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The Architecture of Country Houses

Throughout the early Victorian period American domestic architecture was dominated by the ideas and designs of Andrew Jackson Downing who emphasized function, convenience, and concord with the environment. This volume forms his most important work. 321 figures. 33 architectural designs. Introduction.

Rating: (out of 6 reviews)

List Price: $ 19.95
Price: $ 11.23

The Architecture of Country Houses Reviews

Review by :

This text is a true classic. Orginally published in 1850, it is a reprint of the Gothic Revival pattern book of Andrew Jackson Downing who was the authority and champion of this style. Gothic Revival houses dominated the American countryside from the 1830s to the 1860s, and most of the designs for these houses were based on the patterns found in this book. The interior layouts from this age will most likely not suit the taste of modern day houses — Gothic houses typically have a stair case just after the front door. Most home builders today like to have a living room or foyer just after the front door to greet guests. But for getting ideas on exterior designs of Gothic Revival houses, this book is the only authority.

Review by Jim Tolpin:

This book is by the grandaddy of American cottage-style home designer’s: Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852). He wanted all of us to enjoy the simple, but rich, life of the cottage. You won’t understand the roots of the American cottage unless you know about the life and work of Andrew Downing. As a footnote: He died young trying to save other’s aboard Robert Fulton’s steamship after a boiler fire. Someone should make a movie about this guy.

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The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life (Country Life Magazine)

The English Country House takes a look at the architecture and interiors of sixty-two stunning houses in a range of architectural styles spanning seven centuries—from the medieval Stokesay Castle to the newly built, Lutyens-inspired Corfe Farm—brought to life through the world-renowned photography library of Country Life. More than four hundred color and black and white illustrations provide an insight into the architecture, decoration, gardens, and landscape settings of these houses, which are set into their architectural and historical context by the accompanying text and extended captions.

The book provides an entrée into the houses to which Country Life has had privileged access over the years, many of which are still private homes, often occupied by descendants of the families that built them. Punctuating the book at intervals in the form of booklets on rich, uncoated paper are six essays by leading British architectural historians that set the English country house into its social context and chart the changing tastes in decorating and collecting, the development of ancillary buildings, gardens and landscapes, and finally, its influence in the United States.

Rating: (out of 8 reviews)

List Price: $ 85.00
Price: $ 48.00

The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life (Country Life Magazine) Reviews

Review by MartinP:

I own a great number of books on English country houses, and adding a new one to the collection comes with an ever increasing risk of redundancy. Mary Miers, however, has succeeded in creating one of the most glorious books of its kind, and moreover one that consistently highlights houses that are passed over in other works. So don’t expect to find Wilton, Chatsworth, Castle Howard or Blenheim in these pages. But do expect to find a great number of smaller and/or lesser known houses, revealed in loving detail and thus shown to be every bit as beautiful and interesting as their more famous neighbours. Some of these are in fact quite famous themselves, but for some reason hardly ever shown in books on country houses, such as Wrotham Park, which featured in a substantial number of TV-series and movies.

The photography is quite simply superb and generously covers interiors, exteriors, outbuildings and gardens. There are atmospheric shots of dreamy Elizabethan manors, but there’s also a breathtaking aerial view of Newby Hall. Interiors are naturally lit so that colours and atmosphere feel very true. Many of the rooms shown have inviting, lived-in look. Every image is well-considered, many are large-size, and all are razor-sharp.

Houses are covered chronologically, from Elizabethan and Jacobean times right into the twentieth century. Texts are clear, brief and to the point. On several places in the book brief topical essays are bound in, printed on smaller size pages of a heavy, textured paper, which looks very classy indeed. These illuminating texts address such specific subjects as the country house interior or its garden.

In all, an endless treasure trove (this is a brick of a book!) brimful of delights, that no country house enthusiast should miss! It may look pricey, but it’s worth every penny. Put this on your coffee table and you won’t have to think about a way to entertain your guests.

Review by Tacy Brooke:

This is an absolute must for every Anglophile! The photographs are simply beautiful and the text informative and accurate. Not only for a coffee table, but for real study of teh architecture and history of each period.

Buy The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life (Country Life Magazine) now for only $ 48.00!

