This section is from the book "Your Home And Its Decoration", by The Sherwin-Williams Company. See also: Nell Hill's Feather Your Nest: It's All in the Details.
The house built upon the shore of a sea or lake, or upon the mountain side, or in the meadows of the intervale, should be designed to fit the spot.
Where built on the seashore, or where it is low and sandy, and the few trees show the effect of a wind-swept country, the house must be of the type that nestles close to the earth, and of generous width, suggesting comfort and a sense of security from the elements.
Plate LXX. And Adhere Closely to the Simplicity of the Cottage Found in the Settlements of "Those Who Go Down to the Sea in Ships".
Plate LXXI. The Atmosphere that is so Delightful in These Quaint Old Houses.
No towers or turrets are appropriate, though often a lookout deck or upper balcony placed at the point most perfectly commanding the view may be made an attractive feature of the house. There should be broad verandas, so constructed that glazed sash maybe firmly set to enclose them at will, to protect from the stronger winds.
In a house of this kind the ceilings should be low and the windows of casement type, the furnishing should harmonize with the design of the house and adhere closely to the simplicity of the cottages found in the settlements of "those who go down to the sea in ships." The rag carpet, the dimity curtains, the Windsor chairs, all find places here, and on the mantelshelf the brass candlesticks, the choice pieces of Canton ware or old blue Staffordshire or Lowestoft, which are the envy of the summer visitors in the native homes, may be reproduced in a measure, and help to create the atmosphere that is so delightful in these quaint old houses.
Plate LXXII. Where Timber is Abundant, the Log House is Appropriately Placed.
PLATE G. Commodious Fireplaces with Heavy Andirons and Beamed Ceilings See Specifications, Chapter XXI (The Importance Of Working Specifications).
If the coast be precipitous and rocky, great cliffs rising from out the water against which the surf and sea beat, then a different form of house should be chosen, the foundations of which should reach down into the solid ledge, and the form properly follow the form of the cliff. A mounting tower would be suitable here, surrounded by many builded by nature in the adjacent landscape. In such a house the roof lines should be steep or broken into gables. Houses of this type lend themselves to varying floor levels in adjoining halls and rooms. Such floor plans will please many who care more for the artistic effect and quaint arrangement of their rooms than for the practical comfort found in less unusual planning. Commodious fireplaces with heavy andirons, beamed ceilings, and forged hangers for lamps or candles, add much to the effectiveness of such rooms. Great "picture windows" frame the views too beautiful to hide with curtains.
Plate LXXIII. Place the House so that, as Nearly as Possible, the Desired Amount of Sunlight and Shade is Obtained in the Living-rooms.
The same relative conditions governing houses built upon the seashore exist for those built in the mountains, whether in quiet valley or rocky highland. Where timber is abundant, the log house is an appropriate choice; for the intervale, one of shingles or clapboards, properly stained, fits closely into its environment. Here a combination of ledge-rock or field-stone foundation, porch, columns, and chimney may be made with the shingles or clapboards, while a stone chimney and sections of logs for porch columns combine harmoniously with a log house.
Where the site is a commanding one, let the dwelling seem a part of it. Let it rise on lines duplicating and completing the lines of the hill or mountain, and, as we have said, if the environments are rugged, let the materials of which the house is built be also rugged. Rough bowlders or stone for foundation and perhaps for the first story, while above, a frame or log effect may be used to utilize the natural conditions.
Place the house so that, as nearly as possible, the desired amount of sunlight and shade is obtained in the dwelling-rooms. Let no beautiful view be obscured, and never cut down a tree until the house is finished, except those growing on the actual site to be covered by the house.
When your building is completed, you may open up vistas and mask unpleasant objects intelligently and effectively. A great point to realize is the importance of designing the house to fit the site, and to build of local materials where practical. Rough work, if the construction is right, will possess twice the artistic value of carefully set and pointed joints in stone or hand-smoothed and polished wood.
Plate LXXIV. Let No Beautiful View Be Obscured.
In this day of rush and hurry, when the patience of our forefathers is but a memory, we cannot wait for the time and weather to do their work in toning and staining the exteriors of our homes. Therefore, we resort to stain to reproduce these wonderful tones and shades, and with a success which is gratifying.
Plate LXXV. Monticello, the Home of Thomas Jefferson.