Monday, November 2, 2015

Thoughts on House Designs

Below are some excerpts from "Convenient Houses, with Fifty Plans for the Housekeeper:"©1889 I enjoy reading the thought processes that folks during the 19th Century thought about with regard to designing and maintaining a house.

THERE is a definite relation between the work of the housekeeper and that of the architect.
The floor-plan of a house has a definite relation to house keeping requirements, which is not fully appreciated. The difference between a good floor-plan and a poor one may make the difference of three or four tons of coal in the heating of a house during the winter. It may influence the keeping of a servant, the wages to be paid, or may control the necessity for one or more than one. It makes more difference to a man who lives in a house that costs two thousand dollars or three thousand dollars, as to whether he burns seven or ten tons of coal in warming it, than it does to the man who lives in a ten-thousand-dollar or twelve-thousand-dollar house as to whether he burns fourteen or twenty tons. The cost of fuel is of more importance to a man of moderate means than to one of wealth. Then in the matter of service: it is difficult to keep a good servant in a bad kitchen, or in a badly planned house where there is a vast amount of sweeping and other work to be done every day Those who plan factories and mills arrange them with reference to the saving of labor. The idea in saving labor is to save money.
The architect may do a great deal for the housekeeper by making his mouldings and interior wood-work so that they will not catch dust, and can be readily cleaned. Some of our friends, who have studied the artistic qualities of house-building to the exclusion of all other considerations, will say that a regard for housekeeping requirements, in the matter of interior decorations and construction, is placing too great a limit upon their work. They will say that beauty and general artistic qualities are not always consonant with the means which will make easy housekeeping, — that they are limited by such considerations. This need not be so; it is simply a question of ingenuity and thoughtfulness. One may be careless of utility, and make very beautiful things. Another may be thoughtful and careful as to housekeeping requirements, and design something quite as beautiful and attractive as the former.

If you would like to read more here's a link to Convenient Houses, with Fifty Plans for the Housekeeper

1 comment:

  1. I need to say very practical. Especially if you are the one who has to clean it! :)