The City Apartment…Smaller Spaces With Maximized Style

Small Spaces: Interior Style

The city apartment. For those of us that have or currently dwell in apartments above a city…this collection of images is for you and for those whose aim is to take to the heights with a less-is-more approach to possessions. For me, perhaps reminiscing about one’s early days in the city is a worthwhile recollection.  Memories of growth and independence, for certain. Without a doubt, one’s first city apartment surely holds memories of being “young, optimistic and resilient”.  Perhaps when one looks back it is with an awareness that happiness was and is certainly not equated with the size of one’s space.  Rather, personal style knows no limit by square footage. Personal style can truly begin from the humble first apartments that sit high above and amidst the city surrounds. At least, this was true for me.  City havens that find our personality, that inspire our creativity and our inventive spirit to call the four walls we dwell within our personal perfection. The city apartment. High in style within a city and world that surrounds that is constantly moving.

Perhaps there is no other interior space that requires a “Less is more” approach (courtesy of architect Mies van der Rohe) to what surrounds than in the four walls of a city apartment. Of note, Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” to describe his “aesthetic of arranging necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity. Every element and detail is to serve multiple visual and functional purposes”.  Oh, so true when we look to our interiors. Large or small. Especially within the square footage of a city space. Perhaps it can also be said that filling such a space aligns itself as “the art of things chosen well rather than often”.  Surrounding oneself with the things that have meaning and purpose and that are part of who we are today. Quality vs. quantity, indeed. Alas, less is more.

“Good style is good editing” – Thomas Jayne

Whether a small studio or a spacious, multi-room apartment with heightened ceilings, personal style pairs with purpose and function, scale and proportion. Each room presenting a clearly defined purpose with careful attention to space planning and arrangement of the furnishings that gain our permission to fill the space.  For some, it is minimalism. For others it is filling a space with curated belongings collected through the years. Of course, editing is key in order to allow a space to feel more spacious while giving significance to the items that remain. Significance, the key word. It is said that the best rooms have a refinement of taste and that simplicity is the essence of style.  Designer and novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937) once said that “The supreme excellence is simplicity”.  Oh, indeed. That said, the key to any interior is making the space you have work for you. Tailored to suit your lifestyle. Designing each room for maximum use while incorporating elements that reflect your personal interests and style within the space you reside within.   Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room. Square footage does not matter.  We only have the space we have…cheers to living with what is truly important, in stylish and refined form…

Collected images to inspire.  May you find inspiration and appreciation for the city apartment. City love and city style, onward…

Small Spaces: City living Love
City Style Within The Interior
City Spaces Of Interior Style
Style & The City Apartment
Interior Style: Apartment Living
Simple Delights: City Living
Personal Style Inside City Walls
Style In The City
City Apartments: Four Walls Of Style
City Apartment Style
Stylish Spaces: City Bound
City Love: Interior Style With Smaller Spaces
City Style: Within 4 Walls Of A City Apartment
High On Style: The City Apartment
Personalized Spaces High Above City Streets
City Style
Living Above A City: The City Apartment

Interior Delights Of Personalized City Spaces
Striking Spaces: City Style


“A gem of a house may not be its size at all, but its lines are honest and its painting and window curtains in good taste”- Emily Post

Consider with appreciation the city apartment and the stylish spaces that do not require much square footage but simply personal style.  Again, Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room.   So to those that adore the city and the life within it, bravo to creating refined style in smaller spaces.  Style cannot be limited by size.  Onward in that…with style.

Onward,

Kristin

My 1st City Apartment: A Chicago Studio/ 1994

“My space is small. My life is big”.

Reflections….a personal visual homage to my first city apartment.   A small studio off Lake Shore Drive in a vintage 3-story apartment building.  A homage with a few excerpts of my written words while living in that space:

“It’s morning. The traffic of horns awoke me. The overcast Chicago sky provides enough daylight so that even the details of the tall ceiling with its double edged rim of white crown molding speak of the history, charm and simplicity of this studio of mine. The wood floor surrounding me shines with a golden glow. When my eyes focus on the walls before me and around me, I see the basic designs; the simple display of the pieces the comprise my life, as yet.  A table holding a few silver photo frames. A lounge chair that makes a statement all its own. A bed that becomes a day bed by day.  A pair of silver candlesticks on the mantle and candles below awaiting a match to alight the beauty of the marble hearth before them. Oh, the outlined form and subdued details of the fireplace in relief forms of dancing cupids outlining it in elegance.  The wirework basket holding black and white matted photographs of architecture taken from behind my lens.  The bathroom with its stemmed porcelain basin of white,  tub and mirrored cabinets. Towels of pure white. The marble window ledge covered with silver bowls filled with lipstick and flanked by bottles of fragrance. Each part of this studio so close to my heart. The kitchen and its black and white checked floor with a wrought iron bistro table. The large window with a view of Lake Michigan and the traffic of Lake Shore Drive.  The expansive window ledge where the coffee bodum awaits my morning brew.  A simple black and white picture of New York City dotting the wall. Simplicity.  Filled with all essential pieces to me. Basic and indispensible. Representing and defining who I am; who I have become. The closet, lined with cotton broadcloth and denim shirts and black blazers in a neat row. Stacks of sweaters, denim jeans and v-neck white tees on the shelf.  A stack of books atop the built-in 3 chest drawer filled with essentials. The simple silver pull chain cord above for the closet light.  The door. The mirror behind apartment 3G. What will I remember about this studio apartment of mine? It will always live on in spirit.  None will be like this. A chapter in my life…”   -Kristin Abrahamsen, Chicago 1994

Personal Details: The city Window/My Bathroom /1994

City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In March

Fashionable Chicago In March

Chicago in March. With March winds and cooler breezes I strutted down the streets of Chicago in search of fashionable inspiration. Yes, inspiration abounds. But seeking the artistic visual presentation of changing fashion behind the glass windows of visual merchandising is a lure for my lens. Changing style. Changing seasons.  The fashionable windows of Chicago.  A monthly determination to present a photographic compilation of images to inspire…the art of fashion.

