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Farm House 5 Chamber Plan

Scary Books: Scottish Ghost Stories

It is also lighted by a window over the lean-to, on the side. Back of this, at the end of the passage, is the sleeping-room, 16 feet square, for the men-folks, lighted on both sides by a window. This may also be warmed, if desired, by a stove, the pipe passing into the kitchen chimney.

The cellar may extend under the entire house and wing, as convenience or necessity may require. If it be constructed under the main body only, an offset should be excavated to accommodat
the cellar stairs, three feet in width, and walled in with the rest. A 144 wide, outer passage, with a flight of steps should also be made under the rear nursery window, for taking in and passing out bulky articles, with double doors to shut down upon it; and partition walls should be built to support the partitions of the large rooms above. Many minor items of detail might be mentioned, all of which are already treated in the general remarks, under their proper heads, in the body of the work, and which cannot here be noticed—such as the mode of warming it, the construction of furnaces, &c.

It may, by some builders, be considered a striking defect in the interior accommodation of a house of this character, that the chief entrance hall should not be extended through, from its front to the rear, as is common in many of the large mansions of our country. We object to the large, open hall for more than one reason, except, possibly, in a house for summer occupation only. In the first place it is uncomfortable, in subjecting the house to an unnecessary draught of air when it is not needed, in cold weather. Secondly, it cuts the house into two distinct parts, making them inconvenient of access in crossing its wide surface. Thirdly, it is uneconomical, in taking up valuable room that can be better appropriated. For summer ventilation it is unnecessary; that may be given by simply opening the front door and a chamber window connected with the hall above, through which a current of fresh air will always pass. Another thing, the hall belongs to the front, or dress part of the house, and should be cut off from the more domestic and common apartments by a partition, although accessible to them, 145 and not directly communicating with such apartments, which cannot of necessity, be in keeping with its showy and pretending character. It should contain only the front flight of stairs, as a part of its appointments, besides the doors leading to its best apartments on the ground floor, which should be centrally placed—its rear door being of a less pretending and subordinate character. Thus, the hall, with its open doors, connecting the best rooms of the house on each side, with its ample flight of stairs in the background, gives a distinct expression of superiority in occupation to the other and humbler portions of the dwelling.

In winter, too, how much more snug and comfortable is the house, shut in from the prying winds and shivering cold of the outside air, which the opposite outer doors of an open hall cannot, in their continual opening and shutting, altogether exclude! Our own experience, and, we believe, the experience of most housekeepers will readily concede its defects; and after full reflection we have excluded it as both unnecessary and inconvenient.

Another objection has been avoided in the better class of houses here presented, which has crept into very many of the designs of modern builders; which is, that of using the living rooms of the family, more or less, as passages from the kitchen apartments in passing to and from the front hall, or chief entrance. Such we consider a decided objection, and hence arose, probably, the older plans of by-gone years, of making the main hall reach back to the kitchen itself. This is here obviated by a cutting up of the rear section of the 146 hall, by which a passage, in all cases of the better kind of dwelling, is preserved, without encroaching upon the occupied rooms in passing out and in. To be sure, the front door is not the usual passage for the laborers or servants of the house, but they are subject, any hour of the day, to be called there to admit those who may come, and the continual opening of a private room for such purposes is most annoying. Therefore, as matter of convenience, and as a decided improvement on the designs above noticed, we have adhered strictly to the separate rear passage.

The garret, also, as we have arranged our designs, is either altogether left out, or made a quite unimportant part of the dwelling. It is but a lumber room, at best; and should be approached only by a flight of steps from a rear chamber or passage, and used as a receptacle for useless traps, or cast-off furniture, seldom wanted. It is hot in summer, and cold in winter, unfit for decent lodging to any human being in the house, and of little account any way. We much prefer running the chambers partially into the roof, which we think gives them a more comfortable expression, and admits of a better ventilation, by carrying their ceilings higher without the expense of high body walls to the house, which would give them an otherwise naked look. If it be objected that thus running the chambers above the plates of the roof prevents the insertion of proper ties or beams to hold the roof plates together to prevent their spreading, we answer, that he must be a poor mechanic who cannot, in framing the chamber partitions so connect the opposite plates as to insure 147 them against all such difficulty. A sheltered, comfortable aspect is that which should distinguish every farm house, and the cottage chamber is one of its chiefest characteristics; and this can only be had by running such apartments into the roof, as in our design.