The Garden Guide

Book: Designs for the pavilion at Brighton, 1808
Chapter: An Inquiry Into The Changes In Architecture

Brighton Pavilion Ineriors

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INTERIOR. IN ancient Gothic mansions, whether castles or abbeys, converted to domestic purposes, or of the mixed style of Queen Elizabeth, the rooms, though long and large, consisted of such irregular shapes, or were so broken by the deep recesses of windows, or enriched by the projection of timber groins in the ceilings, that the eye was amused and entangled by a degree of intricacy unknown in modern rooms. The rage for what is called SIMPLICITY, and the common error of substituting greatness of dimensions for greatness of character, have introduced plain walls without the smallest break or projection, and plain ceilings without the smallest enrichments of painting or sculpture; while large windows, and large piers, and doors too large for common use, have been made the criterion of GRANDEUR. On the contrary, these only tend to lessen the apparent dimensions of space, because (as in the case of a large naked plain) the eye is immediately led to the boundary, which is the only object that arrests attention. To remedy this defect in modern rooms, it has, of late, become the fashion to cover the ceilings with lustres, and to crowd the floor with tables, and sofas, and musical instruments, which, in some degree, create separate compartments and recesses, although the comfort and enjoyment of them can never be compared with the deep bays, and retired cavities, observed in the galleries of some ancient palaces. The plainness, or simplicity (as it is called), in modern houses, has been extended to every room alike; and often causes, in dining-rooms, an excess of echo and noise, which is intolerable.