This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The present number is illustrated by a design I have made for a gentleman at Flushing, L. I. It is situated on an eminence, and commands extensive views on the east and south sides.
The outline of the house is nearly square. The veranda is carried round on three sides, stopping against the dining-room projection on the west side; this projection helps to take away the square appearance of the house, and at the same time gives a good termination for the veranda. The remaining three sides of the building have the roof so gabled as to avoid the unpicturesque appearance it would have presented had the cornice been carried around straight.
To produce a picturesque appearance in designing a country house, care must be taken that the exterior be sufficiently varied in mass and detail, as to avoid as far as possible monotony of style.
Uniformity in all the sides of a country house being adopted, the repetition becomes wearisome, and the eye loses that source of pleasurable sen-satiop which arises from the variety exhibited in viewing an irregular and picturesque exterior from various points.
Symmetry in design may however be adopted to advantage where the house is seen only from one point of view, or in the immediate vicinity of a town; but where the house is seen from more than one point of view it should be avoided.
There are two main entrances provided, one on the east and one on the west side. The east entrance is intended for summer use, - when visitors may be mostly expected, - the door is therefore made to open directly into the reception room. The entrance on the west being more for use in winter, is provided with a carriage porch. There is also a side entrance for convenient communication with the stable and out-buildings.
The parlor is placed on the south side, and extends the whole depth of the house. There is a bay window in the centre of this front, carried up to the second story.
The dining-room communicates with the back stairs and butler's pantry, which is fitted up with dumb-waiter, closets, sink, and wash basin, supplied with hot and cold water. There is also provided a china closet to the dining-room, and a convenient place for the side-board between the door to china closet, and the door to butler's pantry. The dining-room and butler's pantry are warmed by means of a heater connected with the back of the kitchen range.
A COUNTRY HOUSE.
The staircase is located in a side hall, so as to leave the main hall-unob-stmcted.
It being deemed desirable to obtain a thorough circulation of air through the house without carrying the hall through, the plan has been so arranged that by throwing open the doors of the reception room and parlor, the desired result may be obtained; which, on reference to the plan, it will be seen gives a thorough, open, and airy arrangement. And by standing in the centre of the house, a view may be had east, west, north, and south.
The kitchen is located beneath the dining-room, and is a large, well-lighted, and airy room, fitted up with dresser, sink, store-room, closets, and all conveniences. There is also provided in the basement, the wash-room, milk-room, store-rooms, furnace, coal cellar, and servants' water-closet, all well-lighted and ventilated.
The plan of the second story will show the arrangement of the chambers. All the rooms have ample closet accommodation, with drawers fitted in each. The hall is carried from north to south, the entire depth of the house, and is nine feet wide. This makes a famous play-room for children in the winter season. The bay window being continued up on this story, makes a pleasant place for sitting, as it commands an extended view. If deemed necessary, an additional room could be formed at this end of the hall.
The bath-room is provided conveniently over the plumbing below, and also in close communication with the dressing-room.
The third story has a large hall, same as on second story, and five chambers, with closets to each; and also a large store-room, and place for the tank.
There is a tower provided on the north side, over the staircase, where the projection is drawn on plans. It is not, however, seen in the view shown of the house, although forming a very ornamental feature to the building.
The height of the basement is 8 ft. 6 in.; the first story, 12 ft.; the second story, 10 ft; and the third story, 8 ft. 6 in., at the highest part.
The outside walls of the basement are built of stone, and cemented up on the outside to keep out the dampness; the inside partition walls in the basement are of brick. All the walls above the basement are constructed of wood, the frame being filled in with an inner coat of lathing and plastering. This, to my thinking, is far preferable to brick, both on account of its cheapness and its more thorough exclusion of both heat and cold. The frame is covered on the outside with narrow rebated clapboards - the window casings being cut out of 1 1/2 inch stuff. The roof is covered with ornamental shingles, and all the work and materials throughout are of the best description. The rooms on the first floor have enriched cornices and panelled ceilings. On the second, the rooms have plain moulded cornices.
The contract price for this house was $9,900. This included the painting, drains, cisterns, and cesspools, - in fact, everything excepting the furnace, mantles, grates, and plumbing. The building, occupying 105,000 cubic feet of space, brings the cost per foot to nearly 9 1/2 cents, (see page 504 of last volume.) The cost of this house could be reduced without materially affecting the convenience, by leaving off the tower and carriage porch, and otherwise simplifying the details of both outside and inside finish.