Of course, I am enamored with more than merely the fashionable forms that grace the stage of window display. The city itself is always a lure of inspiration. The joy of life. Energy, movement and city life daily inspires. The boats and the river life of Chicago is about to begin…Spring, onward!

Chicago River In March

As one strolls the streets of a city there is me with my camera. It is typical for passerby’s to stop and glance at the windows I am photographing.  Often I see their reflections in the windows that I am photographing as I wait for them to pass.  Yet this month, a moment was captured…a woman sees me photographing the striking windows of Neiman Marcus. She pauses briefly, directly in front of my pointed lens. Perhaps reflecting on what my lens is focussed on. Perhaps contemplating.  Captured. Life. Cause and effect. A contrast.  Life’s moments.

 

Cause & Effect: My Lens & A Passerby

Onward to the fashionable scenes that my lens focussed upon…

Chanel Style On Michigan Avenue & Lake Shore Drive
Style Forward: Chanel
Spring Window Appeal: Chanel
Burberry: Trench & Shoes Of Distinction
Window Display: Burberry Style
Elegance In Poised Style: Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus: A Fashion Statement
Fashionable Windows Of Ralph Lauren
Fashionable Visuals Behind Ralph Lauren
Stylish Impressions: Ralph Lauren
Max Mara: Vivid Style Off Michigan Avenue
Patterns & Visual Delight: Max Mara
Stylized & Fashionable Delights: Max Mara
Vivd Red: Bold Color Behind Max Mara
Black & White Fashionable Appeal Max Mara
Window Style: Max Mara
Ferragamo: Spring Style
Flower Power: Michael Kors
Tom Ford: Visual Distinction
Power in Black & White: Tom Ford
Colorful Standard: Patterns & Kate Spade
Lined In Visual Style: Jil Sander
Cobalt Blue Hues: Escada
Cobalt Blue Hues: Escada
The Trench & Colorful Delights: Prada
Embellishments & Style: Prada
Personal Homage & Lure: The Windows Of Max Mara

Consider with appreciation the visual display and art form of fashion. Changing seasons with changing windows of style. There is inspiration to be found, indeed. Finding a commitment in seeking inspiration is a worthwhile goal. Alas, behind the lens of the camera, onward I move…fashion, and Spring, ONWARD!

Onward,

Kristin

“Selfie”: Behind The Lens

A New Year Celebration: 5 Years of House Appeal!

January 2012-January 2017:  5 Years Of House Appeal
January 2012-January 2017: 5 Years Of House Appeal

Another milestone. 5 Years of a blog that began in January of 2012. 5 Years of sharing. Five years of compiling images. From behind my lens and sourced from the vast world of the internet.  All with the continuing goal of delving deeper into creating a greater appreciation of what surrounds. Life is a gift. Attitude is destiny.  Appreciation and gratitude is a worthy goal, indeed.

Thank you to each and every one of you that have stumbled upon this blog and have followed along on my journey of sharing and expounding on those things that comprise our world and our lives. With the intent of redefining appreciation for what surrounds us in all aspects of life.  Awaiting our focus. Perhaps it is a greater awareness that brings furthered appreciation. For certain, in every moment there is something beautiful to focus on.  Something to find appreciation for or merely gain a renewed appreciation upon connecting historical background. Renewed perspective. Life moves swiftly. What better goal in our daily lives than to look at the world closer. Ponder with appreciation what surrounds. Ponder what is beautiful, timeless and enduring…

It was in 2014 that I had deemed the word “Onward” as my mantra. In 2017 that word still holds true. A word that is defined as “In a continuing forward direction; ahead” and “going further than coming to an end or halt; moving forward”.  Since 2012 my life has changed vastly. I made personal choices and decisions in 2015 that would change my life forever. Yet change is good. Deciding to make changes, no matter how difficult the journey through them, and actually following through with those decisions, is the key. When you know without any doubts that you are forging in the right direction, it is merely owning the challenges every step of the way. Moving forward. Moving onward. Never doubting yourself. That, therein, is personal growth. Onward, indeed.

So for a blog that covers the world of fashion, interior design, nature, life’s events and city inspirations…onward with the goal of inspiring with ponderings and inspirations of living a beautiful life. Although the blog posts have lessened, the desire to share has not faded. That passion will never fade.

Thank you for being a part of the journey thus far. Onward to inspire…

Onward,

Kristin Abrahamsen


“You must do the things you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Selfie.  New Years Eve, 2016
Selfie. New Years Eve, 2016

The Striking & Enduring Appeal Of Harwood Floors

Hardwood Floors:  Distinctive Interiors With Wood Appeal
Hardwood Floors: Distinctive Interiors With Wood Appeal

Hardwood flooring. Perhaps there is no other interior flooring that not only imbues floors with color and luster but also adds character, warmth and a spacious, visual appeal. Considered one of the most desired and treasured part of a homes décor, hardwood flooring seems to evoke interior richness with a timeless, classic appeal. If wood floors last a lifetime and gain character with age, for certain the newer hardwood flooring options of distressed and hand-scraped hardwoods also will also offer an appealing timeworn appearance.

