Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Is A Cottage?

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.


Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Your cottage is beautiful and so cozy looking. Looks like a wonderful book.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Always love the views you share with us of your cottage. But, oh dear, I fear my humble abode does not qualify on some counts as a cottage...definitely not in the country! But I think I'll persist in calling it a cottage anyway. It passes most of the other tests!

My mother had a little collection of cottage books that I inherited...and I found this one you feature here later in paperback version to add to it. She loved cottages.

On Crooked Creek said...

I'm swooning! Never has Linderhof looked more lovely! The lighting is exceptional making each room shine like the exquisite and precious gem that it is! Lovely post, dear friend!

Blondie's Journal said...

Your home is beautiful...very elegant but comfortable! I enjoyed this little tour. The book looks very interesting, too! What a sweet friend to send it to you!


Antiques And Teacups said...

I have that book and have indeed enjoyed it. I think your's definitely qualifies!! Lovely!!

Anonymous said...

A lovely cottage, milady - and a delightful new book to meditate on the pleasures therein. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely home with us!

Pondside said...

Linderhof is a cottage in its heart of hearts.

acorn hollow said...

lovely pictures of your lovely home.

Rebecca said...

I agree with Pat--the lighting makes Linderhof a most COZY cottage. I think my favorite part of blogging is to be invited into homes/houses such as yours. Thank you! And may 2012 bring many more opportunities to share our lives and "cottages".

Bernideen said...

YOUR COTTAGE IS SO WARM AND INVITING! I love the glow of the lamps. My next house will be some sort of "Something" Cottage.

Two Cottages And Tea said...

What a beautiful home you have. All the rooms look so inviting and comfy. Love your marble counter tops. I would rather live in a cottage than a castle anyday!
Happy New Year.
Nancy @ Two Cottages And Tea

Gene Bland said...

thank you for the nice comments, Martha. It was interesting to see your comfortable home featured here, though it's more "manor born" than Blue Row probably ever was! We're eager to fly...

Kerin said...

Great pictures.
I love your cottage.

We certainly have a cottage. Built with brick in the year 1918, and in the country.
I do love cottages.
Thanks for sharing your cottage with us.

Marianne said...

I am so loving your cottage and thank you for this litte tour!
Marianne :)