Two Cheap Cottages
¶ Two inexpensive, cheap, but charming cottages for women who want their own homes.
¶ It has always seemed to us that if there is one kind of house that is more generally needed than another, it is the small and inexpensive, yet comfortable and homelike, cottage that can be built almost for the years rent of a flat, or even of room and board in a boarding house, and that would serve as a home for two or three people. Especially is this sort of a house needed by women of limited means women who either work at home or possibly in an office or shop and who need all the home comfort they can get, instead of dragging out an existence in a boarding house or facing the bugbear of rent day in a flat.
¶ These cottages each would serve to accommodate a group of three or four and the number might even be stretched to six in case of very congenial people who did not mind sharing their rooms. The cottages as represented here are built of field stone, but the designs would serve equally well for concrete, a form of construction that would greatly lessen the cost, or for frame houses covered with shingles, clapboards, or even with plain boards and battens.
¶ In fact, after the initial cost of the lot in some suburb not too far away from the place of employment it should be a very easy matter for two or three women who felt that they would like to make a home for themselves to combine their resources and build one of these little houses. Even the cost of the lot might be very greatly lessened if it were possible to build in a village near the city or right out in the country. It is the woman who is stranded in some forlorn hall bedroom, or who is forced to feel that she is a superfluous member of someone else´s family, who would most welcome the dignity and content that would be found in a home of her own, a home which might be shared by a relative or close friend in similar circumstances.
¶ The chief value of these little houses lies in the fact that although they are but the simplest of cottages, they nevertheless possess a beauty and individuality which is lacking in many a residence that costs ten times as much. We feel that in exterior attractions they are fitted to take rank with any of the houses designed in "The Craftsman Workshops", and that the interior arrangement is compact and comfortable to a degree.
Differences Between the Cottages
¶ The chief difference between them, as regards the exterior, lies in the fact that in the case of the first one the porch is recessed and, in the second, is extended to the dimensions of a good sized veranda that runs the whole width of the house. In interior arrangement they are much alike, the living room in each case occupying the whole of one side of the house and opening into a dining alcove which takes about half of the other side. The kitchen occupies the remaining corner and, if this be fitted with convenient cupboards, work table and the like, there would be no necessity for a pantry. Upstairs also the arrangement of the two cottages is somewhat similar, as in each case the space is divided into three bedrooms and a bathroom, with plenty of closet room tucked away into nooks and corners.
As to the interior woodwork and furnishing, these need not be costly in order to be attractive. Some cheap native wood, such as pine, or cypress, or that grade of chestnut known to builders as "sound wormy" would, if finished properly, give the most delightful effect when used for interior trim, built-in seats, cupboards, balustrades for the stairways, and for wainscoting, providing the sum set aside for the house admitted such a luxury as the last.
The remaining wall spaces and the ceilings could be left in the rough sand-finished plaster, tinted in any color desired, and the fireplace would naturally be of brick or field stone and of the simplest design. Given such a foundation, the question of furnishing would adjust itself.
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