Hardwoods can vary from blond to black, depending on the type of wood and the finish. Of course, hardwoods also vary in durability, grain patterns and color. The most common hardwoods for solid wood floors are red oak, white oak and maple. Preferred for their hardness and durability, oak, maple, and cherry are among the most common. However, exotic woods such as mahogany and Brazilian cherry are prized for their distinctive striking appearance over durability. Personal design choices, indeed. Of course then there is the style of the wood flooring. Narrow strips (that seem to create the illusion of space), wide boards (which can impart a rustic appeal) and the distinctive, geometric design of parquet floors (which are often found embellishing more formal interiors). All present different effects within an interior. Choices. For those of use fortunate enough to have original hardwood, with its timeworn appeal, we can merely relish its beauty and appeal within our own personal spaces. In  a visual  appreciation of hardwood flooring within the interior world, a compilation of collected images awaits…

Glistening Hardwood Flooring: Interior Delights
Glistening Hardwood Flooring: Interior Delights
Enhancing A Home: Hardwood Flooring
Enhancing A Home: Hardwood Flooring
Warmth & Character:  Hardwood Flooring
Warmth & Character: Hardwood Flooring
Glossy Finish & Hardwood Floors
Glossy Finish & Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Flooring Appeal
Hardwood Flooring Appeal
Hardwood Flooring Delights:  Interior Spaces
Hardwood Flooring Delights: Interior Spaces
Wood Flooring Finishes Within The Interior
Wood Flooring Finishes Within The Interior
Hardwood Distinction Within The Interior
Hardwood Distinction Within The Interior
Beautiful Interest Within The Interior:  Hardwood Floors
Beautiful Interest Within The Interior: Hardwood Floors
Glossy And Visually Spacious:  Hardwood Flooring
Glossy And Visually Spacious: Hardwood Flooring
Light Wood Appeal:  Hardwood Floors
Light Wood Appeal: Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Floors & Interior Design
Hardwood Floors & Interior Design
hardwood-floors-p-12
Interior Appeal With Hardwood Flooring
Timeless Flooring:   Hardwood
Timeless Flooring: Hardwood
Personalized Space:  Atop A Vintage Wood Floor
Personalized Space: Atop A Vintage Wood Floor

Consider the beauty of wood flooring. Distinctive and timeless, the natural wood flooring surface will live on in the world of interior design. My personal love affair with wood floors has endured over time and will surely remain my coveted flooring of choice. For those that prefer the underlaying of carpeting, beauty can also be found in quality fibers underfoot. Yet for me it is the glossy and natural appeal of hardwood flooring that seems to present the perfect backdrop, along with the painted walls within an interior, which sets and presents the decoration of a space and personal display at its best. Onward in appreciation of hardwood floors within the interior. Whether old or new, wood endures with timeless distinction…

Onward,

Kristin

“Like the walls of a room, the floor is a background: It should not furnish the pattern, but set off whatever is placed upon it” – Edith Wharton

City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In August

Chicago In August:  Fashionable Windows
Chicago In August: Fashionable Windows

Chicago. On a day that was unusually cooler, given a recent streak of high temperatures, I boarded the train for the Windy City of Chicago. My monthly visual quest for fashionable inspiration.  The Fall-like weather that settled in paired with the layer of clouds that hung overhead (which would soon disperse)and certainly brought forth further Fall Fashion excitement. August. The end of Summer and the slow progression towards layers with cooler days and nights that are ahead. And so it was. Another journey to the fashionable streets of Chicago. Camera in hand. From State Street to Michigan Avenue to Oak Street & the Gold Coast. Fashion’s changing force visually presented. Inspiration abounds for those that seek visual appreciation and for those that seek fashionable impulse. Fashion’s appreciation, indeed.

Yet beyond the display that awaits behind the glass panes of fashion is a visual appreciation of the city that surrounds. Chicago and its architecture continue to remain a draw from behind the lens of my camera…Appreciation of a city, indeed….

Stellar City Scape :  Chicago Love
Stellar City Scape : Chicago Love

And of the fashionable statements that visual merchandising designers present behind the windows of fashion? Onward into finding inspiration, as always…

Vivid Red & Striking Accessories
Vivid Red & Striking Accessories
Feathery Delight:  Michael Kors
Feathery Delight: Michael Kors
Gray & Black Hues Of Timeless Appeal:  Tom Ford
Gray & Black Hues Of Timeless Appeal: Tom Ford
Tom Ford's Striking Autumnal Appeal
Tom Ford’s Striking Autumnal Appeal
Visuals Of Fashionable Appeal:  Accessories Of High Style Behind Tom Ford
Visuals Of Fashionable Appeal: Accessories Of High Style Behind Tom Ford
Tom Ford's Layered Classic Delights
Tom Ford’s Layered Classic Delights
Max Mara:  Autumnal Hues Of Elegance
Max Mara: Autumnal Hues Of Elegance
Aubergine Delight:  Max Mara
Aubergine Delight: Max Mara
Flowing Elegance Of Rose & Hued Beauty:  Max Mara
Flowing Elegance Of Rose & Hued Beauty: Max Mara
Elegance & Timelessness In The Details:  Max Mara
Elegance & Timelessness In The Details: Max Mara
Elegance:  Flowing, Sequined & Ribboned Delight:  Max Mara
Elegance: Flowing, Sequined & Ribboned Delight: Max Mara
Blue Hues Of Fashionable Appeal Behind Max Mara
Blue Hues Of Fashionable Appeal Behind Max Mara
Hues Of Autumn In Max Mara's Fashionable Visual
Hues Of Autumn In Max Mara’s Fashionable Visual
Burberry:  Fall's Approach On Display
Burberry: Fall’s Approach On Display
Autumn and Style:  Burberry's Windows Of Fashion
Autumn and Style: Burberry’s Windows Of Fashion
Autumn's Layers & Color Behind Herme
Autumn’s Layers & Color Behind Herme

 

Chicago In August p 30.png

Jill Sander:  Classic Appeal and Neutral Hues
Jill Sander: Classic Appeal and Neutral Hues

 

Chicago In August p 31

 

Autumnal Appeal:  Windows Of Fashion
Autumnal Appeal: Windows Of Fashion
Fashion On The City Streets:  Chanel's Chance
Fashion On The City Streets: Chanel’s Chance

DSC_9573 3

Reflections.  Part of the appeal….

