voorhuis, noun

Forms:
voorhuys, vorhausShow more Formerly also voorhuys, vorhaus, vorhuis.
Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch.
Architecture
The front room or entrance hall of a traditional Cape Dutch house, used as a reception room or parlour and separated from the dining area (or agterhuis) by a wooden screen; forehouse; fore huis; voorkamer sense a.
1821 C.I. Latrobe Jrnl of Visit 326It was a poor cottage, no better than a Hottentot’s house; but the vorhaus or hall, was large enough to contain a pretty numerous company of rebels.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 118All retired to rest; some to a mat on the floor in the voorhuis (entrance-room or hall), which is a large room used for general purposes, and occupying the middle and principal part of the ground-floor.
1834 T. Pringle Afr. Sketches 175The house was divided into three apartments; the one in which we were seated (called the voorhuis) opened immediately from the open air, and is the apartment in which the family always sit, eat, and receive visitors.
1861 A Lady Life at Cape (1963) 23Where we should place a mere passage, the colonial builders have put a voorhuis — that is to say, a passage and room thrown into one, so as to make the dining-hall the coolest of chambers.
1896 M.A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Tvl 322The party were soon seated together in the large voorhuis or entrance sitting-room, drinking the never-failing tea that, according to South African custom, is always served immediately after the arrival of visitors.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 106The voorhuis, or entrance hall, was divided from the dining-hall by a pierced teak screen of exquisite workmanship.
1925 H.J. Mandelbrote tr. of O.F. Mentzel’s Descr. of Cape of G.H. II. 112You enter into a voorhuis — a broad corridor, furnished with chairs and tables. This is the usual reception room. It leads on to a larger room which serves as a dining room.
1955 L.G. Green Karoo 89You walk up stone steps to the stoep with its original iron railings and enter the klein voorhuis (hall) with the groot voorhuis, used as a dining room, straight ahead of you.
1960 M. Muller Art Past & Present 111The teak screen with glass panels which divides the voorhuis from the dining-room is a typical example of Eastern influence.
1971 C. De Bosdari Cape Dutch Houses & Farms 23The entrance-hall or Voorhuis, is often divided from the main reception-room by a screen.
1987 G. Viney Col. Houses 34The inventory..describes a three-roomed house and kitchen of the humblest sort: a voorhuys which was evidently also used as a dining-room, with two rooms on either side.
1991 Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 147In early Cape-Dutch designs, the front door..opened directly into a large room called the voorhuis or voorkamer (front room). A wooden screen provided privacy in the rear part of the room which became known as the agterkamer (back room) or the achterhuis.
The front room or entrance hall of a traditional Cape Dutch house, used as a reception room or parlour and separated from the dining area (or agterhuis) by a wooden screen; forehouse; fore huis; voorkamera.
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18211991