Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wissahickon Style III, The Comfortable House

Post 24
Mansions, castles, etc. look great on the outside. In fiction, they are easy symbols of the multi-facited self. But in real life, would you pay to live in one?

Winchester Mansion in San Jose, CA
Too big and crazy ass to be comfortable, wouldn't you say?

People make fun of the midsize, comfortable house. Yet, in it's own way, it's close to perfection. And this area is replete with them.

                                                Here is one I love for its complex simplicity.

 I like the rough walls against the smooth door frame and the play of its shapes, rectangles and triangles. Your eye can break up the space into regular or irregular units.

The windows of the first and second floor are differentiated; the upper ones wink out from under indented eyebrows. The set-forward, right entrance rectangle feels like its upper window is dragged down by low ears, and then, to the left, the less formal, sideways rectangle opens up the space between the two stories. Compression and release.

I like how the colors work: drab stucco, pale limestone, bright blue wooden trim, blue-grayish slate roof and verdigrised copper piping. 

It looks like a good house to live in, solid and unpretentious, understating, yet stating, both virtue and style.

 Here is another one I like. Is it typical Stockbroker Tudor? Sure--but its a well done example.

This one feels like a house out of a late William Morris novel. It would belong to a hospitable yeoman with the sacred well right around the corner.                   

One thing I like is how it is landscaped. The curve of the right window is echoed  in the curve of the driveway and the raised hydrangea bed. The greenery seems to flow down from the house to the valley below, solid angularity contrasting with curves.

Both of these house share variegated blue-greyish slate roofs, limestone frames,verdigrised copper details and blue trim-- which I only realized after taking pictures of both of them. So here is one more house, more humble in materials and irregular in structure, to show I'm not too narrow in my tastes. But yeah, I do think it would look better with blue shutters.


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