New Country Houses

The thirty houses featured in this beautifully illustrated volume range from a Portuguese vacation home whose granite facade blends seamlessly into an ancient system of agricultural terraces to a Japanese family residence whose translucent walls glow like a paper lantern in the nighttime, but they all embody the same contemporary architectural trend: a radical shift in thinking about the residential architecture of the countryside. An increasing exodus from the stresses of urban living has brought a positive and powerful design consciousness out of the cities into new and challenging environments. New Country Houses explores how architects today seek to reinvent the country house and develop a new rural architecture for the twenty-first century, rather than simply remodeling or recreating the methods and manners of the past. Exercising his keen eye for architectural style, the author divides the book thematically into four chapters which correspond to contemporary architects’ primary approaches to the challenge of designing for the countryside: organic, vernacular, contemporary, and experimental. The individual case studies within these chapters include insights from the architects themselves and are augmented by both detailed plans and elevations and no fewer than 175 full-color interior and exterior photographs. A full complement of supplementary features–an introduction tracing the history of the country house, a bibliography, and an index–ensures that this book will serve as a guide and inspiration to architects, their clients, and all readers who are interested in the aesthetically groundbreaking, flexible, and ecologically conscious way of living represented by today’s new country houses.

Rating: (out of 2 reviews)

List Price: $ 35.00
Price: $ 18.69

New Country Houses Reviews

Review by John Matlock:

When I looked at the cover of this book I saw what I expected, a very modern house fairly small house in a heavily forested setting. Then I turned to the first page of the introduction and pictured was the country home of the Eleventh Duke of Marlborough in 1722. His home, called Blenheim Palace, was not moden, definitely not small and incidentally was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Next to it though was the tiny cabin used by Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond.

The book is organized into four chapters with houses separated by style. The styles he features are:

Organic — homes made to fit in with the surroundings. This includes both a sensitivity to the site and landscape but also to building materials: stone, timber, adobe.

Verhacular — Powerful and beautifyl homes that fuse vernacular references and ideas with contemporary demands for open-plan living and flexible spaces.

New Modern –Where new materials and technology bring in innovation with engineering challenges but still preserve a respect for their rural surroundings.

Experimental — Where anything goes. Well away from the restrictive covenents, building codes and other pressures of society, these are homes that stretch the limits of thematic, structural and let the country be one of the great laboratories of architectural change.

This book provide great photography and descriptions with a selection of houses from around the world.

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100 Country Houses: New Rural Architecture

The cream of contemporary rural residential architecture.

Rating: (out of 2 reviews)

List Price: $ 60.00
Price: $ 37.79

100 Country Houses: New Rural Architecture Reviews

Review by Brandtroo:

This book shows an amazing sampling of great modern/country homes. If you have any interest in modern homes in a rural setting, this is the book for you.

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The Country Houses of John F. Staub (Sara and John Lindsey Series in the Arts and Humanities)

In the early 1920s, architect John F. Staub, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, who had studied at MIT and worked in New York, came to the burgeoning city of Houston as an assistant to nationally prominent architect Harrie T. Lindeberg. Staub was charged with administering construction of three houses designed by Lindeberg for members of the city’s rapidly emerging elite. He would go on to establish one of the most influential architectural practices in Houston, where he would remain until his death in 1981. Over four decades, Staub designed grand houses in such communities as Shadyside, Broadacres, and, perhaps most notably, River Oaks. His clients included the Hoggs, for whom he created Bayou Bend; the Mastersons, his clients for Rienzi; and members of the Wiess, Cullen, Farish, Welder, Fay, and Elkins families. Although Staub also completed commissions for clients elsewhere in Texas and the United States, it was primarily in Houston that his work and influence took root. This ambitious study of Staub’s work by architectural historian Stephen Fox goes beyond a description of Staub’s houses. Fox analyzes the roles of space, structure, and decoration in creating, defining, and maintaining social class structures and expectations and shows how Staub was able to incorporate these elements and understandings into the elegant buildings he designed for his clients. In the process, he contributes greatly to a fuller understanding of Houston’s emergence as a premier American city. Stunning color images by architectural photographer Richard Cheek, combined with Fox’s well-grounded and expansive thesis, create a volume that will enchant,

Rating: (out of 10 reviews)

List Price: $ 75.00
Price: $ 47.25

The Country Houses of John F. Staub (Sara and John Lindsey Series in the Arts and Humanities) Reviews

Review by Jack Wilkerson:

