What is a cottage? Is Linderhof a cottage? It definitely is not Manor nor is it a Hall, but it could be a House, but it isn't a mansion either.
For Christmas, I received this book . . .
Cottage, English Country Style by Elizabeth Hilliard. It was gifted to me by a friend from Maine. An internet friend for last year Husband Jim and I rented Blue Row in Swerford. This year, she, Gene, and her husband, George, will spend some time at Blue Row. She emailed me with questions, I answered and we've been emailing back and forth since.
For Christmas, I received this book for she found it and thought of me and knew that I would adore it -- she was right!!!!
And the introduction makes it clear as to what a cottage is:
The word 'cottage' means different things to different people, but most would agree that it is a small house, old, in the country, vernacular (built in the local style with local materials) and with a garden.
Then what makes it different from a 'house'?
Scale, for one thing. Inside the cottage has small rooms, with ceilings which may be low or relatively high, depending on its age, but are always in proportion to the modest size of the rooms.
A cottage also has correspondingly modest aspirations -- it has no pretensions to grandeur. It is, or should be, a comfortable, practical and functional living space.
Linderhof is definitely a small house, it's definitely an old house, and if you count a small town as country, we are indeed in the country, it is vernacular for it's built of bricks and our little town on the prairie had several brick factories at the time Linderhof was built, and it definitely has a garden!
We like to think of Linderhof as modest and that it has no pretensions of grandeur. We think it is comfortable, practical and a functional living space.
Linderhof . . . the cottage . . . room by room:
The living room with a cushy sofa and comfortable chairs, tables for drinks and lamps for reading, and a footstool or two, and a corgi for companionship.
The dining room where we entertain company. It's good size, has a fireplace and several pieces which hold our china and glassware.
The breakfast room which is a new addition but which most people think is a porch we've enclosed -- we did our job well! It's where we begin each day and where we have our 6 o'clock martini. It's my favorite tea spot and we enjoy watching the birds in the garden summer or winter.
The kitchen is small but a cottage kitchen should be and it was large, actually, compared to the kitchens in our English cottages. Everything is close at hand and I love the marble counters and island.
The master bedroom with fireplace. A small alcove is my dressing room. A big poster bed, an old walnut chest, an assortment of chairs and a hooked rug make for a cozy bedroom.
The sunroom which houses a wall of books, the computer and a television -- it's small and sunny with two comfortable leather chairs for tv watching.
The guest room with a soft downy comforter, bedside tables for those who like to read in bed, a wall of bookshelves and a window seat which overlooks the back garden. Comfy chairs for reading are in the corners.
To many people a cottage reprints an ideal state of existence.
As soon as you duck under the roses which ramble over the front door and pass into the cool interior,
you enter another world.
Here life is simple and uncluttered by the nuisances of our ordinary lives;
the necessity of earning a living, finding socks that match, and dealing with the tide of unwanted paper that comes through the front door.
To live in a cottage is, to the uninitiated, to escape.
Even for those people who do actually live in cottages, the ideal burns bright.