An(ne)Architecture Blog

postings on architecture and all things related

For Creativity to Thrive it Needs a Place to Call Home

Anne Sciarrone - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I couldnt be happier to have a place for H. Anne Blakely Sciarrone Architecture to call home! 

For Creativity to ThriveMaybe you've heard stories of new business owners setting up offices in basements, garages, or spare bedrooms.  It seems as though every entrepreneurial architect has a story of their less than desirable office setting for some period of time in the beginning months of their fledgling practice.  It’s as if it’s a rite of passage.

Our charming little 1920s bungalow has plenty of old house character but undoubtedly lacks in extra space.  We have no basement, garage or spare bedroom and our attic is unconditioned. So when I moved out of my office at NCG in 2010, I set up shop in my kitchen.   Well, not exactly IN my kitchen but in the Butlers Pantry area.  You might be familiar with the space that was typical of the era - that cute little five foot wide room between the Dining Room and Kitchen with the built-in hutch.  Several years back when we renovated our kitchen, we widened the opening between the Kitchen and Butlers Pantry to make the Kitchen feel larger.  We filled the space under the window with a nice deep maple butcher block table that my husband salvaged from the architecture building at Georgia Tech and thats where our family computer was located.  It was already a business center of sorts, so it made good sense that I would work there temporarily while I got things up and running.  

I started plans for a studio in my back yard this past summer. While I was having a good time with the design, the work I had to do for my clients was first in line.  It became clear that it would be a while before the backyard studio would come to life.  So imagine my excitement when I received an email from my friend Dolly, who had heard of a space available in her building!

I’m delighted to say that as of October 2014, I finally moved out of the kitchen!  Who knew that Id be sitting in that spot for four years? I’m now the proud lessee of an office and cubical within the office suite of Mountain View Group, a creative communications company.  I’m surrounded every day by awesome creative people.  I love the energy!   We are located in the Blue Horse Building in Inman Park Village which is convenient to Atlantas beltline and tons of amazing restaurants and shops.  I have lots to explore in an area of Atlanta that has seen much growth and development over the last several years.  

Filled with natural light, the office is also now home to my beloved plants.  I finally have all my books and equipment in one place and the office is still plenty big enough for me to spread my wings.  I miss my cats, but love it when my office mates bring their dogs to work for a little furry love. 

“For creativity to thrive it needs a space to call home.”  I cut this quote out of a magazine some time ago.  I dont know from where or exactly when, but I’ve had the quote pinned to my bulletin board for more than a few years now.  As an architect I know how important ones environment is to their well being.  I knew I needed a different place to do my work.  It wasnt very healthy for me to have no boundaries between my home life and work.  And working in such a tight space with all my things spread out throughout the house was frustrating to say the least.  I suppose I just had to wait for the stars to align, but having moved into this office space I’m happier AND more productive.  I’m so grateful to have found the perfect place for my creativity to call home.

Is there something that’s been bugging you about your environment?  Would a little more space make your everyday life easier?  Are your employees in a setting that allows them to maximize their productivity?  Dont wait like I did to make a change!

Designing the Spaces Where Traditions are Created and Memories are Made

Anne Sciarrone - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What a wonderful Holiday Season celebrating Holidays with family and friends! 

All the festivity of this season has inspired me to reflect on the importance of tradition in our lives. 

Traditions tie us to each other; they ground us in the roots from where we have come.  Traditions are a way of honoring, of remembering, and they are also a way of welcoming.  Through our traditions we tell our stories and invite others to be a part.

Festa Dei Sette Pesci

Our familys most notable tradition is our Christmas Eve meal.  For nearly 15 years, my husband has been following in the footsteps of his Italian grandmother by preparing a Festa dei sette pesci (Feast of the Seven Fishes).  In the days leading up to Christmas Eve, he carefully plans the meal and shops for the finest ingredients.  By December 24th all Christmas baking must be completed and cleared out because the kitchen is off limits to anything but the preparation of our evening meal.  I clean and decorate and set out our fine china and silver.  After returning home from the Pageant Service at our Church we open our home to our extended family and eat and drink with much merriment, lingering at the table through several courses. 

It is a labor of love and it gets better and better every year.  I wonder if our children will carry this tradition on; I know they will share the stories at the very least.   In the mean time, I hope to have a larger dining room one day so we can add more seats at the table. 

In addition to our family traditions, it’s always a special highlight for me to attend celebrations held by my clients.  I love knowing that the spaces I have designed will one day be back drops for their traditions.   

Jason and Melanie’s basement couldn’t be a more fitting space to host a Holiday Wine Tasting with its exposed stone walls and warm stained wood ceiling and bar.   It was their dream to convert the once unfinished space into the heart of their entertaining.   And boy do they throw a good party!  

Rob, the consummate cook and host, brought the low-country tradition of an oyster roast to his Grant Park Victorian cottage.  It was just as we imagined as we planned his kitchen expansion - his guests gathered around the large island helping themselves to the most amazing Brunswick stew and refilling their eggnog. 

There really is nothing more satisfying to me than to see my clients enjoying the spaces weve created together and sharing those spaces with their family and friends.  This is precisely why I do what I do!

What are your special traditions?  Is your space the perfect place to house those traditions?  Or are there ways to make even a small change in your environment allow those traditions to come alive?  

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