As a background, I have been collecting the drawings of the greatest American residential architects between 1900 and 1930 for over 8 years to use for inspiration in my architectural practice. This book shows the work of one of the top architects of the period. He is not the greatest in the area of artistic proportions and style, but he far outshines almost all architects living today. Most of the homes listed in this book are large examples where there was no budgetary limitation. The most difficult classical home to design is the small 2 or 3 bedroom home with a limited budget. The floor plans shown in this book give a wide mix of room proportions from square to long and narrow with every ratio in between. My measurements of hundreds of classic homes has turned up an ideal ratio room that should be used when possible. This may be an extreme viewpoint, but it works in practice. If you are in love with neoclassical and romantic homes of the first third of the 20th century, you should buy this book. It should be required reading for every Architectural Student in training for residential design.

Review by Gail Cooke:


The extent of architect John F. Staub’s influence on Houston, Texas is reflected in the fact that today tour companies offer excursions to visit the homes he designed. While many tales surround one of our country’s largest cities, his work is sometimes referred to as a “secret” Houston. Or, as it has been described, “Staub’s Houston is one of these cities-within-a-city. The dignity, civility and amplitude of Staub’s country houses, set in lush, southern, woodland gardens, represent his and his clients’ vision of Houston as a garden city. ”

With The Country Houses of John F. Staub, architectural historian Stephen Fox takes us on an armchair tour of Staub’s work, from neighborhoods such as Shadyside, and Broadacres, to what is perhaps the most famous of all Houston communities, the address of the powerful and wealthy – River Oaks.

Staub’s client list included the elite. For instance, the Hogg family for whom he created Bayou Bend, a 28 room mansion built between 1927 and 1928 for Miss Ima Hogg and her two brothers, William and Michael. A study in eighteenth-century Georgian architecture, the mansion is surrounded by magnificent gardens. In 1957 Miss Hogg donated her property to the Museum of fine Arts, Houston. Today it is one of Houston’s major attractions.

This beautifully illustrated volume is not only a tribute to Mr. Staub but a mini history of Texas from the turn of the century onward. It will surely be of great interest to architects, Houstonains, and those with an interest in the development of the Lone Star State.

Highly recommended.

– Gail Cooke

Buy The Country Houses of John F. Staub (Sara and John Lindsey Series in the Arts and Humanities) now for only $ 47.25!

American Country Houses of the Thirties: With Photographs and Floor Plans (Dover Books on Architecture)

Featuring blueprints, sketches, plus exterior and interior photographs, here are the finest examples of 1930s country homes from 70 different architectural firms. Originally designed during a creative peak of American architecture, the houses embrace a wide variety of styles, from simple cottages to large estates, rough hewn to elegant.

  • ISBN13: 9780486455921
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Rating: (out of 3 reviews)

List Price: $ 12.95
Price: $ 7.94

American Country Houses of the Thirties: With Photographs and Floor Plans (Dover Books on Architecture) Reviews

Review by Classicdude:

This book is a facsimile of AMERICAN COUNTRY HOUSES OF TODAY by architect Lewis A. Coffin which was originally published in 1934. The introduction is only two pages, but it discusses the past, present, and future of country houses (that is, houses out of a strictly urban environment), a discussion with observations, questions, and fears that are still valid today. The author asks why we cannot make houses that are better planned, more liveable and more beautiful than those built by architects of the past. Coffin asks why the basic principles of simplicity, of proportion, of balance, and of well designed detail cannot be adopted along with new materials and technology. Why indeed? He blames the lazy or incompetent architect that finds it easier not to have to struggle towards the basic principles of good design for unsuccessful houses that mar the landscape throughout the country, still an issue today.

This book consists of two parts. The first part begins with the design of a modern house with a classical precedent, but the rest are built designs as evident by the photo of the exterior. In some instances, interior views are also shown. And floor plans, both floors as applicable, are shown for each of the architect-designed houses. About 60 architectural firms are represented including Dwight James Baum, Delano & Aldrich, Frank J. Forster, Howe & Lescaze, Mellor & Meigs, the Office of John Russell Pope, and Royal Barry Wills. Most houses fall in the category of Colonial — Cape Cod, Georgian, Monterrey, California Ranch, Creole — but there are also English Cottage, French Country, Regency, and even a couple in the International Style. Although a few are quite modest, most are moderately substantial. Judging from the mature plantings, most of these houses were designed and built before the hardships of the Great Depression had set in.

