Saturday, March 10, 2007

table of contents to INSIDE FINISHING 1912

Charles A King
A carpenter’s book
I’ve copied the contents page for you renovators, click on the link below and read the book.

1. Fireplaces and stoves;
2. Hot-air heating;
3. Steam and hot-water heating;
4. Steam heating;
5. Hot-water heating;
6. Ventilation;
7. Plumbing;
8. Sanitation;
9. Refrigerators ;
10. Construction of an ice house
11. Floor laying;
12. Wood for finishing;
13. Casings;
14. Moldings;
15. Molding joints;
16. The dado;
17. Rake dado;
18. Soffits;
19. A splayed soffit;
20. Circular panel work ;
21. Closets;
22. A drawer case;
23. A kitchen sink ;
24. The bathroom ;
25. Wood mantels, hardware
26. Doors;
27. Stock sizes ;
28. Selection;
29. Veneered doors ;
30. The doorframes ;
31. The doorframes of a brick house ;
32. Setting doorframes ;
33. Jointing;
34. Hanging a door ;
35. Fitting locks;
36. The threshold
37. Window frames;
38. Window sash;
39. Glazing sash;
40. Stock sizes of sash;
41. Fitting a sash ;
42. Hotbed or skylight sash;
43. Store sash ;
44. Blinds
45. Making measurements;
46. Laying out stairs;
47. Headroom;
48. Stringers;
49. Forms of stairs;
50. Stair posts ;
51. Treads and risers;
52. Circular stair risers ;
53. Handrails;
54. Balusters ;
55. Handrailing . .
56. Painting;
57. Hardware
58. Plans;
59. Location;
60. Method;
61. Excavations;
62. Stonework;
63. Brickwork;
64. Carpentry;
65. Roofing;
66. Joinery ;
67. Plastering ;
68. Hardware ;
69. Painting ;
70. Heating and plumbing ;
71. Summarizing the estimates ;
72. Stock bill;
73. The contractor

1. Asphalt floor;
2. Bending;
3. Cellar sash;
4. Sizes and weights of windows;
5. Painting;
6. Wall paper;
7. Plastering;
8. Shingles;
9. Number of slates required per square ;
10. Sizes of nails and number per pound ;
11. Number of nails required ;
12. Chimneys ;
13. Stables; Miscellaneous information;
14, Sizes of boxes for different measures;
15. Diameters, areas, and circumferences of circles;
16. Decimal equivalents of a linear foot;
17. Decimal equivalents of the fractional parts of an inch ;
18. Contents of round tanks in gallons;
19. Weights and specific gravities;
20. Squares,- cubes, square roots, and cube roots ;
21. Avoirdupois weight;
22. Apothecaries' weight;
23. Troy weight;
24. Linear measure;
25. Square or land measure;
26. Cubic or solid measure;
27. Dry measure;
28. Rope and cable measure;
29. Liquid measure ;
30. French measures of length with United States equivalents;
31. French measures of surface with United States equivalents;
32. French measures of weight with United States avoirdupois equivalents;
33. French measures of volume with United States equivalents;
34. French measures of liquids with United States equivalents .....
INDEX .............


This book includes chapters on how to make rugs, stenciling and block printing on fabric, flower arranging, portieres, curtains and the various fabrics used to make them, lamps, lampshades and needlework.
There’s also a chapter on finishing touches, pillows, bedspreads, etc. and how to’s for some.
Another chapter is devoted to decorating a summer home by the sea or a lake.
The final two chapters in the book are called
Describing Some Interesting Rooms and How Some Craftworkers Fitted up Their Home. I haven’t included anything from them, you may hit the link at the bottom of this article if you care to look at the book.

Choosing a color scheme
In a small house it is well to decide on colors and tones that blend with the color of the hall. If the hall is narrow and gloomy, yellow should be chosen. A plain yellow-felt paper above a burlap dado of deeper yellow or tobacco brown will harmonize with a dining-room of brown and copper.

If the dining-room is ten or eleven feet high, the plate-rail might be hung level with the top of the door, using a strong plain yellow cartridge paper, or crinkled felt or burlap. A frieze of warm coppery tones of modern English design should be hung from the plate-rail to the picture moulding, on a level with the eye. Below the picture moulding, brown burlap, paint, or even a crinkled brown felt could be used. Another dado could be substituted, by dividing the walls into sections with strips of wood four inches wide, nailed sixteen or eighteen inches apart. These strips could be placed over paint or burlap and be stained to match the rest of the woodwork of the dining-room. A dull brown would be especially pretty with this scheme.
If the room has light-oak woodwork, it can be changed at a small cost by removing the varnish with ammonia and applying a brown stain; this could be waxed when dry. If there is a low ceiling, the same idea could be carried out by hanging the plate-rail about seven feet from the floor, instead of level with the door.
The sitting-room on the first floor should be green and yellow, which would give a feeling of unity with the hall, whether it be used as a reception-room or as a drawing-room. A two-toned green paper could be used with yellow hangings. A soft yellowy cream tint on the ceiling would look well.

Probably the large room on the second floor will be used as a living- or morning-room, and, if so, should be made bright and pretty by the use of a flowered paper of old rose and green, with a plain base of grass cloth, jute, or denim hung below a photograph-rail. Following out this idea, all the woodwork, including the corner seat, must be treated with an ivory-white paint.
There are many pretty flowered papers for bedrooms. Softness of tone is hard to find, but may be secured by a little perseverance. English and French papers cost the most, but are much softer than those made in America. Some of the domestic have narrow colonial stripes, which may be found among the fifteen-and twenty-cent papers. They are extremely pretty. They can be hung on the side walls to the cornice; but if the room is very high, a frieze of plain color deeper than the tint of the ceiling would be preferable
Instead of all the walls having a last coat of smooth plaster, one might be left rough and sanded. The hall would look well in this way, and could be colored or left the original gray of the plaster. A stencil decoration, if of strong tones and good design, would add to its appearance. The living-room might be decided upon as more suitable for gray walls which would form an admirable background for pictures.

If a frieze is used in the hall, it should stop at the foot of the stairs. Nothing looks worse than a frieze running on a slant above the staircase. A beautiful one could often be afforded in the lower hall when the expense would be uncalled for on the second landing. If there is no place for the frieze to terminate at a moulding or arch near the staircase, place a little beading at the end of it, which will be all that is necessary to finish it off.

A city house is sometimes found with a high narrow hall, varnished walnut woodwork, and badly lighted. These defects can be mitigated in several ways, however. It was my privilege to see what had been done by a young artist who bought a house of this kind, matching all its commonplace neighbors. By doing the decoration himself, he succeeded in making his knowledge of color and form of practical value. As the hall was gloomy, the walls were painted a soft golden yellow, bringing an atmosphere of sunshine into it. The wall was divided by a heavy dado moulding, placed about seven feet from the ground; below this a burlap of golden brown was used. This was ornamented by a stencil decoration in green, placed just below the moulding. The upper wall was stencilled with a tree motif, the tops of which formed a continuous frieze. This extended only to the arch at the foot of the stairs, the ordinary plaster ornaments were removed, and the arch made square and left the depth of the frieze. ……The woodwork was painted one coat of brown paint and overgrained, producing the effect of dull-finished oak, which was most attractive. A high settle, stained green, with well-designed sides, gave opportunity for holding a visitor's hat and coat. Those of the family were hung at the end of the hall out of sight. The staircase and floors were covered with one width of velvet carpet, which had a small conventional design in yellow. A few inches of stained floor were left at each side of the strip….
The vestibule was painted a deeper tone than the hall walls, and the marble dado was softened by toning with color. The vestibule doors had curtains of bobinet with a tree motif stencilled on them, suggesting the decoration inside.

a Craftsman library table

Sometimes these are so bad that it is absolutely necessary for something to be done to conceal them. A shabby black-marble mantelpiece can be transformed by pasting muslin over it and then covering it with several coats of paint. In a room with white trims a marble mantelpiece, painted white, takes on an entirely different garb, and is unobtrusive because it matches the woodwork. A white marble mantelpiece, cold and unapproachable in its appearance, can be treated to a coat of acid, which will turn it to a greenish-yellow shade, and will remove the high polish so objectionable in out-of-date mantels. Of course, the bad design still remains, but if the surface is agreeable, the improvement in the
appearance of the renovated mantel is remarkable. The landlord may be obdurate and may have to be reasoned with, but if he does not like it he can be reassured, for when the mantelpiece has been covered with muslin, and painted, the material can be removed and the polish added with no damage to the original.
In a room with rough-cast walls and mission furniture a severe style of fireplace is most appropriate. Red brick is an excellent choice when heavily pointed with black or ivory mortar. The mantel-shelf should be of heavy oak supported by beautifully carved pilasters or quaint gargoyles. Wrought-iron andirons and a few heavy ornaments on the mantelpiece would be in perfect accord with such a room.
If a living-room is colonial, the fireplace must be in keeping. The colonial mirror should fit between the shelf and a well-designed moulding. The mantel should be made of carefully carved wood with a facing of dull-gray marble. The candelabra on the shelf must be in keeping with the room, which should be furnished in mahogany of good colonial design.
Another colonial scheme is a simple fireplace of Pompeiian brick built almost level with the wall. The purple red of the brick blends well with many papers of low tone. A stronger note must be accented in the tiles which form the hearth. Such a fireplace is so inexpensive to build that any one could have it instead of a badly designed one, which would otherwise spoil a good room.
A fireplace built on somewhat similar lines with Pompeiian brick facing and an Arabian tiled hearth could have the detail beautifully carved and a simple panel mirror placed above the shelf.
In the living-room in a summer cottage an altogether different kind of fireplace can be built of rough stone found in the neighborhood. This should be surrounded with a heavy oak shelf supported by corbels of stone or oak.


