1. The room arrangement in the house plan should be such as to make it possible to avoid lost motion, to save unnecessary steps and facilitate housework. There should be relatively easy access from room to room but it should also be possible to close each room off from the others when desired.
2. Each room should have adequate natural ventilation. Cross or through ventilation should be had either by placing windows on two sides of each room or by having doors so placed in line with windows that there shall be a moving current of air.
Good natural ventilation involves ample provision for the intake of outside air, for the removal of used air and for keeping air continuously in motion. This should be possible without sacrifice of privacy and the use of artificial systems of ventilation should not be necessary.
3. Where climatic conditions make it necessary, air (so far as it is reasonably possible) should be conditioned with regard to temperature and humidity.
4. Each room should have at least one window but preferably two or more opening directly on a permanent open space sufficient in size to admit adequate light and sunlight. The total window space should not be less than fifteen square feet in area. The tops of windows should be as near the ceiling as is consistent with good architectural design. Windows should be so constructed that they can be opened either throughout all of their area or at both top and bottom.
Tentative standards of the International Congress on Illumination held at Lake Saranac in 1928 suggest that at least some of the sky should be visible from table height over a considerable part of the room's area and that sunlight should be able to penetrate through at least half of the depth of the room.
5. The room should be so designed that there will be suitable space for the principal pieces of furniture and so that these will not be in the way of doors, windows or closets.
Radiators would often best be recessed to save space and permit access to windows and should be screened so as to protect children.
Fireplaces should be located with reference both to appearance and the grouping of furniture around them.
Doors, windows and such immovable equipment as radiators should be so placed as to provide adequate wall space for furnishings appropriate to the room.
Particular attention should be paid in the planning for provision of wall space in sleeping rooms adequate for the location of beds with reference to cross ventilation.
6. Rooms should be generous in size, not only sufficient to accommodate the furniture but large enough to give a sense of space. Rooms should be high, especially in hot climates, to insure coolness, adequate ventilation and the psychological benefit that comes from spacious quarters.
A living room 12 feet by 15 feet - 180 sq.ft. in area - is adequate for most purposes. Other rooms may be somewhat smaller if properly planned with reference to light, air and space needs. In private dwellings rooms 8 feet six inches high are permissible, but in multiple dwellings nothing less than 9 feet should be permitted.
7. The down-stairs common rooms, including the living room and dining room and also the parlor and music room if provided, may often advantageously be designed to open into one another so as to facilitate the entertainment of guests, though it should also be possible to close off each room for privacy so that any member of the family may entertain personal guests separately.
8. The sleeping quarters should be sufficiently separated from the living quarters to insure privacy. At least one bathroom should be reached from a private hall. Privacy should be provided by having each bedroom reached without passing through any other bedroom. In two-story houses the provision of a washbowl and water-closet on the first floor is often desirable in addition to the bathroom on the sleeping floor.
9. The kitchen should be cheerful and attractive. It should be easy of access to the dining room and so located in relation to dining and living rooms that odors of the kitchen and noises will not penetrate to the rest of the house.
The kitchen would preferably be compact and rectangular in shape. There are four major functions to be performed in the kitchen, namely, the preparation of food, cooking, serving and clearing away. In addition to this it is desirable to have a center for the planning of household activities which will be equipped with desk and telephone and also a rest center.
The larger built-in equipment should be grouped according to its use and arranged along the walls in a nearly continuous working surface. Windows should be above working equipment and the equipment not used in the preparation and clearing away of meals, as well as doors and closets, should be grouped remote from the working centers.
Working equipment should be so placed as to obviate overreaching and unnecessary stooping. The height of working surfaces should be adjusted to the individual worker.
It is desirable that as much equipment as possible should be built in so as to prevent the collection of dirt and dust. It is often desirable to place the stove in an alcove with only the front accessible. Toe space under working surfaces makes for comfort and if cabinets are built to the ceiling there will be fewer spaces on which dust may collect. All surfaces should be smooth and easily cleaned with soap and water. There should be no unnecessary angles.
