A highly original, staggered outline provides every room but the kitchen in this single-story residence with a rewarding view of the rear garden -- though the building is only thirty-three feet wide. 'Utile Dulci' -- the useful with the agreeable -- well describes the small front porch; it both accommodates those entering with shelter from the elements, and it adds an interesting flourish to the front facade, inside, a foyer flows uninterrupted into a finely proportioned living room with a substantial fireplace terminating the view.
The living room is well lit by a trio of windows toward the street, which may be highly placed for privacy, and by a large picture window on the garden side.
The width of the picture window elegantly corresponds to that of a pair of openings to the formal dining room beyond. From the dining room, a french door opens onto a wrap-around rear porch, another opening proceeds to the bedroom passage, and a third leads past the cellar stairs and a pantry to the roomy, sunny kitchen.
The consistent and deliberate alignment of door and window openings in these principal rooms allow for striking furniture arrangements, as well as the introduction of exposed beam ceilings, quality paneling, or other decorating techniques dependent on architectural regularity. The minor bedrooms are straightforward and simple in outline; salient features include doors and windows located to insure the greatest possible freedom in furniture placement, convenient proximity to the bathroom, and garden views. The master bedroom is exceptional for a variety of reasons. Protruding on three sides into the garden, this retreat offers a relaxing separateness and an almost palpable solitude from the rest of the home; with its private bath, generous twin closets, and a soaring ceiling reaching the roof ridge above, it is truly a suite unto itself. The roof ridge adheres to the center-line of the chamber, as does the entryway, and windows and closets are symmetrically placed -- all to enrich the aura of balance and harmony in this area.
Depending on the roof design selected for over the main body of the dwelling, space for a stair to an optional attic or future upper floor has been included.
~ BOARD AND BATTEN (Plan G Design No. 20) ~
Very popular in the years following the civil war but highly unusual today, the 'Board and Batten' siding of this residence is easily constructed, very affordable, and quite striking. A strong flavor of New Orleans and of Creole architecture permeate this structure; from the gable-on-hip roof to the lacy wrought-iron enclosing the front porch. Further interest in the facade is given by the shutters, flower boxes, and elaborate brackets supporting deep eaves. If the budget permits, a heightened picturesque effect may be obtained by the addition of three evenly spaced, tall and narrow, 'dog-house' type dormers along the front roof.
Other alternatives appropriate for this design include clapboard siding, small panned double-hung windows, and a raised basement providing large windows to an optional, separate, three-bedroom apartment on that level.
~ ADOBE(Plan G Design No. 21) ~
A fluid blend of styles, this residence combines the exuberance and theatricality of Spanish Churriqueresque with the simple cubical geometry of pre-colonial Mexican and Pueblo Indian architecture. The impression of thick adobe walls is given by the smooth stucco cladding, an elegantly elongated buttress and by the gently tapering chimney. Simple post and beam construction is indicated by the powerful, lone column of the rear porch and by the wood lintels set flush with the stucco above the front windows. A row of colorful decorative tiles are located where adobe dwellings of the southwest would have had the exposed ends of wood ceiling joists protruding from the facade.
Should the homeowner prefer, a similar detail formed with wood blocks may be substituted for the tile. Altogether, a solid, handsome and comfortable home.
JAPANESE (Plan G Design No. 22) ~
The serene delicacy of Japanese architecture is eloquently expressed with almost poetic simplicity in this design. Smooth horizontal lines predominate, although clear evidence of post-and-beam construction is displayed by exposed wood posts which divide, screen-like, neutral stucco panels along the facade. A sleek, continuous band of awning windows atop the panels provide light and air while ensuring complete privacy from the road. Exposed ends of roof rafters fluidly tap a steady rhythm along the eaves, finishing with a flourish at a trellis that sends ever-changing diagonal patterns of light and shadow across the entrance. Curving bell-cast eaves and a ridge-board having sweeping, upturned ends make the roof appear to have floated down to gently settle on the dwelling; a dwelling subtle enough to be introduced into most neighborhoods, distinctive enough to be unforgettable.
