In the adornment of ornamental grounds, some considerable attention has beeen given to summer houses, and similar structures; but these have been mainly rustic in their design and finish, and in this respect well adapted to their purpose and surroundings. The good taste of these structures will not be called in question. There are locations, however, in the more immediate vicinity of our large cities, where a style less rustic would seem to be more in harmony with the architecture which is found to prevail. We refer to residences on the outskirts of our large cities, with inclosures containing a few city lots. Here the architecture, so far from being rural, is, on the contrary, stiff, sharp, and sometimes very ornate. A rustic summer house in such a place would be an incongruity. A rustic house is in itself a beautiful object; but there is a certain charm in association which can not be widely departed from without doing violence to our conceptions of the fitness of things; and hence a purely rustic house without rural surroundings is destitute of the chief elements which give rise to the beautiful. Most persons would say it was out of place.
The design herewith presented was prepared to meet the requirements of such a case; it is consequently somewhat elaborate. It is located on a small plot of ground with the city limits, and in full view from three streets. The grounds are laid out with a few rectangular walks, and such shrubs as the small size of the place would admit of. The house, we think corresponds with its surroundings. Its faults, if any, are a little too much ornament, but something of this kind seemed to be required in the absence of that more beautiful ornamentation produced by the drapery of Nature. The house is so located that it receives the morning sun for a few hours, but during the rest of the day is in the shade; it therefore constitutes a pleasant place of retreat for the family at all hours, and is used by the children freely as a play house. The floor is laid in narrow stuff, and is elevated a foot above the ground for the sake of dryness. Easy seats, a handsome centre table, and a hanging lamp complete the interior. Venetian blinds afford ample protection on a misty day or a chilly night, or admit the soft summer breeze on a hot and sultry eve.
One of many
house designs from the book
Woodward's Country Homes.