There are several good methods of curtaining these ..casement.. windows. A sash curtain can be hung on a rod especially made for casements.
It is fastened securely at one end, and has a rough rubber disk at the other, doing away with the necessity of taking down the curtain to wash the window. As shades cannot be used, it is desirable to have a pair of curtains wide enough to cover all the casements. One long rod supported in the middle is fastened to the casing, and can be used in conjunction with sash curtains on each casement window. Or, better still, the sash curtains can be dispensed with altogether. When this is done there should be a deep valance to take away the glare from above when there are no shutters.

There are so many delightful curtain materials sold by the yard …. Raw silk and China silk, challies, linen taffetas, Singapore lattice, bloom-linens, serge, and even Turkey red can all be used when plain materials are needed. Among figured materials there are many charming varieties: cretonnes with their creamy grounds, white glazed chintzes with their strong designs of old-fashioned flowers, linen taffetas with stencil floral effects, Madras in soft greens with old rose or yellow flowers, or Madras in self-tones in lovely shades, seem to grow more beautiful each season. Japanese cottons are found in blue and white, Java prints in strong, contrasting colors, and also in yellow and white, red and white, and occasionally in green and white.
Among the Oriental stuffs, plain colors in deep rich shades hold their color in a way that no Western manufacturer can imitate. Some of the flowered muslins are also excellent for casement windows, if of good color and design.
All the materials mentioned can be used for inner curtains…
For sash curtains a transparent material is needed. The most suitable are fishnets, bobinets, colonial nets, scrims, cheesecloths, and Madras, which are made in soft creamy shades, more beautiful in down-stairs rooms than dead white. Sometimes white is best in a bedroom, and for this purpose white Swiss, plain or dotted, comes in all qualities. Among other suitable materials are nets, dimities, point d'esprit, and nainsook, any of which make sheer and dainty curtains. The new stencilled curtains are especially suited for bobinets and scrims, and if properly done will stand sunlight and soap. Sometimes the design runs down the front and across the bottom of each curtain. Others are made with the design running across the top and also just above the hem at the bottom. One with a strong design of grapes and leaves with a heavy stem, stencilled on cream bobinet, looked most beautiful in a dining-room, with soft green burlap on the walls.

In providing portieres for a double door, the portiere can be made by lining or sewing two separate materials so as to form one curtain. The curtain itself will look well, but either one side or the other of the opening will show a blank space of woodwork; also when the sliding doors are closed, one room will be without its portieres. The most usual way is to make the portieres to suit each room, the lining of one matching the front of the opposite portiere. It is best to use sateen as a lining, as this is made in a wide range of colors. Wherever possible, the lining should match the curtain, but if the heavy curtains at a window are hung wide enough to come in front of the cream or white curtain, and will be seen through the sheer curtains from the outside, then they must be lined with cream. To my mind curtains lined with the same shade are much more attractive than those lined with white or cream, but they should not be more than twenty-four inches wide when pleated up, and not be brought forward to go in front of the window. An abomination constantly seen is a pair of heavy curtains meeting in the middle of a window and then held tightly back by a cord or band. They give a feeling of uneasiness to those who appreciate the fitness of things, and are in themselves a contradiction. Why hang them forward if you want them back ? The same fault may often be seen in sash curtains. They are hung on a rod at the top and bottom of a window, and then a foolish white band or cord holds them back in the middle.


A great deal of care is necessary in the method of hanging pictures. Wire cord gilded or silveredis usually made use of, and may either be carried to the picture moulding and hung at an acute angle, or two separate wires may be run perpendicularly and fastened to two separate hooks. This method is necessary for large pictures, but whenever it is possible, do without these cords. They are ugly, and it is far better to mark the wall by nails and have no visible cords than to have too many wires visible. A very practical idea is to use the fasteners which can be secured by three slender nails, scarcely heavier than pins. Three of these nails hammered into the wall to each picture make hardly any perceptible mark on the paper, and yet do away with the necessity for a long wire. Such
fasteners are strong enough to hold medium-sized pictures.
I need hardly say that in these days pictures must be hung flat, or almost flat, against the wall. In order to make them hang in this way, have the rings near the top of the picture. A good rule for the placing of pictures is to bring the centre on a level with the eye

Until a year or two ago the word applique suggested luxury. Costly hangings embellished with applique work were seldom even seen by the average person. They were read of in books as adorning the mansions of the wealthy.
The expensive materials upon which the work was done, and the enormous cost of labor expended in applying intricate designs, placed the hangings at a price far beyond the reach of the person of ordinary means. Now we constantly come across good work in this line done on linens and mercerized cottons in excellent designs, and entailing only a mod-
erate amount of labor. Such work can be undertaken by many who wish to add to the beauty of their homes.

For bathrooms, painted walls are very often used, and are always in good taste. A wooden
or tiled dado is almost invariably used nowadays. Above these we can have some of the beautiful varnished papers which seem more serviceable than paint, but we must avoid those ugly little imitation-brick designs, of which every one is so heartily tired. There are several very pretty ideas in bathroom papers. One in square tiles shows a Japanese treatment of a pine-tree motif. Another is formed by stripes of iris leaves with a flower appearing at regular intervals in the stripe.
Kitchens and pantries are frequently painted, although a few architects go to the expense of tile walls in preference. Housekeepers are finding out that painted walls are apt to look smeary after a half-yearly scrub, and to-day favor is given to varnished papers, which can be renewed every other year.

The following two chapters have been included in their entirety.

That’s what the chapter is called !
It is very clear that if a house has been lived in a long time, and the furniture and pictures have always been kept in the same places, year after year, the occupants will have grown accustomed to their surroundings, while the casual visitor will marvel that such delightful people can go on living in such an environment. Who is not familiar with the parlors with colorless felt paper on the wall, without a break of moulding, frieze, or dado, with high ceilings and heavy cornices picked out in many colors and centre pieces to match; on the floor also a pale carpet with roses as big as cabbages ? The doorways, nearly as high as the room, have long plain chenille portieres flanked on either side by a half-door flat against the wall. The gas fixture is out of reach. There are good pictures on the walls in heavy carved gilt frames, with huge white mats out of all proportion. They are, moreover, hung far too high. A whatnot full of useless trash stands against a wall, topped by a couple of books placed crosswise on the shelf.
The room is scrupulously clean, the steel fire-irons and grate shine with careful polishing, the chairs are covered with figured materials of many and various designs, and resting lightly on the top is a crocheted antimacassar, with small ones to match on the arms. All has been costly and good in its day, so that nothing shows the signs of wear, nor will it in this room that is so little used and carefully preserved. The windows have long curtains of design alien to that already in the room. These meet in the middle and are looped tightly back with tasselled silk loops. Against the glass at each window are dead-white Nottingham lace curtains of monotonous design.
A ponderous round table, marble-topped, with a tall onyx lamp in the centre, crowned with a pink and gold globe, occupies the middle of the room. The sofa against the wall has a waving line of wood with fruit carefully carved. The two ends form easy chairs, and are covered with "tidies" to protect them from the head. To complete the picture, there is a black-marble mantel of correspondingly bad design. In truth, there is not much to be done if all these decorations are to remain. Yet there are many people, comfortably off, who own just such rooms, and though they do not think of improving their surroundings, are not averse to spending thousands of dollars on an automobile.
Good advice for such people who can afford it is to make a clean sweep; redecorate and furnish under careful advice. To those, however, who are conscious of needed improvement, yet have not the means at their command for many needed purchases, a few improvements can be suggested. The mantel must be painted to match the woodwork. On it have a cover of plain velours with dull gold braid trimming. A frieze of paper of good design can be added above the felt paper if it is still too clean to be renewed. Hang pictures on a level with the eye, as far as possible, and add others to form little groups tastefully arranged. The large table need not assert itself in the middle of the room, but can be pushed toward a corner. On it place a round cloth of velours with dull gold braid to hide the join. A brass student-lamp might replace its onyx predecessor. Possibly hangings for the doors can be found. If not, buy Arras cloth, which will not need lining. Have the chenille curtains torn apart and woven with other colors into rag-carpet rugs, to be made use of in one of the bedrooms. The carpet can also be sent to a good house, where it can be made into pretty reversible rugs. There would be about fifteen yards of rugs if your carpet measured sixty yards. After staining the floor, a few Eastern rugs could be bought, or, if this is out of the question, have the carpet dyed green and made into rug shape, with the floor stained at the edges. The heavy curtains must hang straight, and if too long must be shortened. There should be a low seat near the fire.
The piano can be placed with its back to the room, and have a soft, plain drapery on the back, hanging from a sash rod. Against this a stand, on which a palm or Boston fern may be placed, will add to the general improvement of the room.
If there is a tea-table in the room set out with cups and saucers, banish it. The maid can bring all in from the pantry if it is the custom of the house to have afternoon tea, and if it is not the custom, no longer put up with such a ridiculous sham. If there are little knicknacks around, put them away, and keep only the pieces of good proportions, good designs, and good coloring. Avoid all things that belittle a room and give it a fussy appearance.