Consider the world of fashion. The changing world of fashion from behind the windows that line the city streets. Visuals to inspire. Visuals to appreciate. There is an art form that lies behind the reflective panes of glass. Details to appreciate. As always, a constant focus from behind my lens. Summer’s end approaches. Fall lies before us. Fashion, onward, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

"Selfie":   Reflections Off Fashion's Windows In Chicago
“Selfie”: Reflections Off Fashion’s Windows In Chicago

Natural & Fruited Holiday Appeal: The “della Robbia” Wreaths & Swags Of Colonial Williamsburg

Festoons Of Natural Delights:  Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Wreaths
Festoons Of Natural Delights: Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Wreaths

The holidays always bring forth bursts of color. But perhaps the natural colors of nature laden upon the wreaths of green found upon the historic streets of Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, offer hues of vibrant bounty. What is referred to as “A living-history museum and private foundation presenting part of a historic district in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia”, the historic streets offer a walk through yesteryear and a visual delight to the eyes to behold when swagged and bedecked in Holiday style. Williamsburg style. The festive and natural Holiday wreaths of Colonial Williamsburg seem to inspire a simplicity of elegance. Wreaths and swags reminiscent of yesteryear. The wreaths that grace the historic structures of Colonial Williamsburg are bedecked with all things natural such as festoons of fruit, flowers, boughs of holly, fans of apples, oranges and pomegranates and other natural embellishments of visual delight.

Elements of nature found in the borders and decorative motifs of these wreaths of evergreens hold distinctive and enduring appeal.  Historically, the swags of fruited appeal that have decorated America’s front doors and exterior spaces is linked to the beginning of the 20th century.  Paired with the significance of Christmas and the Colonial Revival, it is believed that these fruited decorations harkened back to the decorative styles of the eighteenth century. Yet the custom of affixing fruits, vegetables, dried flowers, herbs, and other natural details to evergreen wreaths, swags, and roping has often been referred to as “Colonial Williamsburg Door Decorations”.  A practice that was adopted and adapted by Colonial Williamsburg had popularized the fruited and bedecked natural appeal of holiday greens. Designs fashioned from boxwood and magnolia greenery paired with imports by the colonists of pineapples, lemons and oranges from the West Indies, would have longstanding impact on the celebration of Christmas within the Southern state of Virginia and beyond. The mere cause of admiration of these fruit laden wreaths and swags have drawn throngs to view their annual natural display. On a recent holiday in Virginia, I too, was drawn. From behind the lens I was struck with admiration and appreciation at the simplicity of bounties of nature in grand display of elegance and artistic display from nature’s gifts itself.

House Beautiful, Circa 1926
House Beautiful, Circa 1926

“Of late years, besides the staple wreaths of plain greens to which we have long been accustomed, the holiday’s emblems have blossomed forth,–or perhaps we should say fruited forth,–with richness of color produced by the use of either natural or artificial fruit as an embellishment. This idea was undoubtedly suggested by the gorgeous Italian carvings and terra cottas of the Renaissance…”
-1926, House Beautiful

The quote from the 1926 magazine issue of House Beautiful is said refer to the fifteenth-century Italian sculptor from Forence, Italy, Luca della Robbia (Luca della Robbia (1399/1400–1482)  who became “synonymous with fruit and foliage swags on glazed terracotta roundels”.

Lucca della Robbia (1399/1400-1482) Italian Sculptor
Lucca della Robbia (1399/1400-1482) Italian Sculptor

Of note, during the 1700‘s Sculptor Grinling Gibbons also produced festoons of fruit and flowers on architectural detailed wood carvings and decorative motifs for English cathedrals and English royalty. Yet it is “della Robbia” that is given the credit for the emulation of fresh fruit laden wreaths that inspired and were popularized in the mid 1930’s within the rich history of Colonial Williamsburg.

Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) Dutch-British Sculptor & Wood Carver
Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) Dutch-British Sculptor & Wood Carver

In the early years of the Colonial Williamsburg restoration, visuals of these fruited swags and wreaths would spread across the country through images in decorating magazines. Thousands of visitors, fascinated by the imaginative and natural decorations, continue to pay homage every year to the idyllic setting festooned in greens and natural delights of holiday beauty. Interesting, it was 1936 when Colonial Williamsburg first decorated for Christmas. At that time it is said to have been merely the simple greenery of plain wreaths with running cedar (a low growing evergreen) that would adorn the the Governor’s Palace and the Raleigh Tavern. Yet the embellishment of fruited appeal would embark upon the green decorations with longstanding impact. Credit is given to a “Mrs. Louise Fisher”, responsible for the decoration of Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg,  who is said to have brought pictoral examples from the Library of Congress of English and American decoration styles to guide her in her feat. By 1939 the “della Robbia” wreaths of Mrs. Louise Fischer had deemed the phrase the “Williamsburg Christmas look” and the embellished wreaths of natural appeal was forever launched. What would soon become a serious contest within Colonial Williamsburg, complete with blue ribbons affixed to the houses of five to ten winners, would become the “Christmas Decorations Tour” in 1969.  The contest continues. Decades of fruited and natural appeal, indeed.

With appreciation from behind my lens….a visual of natural delight in festive appeal….

