The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, and Middlesex in the Spring of 1840

Mixed architectural styles

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3. Never to employ two styles or manners of architecture in the same cottage, or at all events not to do this so frequently as to lead a stranger to suppose that it has been done through ignorance. We omit what may be said on the necessity of keeping the recognised eras of the Gothic distinct, as well as the Elizabethan, Swiss, Italian, &c., as sufficiently obvious. In every cottage and its accompaniments, the appearance of one system of construction should prevail, as well as one prevailing direction in the lines of the masses. For example, in a Swiss cottage, with its far projecting eaves and its surrounding balcony, horizontal masses, lines, and shadows are decidedly prevalent; and, beyond a certain point required for contrast, it is not desirable to introduce any vertical masses, lines, or shadows. The windows, therefore, in such a house, should be broad rather than high; and, as those of the ground floor are protected from the weather by the balcony, and those of the upper floor by the projecting eaves, the very simplest form of dressings to the doors and windows is all that is required. To surround them with rich dressings, or protect them by cornices or pediments, such as indicate the purpose of throwing off the rain, or casting a shade on the glass, would be in bad taste, because it would be superfluous, or working for an end that could not be attained; it would, in fact, be counteracting nature, and setting at nought the principles of art; not to speak of weakening the associations connected with style independently of the use of parts.