Gothic Home Plans
Gothic style home plans in the Gothic revival architecture type of house design.
¶ Here is a cottage which, though too small to be termed a villa, is such a cottage as even a nobleman might dwell in. That the necessaries and comforts of life can be enjoyed within the limits afforded by this Gothic architecture design will, we think, be admitted by those who will take a moment for the inspection of its appointments. We must first, however, venture a few remarks on the external appearance of this very spirited design. Its steep roof at once denotes it the legitimate offspring of a northern climate and all its decorations are opposed to the spirit of passionless repose, which seems to prevade architecture under the influence of Grecian, and we had almost said, Italian skies.
¶ To express our meaning more plainly with reference to its character as a whole, it appears, with very little aid from the imagination, to have been impelled upward from the ground to its present magnitude by some strong mysterious influence, rather than slowly and gradually constructed by laying stone on stone. The ideal character with which an object thus becomes invested is what yields delight to the imaginative mind, and is the true source of pleasure derived from the picturesque; to the mind of poetic cast, no evidence appears of the slow, constant toil necessary to develop the structure: it might have shot up to its present size and proportions as suddenly as the world came into exist. ence at the command of its Creator. Artists account for the effect thus produced, by the predominance of vertical over horizontal lines, the latter being fexy and entirely subordinate to the former; and the doctrine is sanctioned by all critics and close observers of cause and effect.
¶ By virtue of the aspiring character of the composition, its proper site will be found in the midst of hilly scenery, or on some of the high, broken banks of our noble rivers, where Nature, in spite of the conquering energy of man, still holds a considerable sway. We do not mean that it should be distant or secluded from observation, but within view of some public highway or navigable river; the traveler's eye rests with pleasure on any object that may thus be happily introduced to fill up the chasm between Art and Nature, and reconcile the mind to the infinite distance interposed between our own and the productions of the inimitable creative influence on which we bestow the latter appellation.
¶ The proprietor of this cottage is assumed to be a citizen of refinement, who, in the leisure of summer months, seeks recreation at a distance from the scene of his mercantile or professional labors; his small family retire to this spot with him, rather to enjoy a season of comparative quiet than to give elegant entertainments; if we can find comfortable accommodations for him within the limits designated by the picture, our end will be accomplished.
¶ We must not omit to note, however, that by dispensing with the more ornamental portions of the exterior details, this would make an admirable farm cottage for the inland districts. We should direct that all the main features should be preserved intact, the cornice and porches retain their present bold projection, the difference being made solely in the omission of the decorated barge-board, and perhaps the bay windows. For greater economy, the chimney stacks might be built in the center of the house, where they were originally designed to be, as will be seen by a glance at the elevation.
Gothic Rooms & Floor Plans
¶ From the front porch A, picture 33, the hall B, 8 by 18 feet, is entered: in one end of this, the stairs are located; the remaining portion would serve for a living room for a small company on fine summer evenings. Adjoining this is the parlor C, 15 by 17 feet, and also the dining room, of the same dimensions. We notice the parlor, to call attention to its pretty bay windows, and to the veranda that shelters its windows from sun and storm.
¶ The room E is the kitchen, 12 feet square in the clear, and attached to this a lean-to G, which may be inclosed or open according to the uses to which it may be applied by the housekeeper; if required for an appendage to the kitchen for cooking purposes, it should be enlarged beyond the given size, 8 by 10 feet, and provided with a fireplace; of course, it will then be a walled room with sash windows, and otherwise fitted up to exclude the weather.
¶ Transferring our attention to the plan for bedroom floor, it will be seen that a flight of stairs from the kitchen gives access to the bedroom M, picture 34, suitable for the occupancy of such an assistant as might properly be lodged in the house. From K we readily enter the bedrooms H and L, between which excellent provision is made for closets, unfortunately represented in the picture as stairs to the left; but it will be perceived that there is ample space for stairs to the bedrooms situated there, in the hall K.
¶ The intention, with reference to the construction of this Gothic revival design, is that the walls shall be built of rubble-stone, and neatly pointed on the exterior; the internal plastering being furred-off with wood to prevent dampness. Indeed, we know of no other method so commendable, in point of external fitness for this design, as that of building with stones just as they come from the quarry-a mode indicated by the term "rubble-work", and which is introduced to good advantage in all masonry where a rustic, picturesque effect is aimed at. For this design, we would recommend the use of a light-colored stone, and the strict avoidance of any dull, somber colors, such as very dark gray or brown; as these, if applied, would tend greatly to impair the beauty of the building.
¶ The cornices, porch, veranda, and finials are intended to be wood thoroughly coated with sand and paint; or, if a good quality of oak or yellow pine is to be readily procured, an excellent effect can be obtained by oiling the natural surface of the wood; when the color of the stone employed is a light gray, or bordering on blue, the contrast is inevitably agreeable, though stronger than would be admissible in a design of tamer architectural character.
¶ Finished as above indicated, a building after this design would cost about $2200 (1861 price).
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