Bedecked In Natural Style
Bedecked In Natural Style
Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Traditions:  Fruited & Natural Appeal
Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Traditions: Fruited & Natural Appeal
Colonial Williamsburg: Fruited Holiday Appeal
Colonial Williamsburg: Fruited Holiday Appeal
Evergreens & Nature's Delights:  The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Evergreens & Nature’s Delights: The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Nature's Embellishments In Festoons Of Holiday Style
Nature’s Embellishments In Festoons Of Holiday Style
Colonial Williamsburg: Natural Delights In Holiday Embellishments
Colonial Williamsburg: Natural Delights In Holiday Embellishments
Holiday Emblems Of Colonial Williamsburg:  Bedecked Greens
Holiday Emblems Of Colonial Williamsburg: Bedecked Greens
Fruitful Holiday Appeal:  The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Fruitful Holiday Appeal: The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Evergreen Wreaths & Swags Of Timeless and Natural Appeal
Evergreen Wreaths & Swags Of Timeless and Natural Appeal
Embellished Greens With Fruit Laden Appeal:  Colonial Williamsburg
Embellished Greens With Fruit Laden Appeal: Colonial Williamsburg
Swags Of Evergreen & Natural Fruited Delights:  Adornment Of Colonial Williamsburg
Swags Of Evergreen & Natural Fruited Delights: Adornment Of Colonial Williamsburg
Elegant & Artistic Display:  The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Elegant & Artistic Display: The Wreaths Of Colonial Williamsburg
Holiday Decoration  Of Colonial Williamsburg
Holiday Decoration Of Colonial Williamsburg
Embellished With Nature In Colorful, Artistic Array: Colonial Williamsburg Wreaths
Embellished With Nature In Colorful, Artistic Array: Colonial Williamsburg Wreaths
Williamsburg Wreaths:  Embellishments Of Timeless Appeal
Williamsburg Wreaths: Embellishments Of Timeless Appeal

Consider with appreciation the festive wreaths and swags of enduring appeal. Graced with fruit and other natural elements, such as holly berries, seed pods, pepper berries, eucalyptus, pine cones, magnolia leaves and other wonders of nature, the decorations offer a visual appreciation of the blessings of nature. Upon the historic structures of Southern architecture and charm, the visuals  have impacted since.

And of myself strolling the streets of Colonial Williamsburg yearning to capture the essence of the visuals of exuberant and festive holiday style embellishing this historic setting?  Enamored. With a love for history and architecture paired with an appreciation of the natural and elegant delights that bedecked the surfaces of this quaint historic town, my camera continued to frame and capture.  Yet the visuals I set before you, from behind my lens, reflect only a sampling and a mere moment in time within the seasonal surrounds of Colonial Williamsburg. Captivating in the moment, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

Myself, 2014/Williamsburg, Virginia
Myself, 2014/Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Holiday Embellishments: Fireplace Mantels Adorned In Festive Appeal

Festive Embellishments Of Holiday Appeal:  Mantel Display
Festive Embellishments Of Holiday Appeal: Mantel Display

The fireplace mantel. Embellished in festive Holiday appeal. The fireplace mantle or mantelpiece is also known as a chimneypiece. Having originated in medieval times as a hood that projected over a grate capturing the smoke that emitted, the term has evolved to include the decorative framework around the fireplace and even the elaborate designs that can extend to the ceiling. The term Mantelpiece is now a broad term for the “jambs, mantel shelf, and external accessories of a fireplace”. I harken the world of centuries past in which the mantel or chimneypiece became the focal point as an ornamental and artistic feature of a room. Appreciation. A fundamental element in the history of western art, holding elements of European sculpture carved in detail in wood, marble and stone, these structures of form and function continue to endure in interior appeal. Design, proportion, and detail. Details of distinction, indeed. Although time itself and interior design changes the form, the appreciation of the fireplace and its mantel deserve a visual bedecked in holiday delight

Bright Elegance Of Festive Delight:  The Holiday Mantel
Bright Elegance Of Festive Delight: The Holiday Mantel
Evergreen Delight: Vivid Greens On Holiday Display
Evergreen Delight: Vivid Greens On Holiday Display
Neutral Inspirations Of Holiday Appeal
Neutral Inspirations Of Holiday Appeal
Simple Elegance:  The Mantel Dressed For The Holidays
Simple Elegance: The Mantel Dressed For The Holidays
Embellishments Of Holiday: The Fireplace Mantel
Embellishments Of Holiday: The Fireplace Mantel
Visual Delights Of The Holiday Mantel
Visual Delights Of The Holiday Mantel
Holiday Elegance:  The Fireplace Mantle Display
Holiday Elegance: The Fireplace Mantle Display
Hues Of Green:  The Holiday Mantel
Hues Of Green: The Holiday Mantel
Holiday Embellishment of Personal Appeal:  The Mantel
Holiday Embellishment of Personal Appeal: The Mantel

Consider with appreciation the distinctive beauty of the fireplace and its mantel. Although personal in style of display and the objects, trimmings, nature’s greens or decorations that may bedeck its horizontal surface, consider with appreciation the mere mantel and its offerings for visual display. A personal homage to the Holidays, for certain. In appreciation of the embellished mantel that enriches our interior spaces as an enduring focal point. It is all in the details. Timeless adornment of festive appeal, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

PS: And for those fortunate to approach decorating in Holiday display upon your own awaiting mantel?

“Decorate with intention”
“I believe in doing the thing you feel is right. If it looks right, it is right”
-Dorothy Draper (American Interior Designer/1889-1969)

Landscape Impact: Substantial Stone Spheres Of Bold & Enchanting Delight

Landscape Sculpture Of Sizeable Impact: Spherical “Stones”

Impactful spheres of “Stone”. A contrast among the landscape they are grounded within. Shape and form. A sphere (from Greek word “sphaira” for “globe, ball”) is referred to a round geometrical object in three dimensional space. For certain, these circular stones of solid form are rounded objects with visual weight, height and substance. Distinctive globe forms (with the surface of “stone” or other hard materials, such as limestone or concrete) that offer visual and architectural interest to the surrounds that they settle and embed upon. Firmly and deeply embedded. Objects of impact, for certain.

And of the history of round objects of spherical formation? Thought to be linked to the references of astronomy and navigation, circles also represent the eternal whole are an considered an archetypical form representing the sun, the earth, the moon, the universe, and other celestial objects between. No beginning and no end. Perhaps the round, spherical form is a reminder of the galaxy beyond us –“a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas and dust, and dark matter”. Holding a visual of free movement, the graceful shape of a circle offers a seeming calm and soothing appeal. For certain, there is something unexpected about the spherical circular shape found within the landscape of our exterior worlds. Yet delightful.

