Athletics, leisure, and self-sustainability
During their 20-year residence in the Mansion, the Douglas family continued to make changes to the gardens and grounds. New buildings were added or the uses of existing structures modified. Irene would frequently order new plant materials or decorative elements based on examples she had seen during the family's travels.
In the early twentieth century, the ideal of country living, already celebrated in Caroline Sinclair's era, evolved to encompass a lifestyle of athletics, leisure, and self-sustainability.
At Brucemore, this philosophy led the Douglas family to add:
- A tennis court
- A wading pool that was later expanded to a full-size swimming pool
- A squash court
- Facilities for small-scale farming operations
Irene raised prize chickens and show dogs and took up bookbinding as a hobby. An alfalfa field and vegetable garden provided produce for the estate while also generating some income from selling the surplus.