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Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942. / Craftsman homes
(1909)

Halls and stairways: their importance in the general scheme of a craftsman house,   pp. 125-128 ff.


Page 125

HALLS AND STAIRWAYS: THEIR IMPORTANCE IN
THE GENERAL SCHEME OF A CRAFTSMAN HOUSE
WITH           the general adoption    of the
         simpler and more sensible ideas of
         house building that have come to the
         front in late years, the hall seems to
be returning to its old-time dignity as one of
tbe important rooms of the house.   Instead of
the small dark passageway, with just room
enough for the hat tree and tbe stairs, that
we have long been familiar with in American
houses, we have now the large reception hall
with its welcoming fireplace and comfortable
furnishings,<as inviting a room as any in the
house.   There is even a suggestion of the
³great hall of the castle,² where in bygone
days all indoor life centered,   in the ever-
increasing popularity of the plan which throws
ball, living room and dining room into one
large irregular  room, divided   only by  the
decorative post-and-panel construction that we
so frequently use to indicate a partition, or
by large screens that serve temporarily to shut
off one part or another if privacy should be
required. In this main room all guests are re-
ceived, all the meals are served and the greater
part of the family life is carried on.  Even
where this plan is not adopted and the rooms
of the lower story are completely separated
from one another, the large reception hall is
still counted as one of the principal rooms of
the house, and what used to be considered the
entrance or stair hall is now either absent
entirely or treated as a vestibule; generally
curtained off from the reception hall or living
room into which it opens in order to prevent
drafts from the entrance door.
  Whether it be a large or small reception
hall, or an entrance only large enough for the
stairs and the passageway from the front door
to the other rooms in the house, the ball is
always worthy of careful consideration as to
structural features and color scheme, for it
gives the first impression of the whole house.
It is the preface to all the rest and in a well
planned house it strikes the keynote of the
whole scheme of interior decoration.    Above
all things, the hall ought to convey the sug-
gestion of welcome and repose.   In a cold
climate, or if placed on the shady side of the
house, it is worth any pains to have the hall
well lighted and airy and the color scheme
rich and warm.  It is the first impression of
a house that influences the visitor and the
sight of a cheerless vista upon entering chills
any appreciation of subsequent effects.  With
a sunny exposure, or in a country where heat
has to be reckoned with for the greater part
A TYPICAL CRAFTSMAN STAIRWAY WITH LANDING USED AS A STRUCTURAL FEATURE OF
THE RECEPTION HALL.  THIS
IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THE FOST-AND-FANEL CONSTRUCTION WHICH IS SO OFTEN
USED TO INDICATE THE
DIVISION BETWEEN TWO ROOMS.
Published in The Craftsman, January, 1906.
I ~25


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