Lines of sight, in nature and interior design

Lines of sight, in nature and interior design

Lines of sight in nature and interior design

I've just spent a week immersed in the majestic landscape of the American West, first the high desert of Nevada and Idaho, then Yellowstone National Park, and finally the Teton Range. Absorbing the long vistas, the narrow passes, and the sheltered lanes made me think about lines of sight.

Draw a line between where you are and the furthest object you can see. That's your line of sight. What do you see? How far can you see? What's visible? What's hidden?

We can learn from the way lines of sight unfold in the natural world. Nature doesn't line the furniture up against the walls and carefully avoid overlapping. She hints and teases. There's more to come around the bend of this river or on the other side of that mountain.

How to identify lines of sight in your room

Start by looking at what's directly in front of you, then focus on what's a few steps away, and finally venture to the edge of the room and what's beyond through the window. All of that is part of the line of sight.

Your view changes when your position changes.

  • What happens if you stand in one spot and turn in a circle?
  • What do you see when seated in a chair?
  • What is hidden from a room's doorway that you will see as you move into the space?
All of these views are part of a dynamic definition of line of sight that can add mystery and delight to the rooms you design.


Gardner River at Sheepeater's Cliff Yellowstone National Park

 Gardner River from Sheepeater's Cliff, Yellowstone National Park



Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & founder of Wide Canvas
She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas, a kitchen and bath design studio in Reno, Nevada.

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