Blog by Beebe Cline

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Line Up for Intriguing Horizontal Elements in Design

A horizontal line might be the very first line humans were aware of. As our ancestors watched the sun set over a flat, straight horizon, they were introduced to a classic design motif that never gets old. Let's look at some new ways designers are accenting the horizontal to fit the landscape, make room for company or simply celebrate humor and whimsy.
Horizontal pavers are not that unusual, but accented with a brilliant orange door with horizontal cutouts, they make a big statement.
Sometimes little changes can make a big difference in a space. Notice how the simple striped pillows on this couch accent the horizontal lines of the banisters. Also notice how the choice of a streamlined, boxy couch also correlates well with the horizontal lines in the space.
Long and Low Horizontals Cry Out for Company

When working with a long and low horizontal dining space, you can either break up that expansive horizontal area or accent it with a deep and wide table chock-full of dining chairs. The long horizontal light fixture and artwork above the windows give the horizontal lines even more power.
This long and low home is accented perfectly by a long and low privacy fence. The lines work together instead of competing, allowing the house to fit snugly into its surroundings.
Rethink Traditional and Celebrate Horizontals

Bathtubs are often rounded. Even if they fit into a square space, the design always reads oval thanks to the interior cutout. But when installing a freestanding tub, consider a rectangular design to accent other horizontals in your space. The shape story continues here with the choice of rectangular, low-profile sinks.
When you have a large bank of cabinetry against a horizontal line, as here, opening up a long rectangular box in the middle can make a pleasing design statement. The same line is repeated in steel gray with the table, shifted to the left for a perfectly asymmetrical setup.
Accent Horizontals With Verticals

Accenting horizontals doesn't mean everything in a space has to run on the same line. In this bathroom the repeating horizontals, from the cabinet doors to the backsplash to the mirror, are contrasted and accented by similar lines turned vertically on the floor.
Simple stripes go a long way toward emphasizing horizontals, but notice the play on direction with the ceiling stripes here.
Look around your spaces today. Which lines are inherent in the architecture of your house? Are there horizontals that you could played on with furniture arrangements, accessory choices or even a new paint treatment? While at first horizontals might seem commonplace, they can make fascinating designs in any space.