From the New England saltbox to the Pennsylvania Dutch, from the southern colonial to the western ranch, the American farmhouse is an icon of our history and our traditions of hearth and home, an architectural entity in and of itself, as well as a highly coveted retreat for country dwellers. Conveyed throughout Farmhouse: Country Retreats in both images and words are the many qualities that make farmhouses special and the importance and pleasures of preserving and restoring these homes.Evocative images and lively descriptive commentary combine to create a fascinating inside look at what it is like to live in farmhouses across America-for those who are ready to inhabit these one-of-a-kind treasures with their singular histories or for those who are dreaming about it. Interspersed are detailed black and white drawings that reveal how these unique architectural styles originated and developed. In addition, a practical guide to choosing and living in a farmhouse is provided. Featured is a wealth of information about evaluating building elements, including roofs, windows, chimneys, and cellars; upgrading fireplaces and stoves for heat and utilizing porches and verandas for cooling; decorating with complementary and appropriate furnishings and wall coverings; and keeping the integrity and history of the buildings intact. More than two hundred photographs and drawings capture the essence of the American farmhouse in all of its charming, rustic glory.