Eleanor& Sam Lothrop
Researchers Of Costa Rican Stone Spheres: Eleanor& Sam Lothrop/1950’s

Of course, one cannot focus upon spheres of stone without acknowledging the ancient stone spheres of Costa Rica. Enduring as one of the strangest mysteries in archaeology, the discovery during the 1930’s of over 300 round, massive stone balls have continued to pique the interest of the world. Sculpted from the hands of ancient sculptors from “grandodiorite” (a hard, single block of stone solidified from of lava), these monolithic sculptures were found ranging in size and varying in workmanship. Found in the jungle, twelve miles from the Pacific coast, upon excavation for a structure built by the United Fruit Company, those that would come to research these massive objects of stone would find that these were nearly perfect spheres. Amazing. It is also interesting to note that no “unfinished” spheres were ever found. Of even further interest is the fact that the Costa Rican quarry was over 50 miles from the locations of these massive, mysterious bolders of spherical form. Imagine! Since moved from their original locations (and some destroyed) the basis of a scientific layout of these boulders of round form, by the ancient hands that revered them, can no longer provide an answer as to their true meaning and purpose. Stone “globes” which held great importance and significance of which will remain unknown. Objects from an ancient culture that still survive without knowledge of their true purpose. A mystery that will never be answered. Perhaps there are some things in life that will always remain a mystery but will always endure in earning appreciation. Enormous stones of intrigue. Round spheres of solid form that will continue to offer enduring appeal of massive proportion and visual delight

Costa Rica's Stone Spheres:  Mystery In Archeology
Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres: Mystery In Archeology

And of the polished, stone orbs that fill the landscape and add architectural interest within the lush green natural world that surrounds us? For certain, the form itself deserves a visual appreciation. Unexpected, perhaps, but distinctive just the same. The solid forms of sizable impact go far in providing a focal point of contrast and texture. Consider the spherical formation of solid “stone” globes. Architectural interest within the landscape, indeed….

Round Spheres Of Solid Form:  Visual Interest Within The Exterior World
Round Spheres Of Solid Form: Visual Interest Within The Exterior World
Spherical Delights Within The Garden
Spherical Delights Within The Garden
Circular Objects Of Visual Impact: Large Round “Stones”
Architectural Embellishments Within The Garden: Spherical “Stones”
Round “Stones”: Visual Impact & Architectural Interest
Spheres Of Substance & Visual Delight
Spheres Of Substance & Visual Delight
Spherical & Substantial: “Stones” In The Garden
Spherical Objects Within The Garden Landscape
Spherical Objects Within The Garden Landscape
Stone “Spheres” Of Architectural Distinction

The spherical form as an classic emblem of architectural structures & embellishments endures to provide historical appeal. A timeless emblem of classical form

Spherical Impact:  Charleston, SC
Spherical Impact: Charleston, SC
Spherical Impact:  Charleston, SC & New Orleans, LA
Spherical Impact: Charleston, SC & New Orleans, LA
Round Distinction:  Charleston, South Carolina
Round Distinction: Charleston, South Carolina
Spheres:  Visual Impact Of Enduring Distinction
Spheres: Visual Impact Of Enduring Distinction

A nod to the world of horticulture and the artistry of shape found within…
Consider the spherical formations of meticulously pruned and shaped emerald green boxwoods. An artistry of form that hold an appeal of classicism. These ball-shaped foundation plantings offer visual delight of the highest form of gardening. The stately boxwood itself is deemed as “Man’s Oldest Garden Ornamental”. Timeless…

Spheres In Landscape Formed Within Nature:  Pruned Boxwoods
Spheres In Landscape Formed Within Nature: Pruned Boxwoods

Of course, the round object of solid form found within the interior also earns an unexpected delight. Appreciation of this form with no beginning or end…

Interior Impact: Spherical “Stones” As Objects Of Interest

Consider with appreciation the spherical “Stone”. Form and contrast, texture and interest. Although the mystery of their original formation remains unknown, the visual display of intriguing appeal within the landscapes of our exterior world (and even our interior worlds) will endure to offer an ongoing unexpected delight. Circles in nature. Perhaps the mere visual of “polished” stones offer a nod to the “Circle of Life”. Polished reminders of solid form. Enchanting, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help”
-M. Sarton

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for”
—Georgia O’Keeffe

Form & Function Of Architectural Features: The Artistry Of Vintage Door Knobs

Details Of Past Elegance:  The Vintage Door Knob
Details Of Past Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob

An element of form and function. The artistry of the vintage doorknob. Forms of art. Artistic forms of grandeur from a time period in which details mattered, elegance was revered and craftsmanship ruled. The individual beauty of the vintage door knob is striking and stunning. Representations of a time gone by yet reminders of the beauty that society once required within the realm of the structures that surrounded…

Lavished Design:  The Architectural Door Knob
Lavished Design: The Architectural Door Knob

History holds that although door handles appeared during Egyptian times, until the Middle Ages the basic form of doorways were created with textiles and furs. After the late 1500’s architecture offered separate rooms in which the addition of a door featuring leather or hand forged latches evolved. Interesting. In America, in the mid-ninetenth century (from 1830 to 1873), the production and manufacture of door knobs would evolve further into an enduring architectural element of form and function. Initially, plain wooden knobs were the first simple forms of door knobs of Colonial times followed by pressed glass and cut glass door knobs (popular from 1826-1850). Of note, prior to 1876 ceramic and porcelain knobs were imported from France and England. Of course, a nod to the beautiful swirls that knobs of Rosewood held. Striking appeal, indeed. Around 1846 the formation of cast metal knobs arrived to embellish structures. Made of iron or steel, these forms of function were covered either entirely or coated with a veneer of bronze or brass. But oh, the stylized decoration of these knobs of purpose that would thrive! It is said that after the Centennial Exposition of 1876 (the first official World’s Fair in the United State), the world of decorative door hardware was launched nationwide. Yes, the embellishments of lavish detail that beckoned the desire of the Victorian Era would prevail…

