A scenic view has the power to shift the way you FEEL. It inspires creativity and enhances a sensation of peace and calmness. It brings awe, beauty, breath, and expansion. How you capture the views available can make all the difference in the look and feel of your home.
The trick is to know how to design your home to take maximum advantage of the views specific to your homesite. Even if your homesite does not boast spectacular views you can still achieve that ‘WOW’ factor with creative design.
Design Dilemma #1:
How to Capitalize on the Views of Your Property
The most impactful design solution to maximizing views of a property is orienting the home such that views are available to as many areas of the home as possible.
Proper orientation of the home footprint works with the path of the sun to locate interior spaces that take advantage of the best views.
Sometimes a skewed orientation or a creative shape of the home footprint will help achieve the desired views from multiple locations throughout the home.
For example, this lakefront home sits on a peninsula and has lake views to both the east and west. We angled the main living spaces to be oriented to sunrise and sunset views. We accomplished this with one large wall of glass facing NE and another large wall of glass facing NW. The kitchen and dining room maintained this orientation as well. The NW facing glass had the added feature of the covered porch to protect it from the late afternoon sun.
2. Room Placement
Strategic placement of rooms within the home that work with the path of the sun is imperative for creating indoor comfort and capitalizing views of the property.
The main living spaces and the master suite should be designed to have access to the best views possible, while the secondary rooms (bathrooms, laundry, closets, etc) can be located away from prime view areas to preserve the view orientation for the spaces most often used.
Strategic placement of rooms and windows in relation to the foyer can be designed to achieve a ‘WOW’ factor view straight through the home upon entering the front door.
Indoor rooms can be intentionally connected to outdoor living spaces to enhance opportunities for viewing the surrounding beauty.
3. Glass Placement
Good design involves advantageously placed windows and doors that allow for maximum views to be seen throughout the home.
Natural daylight should enter the home with the simultaneous intention of regulating temperatures. When designing a home with a view it’s imperative to take into consideration the amount of heat the windows will allow inside the home.
Even though the best view may be to the south of the home, floor-to-ceiling windows may not be in your best interest if they allow in too much heat from the summer sun. There are, however, creative ways to maintain spectacular southern views. See Covered Porches and Overhangs below.
Floor-to-ceiling windows or solid glass walls work well in areas of the home that face north or east, or when winter sun is desired for passive solar heating and sun tempering in the colder months.
Custom glass doors that fold or slide completely open to outdoor living spaces enhance the indoor/outdoor connectivity, making indoor living spaces feel much larger and providing great views throughout the interior.
Proper selection of window placement will help achieve the best sunrise and sunset views available from your property.
4. Furniture Layout
Furniture plays a role in the optimization of your views by taking the orientation of the room and the location of the view into consideration.
Large and loud pieces of furniture can detract from a view if not placed properly.
In areas where there is a direct line of sight of a desired view, low profile pieces of furniture should be used to prevent blocking views.
Orienting chairs and couches to face the view is a great way to provide maximum enjoyment.
Swivel chairs placed in front of or adjacent to windows will allow for multiple options to view the outdoors or the indoors.
Hiring an interior designer early in the process will help you achieve and maintain the views from inside your home.
5. Covered Porches and Overhangs
My favorite solution for designing for a view is the use of covered porches and strategically placed overhangs. These features bring tremendous value to the homeowner for many reasons.
An intuitively designed covered porch will blur the indoor/outdoor threshold, creating a sense of expansion as though your home continues beyond the walls. Views of the outside are made available from every vantage point inside the home.
A covered porch will create outdoor viewing areas that are livable year-round in almost any type of weather situation. I often include fireplaces and ceiling heaters for colder seasons, ceiling fans for warmer seasons, and fixed or retractable screens for seasons that are particularly buggy.
Covered porches help maintain spectacular views AND indoor ambient air temperatures. All too often, I’ve seen poorly designed homes with spectacular lake views blocked by drawn shades during peak viewing times. When not planned for properly, midday sun entering the home from the south and late day sun entering from west facing windows will cause a drastic spike in indoor air temperatures that can be challenging to mitigate without sacrificing your views by drawing the blinds.
The shade produced by covered porches and strategically placed overhangs buffers the sun’s effects allowing for the inside of your home to maintain spectacular views without absorbing too many direct rays.
Porch furniture and floor coverings are also protected by the shade, thereby extending the lifetime of porch furniture and the enjoyment of outdoor viewing spaces.
Aesthetically designed covered porches can creatively be used as an excellent frame to an incredible view.
6. Create Your Own View
Not all properties come with naturally beautiful views. However, views can still be achieved by creating a beautiful outdoor space that’s equally as enjoyable to look at as it is to spend time in. The previous 5 solutions can still be applied to maximize the views of your constructed outdoor space.
The Big Picture
With an intuitive residential design specialist able to see the big picture, your home becomes a work of art, woven into the tapestry that Mother Nature has already provided.
Your perspective of life shifts when your eye meets the beauty of nature. Your views are not only reflective of the way you see the world around you, they are integral to the way you see yourself within the world.
Carl Jung said, “who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens”.
I intend your views of nature inspire you to live a YOU-Inspired life. You deserve it!
Inspired by YOU,
Jenny Pippin, CPBD, FAIBD, CGP
Pippin Home Designs
I am Jenny Pippin, founder of Pippin Home Designs and creator of my own inspired living. I grew up as an ordinary southern girl, working in the fields of my family’s tobacco farm. It didn’t take me long to realize I had greater gifts and so I chose to step into my power and create my own path in life, inspired by my heart’s true passion. (More on my personal story in future posts.Stay tuned!)