A hood over the stove to carry heat and fumes away is desirable. Gas stoves should be vented by a flue to the chimney or to the outer air.
The windows should be located for a pleasant view and for supervision of outdoor play space.
10. A nursery, if provided, should be light and cheerful. The walls should be of hard finish and walls and floors should be smooth and easily cleaned.
The following detailed suggestions have been drawn up for the committee by teachers in the nursery school maintained by Teachers College at Cornell University and are submitted as suggestions to families that are in a position to provide a special room for this use:
The floor area should be at least 84 square feet for each child. Artificial lighting should be high and indirect. If side lights are used they should be out of the child's reach and the light source should be shielded. Hardwood floors or floors overlaid with battleship linoleum or cork are recommended since most of the child's play is on the floor. The bed space for the children should be away from the area in which the toys are kept.
The nursery should be situated near a lavatory and near the mother's work center in order to save her time and steps and at the same time provide the child with necessary supervision. This room should be convertible to other uses when there is no longer need for it as a nursery.
11. In cold climates entrances should not be direct to living room and kitchens. In general direct entrance to the living room is not desirable.
12. Steep stairs should be avoided. Landings should be broad. Triangular turns on stairs are unsafe and undesirable. Handrails or balustrades within the reach of young children should be provided on all stairs, including those leading to the cellar and attic. All stairs should be adequately lighted and where there are young children it is often advisable to place gates at the tops of stairs.
13. Closet space should be ample for the needs of each member of the family and should be so located as to serve its purpose most conveniently.
The closet for outdoor wraps should be on the entrance floor convenient to the door and reached without passing through any of the rooms. There should be a separate closet for children's outdoor wraps or else special provision should be made for them in this closet through low hooks and rods and low shelves or other special equipment for overshoes.
Clothes closets should be provided with rods and of sufficient depth to freely take clothes hangers with clothes upon them.
Broom closets should be located in the back-hall entry or kitchen.
Linen closets should be located in the back hallway of the sleeping quarters and close to the bathroom.
All closets should have doors and there should be knobs on the inside so that they can be opened by children.
14. Storage space ample in amount, reasonably accessible and free from dampness and properly lighted by natural or artificial light, should be provided for household possessions. This includes space for the storage of vegetables and fruits, trunks and bags, coal, wood and other fuel and for children's outdoor play equipment and seasonal or temporarily discarded possessions.
15. Some place should be provided as a play room for children. In case the extra room cannot be afforded by the family this may be either a corner of a bedroom or nursery or enclosed porch or of some other room, or in the case of older children a portion of a well-lighted and well-ventilated shed or attic. As the play room is outgrown it can be converted to some other use appropriate to the needs of the family. Special provision should be made through low drawers and cupboards for children's playthings.
16. There should be adequate provision for privacy for each member of the family. Each child should have a place where he can be undisturbed and quiet and have opportunity for uninterrupted study of home lessons or for reading or play.
17. There should be a workshop, which can usually be located in a dry, sunny, well-ventilated basement, shed, garage or attic in which the men and boys of the house can putter.
18. Generally a sleeping room for each person is desirable. Sleeping arrangements should be made with due regard to uninterrupted sleep, health, reasonable privacy and the individuality of the child. It is undesirable to have two children occupy the same bed whatever their age
20. Floors should be strong, smooth, tight and level, comfortable to stand and walk on, durable and easily cared for. In color, design and finish they should harmonize with the rest of the room. They may be of wood, cement, tile, linoleum, cork or other composition, according to the purpose to be served. If of wood the boards should be well-matched hardwood, preferably quarter sawn. Tile should be laid on cement. Linoleum should be cemented to the floor over a layer of felt.
21. Repair of all surfaces, floors, stairs, ceilings, walls, should be adequate for safety.