This modestly sized house is cleverly divided to yield four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, kitchen, living, dining, breakfast rooms and even a library in only 1600 square feet. It accomplishes this by making conservative use of 'circulation areas' and by featuring not enormous, but reasonably sized rooms.
The wide arches seeming to make first floor rooms 'flow' from one to another, as well as the formal foyer combine to create a strong impression that this dwelling is much larger than it is. The careful symmetry of the facades, the alignmnent of doors and windows and the nine-foot ceilings - these things insure that when built, this building will impart an air of quiet prosperity and restrained good taste.
Both the high basement with generous windows and the commodious attic allow for additional rooms on those levels.
Fresh architectural ideas from the continent swept seventeenth century England following the restoration of the Stuart monarchy and later, with William of Orange on the throne. By the latter half of the eighteenth century, prestigious London set a common standard - but one which each American colony interpreted in a slightly different way. Thus the Italian love of symmetry, classical motifs, rhythmic window placement (fenestration), and formal interior arrangements found their way to America by way of England. The extensive use of brick in Georgian dwellings reflects the material most often used to rebuild London after the great fire of 1666.
Georgian homes feature more privacy, a greater number of rooms, more elaborate trim and larger windows than earlier American houses. Other differences include the replacement of casement windows having diamond-patterned lights with the double-hung (sash) type featuring square glass panes, central hallways that ran from the front to back doors at the center-line of the home (most often with a pair of rooms on each side) containing stairs, and chimneys which became more numerous and moved to the ends of the structure instead of the single massive chimney at the center of earlier homes.
The simple addition of four stucco-clad block piers and an ordinary roof transform this elementary rectangular building into an inspiring expression of idyllic domesticity.
With a delightful suite of first floor rooms joined by high arches which align, the distances one's gaze is drawn to seem to increase the apparent size of the residence.
Living, dining and breakfast rooms, kitchen, library, foyer as well as four bedrooms and two and one half baths comprise the interior. There is space for additional rooms in both the tall attic and in the somewhat raised basement with generously proportioned windows.
The working drawings for this home contain details of the trim which are simple enough for any competent workman to produce, yet when complete will imbue an aura of ante-bellum grandeur quite likely very different from any neighboring home. Though stately and graceful, this residence should not require an undue expenditure to build.
Mid-19th century America saw classical revivals joined by 'Gothic-Revival' - countering what some thought to be the 'solemn and ponderous', cold formality of classicism. Asymmetrical designs in an endless variety became fashionable - although the studied irregularities of the 'picturesque' were romanticized interpretations (with the inconveniences removed) of true medieval buildings.
In the home pictured, the ugly architecture of late 20th century America is entirely forgotten; a melody of whimsical, diverse ornament celebrates an earlier era when homes had character. It has been designed with genuine materials only - no imitative ones whatsoever. Note the easily-built but stunning trefoil rakeboards, diaper-patterned chimney bricks, finials and the charming arches of the porch - each simple enough to construct and reasonably conservative in the use of material but which, when assembled, create a remarkable and beautiful edifice. Closer inspection reveals that the ornament is less complex than it at first appears to be; brackets, porch posts, finials and even rakeboards are built on the ground, then quickly installed by any competant workman. Nothing called for here is beyond the rudimentary skills of our era.
The first floor of this 1,600 square foot home has living, dining & breakfast rooms, foyer, library, kitchen and a lavatory; the second story contains four bedrooms and two baths. Ceilings are nine feet high throughout. Both the attic and basement are tall, with generously-sized windows allowing for optional additional rooms to be built. Without undue dissonance, the gable walls may be stucco-clad to reduce exterior maintenance by approximately one-third.