The illustration on the opposite page shows a Colonial living room furnished in simple good taste. In the furnishing of this room expense has been a vital consideration and the illustrations on the following pages show cuts of the various pieces of furniture used and their cost. Although we may be limited in our funds for the decorating and furnishing of our rooms, we need not be discouraged for charming effects can be obtained where but little money is expended.
The walls in the room shown opposite are covered in a plain buff colored oatmeal paper, carried from the baseboard to the cornice molding. This neutral shade of tan affords an excellent background for pictures and gives the room an abundance of reflected light. This paper can be purchased for Thirty-five Cents a roll and can be found in almost any wall paper store.
A charming pattern of imported cretonne is used for curtains in soft dull reds, and gray greens, with touches here and there of bright orange and old blue. This pattern is the one illustrated at the top of the page on the left hand side. It is thirty-six inches in width and can be purchased for Sixty Cents a yard. The foliage pattern shown on the opposite side is another suggestion for curtain material and could be used just as effectively in this room.
The sash curtains are of cream white cross barred net. A good quality one yard in width can be purchased for Twenty-five Cents a yard. At the windows the sash curtains are hung from rods and drop to the sill. At the French doors, shown at one end of the room, the scrim is stretched from rods at the top and bottom.
Portieres, Chair and Cushion Covers
Golden brown velour is used for portieres, chair and cushion covers. Velour can be had fifty inches in width and a good quality costs One Dollar and Thirty-five Cents a yard.
A carpet rug can be purchased for Thirty Dollars. This tan color is very serviceable in a living room as it does not show the foot marks nor the dust. Some people are apt to object to the plain rugs for this reason, but if a tan shade is used it will prove immensely serviceable.
Woodwork and Floor
The woodwork in this room is a soft ivory tone and the floor is stained a deep shade of walnut brown, shellacked and rubbed with wax. The ceiling is cream white.
Mahogany and willow are successfully combined in the furnishing. On the following pages each piece is described and the cost given, so that we can get an accurate idea of the general cost of the furnishings as a whole. The willow furniture is stained a soft shade of gray green, or can be used in the natural color.
Lamp Shade and Cushions
An effective lamp shade is made by using an inserted band of the cretonne with a border top and bottom of dull orange silk. Also, one or two cushions should be covered in the cretonne and others in a striped or plain material.
Although no attempt has been made to create anything unusual in the furnishing and decorating of this room, the result is eminently pleasing. We feel at once that it would be a pleasant room in which to live. Its atmosphere is restful, and a sense of dignity and refinement is evident. If all our rooms could possess these attributes, we would have no occasion for worry.
Hospitable Fireside Chair
The hospitable fireside chair, so popular in the old colonial homes, can be purchased for Twenty-five Dollars. It is the very essence of comfort and cosines and can be used effectively in almost any living room. It is shown in the illustration on page thirty-eight covered in cretonne.
Oval Center Table
An oval center table of the Sheraton type makes a good reading table. This design measures forty-two inches in length and is arranged with one good sized drawer. It is made in solid mahogany in the dull finish and can be purchased for Twenty-three Dollars and Fifty Cents.
The mahogany lamp costs Five Dollars and Fifty Cents.
This simply designed desk, with three drawers below and a convenient arrangement of pigeon holes and small drawers above is made in solid mahogany and costs Twenty-seven Dollars and Fifty Cents. It measures thirty-two inches in length and seventeen inches in depth. This same design can be had with one, two, three or four drawers below.
The arm chair can be had in a denim covering for Ten Dollars and Twenty-five Cents. In a good quality of tapestry the price is Twelve Dollars and Fifty Cents. The frame work is in mahogany in the dull dark finish. This type of chair is particularly suitable in the small living room.
Space Over the Mantelpiece
The space over the mantelpiece in the living room should be given careful attention. Either a suitable picture or an appropriate mirror usually occupies this space. In the illustration on page 38 the mirror shown at the left has been placed in the center of the wall space and balanced on either side by quaint silhouette pictures in old fashioned frames. This mirror with its dull gold frame costs $12.00. The frame measures sixteen by twenty-eight inches.
A Colonial mirror like this one adds a certain dignity to the living room, and in many cases is more effective than a picture. They can be had in a variety of styles and sizes, but the simple designs are more appropriate for small rooms.
Quaint Slat Back Chair
A quaint slat back chair, copied from an old Colonial farm house chair, costs Three Dollars and Fifty Cents. It is made in ash and stained mahogany in the dull finish.
A willow davenport like the one shown above is in perfect keeping with simple Colonial furnishings. A davenport of this kind is far less expensive than the overstuffed style and with a few soft cushions will prove to be a very comfortable piece of furniture. The design illustrated is six feet long and costs Twenty-two Dollars and Fifty Cents, in natural willow. A cushion covered in denim costs Eight Dollars.
The two chairs shown are good comfortable designs. The one on the left costs Eight Dollars and Fifty Cents and the one on the right which is a low seated English lounging chair costs Eight Dollars and Seventy-five Cents.
Importance of Living Room
If we bear in mind the fact that the living room is the one room in the house which is most used we will endeavor to give its furnishing the most thought. It is the common meeting place of family and friends at all times, and although we may be just as conscientious in our efforts to evolve successful schemes for the bedrooms and dining room, the living room still remains the most important of all.
Psychology of Room Decoration
It is a psychological fact that pleasantly furnished rooms in harmonious colors have a marked effect on one’s disposition. Scientists have proven that certain colors have a tendency to change one’s character, and although I do not intend to delve into the psychology of room decoration here, still a knowledge of such theories could do us no harm. As we become more intelligent in the matter of artistic surroundings our homes will become more important factors in our lives. If for instance we were to expend the same pains and efforts on the decorating and furnishing of our rooms that we do on our clothes, we would at once be astonished at the improvement. As a matter of fact the same fundamental principles can be applied to both.