Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Bachelor's Room

It's been so long since I was a bachelor that I can't even remember the fun of being single . . . oh, wait a minute, yes I do.

Talkin' about warm 'n' cozy, here's some designs of a bachelor's room circa 1900. An excerpt from a description of the time:

'There are bachelors and bachelors, and it would be a task of some little difficulty to decide upon the type thereof for whom the typical bachelor's room should be designed, decorated and furnished. Mr. G.M. Ellwood, designer of A Bachelor's Room, has evidently had in mind that sort of bachelor whom even married men may be allowed at times to envy.

He is evidently a man of means in the first place, of excellent taste in the second. He is probably, indeed, an artist or designer, and his room has to serve as studio and living-room combined. A very charming combination it makes.'

The description goes on to say how the features are such that 'on some chilly winter's night a party of bachelors would find the perfection of cozy comfort." Now really, it may be decades since I was a bachelor, but I remember enough to know that it would not be other bachelors that would keep me cozy on a winter's night.

Never the less, yes, this is a place I could be comfy cozy in.

Above, the inglenook, or chimney corner, a lovely warm recess.

Above, entrance door from the hall, with figures of knights which support the brackets to the shelf and are considered as sentinels, 'appropriate for an entrance'.

Above, windows and writing table—function and character.

Above, manly oak and mahogany. Below, a tidy book collection flanking decorative peacocks. We do not see a bed among these designs, but let us use our vivid imaginations that it would be the coziest comfort that a bachelor could want for on a chilly winter's night.

Illustrations by G.M. Ellwood — 1899


E.G.Palmer said...

Thanks for posting these, Thom! I love a good inglenook.

I build furniture,and the early Arts&Crafts stuff, the medievalesque especially, is my favorite design theme.

I really like the Craftsman-early Mission furniture and design as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas,
Thanks so much for these Elwood sketches! Have been delving through digital archives for the last two years for Arts&Crafts and Art Nouveau interior sketches, but I didn't know these beauties, where did you get them?
One point though: isn't the gorgeous Peacockroom by the wonderful Baillie Scott?
Greetings Saahabi

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I have a large image morgue, with a lot of material that has been sliced from old books & magazines that were falling apart, which is where this item is from, so I can't identify the source. But I have the entire article and for what it's worth, it identifies the Peacock room as by Elwood.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas,
Thanks for correcting me (can't have faults in the archive afterall), after another journey into the realm of I indeed found the article which even mentions the colors!
B.t.w. since your morgue seems to be endless, (and me being a little obsessed with everything Glasgow Style) do you by any chance have a picture of Design for a Sittingroom by Jessie King, mentioned in the 1977 Sotheby's Sale Catalogue? :)
Greetings Saahabi

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I don't specifically recall that image, but I have a lot of Jessie King material, and I will keep my eyes open for it.

Anonymous said...

I love that first image especially; I'm determined to build it...