"The villa, or country house proper, is the most refined home of America, the home of its most leisurely and educated class of citizens. Nature and art both lend it their happiest influence. Amid the serenity and peace of sylvan scenes, surrounded by the perennial freshness of nature, enriched without and within by objects of universal beauty and interest - objects that touch the heart and awaken the understanding - it is in such houses that we should look for the happiest social and moral development of our people".

So said Downing, and what better could be said ? what more graceful description, in a few words, of a country home of the first class could we have ? Taking it for a text, we will proceed, without further premising, to the explanation of the design which we offer the readers of the Horticulturist this month.



We here have a design for an Italian villa of considerable accommodation. Such a dwelling will require for its situation an estate where ample room can be devoted to pleasure grounds alone. It should be situated in the midst of a highly cultivated park, surrounded by noble trees, and looking out upon pleasant lawns and agreeable distant scenery. It is designed to be built of brick and covered with stucco, and the stone trimmings of freestone, and those of wood painted to correspond; or, it may be constructed of rough split stone for the main walls, and the same, or a darker color of the same, hammer dressed, for the trimmings. The roof should be covered with tin, laid on in rolls, and painted. The principal windows should all be glazed with plate glass, to give a deep, rich effect to the openings. The interior finish should be plain and simple, but massive in design. Block paper will have a cool, pleasant effect for the halls and entries; while for the other rooms of the principal floor we should prefer dark-colored paper, in order to furnish a good background for pictures, etc.

The upper and lower halls may be more effectually lighted by having wells in the floors above them, receiving light from the roof lantern, which should be glazed with colored glass.

Designs In Rural Architecture An Italian Villa 150044

The arrangement of the rooms is as follows:

The entrance gallery in front is reached by two flights of granite steps, approaching it at the sides; double glazed doors open into the vestibule, and from this, through an arch, we enter the main hall. Directly on the left is the principal staircase hall, through which we pass to the reception room in the tower. Farther on is the library, fitted with permanent bookcases, and connecting, by means of glass doors, with a large and pleasant conservatory. This feature, we think, will be quite a favorite; when filled with rare and beautiful flowers, it will form an appropriate framework to the vista across the lawn and park, seen from a point in the main hall. Returning to the hall, we have, on the right, a parlor in front and a large dining-room in the rear; connected with this are a large china closet and a passage leading to the kitchen. It also opens into the back hall, containing stairs to the chambers and cellar/ and opening upon the back piazza. The kitchen is placed in a convenient position; adjoining it is a pantry, and beyond the pantry is a good-sized storeroom. In the cellar are wash-room, laundry, storeroom, furnace, cistern, etc. In the second floor are apartments corresponding mainly with those below.

We have four large chambers, with dressing-rooms attached, a sewing-room, a cabinet in the tower, and a bath-room over the pantry. In the third story of the tower is a large observatory. The first story is 12 feet high in the clear, the second is 10 1/2 feet.

Designs In Rural Architecture An Italian Villa 150045