Pay attention if your home is circa 1910 !
IN deciding on the color scheme of a house, we must remember that the rooms must be studied in relation to one another and be in harmony. We will take, as an example, a suburban house containing eleven rooms, with a large porch and surrounded by a small garden. We will suppose the living-room is 13x18, and has windows on three sides; next to it is a small parlor 8 x 10, which opens into a hall about n x 15. The parlor is divided from the hall by pillars, so the color scheme of hall and parlor must be the same.
The first point to be considered is the furniture. Having decided on mahogany in the hall, living-room, and parlor, we will choose yellow papers for the first- and last-mentioned, with cream-tint ceilings and ivory-white woodwork. The treads of the stairs and banisters are all to be of white with a mahogany handrail. The walls of the hall would look well in a pure colonial yellow, which can be found among felt papers. A burlap of golden brown could be used, as it will be found to be economical in the end, as the burlap protects the walls where they get the hardest wear. Usually the shape of the hall admits of very little furniture: a chair, a small table, and a mirror are about all that are necessary. Against the staircase the wide seat should have a mattress covered with brown leather. The coat closet in the rear provides room for coats, hats, and umbrellas, and is more practical than a hat-tree.
If there are hardwood floors throughout the house, it is advisable to have rugs. Hardwood floors and rugs are always preferable to carpets, and should be used in the hall with long runners on the stairs.
The parlor with its white-ivory woodwork can have a two-toned fabric paper of a deeper shade of yellow than the hall. Never select a smooth, shiny paper. It is always hard and repellent, holding no light, and softening no reflections. Among the English papers can
be found dull flat surfaces that give the feeling is used, Arras cloth or velours would be utilized for hangings and furniture coverings. On the ceiling a faint-green paper would be advisable.
In arranging the furniture, have large roomy chairs on either side of the fireplace, and before the fire a wide sofa, with an ample supply of cushions. Behind the sofa a library table with the usual appointments would be well placed. A large Oriental rug should be chosen in tones of dull blue and old reds.
At the opposite end of the hall we usually find the dining-room. The furniture for this room could be mission. The room would look well in a shade of soft Venetian red. A two-toned striped paper could probably be found in this color. Have the ceiling of ivory white. The woodwork could be stained dark brown or black, to match the color of the furniture, and against this background the silver would look very effective. A wide window probably takes up much of the wall space, and the fireplace may be placed in the corner. Curtains of raw silk, undyed, would tone in with the red-and-black scheme.
The bedrooms would be pretty painted ivory-white; the large room over the dining
room might have a two-tone yellow-striped paper, with chintz hangings of yellow roses and green leaves; chair-covers and bed-valances should all be of the same material. Here, as at all the windows, sash curtains of fine-dotted Swiss would be suitable, and would give an appearance of uniformity from the outside.
Many people like shades of green sun-fast Holland throughout the house, but white with a green lining would also be very appropriate for the sleeping-rooms.
The floors all being of hardwood, Martha Washington hand-woven rugs would be economical and suitable for the bedrooms and bathrooms. They come in beautiful colors. A set of small green rugs, with bright yellow borders, would be very attractive in the yellow bedroom.
Another room could have bird's-eye maple furniture and a white enamelled bed. A gray-blue cheviot paper could be used with the love-bird frieze; the scheme could be carried out in gray-blue cretonne for the furniture covers and hangings.
The guest-room might be in lavender or green with paper of clematis or wistaria. A high base of green felt paper could be used, and if the room is high enough, the flowered paper could extend on to the ceiling about two feet, the rest of the ceiling being left the same shade as the background of the figured paper. There is a lovely white linen taffeta fifty inches wide, with a shov/er of wistaria, which makes a pretty bedroom-hanging. The bed, if preferred, could have the spread and valances of the same Swiss as the sash curtains, and this over lavender sateen would be ideal for a guest-room. The furniture would be effective in bird's-eye maple; the bed could be white enamel. At present it is the fashion to cover the pillows with a long strip of the same material as the bedspread, trimmed on the four sides. It is laid over the pillows and hangs down at each side the same length as the spread. I prefer this to any other pillow-cover, since the bolster rolls take up so much room when not in use.
The rugs in this room would be very artistic if made of green material and tan warp. The borders could be the same shade of lavender as the taffeta, or tan.
If the nursery is on the west side of the house, the color scheme could be ecru with a dado of Cecil Aldin's charming poster pictures. "Noah's Ark" or the "Chickens and Ducks" are a never-ending delight to children. If there is a low dado of plain paper, and just above this the frieze, the children would have the pictures within their range of vision. They are apt to forget them when they are placed too high, whereas at the height suggested they are high enough to be seen but not destroyed by chubby little ringers. On the plain spaces above, simple framed pictures of Cecil Aldin's can be hung to give the right balance to the room. Have the rugs fairly heavy and larger than in the bedrooms, so that the children cannot trip when romping.
In the bathroom have rugs that can be constantly washed, and tiled walls and floors.
Let the maids' rooms be pretty and attractive, with dainty curtains and pretty, cheerful wall-papers; the furniture may be inexpensive, but let it be artistic. They know when a room has been carefully furnished, and give better service in return when they see there has been much thought for their comfort.

block printed fabrics

Two wallpapers, the one on the left is for a nursery


Friday, March 9, 2007


This book illustrates a sharp divide from the tastes of just a few short years before. It has only a few pictures, most of them having been reproduced rather poorly. I've fixed up a couple and included them here. There is a great deal of information, however.

The types of house styles in vogue included, New England Colonial, Durch Colonial, and Southern Colonial, English half-timbered, Renaissance, which showed an Italian influence with tile roofs and stucco, and the bungalow.

The yellow varnished woodwork and elaborate cabinet-mantels which are put into many of the houses of cheap construction are always ugly in color, and almost impossible to combine harmoniously with any furnishings. The tops of cabinet mantels can easily be removed. The varnish can be taken off, and the mantel and woodwork painted.

If a room has good woodwork, fine windows and door-spaces it is well to keep the walls and window spacings definite and clear. A slight contrast in color between walls and woodwork will emphasize the spacing. For instance, the woodwork may be of ivory or dull gray, in contrast to a medium dark neutral color of walls, or the woodwork dark in contrast to light-colored walls. The windows should be curtained to cover as little as possible of the woodwork.

Unfortunately, the increased cost of lumber and labor has resulted in many houses and apartments having woodwork which invites oblivion. Badly put together and ugly in proportions and detail, it must be made unobtrusive. Then it is well to have woodwork and walls almost similar in color and to subordinate the woodwork ……

A room should have a predominating color, and adjoining rooms should be of the same or of similar color. For instance, tan and green stripe may be used in a hall which adjoins a room of plain tan paper. It is wise to keep walls of neutral and unobtrusive color. The more neutral the large masses of color are in a room, the more varied and brilliant the details of decoration may be. The brighter the color of the large masses, the less variety of color may be used in the room. A little bright color goes a long way. If a room has gray walls, woodwork, and furniture, the upholstery, curtains, and rugs may introduce various other colors. If the room has blue walls, and mahogany furniture, only one other color can be used to any extent in curtains and upholstery materials. It is always safe to use soft, dull colors. It is much more difficult to successfully combine bright colors.

Rooms which have little or no sunlight should have yellow the predominating color. Tan, old gold, dull orange, or soft yellow-green should be predominant in the larger masses of color. The details of pattern and accessories of furnishing may introduce other colors in small quantities. In rooms which have plenty of sunlight, almost any color scheme may be used. Only where there is plenty of sunlight throughout the day should blue, gray, violet, or green be used as the predominant color.
Light colors make the room seem brighter and larger. Aside from making a room seem smaller, dark colors have a serious disadvantage. Dark green, blue, brown, or red walls absorb so much light that twice as much gas or electricity is necessary for illumination as if light walls were used. Dark walls materially increase the gas and electric-light bills.
The finish given to walls in modern houses is either a rough plaster, which may be painted, or a smooth plaster finish which may be painted or papered. Rough plaster walls are an effective background. Frequently the color is mixed with the wet plaster. The walls may also be painted in water or oil colors. Painted walls have some advantage over papered ones. If painted with oil the color will last for years, and may be easily cleaned by careful washing with warm water and soap.

Yellow ocher added to white paint or enamel will give a satisfactory ivory color for woodwork.

The growing interest in house decoration has created a demand for wall-papers of good quality, design, and color. Tans and grays are good colors for backgrounds, and a simple pattern, or a stripe in the same or similar color, is more interesting than the plain color. Patterns should be unobtrusive. Large color patterns are seldom suitable for any room, and, although it is possible to use a pattern or striped paper in a hall, it must be similar in color to the paper used in adjoining rooms. Flower patterns are effective in very simple bedrooms, especially in country houses. Pictures should not be hung on patterned wall-papers, for the effect of pictures and wall design is at cross-purposes, and results in restless confusion.