The second part consists of some of the more notable submittals to the Small House Competitions of 1932 and 1933. Held by an organization called The Better Homes of America to promote quality in small houses, there were restrictions in cubic footage and designs had to be executed by architects within the previous 5 years. Floor plans along with at least one photo, like in the first part, are presented for 21 houses, includig the one pictured on the cover of this Dover edition. This reviewer is particularly enamored of a modest board-and-batten cottage with a wood shake roof owned by Dr. Seeley G. Mudd of Santa Barbara County, California; the site is only about 35 feet wide, but it is 782 feet long and extends across a beach to the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Instead of finding a horrible design in any one of the house plan magazines currently found in stores across the country, persons wanting to find ideas for the basis of a new home would do well to include one book like this as part of their research. At the very least, a design from an archival source might be used as a starting point for those wanting a compact and economic plan that is also attractive. This is an interesting book for all who enjoy the history of American Architecture and traditional residential design.

Review by A. Scranton:

This book had lots of cape cods, tudors & colonial style plans. I have a cape cod, and am looking for my 40’s built floor plan. I came close with a few of the plans in this book and have enjoyed looking & reading about all the plans.

Buy American Country Houses of the Thirties: With Photographs and Floor Plans (Dover Books on Architecture) now for only $ 7.94!

Country Houses

This book presents eight exceptional country house s that have been created or restored by Belgian architects and interior specialists.

List Price: $ 125.00
Price:

Country Living (1-year)

Country Living is your guide to creating the ultimate in country style. Each issue offers inspirational ideas on:Decorating & Remodeling, Antiques & Collecting, Gardening & Landscaping, Entertaining & Travel.

Rating: (out of 62 reviews)

List Price: $ 47.88
Price: $ 12.00

Country Living (1-year) Reviews

Review by Psboston7:

I have continued to get this Magazine subscription for almost 4 years now. I really enjoy the pictures and the many different ways to do “country”. I began subscribing because I was gathering information on opening a “Bed and Breakfast” and I wanted to see the looks that were out there that said “cozy” and “homey”. This Magazine has never let me down I find that I enjoy the section that they have called “Real Estate Sampler” as well as the product information that they have in the back of the book.I used to get over 16 Magazine Subscriptions, and for me to keep subscribing to this one speaks volumes(please check out my other Magazine reviews)The other Magazine that I liked about as much as this one along the same lines is House & Garden.Happy Reading

Review by :

I was so happy to find a subscription to this magazine on Amazon.com. The price is much lower than I expected, and lower than I had found otherwise. This magazine is great for anyone looking for inspiration in home decorating. The title may say country, but there are also many contemproray ideas offered. Great gift idea for someone into home decorating!

Buy Country Living (1-year) now for only $ 12.00!

Building Bat Houses: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-178

Since 1973, Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletins have offered practical, hands-on instructions designed to help readers master dozens of country living skills quickly and easily. There are now more than 170 titles in this series, and their remarkable popularity reflects the common desire of country and city dwellers alike to cultivate personal independence in everyday life.

Rating: (out of 5 reviews)

List Price: $ 3.95
Price:

Building Bat Houses: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-178 Reviews

Review by Joshua D. Reighley:

When I first saw this book, I was pretty excited. It looked like a very inexpensive way to introduce folks to my bat house hobby. I purchased the book, and read it immediately. I was a little bit disappointed. It seems like this book covers all of the main points about building successful bat house, but it was much harder to follow than the “Bat House Builder’s Handbook.” I also felt that the plans looked much less detailed, and the pictures were lacking in general.This book did have a ton of information about exluding bats, and I think that it is probably an exellent referance for people who are looking to get bats out of their attic. While this book is a decent bat house book, I would recomend that folks interested in building bat houses shell out the extra few dollars and get the “Bat House builder’s handbook” instead.

Review by N. S. Alito:

I am very impressed at how comprehensive this small booklet is. Using readable English and clear diagrams, Building Bat Houses provides interesting bat information, bat house location and construction details (including tool and materials lists), and explicit plans for bat houses of 3 different sizes. Major Disclaimer: We haven’t actually built the house yet!

Buy Building Bat Houses: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-178 now for only !

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