, just typical of a creative mind I think, we see patterns forming and notice visual balance or imbalance in so many things!

    We have a view from our lounge room through the entry way into the kitchen/dining, then if the door is open beyond to the laundry room & I get great pleasure from looking at the ‘layers’ unfold and how they work together.

  13. I always make furniture placement and decorating decisions by looking at a room through the doorway! I want to see what someone will see who is in my home for the first time. Your home and it’s views are lovely, but I’m not a fan of the desk that blocks the view of that gorgeous green cabinet in the studio 🙂

    1. It’s funny how personal these things are. I actually love the desk in front of the green dresser. It creates layers of visual interest, I think but to each her own!

  14. My view is snow
    window – snow
    Next window – snow
    Back door – snow
    Front porch – snow
    Mud room – wet boots
    Car windows – snow
    Dog’s nose – snow
    Etc etc etc
    Welcome to Minnesota Marian
    Don’t buy summer flowers til mid May
    Only two and a half months to go
    I hope my roof doesn’t cave in
    Tomorrow I’ll try to be more cheerful
    But today my view is looking out at more snow rapidly falling and blowing around everywhere
    And tomorrow night it will be ten below zero
    Out of room to put all this snow
    I dream of bright fuschia geraniums and sitting in the sun with the birds.
    Some days are just grumpy.

    1. Robin,

      I’m in northern MN and have the exact same view 🙂 I actually thought that was what the post was going to be about (snow) since Marian recently moved to MN!

    2. Ha, ha…you gave this such a humorous spin, I had to laugh. Sorry you are so snowed in, hope relief is coming soon.

  15. I love this idea! We live in a home that is over 100 years old and we are needing to slowly remodel it. I am going to keep this idea in mind as we redo everything (there is absolutely NO insulation in our home and so there will be lots of gutting going on) and think how I want each room to speak from the doorway.

  16. The view I love best of yours is the view into your studio! Lovely and wishing I had a space of my own. I’ll have to work on that! Loved this post and the words you used to describe our “rooms with a view”.

  17. I love the flow in your house Marian. The recent house tour & these photos clearly demonstrate how well you’ve achieved that. I suspect that’s because you’re consistent in the styles, textures and colours that you love. Your colour palette throughout your home reminds me of the colours at the beach and how the ocean changes colour in different lights.

  18. My view says changes need to be made! But, i love what you said and i will keep looking until i have it right.

  19. I want to place a Johnson brothers HIS MAJESTY turkey platter above the range and below the range hood. It is a large, heavy 20″ platter. My wall/ backsplash is tiled with common ceramic tile. There are framed windows on either side of the stove area. Center to center in the trim is 38.5″ . I was inspired to ask you for ideas when I saw your platter hanging above the door way on conventional brass spring clamps. This patter is too heavy for that. I have tried to imagine creating a rail or shelf or hanger bridge between the the window trim strips. The platter rim rises 2.5 inches from the counter surface, platter on counter top. I don’t see the option of inserting photos here. Any ideas for me or others wanting to flat mount ironstone?

  20. Love your color palette and I fell in love with your mural all over again today. Your house has a great flow that is very inviting, especially now, with all the touches of green.

    I think of green as a neutral (God trimmed all colors of flowers with green, right?) and I like to pair it with cream. I also like to mix greens as I do in the garden. A blue spruce as a backdrop for a dark green juniper and a yellow green ornamental grass is surprisingly cohesive. Same goes inside the house.

    I try to stick with neutrals (green, mocha and cream) for expensive and more permanent items and bring accent colors in with more changeable, less expensive items. Accessories in burgundies, deep oranges and russet reds, blueberry and blackberry tones in the late summer, fall and early winter. Then after the holidays, I like to pare back all the accessories for a simple green/cream pallete till the weather warms up and then I throw in some coral for spring/early summer. Always with lots of natural wood and stone, as well as copper, bronze and brass and leather touches.

  21. Love your choice of words here, Marian and your pics are gloriously beautiful, as always.

    My favorite of all your views is a tie – that incredible mural you painted, and your really cool “butler’s pantry” area that you soooo were genius doing it that way. Just amazing ideas. You are so creative.

    Stay warm. I love winter but getting sick of always being so cold. We have all new roof, insulation, doors, and windows – but I am still cold and have my space heater on high. My hubs loves a cooler house so we keep our thermostat at
    the low temp of 62. I am too old for 62. Thank God for space heaters and nice Irish wool sweaters, haha.

  22. I believe this is one of your best posts ever. It’s so obvious, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it discussed before. After reading today’s post, there are a lot of girls out there looking at all the rooms in their homes through doorways. I applaud you.

