In the decorating of any room the first question to be decided is the proper treatment for the wall. From the large selection of papers and tints of all kinds, it is often a perplexing question to make our decision.
Importance of Wall as Background
The most important consideration, however, is the fact that the wall primarily serves as a background for everything that is within the room and should be treated accordingly. This, in itself, is our best argument for a simple treatment, and how often we find the point entirely overlooked. There is no longer a general demand for the striking wall paper designs so much used a decade ago. We can all remember them clearly. There were lozenge shaped patterns in red and green with gaudy gold touches which we were told were suitable for halls. Large poppy and cabbage rose patterns were popular for bedrooms, and designs for living rooms and dining rooms were equally bad.
Choosing Wall PapersIn choosing our wall papers, let us do so with discrimination. In the living room where we wish to create a quiet, restful atmosphere the plain paper or the simple stripe is preferable. In the dining room, a simple conventional design or a foliage pattern may be effectively used. However, the plain paper can always be depended upon. Halls, as a rule, should have the plain effects, as a figured paper invariably makes the room look smaller.
In the bedroom it is largely a matter of taste whether we use the plain or figured papers. There are many attractive figured patterns which will add a decided charm to the bedroom. Be careful, however, not to use the large striking designs for they are a constant annoyance to the eye and are bound to become tiresome in time.
We need not depend entirely upon paper for our wall covering. There are many wall tints which can be used with charming effect. In many cases it is more advisable to use a tint than paper.
Striped Wall Papers
Striped wall papers are suitable to use in any room. They come under the general heading of plain papers and look equally well with plain or figured hangings. The illustration above shows a wide striped paper effectively used as wall covering above a chair rail, and is in perfect keeping with the Colonial atmosphere created by the furnishings. One advantage which a striped paper has over the perfectly plain paper is the fact that imperfections in the wall are never as readily detected. They also lend a dignity to the room, particularly when the wide stripes are used in subdued tones.
Bedroom Wall Treatment
A very pleasing effect may be obtained in a bedroom by placing a white moulding, somewhat smaller than a picture moulding, two feet from the ceiling. The frieze and ceiling are papered in a cream white tone and the wall below in a soft tan color. A narrow paper border costing Five Cents a yard forms a narrow band of decoration around the room just below the moulding. Any subdued color of paper can be used with good effect. The window hangings may be of dotted swiss with ruffled edges, of plain linen, or cretonne. If cretonne is used a pattern must be chosen which harmonizes with the decorated paper border.
Stenciling may be used to good advantage on walls covered in plain papers. Do not, however, overdo it. In the illustration above a simple pattern was chosen and repeated around the room as a narrow frieze. The stencil decoration should not be used elsewhere in the room, however. It is a common failing among people who have successfully executed stencil work to overdo it. If we attempt to stencil the wall, the bedspread, the curtains, and the bureau covers, the pattern becomes monotonous. It is also advisable to use light colors in stencil work. If heavy colors are used A Chinese effect may be obtained in a hallway by covering the walls in a dull gold burlap paper. The frieze is stenciled in black, dull orange and old blue, using typical Chinese motifs for the decoration.
Wall Treatment for Small Dining Room
An interesting treatment for the wall of a small dining room may be evolved by planting mouldings in panels as is shown above. To assure the best results the wall should be first covered in white canvas. This assures a substantial foundation for the mouldings. After the mouldings are adjusted the wall is given a coat of ivory white paint and the effect is that of a wood panelled room. The frieze in this instance has been stenciled, the same pattern being used on the curtains. This wall treatment need not be expensive and when once done will last indefinitely. A competent paper hanger or painter can complete this work without any trouble.
Clever Frieze Treatment
A clever frieze treatment for a dining room is evolved from a single roll of chintz wall paper. The flowers and leaves are cut out and pasted on the wall as shown, forming a flowering plant effect. The stems are painted on after the flowers and leaves are pasted. The panels are formed from wood stripping planted on the wall between the baseboard and the moulding. The ceiling and frieze should be papered in a white plain paper and the wall and woodwork below painted ivory white. If a chintz can be found that will harmonize with the floral frieze it may be used; however, it would be more advisable to use plain material for the hangings. Such a treatment for the wall is unusually interesting.
English Chintz Papers
English chintz papers make exceedingly charming bedroom schemes. The illustration below shows an exceptionally good design in typical chintz colorings. These papers should be used with white or ivory woodwork, and require plain colored hangings. In this particular instance the curtains are a soft old rose color. The sash curtains are of cream white cross barred net. The rug is a soft shade of sage green. A room decorated this way can either be furnished in mahogany or enamel, as either would be effective with such a color scheme.