The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment X. On Gothic Outline.

The principle of economy

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1st. Economy dictates compressing within a compact and small extent, and preserving everything which can be retained without alteration, however little it may be worth preserving: but, as I prefer the old site of the house to any other in the park, I see no occasion to take down for the sake of rebuilding. 2nd. Convenience requires a certain number of rooms, of certain dimensions; and it will be found that those proposed are ample in size, varied in form, and connected without waste or redundance. The dining-room is detached from the drawing-room, which does away the objection of two immediately adjoining rooms, where conversation in either may be overheard. The drawing-room which, in a house of this date, was called the parlour, may be fitted up with books, musical instruments, and card-tables, to render it the general living-room for the family, according to the modern habits of life, which explode the old absurd fashion of shutting up a large comfortless room, to starve the occasional visitors by damp sofas, and bright steel grates. These two rooms and the study may be fifteen feet high: the approach to them, by the passages and staircase, will be sufficiently ample, without the extravagance of a large and lofty hall, to which much was sacrificed in old houses, because it was used as the dining-room on great occasions*. In the chamber plan, provision is made for bed-rooms of various sizes, with closets, but not very large dressing-rooms; and the number of bed-rooms, including those in the present old building, and some in the roof over the new part, will be sufficient for all the purposes of convenience or magnificence, as far as the first leading principle of economy will allow. But, should it hereafter be deemed advisable to extend the plan, a provision may be made in the wall to the north (by changing the position of the butler's pantry, &c.) to communicate with a billiard-room, library, or any other rooms which may be required. The offices contain everything necessary to a house of this kind, connected with each other by passages of communication, with sufficient cellars, &c. *[After this house was built, an alteration was made, in conformity to my original wishes, that the entrance lobby should be changed to an anti-room, and the real entrance made in the cloisters, or passage, connecting the old and new buildings.]