two questions about Virginia Federal house layout

I once lived in a 1832 house in Culpeper Virginia.. the main entrance was up a few steps to a door into the foyer on the second of three floors..the hall floor.

As you entered, there was a bedroom directly to your left at the front. To the right was the sitting room.

(1) Was it usual to have a bedroom located there?

The dining room was in a sort of basement.. built into the hill in the front and level with the earth on the back.. It was downstairs from the main level and reached by a very simple staircase.

(2) was that the usual layout at this period.?

The staircase to the upper floor was very graceful and rose from the foyer.

I'd be very grateful of your response.. thank you.

Maryalicia Post

Comments for two questions about Virginia Federal house layout

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May 22, 2016
by: Joffre

It tended to be the case that you would have public rooms on one floor and private rooms on another. Smaller homes didn't have this luxury, but larger ones did.

However homes were much more individually designed, and you didn't large developers, and architecture schools, and house magazines nudging everyone towards conformity. Most likely you had a builder and a plan book and possibly a very opinionated owner who had his own ideas.

In some ways having a dining room on the lower level made sense. Most likely the kitchen was separated from the house, so bringing it into the ground level was easier. If they accessed it from the back they wouldn't be taking any stairs.

Stratford Hall in the Northern Neck has the hall floor on the second floor, but I seem to recall there was an informal dining area on the ground floor, along with the living area of the home.

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