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1:01 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Invest wisely in beauty

"If you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Often, we can find inspiration and a truth that resonates when we listen to other designers. I enjoy collecting designer quotes and the above resonates with me.

As a leading innovative architect and furniture designer of his time, Wright found beauty all around him in the natural settings of his projects. He believed that building design should be organic - primarily connected to its surroundings and only secondarily meeting the client's needs. He's known for his extensive use of woods and natural materials, clean and simple lines, and his Prairie homes (early 1900s) are credited with being the first examples of an "open" floor plan.

Taliesin, located in Phoenix, is a nearby example of his style - a home perfectly suited to its surroundings; it is low and flat, presenting a small, quiet footprint in the desert. Built entirely of local stone and wood, the home blends into the background so much as to be almost invisible.

Wright frequently designed much of the furniture for his homes, and Taliesin is filled with built-ins he created. I had the opportunity to visit it a few years ago and recommend you visit if you get the chance.

"Invest wisely in beauty" are words all of us should hold dear ... certainly it applies to home decorating. Invest your dollars in things you love and that are well made so you can enjoy them for years - art, a comfy sofa with pretty lines, an area rug that's soft underfoot but also a joy to look at every day. Wouldn't investing in beauty also include the written word - a great book? A garden that brings year round pleasure?

For help with your decorating dilemmas and to find more detailed information, photos and projects, visit my Web site: www.YourDecoratingHotline.com or e-mail me at solutions@YourDecoratingHotline.com.