Easily pre-eminent among homes of similar size, the spacious, roomy feeling of this design belies the fact that it is of only twelve hundred square feet.
Rooms have been carefully arranged to increase their apparent size, methodically eliminate excess circulation area, and provide sweeping interior vistas.
A recessed doorway shelters entering visitors, and leads to a roomy foyer with a commanding pair of columns framing a view of the impressive living room fireplace beyond. Space is provided for a stair to rise from the foyer to an (optional) attic or future second story. From here as well is reached stairs to the basement, a coat closet, a bathroom -- convenient but out-of-sight, and a passage leading to the minor bedrooms. The living room features large windows flanking the hearth, sumptuous curving corners reminiscent of distinguished European salons, and is graced at one end by a splendid arch scenically framing the dining room to a maximum effect. Like the living room, each of the dining room walls is different while remaining individually symmetrical; ample space exists in the dining room for a sideboard, while a built-in china closet compliments a matching arch leading to the sunny kitchen, service entrance, and along the way, to the secluded master bedroom wing.
The master bedroom, purposely distant from the other bedroom wing, is large; its floor area and several long unbroken walls present no obstacle to any number of furnishing schemes. A pair of windows admitting generous quantities of light and fresh air, two closets, and a private bathroom complete this quiet retreat. The minor bedrooms are each interesting in their own way; number two has a built-in dresser within an arched recess -- separating matching entrance and closet doors -- all along a single wall to reduce circulation area. Bedroom number three has matching entrance and closet doors within a single alcove for the same reason, and this chamber features expansive built-in bookshelves as well. Additional windows, if desired, are easily added to these corner rooms.
Measuring but 26'-0" x 48'-8", this structure will fit comfortably on almost any building site.
~ DUTCH COLONIAL (Plan H Design No. 23) ~
The gambrel roof curving gently to the edge of this home's superb long porch recalls the best domestic architecture of America's Dutch colonial period. The solid, no-nonsense rectangular mass of the building is balanced in an interesting way by the slender delicacy of the veranda. Authentic to the style is the clapboard cladding along the front facade, with shingled gable end walls. Visitors benches in an entrance alcove, and the classic Dutch door add further accurate, detailed touches. The porch, the 'bell-cast' (curving) eaves, the visitors benches, the Dutch door -- all of these items are easy to build, use a minimum amount of material, can be quickly fashioned by any reliable workman and will transform this residence into something special -- at an affordable cost. This roof style will provide easy future expansion, it should be noted.
~ FRENCH PROVINCIAL (Plan H Design No. 24) ~
A liberal interpretation of French provincial architecture with a distinctly American flavor, this home exemplifies a stately and permanent, self-assured and comfortable family seat of the first order. Details, such as corner blocks called 'quoins' that enliven the sturdy brick walls where they turn, 'bell-cast' eaves sweeping upward to the steeply pitched hipped roofs -- softening their lines into a proud but relaxed silhouette, and an elegantly outlined, raised and walled forecourt before the classical entrance -- all combine to form an unusually graceful, formal and impressive composition. Smooth stucco walls between casement windows with their elongated lines, banded together in tidy harmony by a continuous belt-course; delicate wood columns astride the recessed entry, spirited finials celebrating each peak of the roof, and perfect symmetry throughout -- these features are sure to attract the notice and admiration of the passerby.
~ ITALIAN RENAISSANCE (Plan H Design No. 25) ~
'Simplex Munditiis' (elegant in simplicity) aptly captures the atmosphere of this Italian Renaissance style dwelling. Each part speaks with one voice -- unified; related in proportion and detail with each other and to the whole -- resulting in a finished composition having the aura about it of great age and dignity. Smooth, pristine stucco offers a suitably reserved background on which is presented the crisply accented window surrounds and impressive yet welcoming portico. On a narrow lot, it may be turned sideways, and, flanked by garden walls for privacy, floor-length windows may be introduced. Basically a plain, easy-to-construct rectangle, this design relies on the idea that small concentrations of detail, made to stand out against a background and symmetrically arranged, create a dramatic appearance regardless of the building's size. Expect first-time visitors to whistle softly under their breath.
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