Italian Villa Home Plan

Italian Villa Home Plan

An Italian villa home and building plan.

Craftsman Style

¶ The dignity, refinement, and elegance in the leading features of this Italian villa home plan create the impression, on sight, that it is a gentleman's villa home. It indicates varied enjoyments, a life of refined leisure, and abounds with tokens of a love of social pleasures. Viewing it in a more strictly architectural sense, the exterior of this design is worthy of particular notice for the harmony which pervades it. Although a great diversity of outline and detail is exhibited, no discord is visible. Such a residence requires a site in the midst of a fertile, cultivated country, and needs for its surroundings a full share of such embellishments as can be chosen and arranged only by the well educated landscape gardener. These include not only trees and shrubbery, but summer houses, and garden ornaments, such as statuary and vases, all of which require the utmost degree of artistic ability for their disposal.

Italian Style Home
Italian Style Home

¶ Of course, when within the limits of the intended outlay, marble or bronze statuary is always to be preferred to any substitute that could be named; but where these are, from their costliness, out of the question, terracotta or iron may be introduced with propriety: the greatest objection to either being the want of that fineness of detail communicated by the sculptor's chisel. Iron, being likely to corrode from exposure to the weather, requires a great. deal of attention, which, by the way, is a matter to be considered in connection with the subject of cost. Terra-cotta is free from any such liability, and is therefore preferable, at least for such ornaments as are likely to fall under close inspection. The term, simply signifying "baked clay", is applied to all productions of the art of pottery bearing an artistic stamp.

¶ Thus, all such articles as are intended for mere practical use, without reference to appearance, we call "pottery", but anything of an ornamental character, such as statuary, capitals of columns, chimney-tops, vases, etc., with the addition of a little extra care in the execution and finish, is entitled to the appellation of "terra-cotta". A few words more for the exterior of this Italian style villa which we think affords something of a study for the amateur. It is irregular in its outline, but it is that sort of irregularity so highly admired by the artist, - an irregularity that, so far from being attributable to any accidental or violent causes, seems to have grown so, as naturally as the forest tree shoots forth irregular branches at irregular intervals, and no one can tell the reason why, or suggest a better place or a better form for them to grow in.

Interior Room Plan

¶ The piazza in front, picture 51, makes a pleasant approach to the main hall of the villa. At the point of entrance this is 9 feet wide, but it presently expands to 16 feet, which gives ample room for a fine flight of stairs. B, the reception-room, is 18 feet square. This is the first story of the tower, which forms the central feature in the elevation. The drawing-room A is 18 by 33 feet, with a veranda extending its full length. The library or office C is 18 by 16 feet, and can boast of a snug little bay window. Just beyond the library is a side entrance, which separates the dining room, etc. from the front portion of the house. E, the dining room, is 24 by 16. From this, as well as the drawing-room, the conservatory K, 14 by 16 feet, is entered. The conservatory is an indispensable feature in the complete villa, and is therefore worthy of the architect's serious attention. In another part of this volume we offer some hints as to the mode of their construction, warming, etc., to which we refer the reader.

Italian Villa Floor Plans
Italian Villa Floor Plans

¶ F is represented as a sort of lobby, but we would suggest that the door next the passage be closed, by which an excellent butler's pantry is formed. The room G is 16 feet square, and is destined for a servants' hall or housekeeper's room, as the requirements of the family may dictate. H, the kitchen, is also 16 feet square. Beyond this, the summer kitchen I affords shelter for the carrying on of such domestic labor as can not well be performed in the limits of the kitchen proper. On the second floor, picture 52, we have four excellent bedrooms, A, B, C, D, all provided with closets, and all accessible from the main hall. It will be observed that the level of the floor of the bedrooms G and F is below that of the other rooms. These are, however, reached from the landing of the private stairs by a flight of steps in the passage. Of the remaining rooms, H or I may be converted into a bathroom, E being so situated and lighted as to be a very pleasant bedroom.

Building Plan

¶ Brick walls, built hollow, would be our choice; the exterior stuccoed, and colored in light, warm tints, with all the dressings and cornices a few shades darker, would be in excellent harmony with the character of the design. The pitch of the roof indicates a demand for metallic covering.


¶ The cost of this building cannot be definitely arrived at without detailed specifications; but we are confident that it can be finished up in a very good, consistent style for about $15,000 (1861 prices). We mean, of course, in localities where the cost of labor and material does not exceed that of Philadelphia.

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