THE simple lines and dignified proportions of the Colonial house, as exemplified in the New England and Southern types, are as adaptable to the requirements of life to-day as in the days of the Georges. Careful study of the architectural form and detail of such houses will enable a prospective builder to intelligently discuss and understand the plans and suggestions his architect may offer him. In the modern Colonial house many of the most characteristic and beautiful architectural details are reproduced from the best-known examples of houses built before the Revolution, which are now standing.

The Modern Colonial House, the Entrance of Which Embodies Many of.

Plate LXXVI. The Modern Colonial House, the Entrance of Which Embodies Many of the Details of Monticello.

The photographs we show of Monticello (Plate LXXV), the home of Thomas Jefferson, and one of the best examples of his architectural ability, together with that of a modern Colonial house built recently in Southern California, will illustrate this point. In this latter it is easy to define the detail taken from the entrance of Monticello. (Plate LXXVI.)

In planning a house, the situation and environment must, of course, be taken into consideration. This seems of especial importance as regards the Colonial type. A stately columned Colonial house seems to require the setting of tall trees and sweep of rolling lawn.

While the square and simple lines of the New England type of town house of that period may, as is frequently the case, have its front door give upon a small porch leading directly to the street, this opens wide into the central hall, and permits an unobstructed view of the beautiful old-fashioned garden through the almost equally wide and impressive rear door.

The color treatment for the exterior of Colonial houses should not depart from the style established in the excellent examples which remain with us to-day.

The suburban or country house of Colonial design should show the body of the house painted in true Colonial yellow (Plate LXXVI11), with columns and trim of ivory white, and it should be remembered that Colonial yellow has no shade of green. It is cream deepened to yellow. Or the columns and body of the house should be treated with white, the shutters and roof showing exactly the right shade of green. This matter of the right shade of color is of extreme importance to the finished success of the house. A rich, dark green, that has no yellow in it nor too much of black, is the appropriate shade for the blinds. The stain for the roof may be slightly lighter in tone.

Fine Old Colonial Mansion of New England.

Plate LXXVII. Fine Old Colonial Mansion of New England.

Full specification in regard to the selection of the materials for the exterior treatment of such houses will be found in Chapter XV (Proper Protection For The Exterior). Many of the best examples of Southern Colonial houses are of red brick with the creamy-white trim, as shown in the Thomas Jefferson house, though many of the old Colonial mansions in Virginia and Kentucky, which are built of brick, are painted in white or the soft yellow shade above referred to. Also they are frequently left in the natural color of the brick, laid in carefully smoothed white mortar, many having for the trim white marble or stone, as in the Byrde house, which is one of the best examples of the Virginia Colonial. The shutters in both cases are painted green.

The New England type offers a wider choice of color. White, yellow, silver gray, brown, and green appear with equal frequency, but usually the trim is ivory white, although the shutters are often painted in the same color as the body of the house. Where shingle sides are used, an exterior stain gives color to these as well as to the shingled roof.

In Colonial houses the front door is an especially important feature. (Plate LXXIX.) This, in almost every case, is painted ivory white. The manufacturers of hardware to-day have supplied us with excellent reproductions of the old Colonial and Georgian designs. There is, therefore, no excuse for marring the perfect effect by ill-chosen and inharmonious hardware. While this is a detail, it is an important one, and should be given careful attention.

This Type of Country House Should Be.

Plate LXXVIII. This Type of Country House Should Be Painted in Colonial Yellow With Trim and Columns of Ivory White.

When a modified Colonial house is planned, a wider choice of style, arrangement, and finish is permissible, though too radical a departure from the acknowledged pure form should be avoided. In many of these houses built throughout the country, and particularly of the cottage type, one realizes that the jig-saw and turning-lathe have gotten in their pernicious work. A preponderous use of Palladin windows and fan-shaped glass for front doors is a mistake, unless the proportions of the house are sufficiently imposing and dignified to carry them.

In the modified, even more than in the pure Colonial, home, simplicity should be the keynote. So treated, a small and inexpensive house, built on Colonial lines, may be extremely dignified and attractive, whereas if too much detail is shown, and the ornamentation is overdone, the house will stand for all that is most objectionable in architecture.

The panels, columns, ornamental or plain cove, the carved or simple mantels, which find their places in the interior of Colonial houses, are easily recognized. Of the many architectural details and ornaments of the pure Colonial house we will in this chapter be enabled to call attention to some of the most characteristic which occur with the greatest frequency. The combination of mahogany with the ivory enamel for standing woodwork is a pronounced feature in such houses.

In the Colonial House, the Front Door.

Plate LXXIX. In the Colonial House, the Front Door is an Especially Important Feature.

Old Colonial Hall.

Plate LXXX. Old Colonial Hall. The Groined Ceiling Which is Typical and Interesting.

Plate LXXX shows a hallway in which the hand-rail, spindle, and steps of the stairs are mahogany, as are also the doors. The remainder of the standing woodwork is treated with a beautiful ivory finish. The groined ceiling shown here is a typical feature of much interest.

The ornamental detail of the ceiling, cove, and paneled side walls, as shown in the Georgian drawing-room in Plate LXXXI, is characteristic and beautiful. Something more of the French decorative feeling is evinced here than often occurs in such rooms, - in the shell and acanthus leaf and heavy swags of fruit and flowers in applied plaster, which give beauty and richness to the over-mantel. The egg and dart design appears at the lower edge of the cove and is repeated again about the fireplace.