When gas and electricity supplanted the meager candle and kerosene lights there was a natural desire to burst forth in effulgence, and in consequence much more light than is necessary is used in the average house, and much is wasted, by lack of concentration at necessary points. To-day attention is being paid both to the scientific and artistic aspects of lighting.
As has been said, dark rooms absorb light, and deep shadows are cast by the furniture, which involves a large waste of electricity or gas. Light rooms, unless there are proper shades on the lights, may have a glare which is injurious to the eyes, and very tiresome.
There are two methods of artificial lighting the indirect and the direct. In indirect lighting the source of light is concealed. Lights are placed behind a cornice molding and their light is reflected from the ceiling in a diffused light throughout the room. Or the lights may be concealed in inverted holders suspended from the ceiling. This light is very even and is suitable for large halls or for public buildings. It is at least a third more expensive than direct lighting.
Direct lighting, with sources of light obvious, is much more suitable for lighting the average house. A hall or kitchen may be successfully lighted by indirect method, but in a living-room or bedroom a completely and evenly lighted room is as tiresome to the eyes as it is unattractive. The chandelier that hangs down from the center of the ceiling into the room is always ugly and reduces the apparent size of the room.
Side-lights are generally more useful and attractive than ceiling lights. If a room is low, ceiling lights close to the ceiling will add an impression of height; if the ceiling is high, sidelights placed just above the eye-level will make the room seem less high.
There are always some parts of a room more in use than others. There are always some parts of a room more attractive than others. An open fire, the soft light from a reading-lamp with a sidelight near the desk when necessary, gives all the light that is needed and makes a room much more interesting and restful, with its concentration of light and its half-lights and shadows, than a room which is garishly lighted throughout. There is something aggressively bare about an unshaded light, and a visit to the shops for lamp-shades and shades for side-lights will disclose so many monstrosities of glass-bead fringe and passementerie and artificial-flower trimmings at large prices that it is well to know that any one can with patience make a good lamp, candle, or side-light shade and that the simple ones are the best.

Making lamp shades
A wire frame may be ordered in any size to fit any lamp, or to be attached to any side-wall fixture. This frame should be covered by winding it with tape or ribbon. The outside of the shade should then be sewn to this tape first at top, then the bottom, and perhaps at the sides, according to the design. Plain silk may be used for the outside, stretched tight across and sewn to the frame, or the silk may be plaited, sticking pins into the plaits all around the top, and afterward stretching and running it in similar plaits at the bottom. Pinning it at both top and bottom before sewing allows for corrections being easily made.
Stencil designs in heavy paper, pasted over silk or paper, make very attractive shades. All shades should be lined with plain silk in color. The lining should cover the turned-in raw edges of silk which has been used for the outside of the shade.
For finishing the top and bottom edges, a fine guimpe braid, lace, edge, or silk fringe may be effectively used. Shades for lamps may be circular, hexagonal, or octagonal. Shades for sidelights are usually semicircular..

Floor darkest, walls lighter, ceiling lightest. This gradation should be included in the first planning of the furnishing. A dark oak floor, neutral gray walls and woodwork, and light ceiling offer an example of gradation, from dark through medium to light color values.
A light maple floor in a room with dark woodwork or walls is as strikingly unsuitable as a light ruffle would be on a dark skirt. Floors are usually of oak or maple, both of which darken with age and constant oiling and waxing. Often it is advisable to use a wood-stain to darken a new floor. Frequent waxing and rubbing will soon produce a beautiful surface quality on the wood.
It is always economical in the long run to put in a good hard-wood or a parquet floor, for a poor floor demands a discouraging waste of time and labor.
In European countries where wood has become
very scarce, linoleums in beautiful dull colors and small patterns are used very effectively. In Holland, where hard-wood floors would be an absurdly expensive luxury, clean dark linoleum is the usual background for the rugs. One firm in this country has recently put on the market linoleums of good quality, which are beautiful both in color and design, and have guarantee of long wear. Carpets which cover the entire floor harbor dust, and are difficult to clean. Our hard-wood floors with rugs that can be easily cleaned are more sanitary as well as more beautiful.

There had arisen a great, apparently new, interest in antiques. The author devoted a segment to spotting fake antique rugs.

If these new rugs are well made they are as desirable as the old ones, but unfortunately the demand for antiques has stimulated a production of bad imitations which have neither the endurance, nor the beauty and distinction of the old rugs. Dealers sell, and even guarantee as antiques, rugs which have been recently woven, bleached to soft colors, and rubbed with glycerine or a chemical composition to give a silky sheen…..

The present fashion of using plain-color velvet rugs without pattern is a welcome one indeed! These rugs are lovely in color and texture, and range from light shades to dull, effective blacks. Frequently in our small houses the pattern and color of Oriental rugs makes it difficult to combine them with other furnishings, but the rug of plain color, harmonizing with the dominant color of draperies and upholstery materials, keeps a restful unity of color and pattern in the room.
Oriental rugs are seldom available in sizes large enough to cover the center of the floor. Several small rugs are difficult to place well and make too many spots. They are likely to interfere with the flat effect that the floor should have.

Ugly-patterned rugs and carpets may be successfully dyed to soft, plain colors. The results in such cases are often surprisingly attractive. The original pattern shows as a darker shade of the ground color. …. . Jute rugs are very inexpensive and are made in beautiful colorings. They are only suitable for the very simplest of furnishing, and will not stand heavy wear. …..The old-fashioned rag rug has possibilities which are not realized by the average person. The rags are dyed before weaving to suit any color scheme, and it is possible to make rugs of very beautiful colors. ... One disadvantage of rag rugs is that they gather dirt in the folds. They should be beaten thoroughly every week, and at least twice a year either steam-cleaned or washed.

Vacuum cleaners
Vacuum cleaners do not add to the longevity of rugs and upholstery. One firm refuses to guarantee tapestries or rugs that are to be cleaned with vacuum cleaner. Oriental rugs should never be steam-cleaned, but washed in soap and water. When they show signs of wear it is well to have them mended by an Oriental who makes a business of doing this. The cost is slight and the life of the rug much lengthened. These men also wash the rugs well and cheaply.

After wall-paper and rugs are chosen, it is well to consider next the curtaining of a room. Curtains wear out, they fade, they change with fashions. "I am looking for curtain materials" is frequently heard in spring and autumn, and the multitudes of different curtain materials in every shop may well keep one long a-search for the. right
texture, color, and perhaps patterns. Lace curtains with their elaborate patterns and staring white stiffness have fortunately come to a well-deserved end. Figured madras with its large patterns and crude colors has also passed even the department store's approval. But we are still buying simple nets and scrims and lawns and Swisses, and good reproductions of old damasks and figured velvets and gay chintzes.

All the shades should be of one color and a coior suitable to the window-casing and the outside of the house. This will give the outside of the house an impression of unity and orderliness. If it is desirable to have another color for the inside of the shades, double-faced shades are only slightly more expensive than those of one color. Incidentally, shades should be kept rolled to the same level, and not only all shades but all curtains which show from the outside should be somewhat similar in color, texture, and method of hanging.
Once and three-quarters the width of the window for net curtains and once and one-half the width for heavier materials will give the necessary fullness. The construction of the window-frame and the general style of furnishing of the room largely determines the length of curtains. If the walls are thick and the frame of the window extends into the depth of wall, making a recess of the window inclosure, long curtains of chintz, silk, or velvet may extend to the floor, and emphasize the structural inclosure of the window. In a simply furnished room, and where the window-frame extends neither in nor out, but is fairly flush with the wall, the curtains should extend to the bottom of the window - frame. Sash - curtains should be short enough to clear the window-sill. The length of curtains should always coincide with some structural line and emphasize either .the length of window inclosure or the length of the window-frame.

There are many inexpensive nets which may be used for the outside curtains. They should be edged with a narrow braid or lace edging and hung on a separate rod close to the window-frame. A more formal arrangement is one where the net is made into a panel, with medallions and insertions of real lace, and hung straight and fastened close to the glass.
For the inside curtains a heavier material should be used, of quality, design, and color suitable to the furnishing of the room. Soft silks and heavier damasks may be used, hung straight at either side of the window. The many charming chintzes now on the market add design and color and give a cheerful, gay effect to an informal room.
One must be very careful to have the curtains repeat the colors used in rugs and upholstery materials, otherwise the windows stand out in vivid contrast and make unpleasant breaks in the background of the walls.
Where there is a group of two or more windows the net curtains should be hung at each window, the inside curtains hung only at each end of the group. A valance of the heavier material may be hung across the entire group, connecting the two inside curtains.
Casement-windows with small panels of leaded glass require but one curtain to each window. Casement-windows with clear glass may have net curtains next the glass fastened to rods at top and bottom and curtains of silk, chintz, or outside material, either at each end or hung at each window.

