The most overlooked thing in your decor and why you should be aware of it…

Sight line: a hypothetical line from someone’s eye to what is seen (used especially with reference to good or bad visibility).

Oxford Dictionary

What’s that now? Sight lines?

If you haven’t heard this term applied in design and decor let me break it down for you because this often an overlooked trick that can make or break a space.

The purpose of sight lines in Architecture and Design is to highlight a feature, to draw your eye to something in particular such as a wall of windows framing an amazing view or a floor to ceiling fireplace wall. Often times you won’t even notice this trick because you were too compelled to look at the feature itself. This, my friend, is good design in which an entire space has been constructed to highlight that particular feature, be it with the architecture, finishes, clever furniture placement or effective lighting.

Dining room view from the front entry

Try standing at the entrance to a room in your home and take note of what your eye naturally focuses on. Most often this is the sight line in that space. Sometimes the sight line is obvious, like looking down a hallway in which your eye is naturally drawn to the end of that hallway. In this case the architecture of the space has created a focal point for you. In some cases a room may have more than one entrance so take note of the view from both areas.

Without any built-in architectural features in your home it is up to you to decide what you want to highlight. Maybe you have an amazing piece of furniture that deserves to be showcased, or perhaps some art. Just remember not to go overboard and try to highlight too many things in the room. Pick one or two “features” and work around them. Do not block the sight line to this feature with larger or bulky items. The idea to is draw your eye to the feature!

BEWARE there is a fine line between drawing attention to a particular detail and making things feel confusing or cluttered. The first view of a space is what people base their opinion of your home on and , if we are being honest here, an opinion on you has been made as well.

Dining room view from the mudroom

When you stand in the entrance to your space what is the first thing you see. Is it interesting? Boring? A hot mess? Is it a view worth looking at? Take note of everything.

For example, imagine someone is visiting your home for the first time. As they come through your front door what do they see when peering into the home? Maybe they can see a partial view of the kitchen. What part is showing? Is it a corner that is crammed with junk or a view of the garbage can? Or maybe the view is a side of your living room and with the arm of a sofa and a basket full of “stuff”, next to that a dog bed. THAT dog bed and cluttered basket is the first thing people see when visiting. Not the best feature eh?

Take a walk through your home and look into your rooms as if seeing the for the first time. If the first thing that jumps out at you in clutter or something not worth taking up that prime real estate then it’s time to rework it.


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