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The large house represented on title page by first floor, second floor and roof plans, together with general perspective view, is a fair sample of the American country house, devoid of all nonsensical features tending to belittle the character of the general design, and illustrates one of the most sensible homes it has been our lot to plan. This house is built of red croton brick, with trimmings of buff brick, terra cotta and brown stone. The face of gables are tiled, roofs slated and ridges covered with terra cotta. It was recently built at Peekskill, N. Y., at a cost of about $9,000, and is said to be the most attractive house yet built in the place although several erected there have cost many times what it did. The entrance hall is eleven feet wide, and contains fireplace, stair case, seat, closet, alcove, etc., is very finely finished in oak, a rich dark color, giving an impression that is sure to be pleasing to the incomer. The parlor, to left, and sitting room, at right of hall, are connected by wide sliding doors, as are also the library and sitting room. Thus the three rooms and front entrance hall can be opened up as one room—a most desirable feature in a house of this class. The angle bay in sitting room, and location of fireplaces, are especially happy in their relation to each other. The library connects with a spacious toilet room, which in turn opens into back hall, a large closet being provided in each of these, as will be seen by a careful study of the plan. The back hall is very conveniently arranged for free and easy access to all parts of the house, and the Porte Cochere, in connection with the side veranda or porch, is a feature that cannot well be dispensed with in a country home. The dining room is a fine one, replete with conveniences, having fireplace on one side and a sideboard built in opposite ; also a spacious china closet is here provided, in which to lock up rare and costly china, and the passage way, or butler's pantry, from dining room to kitchen, is fitted up with tables, presses, drawers, etc., and is well lighted from the pantry by means of a glass slide in the partition, which is also convenient for passing dishes through. There is also a door from this passage way to cellar stairs—as well as one from kitchen—a feature essential to all first-class houses, as it often occurs that it is necessary for members of the family to pass to cellar-way, and they dislike to go through kitchen to get there. The laundry is placed on the first floor, and contains the wash tubs and refrigerator ; also a clothes closet for dirty clothes, with shute from floor above.
The second floor contains six fine chambers, a sewing room over front hall, bath room, and well lighted halls, closets in abundance, and the rooms are so connected together as to be very desirable for family use in suite as may be required.
The attic contains two finished rooms and a large amount of storage accommodation. There is a cellar under the whole house, containing storerooms, partitioned off, and the house throughout is warmed by a large portable hot air furnace, fed with cold air taken from a point about ten feet above grade level, the cold air duct or inlet being built in with the brick work behind parlor chimney. This is considered an excellent arrangement when the construction is such that it can be adopted, as it takes the cold air supply from a point where the air is more pure than is usually the case at the ground level.
The first story of the house is finished in hard woods, principally cherry and oak, the kitchen and back hall parts of yellow pine ; second story rooms all of white pine, the whole of the woods being filled and then finished with two coats of superior varnish, rubbed down to a true, even, dead finish. The transom lights to first story windows are of art glass, as are also the top panels in front entrance and vestibule doors. The staircase windows are also of art glass.
Such a house as this requires a large lot on which to build it, so as to show it up to the best advantage, and is a good sample of what the homes of many successful business men ought to be who appreciate their spare moments and desire to spend them in enjoyment and social intercourse with the family, free from the cares and restraints of the business world. Such homes as this are wanted all over our country, and it is the business men of fair means who can live in them, and who, by so doing, will educate the public taste to appreciate the sensible and artistic treatment that is so satisfying and pleasing to the mind through the eye, cultivating the taste for something honest and simple in construction, and leading the desire away from that which is pernicious and in and taste, made only to gratify the whims and caprices of the ignorant and uneducated, as is too often the case where houses of considerable pretension are sometimes executed and built by impracticable and selfish builders, whose great boast is generally that they planned this and that, and it was awful expensive ; in fact, costing in many instances double what a carefully studied design in harmony with the requirements would have done had the parties building exercised the same care and judgment in so doing that they would in any other business matter involving a like outlay.
The style of this house would be termed by many an adaptation of the so-called Queen Anne, with all the eccentricities and nonsensical features of the same entirely dispensed with, being free from all objectionable features and absurdities that have become so common in such styled houses the last two or three years. The exterior wood work is painted Indian red and bronze green, giving very happy contrasts with the buff and red brick, and they are probably the best colors that could be adopted.
