We are now to consider this subject in detail. The problems of domestic architecture are complex not simple. Its elements are numerous and varied. Ecclesiastical architecture has fewer difficulties to contend with than domestic. A church is built for a specific purpose, a dwelling house stands for a dozen interests, some of them apparently conflicting. It must be at the same time a workshop and a place of rest. In it provision must be made for the sick and the well, the young and the old, for sleeping, eating, and cooking, as well as for the entertainment of guests.
It requires skill of, a high order in more ways than one to plan a successful house. A house plan is to be regarded as successful only when it meets the requirements for comfort and convenience of the particular family for which it is intended. It is evident then that house plans should not grow, like mushrooms, in a night but should be given ample time for development.
The architect should be made familiar in so far as practicable with the personal preferences of the family in order that he may the better plan for their comfort.
A SIMPLE HOME. Cement Stucco Finish with Pleasing Details. Windows in Leaded Glass with Hinged Double Windows. Lawrence Buck, Architect, Chicago.
The Main Rooms Are Finished in Cypress Stained a Flemish Brown. The Walls Are Covered with Burlap.
The Fireplace in the Main Bedroom Is a Very Desirable Feature.
It is not for the architect to express the personality of the owner, but to help the home maker to do so. Six months or a year is not too long a period in which to consider the plans for the new house. In the meantime it is well for the family to collect as many concrete examples as possible of the things that seem to them desirable in the new home.
The sight of the real may often do away utterly with an ideal that had been cherished for sometime. Having collected and considered these various ideas it is well to formulate some method of procedure, to make some analysis of house plans, an outline, if you please, of essentials and non-essentials.
However much house plans may differ in details it is evident that the whole space enclosed by the four walls must serve at least two purposes; one part of it will serve as a place to rest, work, or sleep in; and another portion must serve as a means of communication. This fact serves as a basis for the division of the entire space into rooms and thoroughfares. This first division is of great importance. The comfort and convenience of many a house has been forever destroyed by the fact that the thoroughfares were improperly located, or in wrong proportion to the size of the house, and the cost of heating has been materially increased by a wrong distribution of floor space.
We all know of houses in which the distance from the front door to the kitchen is so great that the time and energy used in answering the front door bell leaves little of either for anything else, and other houses where wide drafty halls and open stairways take the heat from the small rooms and leave the occupants shivering before the grate.
The manufacturer constructs his "plant" so as to save time and labor for his workmen. Ought not the same care to be given to the construction of his house?
The space and money expended in passage ways be-yond that required for comfort and convenience adds to the expense in building and later in the care and furnishing without yielding an adequate equivalent. Both rooms and thoroughfares admit of classification. The rooms may be divided as those intended (1) for the use of the family, (2) for the use of the servants.
Yet another division may be made of the rooms. In every home there are rooms set apart for family use, for the entrance of the friend or stranger, and there are other rooms for the private use of the individual members of the family.