For semicircular and half-semicircular windows, net with an insertion pattern of lace or
medallion repeating the shape of the window may be fastened straight to the window. Plain net or scrim may be arranged in plaits radiating from the center of semicircular window or from the corner angle of the half-semicircular window. Semicircular lunettes over windows should be similarly curtained. Very high windows will appear shorter if two sets of half-length curtains are used, one hung on the lower window-sash, the upper one hung from a rod across the top of the window-frame, extending over the lower curtain, just enough to cover the rod of the lower sash-curtain.
Valances may be used on all windows, but they are especially necessary across groups of two or more windows and over very broad single windows. By carrying the materials of the side-curtains across they frame in the window and keep an architectural unity. A simple ruffled valance may be gathered on the rod with the side-curtains. If the window is a large one, the valance should be hung on a separate rod and extend across over the entire curtain arrangement. These simple valances are suitable for light-weight materials and in informal rooms.
In a formal room, where the curtains are of silk or velvet, the shaped valance may be used. It is fastened on a special box-like arrangement, which extends out from the window-frame. The side-curtains should hang straight at either side. In all cases care must be taken that the curtains are hung so that they may be easily drawn together and open again without interfering with valance or other curtains.
If the walls are plain in color and flat in tone, pattern curtain materials may be ,used. If the walls are patterned plain curtain materials should be used. Many shops carry chintzes and wallpapers of similar patterns, but these are difficult to use in combination, requiring, as they do, the utmost simplicity in furniture, rugs, and upholstery materials. Chintz is more effective when used with plain walls.
For windows where but one curtain is to be used, there are many attractive materials in scrim, swiss, dotted and figured muslins and dimities. One country house of dark-wood interior and rough plaster walls was very effective with curtains of yellow checked gingham on either side of the low, broad windows. And a low-ceiling dining-room of gray walls and blue woodwork, and blue and white china, had curtains of wide blue-and-white-striped muslin.
There are many inexpensive materials possible for curtains, and one need not be restricted to the curtain-furnishing department of shops. Often most attractive colors and patterns may be found among the cotton dress fabrics.

The author discussed furniture styles, followed by chapters on old English, old French and American colonial furniture.

……. the average home-maker has vague ideas about the history of furniture. She knows that a style of furniture is often identified with the name of a king or a queen. She usually takes it for granted that all French furniture is gilded. And, although she may share in the popular scornful dismissal of the Victorian horsehair furniture, she usually selects and buys her chairs and tables without knowledge of their family history.

The bad taste and lack of discrimination of Americans was contemporary with the bad taste of the English. The decline of taste in America was contemporary with the decline of good taste in England, just as the good Colonial furniture of the preceding century was contemporary with the best English, Dutch, and French cabinet work of that century.
In America in the eighties there was no William Morris or Walter Crane to lead a reaction against the ugliness of the average home. The most concrete example of this reaction in America was in the form of the Mission or Craftsman furniture, The straight lines and solid simple construction were a reaction from over-elaborate decoration and poor construction. How these two always go together! '' Mission,' meaning ' missionary,'' explains the reason for the existence of this type of furniture better than it is explained by any relation it bears to the old missions of California.
The Mission and Craftsman furniture was an effective protest against bric-a-brac gewgaw ugliness; but, although it has strength and often is comfortable, it does not fill the new needs of the house whose doors it opened. It will always be suitable for bungalow, beamed living-room, and halls or porch, but it lacks the finer line and the adaptability necessary for the average city house or apartment. It is often too large, too heavy,
and too clumsy. There is a lack of grace and beauty. It represents the simple beginnings of furniture-making, but only the a b c's of the craft.

Fifteen years ago, so-called golden oak, with its ugly yellow varnish insistent in shine, ugly in line and sham carving was practically the only available furniture. To-day most shops keep at least a small stock of the better grade of reproductions, in response to this increasing demand for simpler, better furniture.

In many shops, particularly in the smaller cities, there are rows and rows of pieces of so-called golden oak. This furniture is usually ugly, clumsy in design, and over - decorated. The many coats of varnish have, given it an objectionable color and surface polish. The only way to make this furniture attractive is to remove all the varnish and then stain and wax and rub it until it has the legitimate finish of oak. Or it can be painted or enameled in color to go with the color scheme of the room. There are usually some pieces that are good in line and can be used in the average house. This furniture is usually inexpensive.

Another very common and inexpensive type of furniture is the Mission or Craftsman furniture, Some of it is very good in line and construction; frequently, however, for all its appearance of strength, much of it is clumsy and poorly made. It goes very well in large rooms of rough plaster, or wood wall and brick or concrete fireplace. It cannot be used so well in small rooms; neither does it go well with other types of furniture. A living-room or a whole floor, a bungalow or country house furnished throughout with this furniture may be very restful and attractive, but its possibilities are more limited than some of the less-heavy types of chairs and tables. In the average apartment it is quite out of place.

Perhaps no furniture carried by the average furniture store and department store offers so many possibilities as the simple painted furniture. There are many pieces of good lines, in inexpensive woods, which can be painted a color to suit the color scheme of the general furnishing of the room. In a city apartment where sunshine is at a premium, a room with painted woodwork and furniture can be very gay and cheerful. This furniture is generally inexpensive. The stores frequently carry sample stock in a dead-white enamel, but the same pieces can be ordered painted in any color of sample.

Wicker or willow furniture is inexpensive, durable, and comes in many good designs of chairs and tables.
This furniture can be stained any color. The arm-chairs are suitable for almost any room ,in an informal house. They are particularly attractive with cushions of gay chintz or in soft dull colors, according to the color scheme of the rest of the room. It is possible to buy this furniture unstained at a little less cost than when stained…….A few shops carry the Chinese and Ceylon cane chairs, which are frequently very beautiful in workmanship and are suitable in a living-room or porch.
The Austrian furniture made of bent wood is very strong and sometimes quite attractive. It is expensive, and its durability recommends it for hotels, restaurants, and for clubs and rooms.

In a hall the walls should be kept very simple. They may be painted or papered or paneled wainscot. It is one of the few rooms where gay patterned or striped paper can be used, for there should be no pictures on the walls. Good reproductions of landscape paper of the eighteenth century are now on the market, and, although rather expensive, they are very attractive. A striped paper is also good and in a hall with a stairway it emphasizes the stairs and the rise to the second floor. In a small hall a plain paper or one with a small unobtrusive pattern is best. Painted walls have the advantage of being easily cleaned.
A mirror of good design may be hung over a table. If one possesses a piece of tapestry or a fine rug or an interesting piece of weaving, something decorative and purely formal in character, this may be hung in a central balanced space. A banjo clock is often very suitable, and is both useful and decorative in a narrow oblong space or panel. A tall grandfather's clock is a dignified addition to the furnishing of a hall.
The floor should be uncarpeted, for it is necessary that the hall be easily and thoroughly cleaned. Large square tiles in soft colors make an attractive hall floor which can be washed daily.
These are, however, quite expensive. One large rug covering the main part of the floor or a small strong rug near the door is a good arrangement if rugs are used; or there may be a broad strip of plain carpet extending through the center of the hall and carpeting the stairs, if desirable.
Stairs are more easily cleaned and quite as attractive without the strip of carpet, yet many people prefer the carpeting because there is less noise and the stairs are protected from small boys' toes. Also there is less danger of falling down a carpeted stairway.
Furnishing a hall is not an expensive matter, as very little furniture is necessary. A small side-table with a drawer or two in which to keep timetables, pad and pencil, and post-cards, one or two straight-backed chairs placed against the wall in symmetrical balance are quite enough furniture. A mirror which has a decorative framered or black lacquer is interestingmay be hung directly over the table or in the center of one wall division.
There should be some provision in a hall for the coats and hats and umbrellas of guests. Members of the family should keep hats and coats in their rooms or in a special closet, and not leave them untidily accumulated in a hall-stand. But it is difficult to find a hat-rack which is not clumsy and ugly.

There are very few of the combination hall and living-rooms which are satisfactory. They allow no assurance of privacy, and the draughts from opening the outside door and from the stairs-space make it a difficult room to keep comfortable in winter weather.

That very modern part of the house, the living-room, …….is the place where the family will spend their leisure, in companionship or study, where guests are hospitably received. It must be attractive to youth and comfortable for grown-ups. It is a place for study as well as for talk. It should be all that its name implies a cheerful and beautiful room, worthy to be the center of the family life, worthy to be lived in, in the finest sense of the word.
There should be large comfortable chairs, perhaps a sofa, and a footstool or two grouped about the open fire for there should be a fireplace in every living-room! Then a table is needed for lamp, books, and magazines, standing neither in the center of the room nor yet against the wall, with near by a chair or two, for reading.
For afternoon tea or evening coffee or cards, a place for a plant or bowl of flowers, a smaller table standing against the wall or between windows, will be useful. A tall secretary, desk, or a simple table well supplied with writing-materials should be placed to have good light both day and evening, for writing, and should not stand too near t he conversation at the fireplace. Before it should stand a straight chair, of comfortable height, for writing.
With all this more or less necessary furniture, and with desk, table, and .fireplace, each a center of interest, it is essential to keep a unity in the room. Woodwork, walls, curtains, and rugs should carry out a color scheme, including not more than two colors, and all the large pieces of furniture should be somewhat similar in type.
If the walls, woodwork, mantel, and fireplace are of lovely gray or tan, the rugs of plain velvet, warm green -in color, the curtains may be of chintz patterned with green foliage, or of soft-green silk hung straight at the side of the windows, and the upholstery materials should have green the predominating color. These are the beginnings of a restful, harmonious room. There may be a blue vase or an orange one on the mantel, a few cushions of the same orange or blue, another plain vase with flowers in it, a growing plant, a bowl of goldfish; any one or two of these will give all the variety and accent that is necessary.

First, the walls must be papered and the woodwork painted. With the many needs of the living-room, the many different pieces of furniture, it is necessary that the walls be neutral in color, that the background be unobtrusive and restful. Then the rugs are chosen. The home-maker is fortunate who can afford a center rug large enough for the room. If several smaller rugs are chosen they should be tried in various arrangements. One should be placed in front of the fire, one at the bookcase, another near the center of the room, another toward the door. They should be parallel to the sides of the room, for rugs are very obvious and disturbing when placed diagonally across the floor.