The small perspective sketch on upper left corner of title page is a general view of design No. 3, plate No. 2.
The centre perspective on margin is a view of design No. 2, plate No. 2, and the lower one is a general perspective view of design No. 4, plate No. 2, to which the reader is referred for full particulars.CHAPTER 2
Design 2 represents an attractive two-story cottage in wood, containing eight rooms and bath room, there being two very nice rooms'on third or attic floor, where there is ample space for same ; the front hall is large and roomy, answering nicely for a reception room, the seat by stairs and closet under stairs being very useful accessions ; the back stairs are very handily arranged and the kitchen is nicely isolated from the main part of the house ; the front porch and piazza are very spacious, giving ample room for two groups to gather without interfering with each other, and the second-floor balcony opening from the hall is a very nice feature, affording a cool and secluded nook in which to sit and read or sew. The style of this house, with first story clapboarded, second story shingled and gables finished in plaster with stencil work stamped into same and picked out in color, may be termed unique. Such a house painted on body of first story a green drab, shingles of second story old gold, the gable work buff, and general trimmings of sage green, with the mouldings, etc., picked out with Indian red, makes a very attractive appearance, very pleasing to the eye, and a bright spot in the landscape. Cost, $3,200.
Design 3 is a pleasant little brick cottage, suitable for a small family, and is one of those pleasant little buildings that are always agreeable to the eye in almost any position. The plan is a very compact and convenient one, and the design is suitable for a gate lodge to a brick mansion, which might be in harmony with the style here shown. The house, built with an even-colored, clean, common red brick, trimmed with pressed and moulded brick and terra cotta, all laid up in red mortar and oiled, the roofs tiled or slated with red or black slate, makes it very effective. The open balconies on second and third stories over hall are nice features of the design which give a character to the whole not otherwise obtained. The sliding doors between parlor and dining room are a great help to sociability, and the fire places as arranged together in the corners of the rooms, come prettily into one chimney above the roof; the inside wood-work in natural white or Georgia pine filled and varnished. Range in the kitchen, brick set, and the whole house heated by a small furnace placed in the cellar at less cost than if heated by two stoves, and the latter could only heat about one-third of the house at best. Cost $3,800.
Design 4 is an example of brick, timber and tile, which makes an excellent combination when rightly handled. The first story is brick on a stone underpinning of irregular ashler in rock faced range. The front porch is particularly handsome and spacious. The first floor plan is conveniently arranged and well suited to the needs of a small family of refined tastes ; the dining room has a recess for a sideboard, and the conservatory connecting with parlor and dining room is a nice feature and a source of enjoyment to the lover of nature in plant life; the second floor has four fine chambers with good closets, and there is space in attic to finish off servant's room. Cost, $4,100.
Design 5 is a neat frame cottage well adapted for a gardner's or a coachman's residence. Could be built with or without cellar, as circumstances require, and if placed in a proper location where it would be partially hid by foliage, would make a very necessary addition to a country seat, where the servant would always be within easy call and under the master's eye. Cost complete, $1.200.CHAPTER 3
Design 6 comes somewhere near the requirements of the thrifty mechanic who, by dint of steady perseverance and self- denial, has saved enough money to buy a suburban lot where it is not too far out for him to walk to and from his daily toil. Such lots in the suburbs of a large city are nearly always laid out twenty-five feet wide and one hundred feet deep, and this design is adapted to a lot of this size and still leaves ample room to get all around it. By reference to plans it will be seen that it contains six good rooms, bath-room, front and back stairs and plenty of good closet room. A fireplace is provided in the parlor which would serve for ventilating the first floor. The front porch has seats on each side, thus providing a ready and convenient sitting-down place. The side-rear veranda is a nice, cozy spot to sit evenings and enjoy a quiet pipe and the daily paper. The sash door from the dining room renders it possible for anyone to pass out without disturbing the privacy of the kitchen. Such houses as this, neatly finished, painted in tints, with bath-room fixtures and cellar under whole house, cost about $2,000, and on a lot in value about $500 more would be a reasonable rent to live under.
Design 7 is another cottage suited to a narrow lot, and gives seven rooms on two floors. This house is very simple in plan and outline, and is, what is generally called, a one-and-a-half-story. There are no back stairs, no bath-room and no waste room. The only water fixture is a sink which can be supplied with water from cistern in rear, so arranged as to collect all the water from the roofs and supply it at kitchen sink through a pump. This would make a cozy home for quite a large family, and nicely built and finished, would make a home that no one need be ashamed of. The fireplaces on first floor can easily be left out if economy demanded it : though they would be better in, as they help to furnish the rooms, and are both useful and orna mental. Such a house as this is not so costly as No. 6 by some $300, and yet it gives as much available room.
Design 8 illustrates a small cottage of four large rooms, which can be placed on a lot 20 feet wide ; the stairs start up from the living-room, and cellar is reached from hall; the general character of the design is pleasing, and would paint up very effectively in deep tones ; there is room for one or more rooms in attic which would help out the accommodation ; good closets are provided, porch-room ample, and with a cellar under the whole house gives sufficient room for an ordinary family at a small outlay, being simple and free from expensive features. Cost $1, 600. In good localities where lumber and labor are plenty, the cost would be much less. This design is capable of several changes that would add or diminish the cost as parties might need.
Design 9 represents a very roomy and attractive house suited to an ordinary city lot, and would give ample accommodation for quite a large family, there being space enough in attic for two rooms, if needed; the entrance hall is large and makes a nice reception room and with a simple staircase of pine, with ash rails, newel and balusters, the hall windows stepping up with stairs and containing border lights of cathedral tinted glass, the effect would be very cheerful and enlivening to those entering. The space under stairs can be utilized for closets for hall and dining-room, and the three main rooms connecting as they do with front hall makes the first floor very desirable. A private back stair is arranged up and down from the kitchen and the back entry to kitchen and dining-room is a good arrangement. Four good chambers, each with large closet, are provided on second floor. A slate roof would be appropriate and add to the appearance more than the difference in cost over shingle. Cost, $2,800.CHAPTER 4
Design 10, a type of house that needs a special site, as a shallow lot with a good frontage, or a hillside lot where the rear would come well out of ground. The arrangement of rooms is good, and will suit a large number of people who want a very nice home of few rooms, and yet need the conveniences of a larger house. With the two rooms and front hall on first floor finished in hard wood, and other parts in pine, filled and polished, the effect would be very pleasing. The sideboard built in recess with a small art glass window through centre of same, with glass worked into an appropriate subject ; the corner fireplace to have a neat mantel with shelves or overmantel above, on which to display a few pieces, of china ; the china closet forms the communication to kitchen, and is a convenient arrangement, as here the crockery can be stored handy to both rooms and a slide between pantry and china closet will save many steps around from one room to the other. The ice closet or refrigerator in back entry is so fixed that ice can be put into same from the back porch, the door from entry being used for access to same from inside. The bath room on second floor is convenient and well located, and if it were necessary to have more room on this floor it can be obtained by carrying up the part over pantries, and making two bed rooms over kitchen part where now only one is shown. Cost of erection, $2, 500.
Design 11 is another type of house with some of the features similar to No. 10, and contains about the same amount of room and general conveniences, but with an entirely different exterior mold ; the first story of this design is of brick on a stone underpinning or cellar wall, the whole having a decidedly classic feeling in the ornamentation of same ; the main body of the second story over the brick work is covered with shingles, which can be of California redwood to very good advantage, finished natural with spar varnish, the other woodwork being bronze green, the roofs slated ; a clothes shute is provided from bath room down through china closet to laundry under kitchen, which is a handy arrangement, as the dirty clothes can be dropped in at each floor, and they are always ready to the wash tubs when wanted. Cost to carry out as here shown, $2,800.
Design 12 represents another type of the six room house, giving a very nice entrance hall, containing stairs and fireplace and so connected to back hall as to shut off and isolate the kitchen nicely, and yet any part of the house can be reached from either entrance. This would make a very nice suburban home and a good servant's room can be provided in attic. The three chimneys are brought together in one large stack above the roof and thus reduces the expense and adds to the general appearance, as too much chimney is sometimes not desirable. The painting is—body color, a light sea green buff ; trimmings of olive drab ; outside blinds and shingle work, Venetian red, sash white. Cost, $2,700.
Excerpted from Palliser's New Cottage Homes, 1887 by Dover Publications. Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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