While the subject is "The House," it is almost impossible to separate it in thought from the home for which it stands. We all appreciate that the house is not the home, as the body is not the spirit, but as the body serves as the means of expression for the spirit, so in the houses we build and furnish we show our appreciation of beauty or the lack of it. We give, quite unconsciously perhaps, our definition of home.
All this thought and care then is to be expended upon the house, not only that it may be a comfortable and convenient workshop for home industries, but also a place in which child life may develop among artistic and beautiful surroundings, and that it shall at the same time serve as a place of rest and inspiration for the older members of the family.
There should, then, be a very definite idea in the mind of the owner of the amount of money he wishes to expend and the kind of family life he wishes to maintain in this house. It is to be built for his family, not his neighbors. The real comfort and convenience of the family are not to be sacrificed to display for the chance guest. Comfort may demand that the expense of the parlor mantel be put into the kitchen sink. Essentials, not fancy work, are to be considered.
The selection of a suitable site is one of the first considerations. To be sure it is quite probable that to the vast majority of home makers the opportunity for choice in the details of location and construction may not be given; but this paper is written from the standpoint of the freedom of choice in the belief that it is better to strive for ideal conditions than to omit them from life's program.
Where then shall the new house be put? On the hill or in the valley? In the city or in the country? The answer to these questions will vary according to the tastes of the different owners, but in each case certain questions should be very carefully considered in choosing the location of the house. The character of the soil; the natural slope of the land; the direction of the prevailing winds; the possibilities of drainage; the character of the surroundings; the kind of neighbors one is likely to have.
In most regions a southern or eastern exposure allows the best distribution of sunlight in the house. There may be the temptation in the crowded city to use the "made ground" before nature's agencies has had time to make it fit for human habitation; and, in the country, the site of the barn, regardless of the drainage may determine the location of the house on the basis of saving steps for the men of the family.
MODERN DEVELOPMENT OF A SWISS CHALET OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
Joy Wheeler Dow, Architect.
A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A QUEEN-ANNE HOUSE.
Since so much of some people's time must of necessity be spent inside the house some real thought and care ought to be given to securing an outlook that shall yield to the occupants of the house as much of the beauty of the earth and air and sky as possible. A slight change in the position of even one window may bring to the dwellers for all time a picture of hill and dale with forest and stream that shall be a perennial source of pleasure.
Due consideration having been given to securing pure air, sunlight, dryness, and the various elements included in the term "agreeable surroundings," the form of construction and kind of materials are to be considered.
Shall the new house be of wood, brick, or stone? Queen Ann, Gothic, or Old Colonial style? Here again much depends upon individual taste and the materials that can be obtained at least expense. Stone houses, for example, are practically debarred from some localities because of the expense of transportation which must be added to the cost of the stone; but in any case the construction must be adapted to the location. A stone house in a treeless, stoneless, prairie region, looks like an intruder in the landscape. It needs the hills and rocks for its setting. A low, rambling house, if it crown the brow of a hill, lends itself to the landscape much better than the high narrow one which gives somewhat the impression of a sign board. Again, an Old Colonial house requires space for its proper setting. Adaptation and appropriateness arc important elements in deciding the materials and construction of the new house.