  23. Hi Marian! Great post! I find your home to be very soothing to my senses when I see pictures of it. You’ve chosen a palette that lives well together. I find it very appealing. I’m still working on my view at the present time, lol. It’s a mess right now and it’s driving me bonkers, lol! Hopefully I’ll find a resolution soon. Enjoy your weekend! 😊

  24. My view this morning is of my favorite room, my family room in my classic Cape Cod home. A white painted brick fired, white beams and triple built in bookcases add tons of character! I chose this cozy home over an open floor plan for the “views” too! Love your blog, Marian!

  25. Your home is simply BEAUTIFUL!! You have such a great and creative style about how it’s all put together. I enjoy seeing each and every post.
    And, BTW, I purchased the Feb/Mar/Apr issue of “In Her Studio” yesterday and to my great delight, there is a spread of your studio. How wonderful for you to be chosen for this delightful magazine. I follow it closely as there are so many wonderfully creative artists/designers highlighted.
    Congratulations!!!
    Sincerely your fan,
    Deb

  26. What a great blog entry! I don’t think it’s weird or unusual to enjoy the view from one room to another. I think you are addressing two different design concepts:
    1. Consistent color scheme
    2. Creating views into the next area of the house
    It reminds me of garden design work in which you try to create different garden rooms with passages that intrigue you to move from one room to another. I think it is subconsiously pleasing and increases your comfort in a space.
    Thank you for such an insightful and helpful blog!

  27. This is a classic principle of garden design that I have always employed, considering the “long view.” It works in houses as well. I like to consider the views from every vantage point and have my belongings arranged to be viewed from every angle. It is especially important for placing artwork!

  28. I have been doing this too for ages in my home – in fact its probably the main factor for deciding layout. What am I looking at when using that room and am I seeing the most beautiful parts of that room from other areas of the house. I just find it so depressing to get peeks into other rooms in the house and see mess.

  29. Square Pillars and curved entrances surround my dining room that serve as a frame for the front part of our home. My favorite thing to do at Thanksgiving every year is to sit in a different chair to view the other rooms from that vantage point. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that appreciates this artistic point of enjoying a home. I really wish home builders would continue to frame each room. Carpentry work is the most exquisite detail of a beautiful home and framing each room is very important.

  30. I agree with Anna.. this is my favorite post that you’ve done. I absolutely love how your home transitions from space to space with the common colors and design. I never tire of greens and blues! I just finished remodeling our kitchen and took down the wall between the dining/living room and kitchen. I am forced to create continuity beteeen all of the spaces since nearly every room is visible from the kitchen now! After years of choosing favorite colors to decorate, I finally have everything neutral with earth tones so I can change up the seasonal colors throughout the year! I’m loving the ability to change it up! I also love the calming homey neutral backdrop. Thank you for your tips and inspiration!!! I’m from Apple Valley. Love having you in Minnesota!!

  31. I love this post! I’ve been following your blog for years and is the only one I consistently come back to. I love watching your new home evolve into a place of warmth.
    I went through my home and looked at each room from the perspective of it being framed by the door way. I had never thought of this before, probably because my home is so small and it is hard to stand back and get the view that your home has. It was very enlightening.

  32. My view right now is from kitchen table into “Spare Oom”, our guest bedroom/office/creative stash room/clothes ironing room/ place for me to have phone conversations in our small apartment without bugging my husband’s tranquility:)

    I have been slowly trying to create rooms that flow, either between the color palette in each area/room, or between the style palette in each room. Besides the mess (can I use the excuse that I’ve been sick for a month?), I see: a love of books and CD’s; a love of comfy furnishings; warm oak and black painted pieces; a green bookcase that adds a pop of color and ties in the green accessories and the trees outside; glass and stoneware in the kitchen in various shades of red, blue, and white; an overall palette of woods, tan, cream/white, with pops of blue/white/red. Also, a love of children, as there are sometimes piles of classroom stuff in the living room, bedroom, or on the kitchen table. It doesn’t seem as if one is looking at a flag because the palette includes Federal blue, teal blue, aqua, Navy blue, Air Force blue, Christmas red, rose red, apple red, and several greens. The books lend color, too (although, I’ve culled my cookbooks down to just red, blue, white or green covers, is that weird?). So fun to hear others’ descriptions of their homes.

  33. I just discovered you so I’m a new fan here! Love this post! May I ask where you purchased your drapes you have in your living and dining areas??

  34. This is a concept I discovered quite by accident while beginning to decorate my new (to me) home, 7 years ago. After hanging some photo ledges in my family room I loved the way the double doorway framed the view, and have strived to make this a trend throughout my home

    Love your blog and your various projects! Keep them coming!

  35. I love this concept. Love the idea of a door being a frame…not sure I ever thought of it that way, but it’s so true. Such a neat perspective! Beautiful rooms in your home!

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