Design snapshot: Shapely balustrade

White-on-white vignettes animated by profile, texture, and depth appeal to my sense of "complex order".  Winifred Gallagher writes in House Thinking that, according to architect Grant Hildebrand and his colleagues at the University of Washington, "complex order" is a factor among several which “enhance our experience of home”.  Plus, the interlocking positive/negative space created by this shapely balustrade, which serves an antique winding stair in New England, brings the work of Carl Larsson to mind.

For those not familiar with Larsson, he was a Swedish water-color artist whose paintings of family life within his cherished home Little Hyttnas are much celebrated today.  I admire both his water colors and the home he lovingly created in Sundborn.

by Carl LarssonThe Larsson entry-scene painting (shown here as a thumbnail) at Little Hyttnas captures his affinity for cut-out shapes and the intimate spaces they frame and enliven.  Though a rusty orange color ties subject to building to earth, I would argue that this work would still be spatially intriguing if rendered in shades of white.

I offer the winding stair and balustrade as case and point.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast