Oak Park, Illinois just west of Chicago, is known for many things. One that residents are most proud of is their trove of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. A number of houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are there and the Chicago Architecture Foundation (www.architecture.org) gives a tour of them. In addition, The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust (https://flwright.org/tours) has restored the home that he lived in with his first wife and six children. Guided tours of it are given to the public.
This week we took a tour and it was certainly worth the visit. I had to admire the design of the house. What I especially liked was its simplicity and lack of clutter. The large windows and skylights let in lots of light. The attention to every detail is amazing from the design of the furniture and murals to the light fixtures and objects on the shelves. Frank Lloyd Wright was an admirer of Japanese art in particular and there are several Japanese sculptures and paintings throughout the house. The influence of Asian design can be seen throughout. Although Frank Lloyd Wright was a collector of objects of art, paintings, and all things unusual and interesting, he was able to design places to put all of them. There are built-in shelves, cabinets, and closets all fitting in beautifully with his overall design. What is left is a feeling of space and clean lines amid an attention to detail that is stunning and beautiful.
|Looking out through windows onto the street|
|skylight in the dining room|
|Murals adorning one of the rooms|
Inspired by this vision, I left the Frank Lloyd Wright House determined to go home and clean out more closets and shelves. The visit provided me with an ideal for which to strive in my attempt to de-clutter. That house was the gold standard to which I now aspire. Ever since the 2016 election, I’ve been cleaning out closets, emptying drawers and shelves, and shredding any papers that I no longer need. At first, the impetus was to have less to pack in case we have to move.
Since starting this project, however, I have found some other benefits. I can actually walk in my bedroom walk-in closet. Everything is neatly where I left it. I freed up loads of space in my file cabinets and have room now for all my latest projects. My bookshelves have room for new books and I’m no longer tripping over boxes in the bedroom. I think I like this.
Now it’s onward to the next set of shelves. Next time people come to visit, I hope that they can see some open spaces. It may remind them of Frank Lloyd Wright.