The curtains may be one-color silk, or of chintz, or of any of the fascinating patterned fabrics now on the marketbut the color must repeat the color of the rugs!
Then furniture must be selected. A desk, chairs, sofa, and tables should be chosen with careful comparison one to the other and to their placing in the room. There must be various kinds of chairs. Perhaps an old mahogany arm-chair has been found in some antique shop. Without that a fine reproduction of an old arm-chair will be a good investment for the room……. Wicker chairs are always attractive if they carry out the color scheme of the room. They may be stained the color of rugs or curtains and have cushions of patterned chintz adding their gay colors to the detail of the furnishing.
Leather chairs are usually clumsy and offensive in color. Too much upholstery gives a stuffy feeling, and it is also difficult to keep clean. Plain upholstery is much less objectionable than the puffed-and-button variety. …..As for arm-chairs, there are multitudes of good designs from which to select one of good lines, proportions, and comfort. A reproduction of the Martha Washington chair is one of the attractive possibilities, and no chair offers more comfort for an evening chat or paper than a roomy grandfather's chair. ……. The American rocker has had hard words said about it, and, although inelegant for a formal room, there is no denying the distinctive character of an old Shaker or Windsor arm-chair rocker.
Straight chairs of many styles are available. Old ones are less expensive and less difficult to find than arm-chairs. If strict economy is necessary there are simple kitchen chairs that when stained and painted are quite worthy of their place in a living-room.

A sofa is one of the more expensive pieces of furniture, but its length adds a new and interesting proportion, and its capacity and comfort are unquestioned. An old mahogany one of Sheraton design is an invaluable asset. An Empire sofa, while more available and less expensive, is a staid and comfortable acquisition. One ingenious woman had the paint scraped off an old porch bench of good lines, and, behold, a beautiful maple settee evolved, which, when be-cushioned and be-pillowed, was the most attractive feature of her living-room, and it cost $5. A wicker sofa is comparatively inexpensive and is very comfortable. It may be stained to match the color scheme. In modern sofas one must beware of the fantasies of the upholsterer. Fringes and buttons add little comfort and nothing to beauty and cleanliness.
If there be any difficulty about selecting a table it lies in deciding a preference for one out of so many of the attractive tables that are on the market. The gate-leg table is beautiful in design as well as very practical, for it may be used as round table in the center of the room or against the wall with one or both leaves dropped. …. The Dutch bandy-leg table has very good lines and comes in many sizes and proportions of round, square, rectangular, with and without drop-leaves. And there is something to be said for the simple modern table with four straight legs and a drawer or two, for its very unpretentiousness includes its possible use with any type of furniture. Little straight-leg tables are inexpensive, and they are attractive painted or enameled in color to match the color scheme of the rest of the room. Even a kitchen table of good proportions and lines may be glorified by a coat of paint or enamel and is preferable to many of the pretentious and expensive golden-oak monstrosities.

Houses usually have too many pictures. Only one or two very good pictures at the most should be hung on one wall-space. They should be hung at a reasonable eye-level. Picture-wires should be as unobtrusive as possible. It is well to hang wires in vertical lines from two hooks on the molding to each side of the picture. Small light pictures may be fastened by a short invisible wire to a nail driven into the wall. A very slender wire nail will hold a picture of considerable size, and can be removed without leaving a noticeable marking on the paper. It is difficult, how-ever, to drive any kind of nail into an unpapered wall without marking it,

Artificial lighting of the living-room should be planned in the building of the house, so that the side-lights are placed where most necessary, near book-shelves or desk.
A center ceiling-light is not appropriate for the needs of the living-room, and is less restful and attractive than the varying lights from open fire, from a shaded reading-lamp and drop-lights, also shaded, on desk and book-shelves. A kerosene or alcohol lamp for the table, with a green-glass shade or a simple soft-color silk shade, gives a clear, steady light for reading, and adds to the attractiveness of the room. An electric-lighted lamp, requiring as it does connection with a wall or ceiling attachment, is less trouble than a kerosene-lamp, although the necessary tubing is often disturbingly obvious.
Candle-lights on the mantel or at desk are very attractive, and no room and no hour of the day is more restful than the living-room when the candles are lighted and the open fire glows through the twilight.

….a dining-table in the center of the room, chairs placed at regular intervals against the wall when not in use at table, a sideboard in the center of a clear wall-space, a serving-table not too far from the pantry door this is all the furniture that the dining-room requires.
In many houses the dining-room is looked upon primarily as a place for formal dinners. The dark heavy furniture and the stuffy upholstery are only relieved by the lights, the table linen, and service.
But we are growing more sensible about our dining-rooms. The universal French custom of breakfasting in one's room, the English custom of buffet breakfast, will never supplant that American institution of the family breakfast. So why should not the dining-room be as attractive in the morning light and at high noon as under the artificial light at the evening meal?

The walls of a dining-room should be of neutral tone, similar in color to adjoining rooms. It is well to keep them clear of pictures and decorations, for there are few dining-rooms and pictures which belong together. The stenciled frieze and the elaborately patterned wall-paper add nothing to the beauty of the walls. One frequently sees a dining-room which has a chair-rail dividing the wall horizontally, with plain wall-paper or burlap below the chair-rail and a fruit, flower, or grape patterned wall-paper above the chair-rail. Unless these papers are very similar in color and the pattern dull and unobvious this breaking up of wall-space is very disturbing.
A plate-rail with a procession of plates, mugs, and bowls catching the dust is another mistaken idea of decoration. A small plate-rail over a side-table or in the center of a wall-space at a height within easy reach may be very useful and also may make an interesting panel of decoration.
A rug of plain color or unobvious pattern, dark enough so that it will not readily show markings, and not too heavy to be frequently taken up and aired, one that is easily cleaned and large enough to cover the center of the room, meets the practical needs of the dining-room floor. It should be of color harmonious with the rest of the room. Curtains should be comparatively light in texture and in harmony with the general color scheme of the room. Heavy curtains will absorb and hold odors of food. It is interesting to have the one or two predominant colors of the room repeated in the rug, curtains, and china.

The table in the dining-room should be kept entirely clear between service of meals except for a vase of flowers, a plant, or a large bowl of fruit in the center of the table as decoration. It is very little trouble to clear the table, and leaving it with the cloth on gives an unpleasant impression of lack of care. Fresh flowers or a growing plant add immeasurably to the beauty of the dining-table. A clear, light dining-room with a bowl of yellow daffodils and morning sunlight is a joyous background for the beginning of a new day.
A sideboard should not try to rival a jeweler's window. A few pieces of china or silver, carefully balanced on either side, the candlesticks arranged in a symmetrical, prim row, will add necessary decoration and relieve the plainness without glitter and vulgar display.

A facetious hostess characterized the large lighting-fixture that hung suspended by a heavy iron chain in the center of the dining-room in her rented apartment, as her "social error." …….Such a chandelier should be removed at once. It can be stored and guarded for the next tenant if ever that tenant has the bad taste to want it.
Candle-lights are in all regards the most suitable and beautiful lighting for the table. Candles give a soft light, make an interesting balanced decoration on the table, and when not in use can be placed out of the way in an orderly and decorative arrangement on table or sideboard. There may also be additional light from candles placed on sideboard or mantels……There should be one or two electric or gas side-lights, which may be used before or after dinner, when light is necessary elsewhere than at table.

The place mat of today was apparently originally referred to as a doily.
Table linen has long been the pride and ambition of the housewife. But the original expense and the labor and care of laundry has made the use of doilies and center-piece a welcome innovation. So much expense and labor of laundry and mending is eliminated by the use of doilies that their popularity has extended almost to the exclusion of the table-cloth. Doilies may be used for dinner service as well as for breakfast and luncheon. They are a boon to the woman who does her own work. One charming luncheon-table was set with blue-and-white willow-ware, purchased at a five-and-ten-cent store. The doilies were of white linen with an edge embroidered in blue.
Japanese blue-and-white toweling laid across the table, a place at the end of each strip, makes an attractive informal arrangement. Doilies are usually of white linen, with lace-embroidered or hemstitched edges, but they are attractive in color to match the china or color scheme of the room.

Another boon to the woman who does her own work is the servette, a circular revolving heavy glass plate on a center pivot standard. This is large enough to hold bread and butter, salt, pepper, sugar, cream, jam, and many of the things needed by every one in the course of the meal.
Each person at table can reach, turn the servette, and serve himself without the confusion of passing dishes about.
The servette is now commonly known as a Lazy Susan.

But there are fundamental necessities which should be included in every bedroom. A comfortable bed and a small table beside the bed for reading-light, clock, and perhaps telephone, a well-lighted and mirrored dressing-table, a long mirror, chairs and a footstool, plenty of cupboard and drawer space these are necessary for the bedroom. A writing-desk or table is an additional convenience and is especially fitting for a guest-room. A stand for pitcher and wash-bowl is also necessary in a house with no bath-room, or where a large family must all use the one bathroom.
Plain wall-paper, or simple figured wall-paper with light background and small gay pattern of flowers in soft coloring, may be used in a bedroom. Chintz is particularly attractive for curtains, but should be used with plain walls. Dimities, scrim, muslins are more suitable than silk and velvet curtains. They also have the advantage of being easily washed and add a fresh light effect to the room.
….Two single beds are better than one double bed.

