The average person on entering a furniture store is apt to be confused by the many different designs which are displayed. As a rule, unfortunately, the floors are so crowded with the many pieces on display it is only with difficulty that we are able to get a comprehensive idea of any one of them.
Forming an Idea Before Entering Furniture Store
Before you even enter the furniture store you should have formed some idea of the style of furniture which would be most suitable for your room or rooms. For instance if it is a dining room which you are intending to furnish, you may have pondered over the various styles of furniture which you would like to have. Perhaps you live in a Colonial house and your dining room woodwork is painted white. This at once suggests mahogany furniture. You may have seen in the magazines some attractive views of dining rooms similar to yours, furnished in good taste. You have, unconsciously, taken note of the various pieces, their arrangement and the general treatment of the room. The picture has given you some ideas. Or again, the dining room of some friend of yours may appeal to you. You may want to have one similar to it but you do not want to copy it exactly. Then your imagination comes into play and you begin to form definite conclusions as to what you are going to have in your own dining room. Finally, after you have given the matter considerable thought, you enter the furniture store with some definite idea of what you want. This very sort of reasoning about furnishing is bound to bring good results.
However, as you look over the many pieces of furniture which are there before you, never forget, for a moment, the mental picture of your dining room as you had fancied it would look, for you will be disappointed if you do.
Waiting for the Right Design
If you have a definite idea of what you want and the store hasn’t it on the floor, they will certainly be able to get it for you. The salesman may tell you that if you wait a day or so he will be able to show you a photograph of the exact design you have described to him. It is most certainly advisable to wait.
Distinguishing Between Well-Designed and Poorly Designed Furniture
It should be every one’s desire to be able to distinguish between furniture which is well-designed and that which is poorly designed. It is not a matter of any great amount of study. Our taste can be immensely improved by mere observation. Watch the house building magazines and read the articles on house furnishing. They will help you wonderfully. Learn to know a little of the period styles, so that you will be able to tell the difference between Chippendale, Sheraton, or Jacobean furniture. The very minute your interest is aroused, your taste will show improvement.
On the following pages are shown some illustrations of dining room furniture which appear just as you see them in the furniture store or in the factory catalogue. I have pictured them in this way to show the reader how to select furniture, purely on the merits of the designs themselves — for this is the way they will be seen in the showroom. Always try to imagine the various pieces of furniture as they would appear in your own dining room, the sideboard with its few well-chosen pieces of glass and silver and the dining table with its bowl of flowers or its candlesticks.
For simplicity of design Sheraton furniture is surpassed by no other style. The distinguishing marks of a Sheraton piece of furniture are the tapering legs both round and square, and the straight lines generally employed in the designs. There is a marked tendency to the upright lines and for purposes of identification this is a safe rule to follow.
In our modern inexpensive furniture, we will have no difficulty in distinguishing between the various styles as the simple characteristics are always dominant. In fact, much of our modern furniture is merely designed in the spirit of a.
Old English Designs
The old English designs in furniture are especially appropriate for the country house. It is naturally a matter of taste which particular style we choose for our dining room, but it is most important that we take the general style of the house into consideration in choosing our furnishings. If, for instance, the house is distinctly Colonial in feeling, it would be entirely out of keeping to furnish in English oak. We would naturally choose Colonial furniture, or designs following the English styles which were interpreted in mahogany, such as the Sheraton, Queen Anne, Chippendale or Adam. In this way, the character of the exterior would be reflected in the interior. However, occasionally we find modern furniture designed in the spirit of an earlier period rendered in different woods from those originally used.
The furniture shown on the two following pages, although usually rendered in oak, is made in the English mahogany finish and is, in consequence, suitable for a Colonial dining room. Where such furniture is used, the walls should be simply treated. Plain papers or simple panel effects in white are most appropriate.
A convenient feature of the sideboard is the long lower drawer for table cloths. Attractive drop handles in dull brass are in keeping with this simple English style. A china cabinet is made to match this set with glass doors and side panels.
Brown Stained Oak Furniture
This set of furniture in brown stained oak is suggestive of the Jacobean in design, although the twisted post cannot be attributed to Jacobean influence. The cane panels introduced in the sideboard and chairs give the various pieces a marked individuality. Cane panelled furniture is becoming very popular and many new variations of this treatment are being shown in the shops and stores. There is a tendency, these days, to depart from the rigid rules set down by traditional cabinet makers and our present day designers are proving their own originality in many of their adaptations. In choosing furniture, however.