"The Villa" essay

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It was built to match its external surroundings.  After the entrance, there was an entrance room that created a rural mood from the rustic items placed there to the decorations in there. Downing used the rural Gothic for his interior expression. This is the one important feature that allows us to determine that he really loved the rural setting. He would have afforded to get the best city elegance but he opted to go for rural decorations. This could be interpreted as his deep attachment to rural settings that he was brought up in while at the same time showing that rural artifacts were even more attractive and elegant than the urban ones. The fruits in the first (entrance) room, which had a gothic mood, showed that rural settings were healthy and provided with the proper nutrition in abundance.

The entrance hall used to have a relatively lower tone as compared to the rest of the house rooms. There were three different sources of light in the hall that allowed the limited light coming into the house. Downing believed that it had to have the lower tones than the rest of the house. This could have been interpreted as a way to ensure that if a visitor came into the house, the standard of what they would get in there would be low and would only marvel at anything that they had seen better, which was the case with Downing’s villa. It was the trick to ensure that visitors would appreciate the interior of the house at all times.

When Downing had built his villa, water closet toilets were not discovered. His villa, therefore, was not fitted with them. After their discovery, it was very active as it lobbied for their use and in fact fitted them in his villa. This was a show of his embrace to every new improvement in technology as well as new innovations. He was appreciative to other people’s work. His stand about the issue led to a more intensive adoption of the innovation and it was thought that this had been a major step that had led to a faster adoption of WC toilets due to his influence and fame in the architect and design field.

The drawing room in Downing’s house was lively and brilliant. It was large and adorned with many pictures and other artistic objects that ranged from color of the paint on the walls and on all the furniture. Any visitor who had visited the room described it as a handsome showing that it was manly in its appearance. It was also big and double roomed separated with sliding doors. This is where the meetings and other important congresses were held there. It had a fireplace that warmed the house especially during such meetings. The drawing room was a good representation of art and showed how much Downing appreciated the creativity. The room had many artistic drawings that were hanging on the walls to ensure that there was the maximum elegance. This creativity was a sign that could have resulted to the open mindedness of Downing that led to his large creativity which guided him to the design of the villa and his garden.

The hallway and stairs were secluded from the rest of the house. One could move from the outside of the house and go to the upper stores without getting into the hallway. This could have been interpreted from the design as a way that Downing used to separate the rest of his house from his employees. Since dances were held in the hallway, anyone who might not be invited could not get into the hallway during such occasions. It showed the privacy and exclusion of servants from the rest of the family ordeals. It also showed that Downing had a high regard to have fun and allowed some time for people in his household to have fun. He appreciated breaks and dances in the form of house parties which were held in his hallway.

The library was excluded from the main house and was stacked with the large collection of books from all genres. This was the place where everyone’s study needs in the family would be addressed at. It was a small room and during winter the family converged there and warmed themselves with the library fireplace. This was the perfect place where the family would get together, tell stories and have a close gathering of parents with their children. The interpretation to this is that Downing valued the family and he wanted to keep the family ties tight especially during winter when people would tend to part the ways. The convergence in the small warm room was good enough to bring the family together, especially when one considered the external environment that they would be running away from-strong cold with snow.

The hallway had several seats that were both fanciful and elegant. Some of them were Elizabethan chairs while the others had the same design but were believed to be antiques that Downing had inherited from his parents. The presence of these seats as antiques could be interpreted as a message to those who were with him that whatever had been there was how he wished the things would remain even if he died at any time. He passed the message by keeping the inherited seats that those he would leave behind in case he died should keep his favorite belongings.

Downing had a well-organized personal office that connected the drawing room with the library. There was a secret door to connect them that was not easily visible since the book case concealed it. It was added later after the villa had been completed. The secret office could be interpreted as Downing’s culture for the organized work within the family reach but away from them since it was private and well concealed from the rest of the room. Though the family members knew it was there, it was clear that he needed the time away from everyone to put together his full time architect job. 

Being among the most innovative architects of his time and the revolution that he had brought to the field, Downing is an important figure in the American family homes. He considered most of the needs of a single family such as the family ties and a proper nutrition to ensure that homes were in a proper order. He beat all the odds and proved that one could effectively pick the underrated rural values and use them in urban settings such as in the villa and design the self-sufficient single home. He proved that the rural setting, if well utilized, would even surpass urban ways in terms of elegance.

From his great Edinburgh villa, Downing’s plans and innovations were highly copied and diversified. It has today been adopted in most of America since his plan and design had been practical and impeccably elegant.

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