In the reaction from the ugly and heavy black walnut and golden oak bedroom suites the brass bed came into fashion. It had the advantage of being light and clean, but the insistent shine of the metal and its dissimilarity to anything else in the room offered no improvement in beauty over its predecessors. A simple white enameled bed of good lines is preferable to the most expensive of brass beds. There are inexpensive beds in simple straight - line designs in wood which may be painted or enameled in color to suit the color scheme of the room. Very good reproductions of four - poster beds are on the market, some of which are small enough for the average size bedroom and are comparatively inexpensive.
The good housewife is wary of elaborate lace and silk bed covering. A simple cover of chintz or linen, in color and pattern to suit the furnishings of the room, folded in trimly at the sides and ends of bed, involves much less care and helps to give an impression of groomed tidiness to the room. The pillows, of course, are not in evidence during the day except in formal arrangement under covers made of the same material as the bed itself.
The old-fashioned knitted or crocheted bedspread with knotted fringe is quaint and attractive in a room which is colonial in character. One very attractive bedroom has simple, straight-line furniture enameled in a soft gray. One wicker chair is stained a deep silver-gray. The cushions are of a gay chintz of many colored roses and green foliage. The rug is a large plain green woven rag rug. The two beds are covered with old-fashioned quilts of tiny triangular flock-of-birds pattern pieced in white and rose color, with a deep border of the rose color matching the rose of the curtains.

A small table beside the bed with a shaded , reading-lamp, a place for tray with pitcher or caraffe of water and a glass tumbler, and a drawer for pad and pencil, is a comfort and luxury for those who like to retire early and, propped up with pillows, read before going to sleep. It is also a convenient place for a watch or a small clock. A book-shelf is often a convenient addition to a bedroom.
A dressing-table is another necessity. First of all, it should be placed to have good light both in day and evening. If it stands between windows or in front of a window or group of windows, there will be ample light by day. Side-lights of gas or electricity should be placed on either side of the dressing-table, and a drop-light is often very convenient. The flickering candle-light is rather uncertain to dress by. The dressing-table may be a bureau or a low chest of drawers, with mirror arrangement, or it may be the more convenient dressing-table of one or two necessary drawers, with an open clear space underneath, so that one may sit up close to the table comfortably with knees under the table. A mirror with adjustable wings on either side is very convenient for the fastidious person.
Any table may be transformed into a dressing-table by the addition of mirror-stand. The small mahogany ones with little drawers, of Georgian
style, sometimes called shaving-stands, also known as a Chesterfield mirror, are very attractive and useful, but the mirrors are usually rather small. A cover of clear French glass for top of the dressing-table protects the top of the table, and is easily cleared of dust and powder dustings.

There should be at least one comfortable armchair and one or two straight chairs in a bedroom of average size……..
A fine bureau or chest of drawers is always a dignified and useful piece of furniture for the bedroom.
Pictures, prints, or even photographs of one's family and friends are suitable when hung in groups or in the center of a clear wall-space. Figured wall-paper is decorative in itself, and pictures detract from it. They only belong on plain walls.
A charming bedroom had gray wall-paper, gray painted furniture, curtains of white muslin with yellow polka-dots, a bed-cover of plain yellow linen, a reading-lamp and side-lights with yellow shades, a dark, plain gray rug. Wash-bowl and pitcher, a vase for flowers, and pin-trays were of plain yellow Japanese pottery. It was sunny and cheerful. The same furniture and rug would be attractive in a bedroom with green the predominant color.
The main thing to remember in furnishing a bedroom is to have light and fresh air and to keep the room clear and restful. Upholstery and too many hangings give a 'Stuffy feeling. It should have that impression of freshness which only comes with washable covers and curtains.

Open sanitary plumbing, a porcelain tub and wash-bowl are the necessary equipment of a model bath-room. If there are funds enough a shower-bath and foot-tub should be added. Unfortunately, the bath-tubs that are set solid to the floor are as yet much more expensive than those on legs. They simplify cleaning.

The floor should be of tile or concrete, or if of wood the floor should be covered with linoleum. The walls should be wainscot of the tile or enamel, which can be washed with soap and water.
There should be a small cupboard in which to keep necessary toilet articles, and this may well have a mirror in the door. Side-lights placed near a mirror will provide necessary light for washing and shaving.
A soiled-clothes chute to the basement or laundry is conveniently located near the bath-room. It is inadvisable to keep a hamper for all soiled clothes here, but it is well, however, to have a small covered basket or other receptacle for soiled towels. This should be emptied every morning when the bath-room is given its daily cleaning.
The bath-room should be kept clear of obvious toilet articles. A towel-rack, with fresh towels, and soap-holders may be in evidence with supplies for guest, or family. If each member of the family has a section of the cupboard, and in his or her own bedroom a towel-rack, it will be quite easy to keep the bath-room comparatively clear.

The first and last impression of a bath-room should always for of its immaculate cleanliness. Light tile and enamel will add much to the appearance of freshness as well as minimize labor. But ordinary enamel paint and constant care will make any bath-room an inviting ally of cleanliness.


….. convenience and care of cleaning are essential requirements for the kitchen of the modern housekeeper. The room should be only as large as is necessary for comfortably working there. The size depends on the size of the family and the amount of service required. A kitchen eight by twelve is large enough for a family where only one person at a time works in the kitchen.
The proper position for the kitchen is one which isolates it as much as possible from all other rooms except the dining-room. If space allows, a butler's pantry between kitchen and dining-room gives a convenient storage place for table china, a place for cold foods reasilver. Swinging - doors into both rooms allow easy passage, and the odors of cooking do not penetrate the dining-room. A butler's pantry should have the window over the sink. The name of this room or semi-room is perhaps unfortunate, since it suggests that it is needed or desirable only in houses where there will be elaborate service. Quite the contrary, it is a great help to the housekeeper doing her own work, and should be provided wherever possible. Frequently the space assigned to the kitchen could be profitably divided so as to provide a butler's pantry.
The kitchen should have a direct or vestibule entrance for the delivery of supplies. Where there is a cellar there should be direct or very easy access from the kitchen. It seems hardly necessary to say that the kitchen should be light, airy, cheerful, and easily cleaned. For both light and ventilation there should wherever possible be windows on two sides of the room.
The walls of the model kitchen should perhaps be tiled, but this finish is too expensive for any but the ample purse. Good paint is a satisfactory finish, and is easily cleaned. The color should always be light. White is in many rooms glaring, but the deep-cream or old ivory is satisfactory almost everywhere.
The woodwork is best painted to match the walls, and if enameled is much easier to clean. Everywhere it is important to avoid fancy moldings and turnings in the woodwork; but nowhere more so than in the kitchen. The space where the hand touches a swinging-door should be protected (on both sides of each door) by a piece of plate glass about five by eight, fastened on by screws through holes drilled in each corner. The bottom of such doors is sometimes protected by a strip of brass, but this is not necessary in a house or apartment, as the foot should never be used to open the door.
The floor may be finished in one of the cements now used for such purposes. This has the disadvantage that it is unpleasant to and hard on the feet, and that it is expensive. The chief advantage is that the edges can be rounded up to the mopboard in one continuous curve, thus facilitating cleaning. An outlet for water in one corner, draining into a sewer (with the proper guard against odors) or directly with the ground, simplifies cleaning such a floor.
The practical covering for the ordinary kitchen is linoleum. This comes in attractive designs those with a good deal of white or cream-white being preferable and is easily washed. Only inlaid linoleum, and that in a good grade, is worth buying. ….. When it is finally tacked into place, a half-round of molding should be put down next the baseboard all around over the edges of the linoleum. Where there is a vestibule it should be treated in the same way. The cost of the linoleum is small compared to the hard work it saves the person who washes the kitchen floor.
The artificial lighting must be good. Electricity is the best light, and if ordinary city gas is used there should be a mantle burner. Far better than a center chandelier with two lights is one wall-light over the table and one between the stove and the sink.
The windows should have strong, washable shades. If there are curtains they should be short ones, perhaps sash-curtains, of white washable material. Scrim is probably the best-wearing material for the money. There should be two sets of curtains, and they should be washed each week as regularly as table or bed linen. Many housekeepers prefer to do without curtains.

The main pieces of equipment are: stove, sink, work-table, cupboards, and shelves for supplies and utensils, refrigerator. The general relationship of these should be such that the supplies and utensils can be brought to work-table, from there to stove, from there to dining-room, back to sink (butler’s pantry better), and so to supply and utensil storage, with the fewest possible steps.

