What a House Should Be???

By E.C.Gardner , revised 1895

"It appears, Jack, my dear, to be absolutely indispensable to our future happiness that the house shall front north, south, east and west."

"Let's build it on a pivot."

"We must not have large halls to keep warm in cold weather, and we must have large halls 'for style.' The stories must not be less than eleven nor more than nine feet high. It must be carpeted throughout and all the floors must be bare. It must be warmed by steam and hot water and furnaces and fireplaces and base-burners and coal grates."

"We shan't have to go away from home to get into purgatory, shall we?"

"Hush! The walls of the rooms must be calcimined, painted, frescoed and papered; they must be dyed in the mortar, finished with leather, with tiles, with tapestry and with solid wood panels. There must be blinds—outside blinds, awnings, inside shutters, rolling blinds, Venetian shades and no blinds at all. There must be wide, low-roofed piazzas all around the house, so that we can live out of doors in the summer, and on no account must the sun be excluded from the windows of the first story by piazza roofs. At least eight patent sanitary plumbing articles, and as many cooking ranges, are each the only one safe and fit to be used. The house must be high and low—"

"I'm Jack and you shall be game—"

"It must be of bricks, wood and stone, separately and in combination; it must be Queen Anne, Gothic, French, Japanesque and classic American, and it must be painted all the colors of an autumn landscape."

"Well, there's one comfort," said Jack; "you haven't paid for this advice, so you won't be obliged to take it in order to save it."

"I should think not, indeed, but that isn't the trouble. These letters are from my special friends, wise, practical people, who know everything about building and housekeeping, and they speak from solemn conviction based on personal experience."

"Moral: When the doctors differ, do as you please."

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