Centennial Exhibition 1876/United States
Centennial Exhibition 1876/United States

In the late 1800’s these composite metal knobs formed with a compression casting method offered the ability to design and provide ornamentation of the hardware. Of historical interest, during World War II, brass door knobs were removed and melted down for the war effort. Imagine! Alas, those that remain offer a rare desirability by those that covet and appreciate them. A link and emblem to the decorative arts of the past that is no longer abundant but rare architectural “jewels” of the past. Yet it is the cast bronze and brass door knobs with ornamental patterns that the Victorians graced their residences and structures that continue to amaze and delight me. Of course, I hold an appreciation of all of the beautiful forms of materials & construction of these architectural features. And of the knobs of form and function? Whether spherical or ball-shaped or the ease of an egg-shape design or the knobs fashioned like a drum, the designs have certainly changed throughout the decades that would follow. Coordinating with the eras they would be fixed within. Fixed to surface mounted locks or doors for entry, the door knob would continue to experience a renaissance resembling the prevailing styles of the eras. Of course, a nod to the decorative door handle plates that would surround the knobs (Escutcheons) which were often rectangular and were also embellished with decorative designs, such as floral patterns or geometric shapes. Beauty of form and function and visual interest in design, indeed. Shape and surface appeal. Craftsmanship and intricate design paired in the creation of art.

The function and form of vintage door knobs deserve our attention and appreciation, for certain. An object of history. As elements of the past, a mere appreciation of the art form that they represent…

Architectural Salvage:  The Enduring Appeal Of The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Salvage: The Enduring Appeal Of The Vintage Door Knob
Aesthetics Of Form & Function:  The Architectural Door Knob
Aesthetics Of Form & Function: The Architectural Door Knob
Elements Of Distinction:  The Vintage Door Knob
Elements Of Distinction: The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Delights:  The Elegance Of The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Delights: The Elegance Of The Vintage Door Knob
Unique Beauty Of Surface Appeal:  Vintage Door Knobs
Unique Beauty Of Surface Appeal: Vintage Door Knobs
Brass Appeal:  Vintage Door Knobs Of Architectural Delight
Brass Appeal: Vintage Door Knobs Of Architectural Delight
Details Of Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob
Details Of Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob
Vintage Elegance Of Artistic Form & Function:  Door Knobs
Vintage Elegance Of Artistic Form & Function: Door Knobs
Designed Artistry Of Vintage Form:  Door Knobs
Designed Artistry Of Vintage Form: Door Knobs
Basics Of Form:  Appreciation Of The Door Knob
Basics Of Form: Appreciation Of The Door Knob
Form & Function:   The Vintage Door Knob
Form & Function: The Vintage Door Knob
Painted Appeal & The Vintage Door Knob
Painted Appeal & The Vintage Door Knob
White Porcelain Delights:  The Vintage Door Knob
White Porcelain Delights: The Vintage Door Knob
Vintage Glass Door Knobs Of Starburst Appeal
Vintage Glass Door Knobs Of Starburst Appeal
Pressed Molten Glass Of Clear Delight: The Vintage Door Knob
Pressed Molten Glass Of Clear Delight: The Vintage Door Knob
Clear Elegance:  The Glass Vintage Door Knob
Clear Elegance: The Glass Vintage Door Knob
Multifaceted Style In Clear Glass:  The Vintage Door Knob
Multifaceted Style In Clear Glass: The Vintage Door Knob
Rounded Delights:  The Vintage Door Knob
Rounded Delights: The Vintage Door Knob

Although the materials, form and designs vary, consider with appreciation the beauty and design of the vintage door knobs and the historical connection to the past they offer. For me? What is it about the knobs of yesteryear that beckon? Like “jewels” on doors, to stumble across one is exhilarating to me and certain to be captured by whatever means of photography that is on me at that moment. Alas, the camera phone. Included within these compilations are many that I have captured from within the vintage homes of the late 1800’s town of Woodstock, Illinois that I currently reside within, as well as during my travels. Many more await to be captured from behind my lens. Doors that hold an opportunity to find appreciation in the details of life that are before us. A past that carries with it into the present. History and the artistry and elegance of the past that endures to remain as a symbol of bygone eras. Appreciation, always…

Onward,

Kristin


“Find pleasure in the beauty of details”
– Hans Zirngast

PS: There are bound to be more images added to this compilation…for I will never stop capturing the distinctive beauty that surrounds on doorways of the past…

Forms Of Antiquity: The Architectural “Caryatid” & The Female Form

Ancient Architectural Form & Function:   Caryatids
Ancient Architectural Form & Function: Caryatids

Art and architecture. A Caryatid in architecture is described as “A stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building”. Taking the place of a column or pillar, the Greek term Karyatides is literally said to mean “Maidens of Karyai”, an ancient town of Peloponnese in which a temple was dedicated to a goddess known as Artemis. Mythology paired with architecture, indeed.


“As Karyatis, she rejoiced in the dances of the nut-tree village of Karyai, those Karyatides, who in their ecstatic round-dance carried on their heads baskets of live reeds, as if they were dancing plants”
-Unknown

Caryatids In Ancient Architecture
Caryatids In Ancient Architecture

Since ancient times buildings have been designed with female figures as supporting columns. Sculpture fitted to a structure. Some of the earliest known examples date from around the 6th century BC in Greece at the treasuries of Delphi. The use of these draped female figures used as architectural supports can certainly be traced back to Greek antiquity. Alas, the bulky yet intricately arranged hairstyles served the crucial purpose of providing key structural support to their necks, which would otherwise be the structurally weakest part of the figure. Of note, a Caryatid supporting a basket on her head is called a canephora (“basket-bearer”). Form and function, indeed…

Ancient Form:  The Caryatid Of The  Erechtheion
Ancient Form: The Caryatid Of The Erechtheion

The most iconic and perhaps most-copied Caryatid examples are the carved six figures of the Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion (409 BC) referred to as ‘The Venerable Temple’ on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. Of note, the originals have been replaced onsite by replicas, but the original ancient forms of stately pose are on exhibit within the Acropolis Museum with one removed during the early 19th century, residing in England’s British Museum in London. Ancient history preserved. Of additional interest, these six Caryatids are not identical. Rather, although they are the same in build and height and similar in attire and coiffed hair, their faces, stance, the draping of fabric and hair are said to have been carved separately. Interesting. In addition, three of the caryatids stand on their right foot and the other three stand on their left foot. Architectural differences of distinction. Of course, the Romans would copy these Erechtheion caryatids, installing their own copies in the Forum of Augustus and in the Pantheon in Rome, among other great structures. Great architecture will always be revered.

