What Can be Done in Sleeping Bedrooms

This century is rich in new interests for girls — interests that make for independence and pleasure. The time is long since the past when sewing or painting ranked as a girl’s chief occupation.
The possibilities of arts and crafts, the many avenues to the joy of achievement opened to the trained eye and hand, are within reach of girls, provided simple and practical guidance is afforded. The importance of such advice and the necessity for interest are constantly kept in mind in these chapters, avoiding the embarrassment of detailed prep ratios and expenses.
Naturally, the home is the center. The family’s daughter can help make that home beautiful through aids in decoration and furnishing, which she can supply herself with a little knowledge. The life of the house also can be enriched in countless ways. So the circle widens, in- including new interests, new ways of achievement, new pleasures, and, through the practical knowledge gained, new openings to profit and pleasure. The natural starting point in the home is the girl’s room.
The smaller the bedroom, the greater the necessity for a bare floor and rug. It is impossible to keep it clean in any other way. Mattings tear easily and ought to be avoided in a room where a bed to be made must be pulled out from the wall. The moving does not injure the bare floor, and a rug can conceal its scratches.
Foundations may be stained with a solution of permanganate of potash, the strength being tested to secure the proper shade. This is only a watercolor, so it should not be used except on new wood or wood free from varnish or grease. However, grease and varnish can always be removed from old floors or wood with lye, well-washed out, and washed over with vinegar.
After a stain has been applied, the floor, to be put in perfect condition, should receive one or more coats of filler, depending on how much the grain has been raised. After being rubbed with sandpaper, it may be waxed or finished only with shellac.
The worst of floors can be successfully treated if these directions are followed. They were given to me by an officer of our steady rain, who follows them whenever he moves into new quarters.
Any painter or carpenter will sell you a walnut stain. This can be applied with a brush.
A coat of shellac over the stain gives a good polish and makes a floor presentable with little or no trouble. It can be kept shining after it has been washed by being rubbed with a coarse flannel dampened with a mere suggestion of oil.
The Treatment of Walls:
In the treatment of the bedroom walls, the size of the room must be considered, as the amount of light admitted, the position of the bed, and last, but by no means least, the owner’s preferences for particular colors. These preferences should always be respected, although red should be used sparingly in bedrooms. It is best never to have red walls. Red flowers on the white ground may be introduced, but the red must be broken and scattered.
You can again use it in your draperies if you do so with discretion, and now and then, a strong note of red in a chair or a bedspread may be permitted, but ordinarily, red lacks the freshness and coolness that a bedroom should suggest.
There are many pretty and cheap papers to find; those showing large flowers, however, are not to be considered in small rooms.
Paint, in many instances, is better than any paper, and if you know enough about mixing colors to direct the ordinary painter, or if you are sure of your man’s appreciation of tones, painted walls, which can be wiped down at intervals, are strongly urged.
The Draperies:
Hangings will enable you to give each room a character of its own. Suppose, for instance, that you paint your woodwork white and your walls a delicate rose tint, using a pretty chintz, showing roses on the white ground at the windows and on the bed.
Your room would assume a certain quality at once. Enameled white furniture, mahogany, or even a homemade chintz dressing-table and cushioned chairs, would help to give it a more individual air. Again, the feeling of the room might be changed by substituting a soft, warm yellow for the rose by those who love yellow better.
The bed could then be covered with white, and the hangings at the windows be made of a soft yellow trimmed with ruffles of white lace. Blue or green might be used on the walls — yellows always when the woodwork is oak. Still, greater variety might be added by using blue, apple-green, or rose draperies with the different walls.
These draperies should never be of wool or any heavy stuff. It would be best if you had things that wash unless all your appointments are so sumptuous that they entitle you to silks or embroidered hangings, but even then, your good taste might be questioned.
Some of the seven-cent flowered muslins are most charming when ruffled for curtains and covers or trimmed with a white cotton-ball fringe. Any bedroom with ordinary denim, dotted muslin, or cheesecloth may be charming.
Many chintzes cost only fifteen or sixteen cents a yard. The printed Indian pieces of cotton are interesting, and the cretonnes, armures, scrims, cotton damasks, and taffetas all lend themselves with de-light full results to the decoration of bedrooms.
There is an infinite variety from which to make a selection, but it is always remembered that however pretty the paper, a large flower has no place in a small room. Figured and flowered curtains also have no place in one hung with flowered or figured paper. Heavy curtains ought not to be lighter in tone than the walls. With an occasional portiere, the case alters, and again with certain Venetian silks taking up someone’s tone in the room.

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