Enticement is the third of five characteristics that are thought to create an inherently likeable building, according to researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle. Since well created architecture is important to our physical and spiritual well being, you need to make your home or cottage a place that provides you a daily delight.
Enticement draws you in, and makes you want more. Rather than planning a space that opens up in its totality as soon as you walk in to door, aim for a space that is more coquettish. Just like the clothing that gives a mere peek of what lies below, a room that provides glimpses of other spaces that lie beyond arouses you both physically and mentally. A glimpse through a doorway, a view of a well lit hallway beckons you to explore, keeps your mind engaged and your imagination peaked. An appealing room partially visible tells you enough, that you would like to know more.
Like Robert Frost’s road less travelled, having a choice of two paths creates mystery and appeal. In your garden, a path that forks gives you a choice, and makes you wonder what is down the path you did not choose.
A framed view entices you forward because it makes the scene more intense. To prove this, use your camera view finder to see how limiting it is included in the frame increases the intensity of what you see. As humans we are drawn toward light and so a window wall well placed, or a light flooded wall entices you forward.
Enticement can be created in your home or cottage through creating partially hidden views. Installing an interior window shows you a portion of another room, creating a desire to see more of it. Appealing colours and light showing from behind a louvered wall entices you to poke your head around to get a better look. A light shining from beyond the end of a hall compels you to explore.
Rooms that are behind solid walls and closed doors can be forgotten and left unused. This can easily happen with a formal living room that has no connecting view from the busy hub of the house. However, with the use of French doors, which enable you to peer partially into the space, you are much more tempted to enter the serenity it provides from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen family room.
In our cottage the hall has a large nautically shaped porthole window at the end of the hall that lights the area and clearly shows how that area widens and holds something more. Visitors have a tendency to peer down the hall, attracted by the light and the intrigue. The light creates a desire to walk into that area and in fact that it is off limits only intensifies the allure.
Looking through a loggia or gallery entices you with desire to explore the upper floors. A partial view of a comfortable chair, stool and reading light against a wall of books has you imagining having the time to linger there to read.
As a culture, we are hesitant to intrude on another’s privacy and so an increasingly inclusive steps, to take you from the public spaces of arrival into the intimacy of the building’s interior, feels most relaxing and inviting.
When you first arrive, the house or cottage should welcome you with a suitable place to park and a path that leads you to the front door. Handsome plantings, landscapes, art or entry structures like pergolas coax your forward. If the door is engagingly embellished or brightly painted it attracts your attention and draws you to it. If a small porch with an overhang greets you, you feel protected and cared for. These are all welcoming experiences.
Upon entry it is comfortable to have a suitable place to stand as you take off your coats or remove your boots and be ready to be received into the family areas of the home or cottage. Too instant a transition from public to private spaces is jarring and somewhat unsettling. You will know this feeling in you enter through a sliding glass door into the family room. A graceful transition prepares you to enjoy the experience you will have inside the home or cottage.
Next time you arrive home, try to look through the eyes of a visiting guest and seek out the enticement that exists at your cottage. If you are not satisfied with what you see, it is easy, and often inexpensive, to make your cottage more enticing.
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