These draped figures of stone, often supporting acanthus baskets, visually hold the weight of architecture above them and enduringly offer a tribute to the female form and the link to the ancient past. Perhaps one can view these figures a symbol of strength and beauty. For certain, the implications of these figures and their representations in ancient times can take on a deeper role. Perhaps the search for meaning of sculpture and architecture as a united force of art can offer many interpretations. These load-bearing forms of the structures are an art form that will endure to inspire. For the purpose of appreciation of the beauty of the architecture and the form itself of these female figures, a mere collection of images, sourced from the world wide web, will hopefully bring further appreciation to the timeless form of architectural beauty….

Architectural Supports Of Ancient Distinction: Caryatids
Architectural Supports Of Ancient Distinction: Caryatids
Draped Figures Of Ancient Appeal:  Caryatid
Draped Figures Of Ancient Appeal: Caryatid
Architectural Form & Function Of The Female Form
Architectural Form & Function Of The Female Form
Caryatids:  Elements Of History & Form
Caryatids: Elements Of History & Form
Form & Function Of Ancient Architectural Beauty:  Caryatids
Form & Function Of Ancient Architectural Beauty: Caryatids
Architectural Supports Of Distinction:  Caryatids
Architectural Supports Of Distinction: Caryatids
Art & Architecture:  Caryatids
Art & Architecture: Caryatids
Caryatids:  The Female Form Of Enduring Appeal
Caryatids: The Female Form Of Enduring Appeal
Architectural Interpretations Of Ancient Form:  Caryatids
Architectural Interpretations Of Ancient Form: Caryatids
Emblems Of Beauty & Strength:  Caryatids In Architecture
Emblems Of Beauty & Strength: Caryatids In Architecture
Caryatids In Architecture:  Form & Function
Caryatids In Architecture: Form & Function
Architectural Delights:  Caryatids Within Architecture
Architectural Delights: Caryatids Within Architecture
Female Form:  Representations Of Caryatids In The Garden
Female Form: Representations Of Caryatids In The Garden
Ancient Forms Enduring In Architectural Appeal:  Caryatids
Ancient Forms Enduring In Architectural Appeal: Caryatids
Caryatids Of Diverse Form & Function
Caryatids Of Diverse Form & Function
Caryatids/Macy's/New York/ 34th Street
Caryatids/Macy’s/New York/ 34th Street

And of the statuesque figures of female form that are found within the interior? Certain resemblances and links to ancient past, for certain. Appreciation of the artistic representation of historic significance, indeed.

In Early Modern times, the practice of integrating caryatids into building facades was revived. The world of Art Deco architecture would certainly embrace the forms of antiquity. Within interiors these forms of sculpture would begin to be included as new features of building structures and within the world of interior decoration. For certain, the beauty of the female figure in architecture holds enduring allure to the world that surrounds which continually changes and evolves. Appreciation…

Female Caryatid Representations: Statues Within The Interior
Female Caryatid Representations: Statues Within The Interior

My appreciation of the beauty of the architectural details of the beautiful form of antiquity is not new. Carved and sculpted details of architectural wonder. Yet of my renewed and focussed appreciation, perhaps the urge to visually share came by way of an unexpected surprise. And it all started with a statue…

Female Form Of Greek Mythology:  Aphrodite
Female Form Of Greek Mythology: Aphrodite

On a whim I stopped into a local antique store when I suddenly spotted her. It was immediate that I was drawn to the ancient emblem of antiquity and classic form. Found amidst other elements of the past, I simply had to acquire. An alabaster figure that now graces my dresser and stands boldly and beautifully among my personal accessories of fashion and fragrances that layer. Perhaps as a reminder of the beauty of the past and an appreciation of the enduring appeal of the figure of the woman

Representation Of Ancient Appeal:  A Caryatid Within My Interior...
Representation Of Ancient Appeal: A Caryatid Within My Interior…

Within the history of fashion and the arts, the iconic architectural sculptures of antiquity have certainly been an inspiration of timeless appeal…

Caryatids & Modern Dance Icon Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Caryatids & Modern Dance Icon Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Christian Dior Models & Caryatids: Fashion's Form & Function
Christian Dior/1951 Models & Caryatids: Fashion’s Form & Function
Fashionable Representations Of The Caryatid Form
Fashionable Representations Of The Caryatid Form

Consider with appreciation the forms of antiquity that grace the structures that fill our world. Look closer and appreciate the ancient past that carries with it an enduring visual acknowledgement of form and function. Whether carved in the round or in relief or frieze or crowning a pediment with grace, there is beauty to be found within the past world that carries with it into our future an enduring emblem of the past

Onward,

Kristin

“Now here we have another emotional symbol… for almost three thousand years or longer, architects have designed buildings with columns shaped as female figures… After all those centuries it took Rodin to see that this was work too heavy for a girl… Here is this poor little caryatid who has tried — and failed, fallen under the load…. She didn’t give up, Ben; she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her…”
-Robert Heinlein (1907-1988)”Stranger in a Strange Land”

“…Like a caryatid on vacation. He was supporting nothing but his daydreams”
-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Female Forms Of Caryatid Reprentation
Female Forms Of Caryatid Representation