site logo

Farm House 4 Chamber Plan

Opening into the wing from the kitchen, first, is a large closet and pantry, supplied with a table, drawers, and shelves, in which are stored the dishes, table furniture, and edibles necessary to be kept at a moment's access. This room is 14×8 feet, and well lighted by a window of convenient size. If necessary, this room may have a partition, shutting off a part from the everyday uses which the family requires. In this room, so near to the kitchen, to the sink, to hot-water, and the other littl
domestic accessories which good housewives know so well how to arrange and appreciate, all the nice little table-comforts can be got up, and perfected, and stored away, under lock and key, in drawer, tub, or jar, at their discretion, and still their eyes not be away from their subordinates in the other departments. Next to this, and connected by a door, is the dairy, or milk-room, also 14×8 feet; which, if necessary, may be sunk three or four feet into the ground, for additional coolness in the summer season, and the floor reached by steps. In this are ample shelves for the milkpans, conveniences of churning, &c., &c. But, if the dairy be a prominent object of the farm, a separate establishment will be required, and the excavation may not be necessary for ordinary household uses. Out of this milk-room, a door leads 122 into a wash-room, 18×14 feet. A passage from the kitchen also leads into this. The wash-room is lighted by two windows in rear, and one in front. A sink is between the two rear windows, with conductor leading outside, and a closet beneath it, for the iron ware. In the chimney, at the end, are boilers, and a fireplace, an oven, or anything else required, and a door leading to a platform in the wood-house, and so into the yard. On the other side of the chimney, a door leads into a bathing-room, 7×6 feet, into which hot water is drawn from one of the boilers adjoining, and cold water may be introduced, by a hand-pump, through a pipe leading into the well or cistern.

As no more convenient opportunity may present itself, a word or two will be suggested as to the location of the bath-room in a country house. In city houses, or country houses designed for the summer occupancy of city dwellers, the bathing-rooms are usually placed in the second or chamber story, and the water for their supply is drawn from cisterns still above them. This arrangement, in city houses, is made chiefly from the want of room on the ground floor; and, also, thus arranged in the city-country houses, because they are so constructed in the city. In the farm house, or in the country house proper, occupied by whom it may be, such arrangement is unnecessary, expensive, and inconvenient. Unnecessary, because there is no want of room on the ground; expensive, because an upper cistern is always liable to leakages, and a consequent wastage of water, wetting, and rotting out the floors, and all the slopping and dripping which such accidents 123 occasion; and inconvenient, from the continual up-and-down-stair labor of those who occupy the bath, to say nothing of the piercing the walls of the house, for the admission of pipes to lead in and let out the water, and the thousand-and-one vexations, by way of plumbers' bills, and expense of getting to and from the house itself, always a distance of some miles from the mechanic.

The only defence for such location of the bath-room and cisterns is, the convenience and privacy of access to them, by the females of the family. This counts but little, if anything, over the place appropriated in this, and the succeeding designs of this work. The access is almost, if not quite as private as the other, and, in case of ill-health, as easily approachable to invalids. And on the score of economy in construction, repair, or accident, the plan here adopted is altogether preferable. In this plan, the water is drawn from the boiler by the turning of a cock; that from the cistern, by a minute's labor with the hand-pump. It is let off by the drawing of a plug, and discharges, by a short pipe, into the adjoining garden, or grassplat, to moisten and invigorate the trees and plants which require it, and the whole affair is clean and sweet again. A screen for the window gives all the privacy required, and the most fastidious, shrinking female is as retired as in the shadiest nook of her dressing-room.

So with water-closets. A fashion prevails of thrusting these noisome things into the midst of sleeping chambers and living rooms—pandering to effeminacy, and, at times, surcharging the house—for they 124 cannot, at all times, and under all circumstances, be kept perfectly close—with their offensive odor. Out of the house they belong; and if they, by any means, find their way within its walls proper, the fault will not be laid at our door.

To get back to our description. This bathing-room occupies a corner of the wood-house.

A raised platform passes from the wash-room in, past the bath-room, to a water-closet, which may be divided into two apartments, if desirable. The vaults are accessible from the rear, for cleaning out, or introducing lime, gypsum, powdered charcoal, or other deodorizing material. At the extreme corner of the wood-house, a door opens into a feed and swill-room, 20×8 feet, which is reached by steps, and stands quite eighteen inches above the ground level, on a stone under-pinning, or with a stone cellar beneath, for the storage of roots in winter. In one corner of this is a boiler and chimney, for cooking food for the pigs and chickens. A door leads from this room into the piggery, 20×12 feet, where half-a-dozen swine may be kept. A door leads from this pen into a yard, in the rear, where they will be less offensive than if confined within. If necessary, a flight of steps, leading to the loft overhead, may be built, where corn can be stored for their feeding.

Next to this is the workshop and tool-house, 18×14 feet; and, in rear, a snug, warm house for the family chickens, 18×6 feet. These chickens may also have the run of the yard in rear, with the pigs, and apartments in the loft overhead for roosting.

Adjoining the workshop is the carriage house, 18×18 feet, with a flight of stairs to the hayloft above, in which is, also, a dovecote; and, leading out of the carriage floor, is the stable, 18×12 feet, with stalls for two or four horses, and a passage of four feet wide, from the carriage-house into it; thus completing, and drawing under one continuous roof, and at less exposure than if separated, the chief every-day requirements of living, to a well-arranged and highly-respectable family.

The chamber plan of the dwelling will be readily understood by reference to its arrangement. There are a sufficiency of closets for all purposes, and the whole are accessible from either flight of stairs. The rooms over the wing, of course, should be devoted to the male domestics of the family, work-people, &c.