Furnishing a Home
It is impossible to lay down a set rule for the furnishing of a home: therefore the fundamental principles given above must be worked out for the individual home by the individual herself. The solution of the problem depending largely upon the function of the different rooms; their exposure whether north, south, east or west; whether in the country or city; in an apartment or a house; its geographical situation; and the personality of the individual. One would not furnish a home in Texas, Maine and Norway after the same order any more than a physician would prescribe the same treatment for “flu” and typhoid.
If the room needs light, warmth, coolness or quietness, the colors which give these qualities should be selected and combined with others that harmonize to develop a well-balanced color scheme.
The living room is the most important room in the home. In it is lived the family life and ideals and character are formed. Therefore let the living room have everything it needs to fulfill its function even at the expense of the rest of the house. As much has already been said about the living room furnishings and arrangement, the dining room will be the next consideration.
The dining room, the place where we eat, should have in it the things which will enable us to do so in comfort. Nothing should be here which does not contribute to that end. “A bright and cheerful environment when partaking of food,” says the physician, “is a great aid to digestion and has a rejuvenating result!” Everything must be spotless all dust and “germ catchers” must go that the function of the room shall not be violated. There should be a dining table sufficiently large to accommodate the household it should be good in line and proportion with chairs that harmonize.
Dining Room Furniture
As family customs have radically changed since arm chairs first came into fashion for the host and hostess it would seem as though this somewhat awkward member might give way to side chairs especially in small rooms. There should be a serving table, a sideboard simple in line and decoration and free from mirrors; also other articles essential to the function of this room. As sociability centers around the dining table it is undoubtedly the essential to be emphasized. Furniture may be more formally arranged here than in the living room.
Hitherto “collections” or pictures of fish and game have been foisted upon a much-abused dining room because they suggested the carnivorous habits of the human animal! It should be remembered that the pictures should harmonize with the wall-background and furnishings and not with the menu.
Many things crowded together even though all are individually good produce unrest and prevent any one of them being effectively shown. Overcrowding is particularly frequent in the matter of cut glass china and silver; these should not be displayed except when in use. Quantities of these glittering objects on sideboards or serving tables or in cabinets with mirror background and glass shelves which reflect them disturb rest and violate the idea of simplicity.
A cabinet of pleasing lines and proportion may be made of beautiful wood where the contents are hidden by simply paneled or carved doors thus providing a dignified and attractive “sanctuary” for these treasures. Of course the unsanitary and ugly plate-rail is tabooed. China should harmonize with the other table accessories and not with the menu.
Of course the unsanitary and ugly plate-rail is tabooed. China should harmonize with the other table accessories and not with the menu.
Naturalistic designs of fish, fruit, birds and flowers swimming, flying and sprawling over dishes is a gross violation of good taste and is unappetizing. Plain white china; a simple band of dull gilt or color; or a narrow conventional design around the edge of the dishes is good and seems to strengthen their structure. It is never good to have the picture more important than the object it decorates.
One good sized rug is best for the dining room.
Combining Living Room and Dining Room
In some cases it may be necessary to combine the living room and dining room; in which case one should endeavor to strike a happy medium that the room may perform its double function in such a manner as to disturb as little as possible the idea of rest and comfort.
The object for which the bedroom exists is to induce rest and sleep. This thought must be uppermost as the homemaker selects a quiet restful color for the background. Pink and old-rose are not colors contributing to this end as they are too irritating and may turn “nature’s sweet restorer” into a nightmare. Therefore, if used they should appear in only small quantities in curtains and ornaments. Keep the wallpaper free from “spotty” patterns of any kind; an absolutely plain paper is best.
Remember that the selection of wallpaper has nothing to do with fad or fashion but everything to do with the restfulness of the bedroom. The amount of light the room receives will be a guide to the choice of color and tone. As the only essentials in the bedroom are those which induce rest and sleep its background and furnishings should express that idea.
Sure! Here is the text with additional headings:
A Man’s Room
Personality, interests, and pleasures differ widely from those of a woman. The dainty “frills” which she loves would prove a snare and a delusion to him.
Background and Furnishings
If desired, a somewhat darker background may be used in a man’s room as dark color tones express masculine qualities. The colors should be neutral and the value contrasts in the furnishings should produce a deeper, stronger effect.
The furniture should be larger, more severe in outline, and of natural wood with a dull finish. Painted furniture does not seem to possess the masculine quality. The easy chairs should be adapted in size and shape, higher and deeper in the seat, and altogether more roomy than the variety intended for a lady’s room. Compare illustrations 5 and 6.
The HallThe hall should be an index to the style of the whole house. Its function is to provide a passage from the outside world into the home circle, and also from room to room. It should be simple, practical, and impersonal because it is used by so many people. It should partake of the dignity of the whole house and should be kept free from all objects which do not further its function.
If the hall is dark and needs light, the walls should be covered with a grayed tone of one of the “light-giving” colors. But should it need “toning down,” one of the cool hues should be used.
As a rule, pictures and ornaments are out of place in the hall; therefore they should be used very sparingly. This room should not be used as a family cloak room; therefore, the wraps of those occupying the house should be kept elsewhere; however, hooks should be provided for the use of transient visitors.
Umbrellas and Shoes
Whatever contrivance is provided for the accommodation of wet umbrellas and muddy shoes it should be as little in evidence as possible; because at the best it is a necessary evil.
The rug should be a color which will not show footprints, such as a gray or light brown.