The sink should be of good size20 by 36 is good in most placesand at a height convenient for the woman who is to use it. …..Porcelain sinks are serviceable and very expensive. White enameled sinks are best for the average family. A wooden rack or rubber mat in the bottom of the sink will protect it from scratching. A second smaller sink beside the main sink is an excellent substitute for a dish-pan. There must then be a stopper of the special kind made for sinks for the drainpipe.
A drain-board at each end of the sink is a convenience, but if there is only one, it should be at the right. Dish-pan, sink-brush, and other utensils for sink use should be hung from hooks under the drain-board.
A long shelf at a good height above the sink will hold other much-used utensils on top and hanging from hooks underneath. There should be at least two soap-dishes (besides a soap-shaker), and all should be hung or fastened on wall or woodwork at a convenient height. Vegetable-brushes and similar utensils should be provided with screw-eyes or loops in order that they may by hung up, and nothing of any kind should stand regularly on the drain-board except a covered white enameled can in which refuse can be dropped.
The work-table should have an easily cleaned top. Zinc is probably the most practical and cheapest in the end. The so-called pastry-table, with bin-shaped drawers, sliding pastry-boards, and drawers, is excellent. In the kitchen where cupboard space is lacking it may be well to have a kitchen cabinet which adds to the pastry-table cupboards and more drawers. Good kitchen cabinets are, however, expensive.
There is also a disadvantage in having doors to the cupboards over the work-table. Open shelves over the table, deep enough to hold only one row of jars, enable the housekeeper to have at hand all common dry-food materials and all flavorings and condiments. The lower shelf should be at least a foot from the table, and from the underside the commonest utensils used in preparation should be hung. If the measuring-cup, egg-beater, grater, potato-masher, biscuit-cutter, can - opener, corkscrew, lemon - squeezer, shears, and apple-corer hang here, the housekeeper is saved hundreds of steps or arm movements in the opening of drawers.
A shelf for cook-books and a place for a small card cabinet must be provided. A cook-book holder is an excellent addition to the equipment.
Each housekeeper should plan a place for each utensil, the most convenient possible to the most frequent point of use. Coffee-mill and scales should be fixtures. All shelves are better if. enameled white and washed frequently. By the stove should hang a covered salt-box, a rack for pot-covers, a double match-safe, one half to hold a box of safety matches, the other burnt matches; stove-cloths, and flour-dredge.
The vestibule is frequently the best place for the refrigerator, ( the ice box) and in a house wherever possible the ice-compartment of the refrigerator should be accessible (through a door the size of the side of the compartment) directly from the outside. In an apartment where ice comes up on the dumbwaiter the refrigerator should be as near this as possible. The disadvantage of having the refrigerator in the kitchen is in the space it takes and its awkwardness in the average room. The advantage is that the perishable food materials are constantly at hand.
For the small apartment kitchen there is an excellent rack for drying towels that can be hoisted to the ceiling by a pulley and be kept out of the way. If a roller hand-towel is used it should be convenient to the sink. A roll of paper toweling should be kept in every kitchen, as there are frequent uses for fresh porous paper.
There should be one firm, well-built chair in the kitchen. If space allows, a second low chair is a good addition. Many housekeepers like a stool for some work, but to others it is tiring to sit for long without support for the back.


The housekeeper who has room for a separate laundry is fortunate. In a house this is best placed on the first floor near the kitchen. If there is not room on the first floor, the laundry may be in the basement, if proper light and air are available.
In the apartment the laundry tubs must usually be in the kitchen. Frequently it is well to have a table top to lay across these which, with its contents, may be moved away when the tubs are used.
Where there is running water, set tubs are a necessity. These, like sinks, are usually too low.

At the end of the book there is a “handyman’s chapter” with information about staining wood, dyeing fabrics, etc.
There is also an index.


Friday, March 2, 2007


Those who are researching kitchen countertop materials might find some info here. Although countertops as we know them were a fairly new concept in 1923, the materials used on tabletops would have been used on counters by those who had them
Ethel R. Peyser
House and Garden, Dec, 1923

Much of the Comfort and Ease of Kitchen Work Can Be traced to the table Which Is Substantially topped
'LAY it on the table," may be a safe thing for a chairman to say, but not so in the kitchen! Laying a thing on the kitchen table is a serious, and often an expensive performance, especially when the table has not the proper counter surfacing or top.
Now the table top is not meant for a carpenter's bench where little Willie can hammer cut a curve in his cart wheel rim, where the cook can crack Brazil nuts with her heaviest flat-iron; no, indeed, it is meant to hold unabashed and unscarred all the rational burdens of the kitchen. To this end must the table top have a few reasonable justifications for being. It must be non-cracking when things are brought into ardent or sudden contact with it; chipless; cleanable, for dirt must come off like water off the proverbial duck's back; impervious to acids; impervious to grease so that grease can never soak in, and impervious to an extremely hot temperature so that a hot-utensil can be placed on it.
From the foregoing you can see that the qualities of the table top involve very fine manufacturing and careful purchasing.
The familiar table top of wood has done service and will do service forever more. Tis a better top than zinc because if treated with a good resistant varnish, it will last many years. It can be revarnished when necessary and is a pretty good table, for those who can afford no better. The question itself of varnish is most interesting.
Often it is convenient to cover a poor wood top with linoleum which, in appropriate design, makes a satisfactory surface.
A hard wood, of course, should be selected and the top should have no flaws such as knots or grain which will chip out. Ash and maple tops make pretty good areas of work. A metal binder preserves the edges of a fine wood table top. .
Zinc tops are not very good, for they “puff up," get unlevel and humpy, and acids are "biting" to them.
White metal tops are excellent, noncorrosive, they stay flat--but are relatively expensive.

When you use the glass top-unless you keep it for the pastry table only, for which its usefulness is unbounded---then your troubles begin. It is like living on an island like Japan, given to cracking up and sudden breaks. There are all sorts of glass compositions for table tops. They are beautiful probably next to marble the most eye-satisfying. They clean easily, are not inroaded by acids or grease--but--they are unstable to shock and excessive heat-and one cannot carry a thermometer always to test the heat of the article to be placed on the table! Get acquainted when you buy these. Some are better than others and they are getting better yearly.
The marble top is the regal topping! For the pastry table it is cool and useful. See that the marble is at least two inches thick. Marble tops are costly-and the price depends, of course, on the kind of marble used.
Tin tops are practically defunct, and should be.
The various types of enamel-porcelain on steel, iron, etc., are about the best "buy" we know of for the average home.
Nickel composition tops are charming to look at but must be kept polished-which is a chore. They also become scratched and then form young canyons that harbor vinegar and salt, which in turn corrode the top.

Linoleum plus makes an interesting table top, for it has a steel counter and is covered by linoleum usually in one tone. The linoleum is bound by a metal band or nosing which holds it taut. This can be used beautifully on built-in table tops or kitchen counters. New linoleum can easily be put on when the linoleum wears-if it ever does -and the steel counter will last forever.
For years the table top has been a serious and basic question in the home kitchen and domestic science laboratory. I remember when I used tiles in the laboratory and these often broke and the cement streaked out. Taking all things into consideration, I feel that outside of the renewable wooden top the best of these porcelain enamels make, in the long run, the best appearing as well as the best wearing tops.
The manufacturers of these tops are continually trying to make them more proof against usage. Today we have these tops on tables, kitchen cabinets and the same material used for stove splashers and the interiors of refrigerators.
These tops come in whites, mottles and blue grays. Suit yourself but get them from the best guarantors---firms long in business.
Porcelain enamels are, to be sure, a kind of glass-but with a difference. It has the silica (from flint or from quartz and feldspar) but unless the silica is combined correctly with the other ingredients the resistance of the material is reduced. The secret processes of mixture and coalition has much to do with the value of the material. Then the mixture is ground, pulverized plus water, and is then sprayed on its unrustable metal base. This is then submitted to a 2000° baking and additional hyers of the molten porcelain are sprayed on (three layers at least) and "fired" In turn. These layers make the finished coat difficult to shock or crack. Being born of fire it resists heat as well as shocking knocks. It does not absorb grease and does not surrender to acids and therefore doesn't deteriorate. It is easily cleaned, always looks well and gives the kitchen an "air".
Porcelain tops are best when so made that they turn under the table and are caught underneath. This prevents chipping on the edge-where chipping seems to occur when it occurs. These are usually white on the top with a blue edge which turns under the table ledge.
Porcelain tops come for old tables, so that anyone desiring a modern kitchen need but renovate the old.
The purchaser can be more easily fooled by a porcelain table top than by many another kind. This is because the poorest can be made to look like the best. So it behooves you to go to the best makers.
The ordinary table is usually 3' x 7'. Most kitchens, depending on the size of the room and of the family and its needs, have two or three surfaces from which the cook works. For example, the large kitchen has a pastry and a regular table. This table is often partly covered with glass or marble for fine pastry work and the other part is of maple or ash.
A small 3' table can be had of glass or thinner marble for a pastry table in a small kitchen. Under some pastry tables or the large marble top seven footers, there are racks for holding pies or cakes. Under some tables can be built cupboards or whatever the purchaser desires.
In order to use the surface with convenience the top should be about 32" from the floor.But if you always employ “shorties”, (she meant short maids)28" may do.

And so, it is true-kitchen comfort mainly dependent on table comfort--consequently it is worth while to buy carefully and get guarantees from good makers
Don't forget, too, to insist that your table must stand evenly on the floor, so that it doesn't rock or tip. If your table does tip, call on a carpenter or on the people where you bought the table, ---don't be satisfied until the condition is cured. What can be cured must not be endured. And the annoyance and impracticalness of an unlevel table or a wobbly one. are difficult to overestimate. A drop spilled upon the sloping surface of a badly set table is not content to remain a drop, but develops into a stream.
The subject of tables is too important to slur, so I am in hopes that this introduction will be a spur to careful buying, which makes for comfort and assures a reasonable return for your expenditure.