The Mysterious Chimney

Steam plant chimneyRising from behind a line of trees that slopes into the lake is a mysterious chimney. Occasionally there was smoke billowing out of it, but what was it connected to? After some research I found out: a steam plant! As I’ve stated in previous posts, I work in and around many historic buildings. When our buildings were constructed, they featured a state of the art heating technology: steam. To this day, all our buildings are still heated by an onsite steam plant. It’s a very cool piece of history and also a wonder of technology. Do you have a unique piece of history or technology where you work or live? If so, take a photo! Not only is it a great conversation piece to add to your decor, but it’s also a great way to capture a piece of history.

Sunset Over the City

Sunset over city_pink skyThere’s nothing like looking out the window and seeing a beautiful sunset! As seen above, I was able to get a gorgeous shot of the sky as the sun was setting. I love how it was lit up in various shades of pink, the clouds looking like waves. The columned building, along with maple and pine trees gives added depth to this shot. The best part? If you look towards the bottom of the picture, you’ll notice the twinkling of city lights! This is a great time of year to take photos of beautiful sunsets. You can prominently display one on a wall, or create a collection of photos to decorate several areas in your space. No matter what you choose, you can bring a beautiful Spring sky into your home!

The Artistic Water Garden

Water Garden_dryThe concrete structure pictured above is not simply an art installation, it’s actually a Water Garden! This structure is made up of multi-tiered fountains that were designed to create a unique urban oasis that included trees, a brick walkway, and lush lawns. How nice to walk out of your office building and be greeted by a lush lawn and the sound of flowing water! Sadly, the fountain was shut off due to leaks and a cracked foundation, and the repairs have been on indefinite hold. Despite this, it’s still a place that can be enjoyed daily by the surrounding office buildings. Remember, even places that have lost their luster are still a great inspiration. Whether it’s an old building or unused fountain, these places offer both a respite from the daily grind and a great photo op!

Brick and Stone

Brick and stone combination buildingAs someone who loves architecture, I couldn’t help but notice the striking combination of brick and stone on a nearby building. The majority of the building’s fa├žade is made up of bricks laid horizontally, with those above the windows laid vertically. The top portion features a plain stone band, with a second band of carved stone below it. The reason this works is because the building’s brick isn’t your typical red variety. It’s a softer color variation that allows the stone bands to pair well in the overall design. In addition, the carved stone creates a unique architectural element that gives an elegant twist to an otherwise ordinary building. You can create a similar look by adding a border to any room in your home. Borders are an easy way to add interest to a space without investing a lot of time or money. With a little imagination, you can add a special touch to any space!

Decorating with Door Knobs: Part 1

Law library door handlesWhile it’s not uncommon for people to update various elements of their space, a room’s door is usually ignored. Although most think the only way to make a substantial update to a door is to paint it, there’s a quicker, less messy option: install new door hardware! Adding updated hardware can modernize even the oldest door, and can also give the door any look you want (vintage, retro, Victorian, antique, etc.). In the next several posts I’ll be showing examples of hardware that you can use in your own space. First up are the door handles leading into my local law library. As seen above, this is a double-door entry that features door handles instead of knobs. Given the size of the doors and their location in an old, historic building, this hardware is the perfect pairing with its surroundings.

Law library door handle_close-up

The close-up photo (above) shows the intricate patterns around the perimeter of the hardware, as well as various detailing at the top and bottom. Want the same look in your own space? Similar hardware can be found at online retailers, as well as big box hardware stores. Whether you choose a style with knobs or handles, you can easily update your space and add new life to an old door!

Optical Illusions

Optical illusion building_two to oneSome of the best pictures you can take are ones that create an optical illusion. This can be easily accomplished by changing the angle of your camera, or taking photos in different types of light. The picture to the right is an example of how changing angles can create an optical illusion. Despite how it looks, this is not a picture of a building-it’s actually two buildings. By going around the block and adjusting my camera, I was able to turn two buildings into one! Displaying similar pictures in your space is a great way to use locations you might have already photographed in different ways. Remember, there are a myriad of ways to create optical illusions. All you need is a bit of imagination and adventure to create an original photo that’s uniquely you.

Carved in Stone

Carved marble motif in wallAs I walked through the lobby of my building, I notice a discreetly carved floral motif on the marble walls. I love how this type of decoration adds to, rather than takes away from, the beautiful marble. Three brass strips above and below the carving add interest. This is a great example of using detailed motifs that blend in with a room’s decor. Use different patterns, motifs, or accessories to create interest in your space, but keep it in the same color family to have a cohesive look. No matter what type of material you use, you can create an amazing look that won’t over power your space.

Twin Barns

Twin BarnsI was checking out my local wildlife refuge when I noticed a structure off in the distance. As I got closer I realized it was a pair of historic, old barns. So cool! I love old buildings, and these had been lovingly preserved (looking through the windows it was obvious they were now used for storage). The distressed white paint on the building creates a shabby chic look. Does your space have a shabby chic or county look? Photos of old barns are the perfect accessory! They add interest to any space and are a great conversation piece. Not only will your guests marvel at your ability to tie a look together, but you’ll also have an awesome memory from a day spent finding old buildings!

The Weathered Wood

Weathered drift wood_close upIt’s amazing how your perspective of an object can change depending on where you are in proximity to it. Case in point? The close-up photo I took of a section of driftwood. It looks both intricate and unique, and most people probably couldn’t tell what object was originally photographed. A photo like this would be great to add interest to a den or office. Want the same look? Try using a common object to inspire you to look at something differently. Have a favorite flower, building, machine, or other object? Try photographing it at different distances and angles. You’ll be surprised how unique your photos turn out to be! Remember, no matter if it’s an object or a person, you can always find a new perspective on something familiar.

Old Buildings: Concrete

Abandoned building: concreteThe building pictured is in the same vicinity as the brick one pictured in my last post. This particular area has multiple abandoned buildings attached together. Due to this, it’s an awesome place to take photographs. These buildings are located in a small historic district with other preserved buildings (though some of the buildings are closed for safety reasons). Many cities and towns have areas with historic buildings, so check your local area. Whether you snag a picture of a brick, stucco, art deco, or mid-century building, all that matters is that you enjoy the look. So what are you waiting for?