Saturday, February 24, 2007

excerpt from Stickley's CRAFTSMAN HOMES 1909


CRAFTSMAN HOMES 1909
Gustav Stickley
A book of house plans and design. Many, many drawings, some in color, some of which are included here.
Most of the book deals with house designs, there isn’t much about the use of color or furnishings, but I’ve copied some information about 3 illustrated floor treatments.
The link to the book is at the bottom of the article


A dining table shown with crossed scarves, a favorite Craftsman table treatment




The first of the three floors illustrated here is meant to complete the color scheme of a room in which the woodwork is of silver-gray maple and the furniture and decorations are in delicate tones such as would naturally harmonize with gray. The floor is very simple in design, having a plain center of silver-gray maple that is finished exactly like the wood- work of the room. Around the edge is a wide horder of “mahajua” , a beautiful Cuban hardwood,, close and smooth in grain and left in its natural color, which is a greenish gray slightly darker than the finish of the maple.

The second floor is made of quartered oak in the natural color, and the boards are bound together with keys of vulcanized oak. Where the floor is stained to match the woodwork in tone, the color value of boards and keys will remain the same, as the vulcanized oak keys will simply show a darker shade of whatever color is given the boards of plain oak.

The last illustration shows a floor of quartered oak in the natural color combined with vulcanized oak and white maple to form a border in which a primitive Indian design appears.
A low wainscoting


A tiled kitchen with a built in cupboard and sink. Note that this is for an expensive home, tiling the wall cost quite a bit in 1909.


Another picture of the kitchen


Pictures were not hung on the walls of rooms with large friezes.


Showing a stenciled frieze




CRAFTSMAN HOMES

excerpts from PRINCIPLES OF HOME DECORATION 1903

PRINCIPLES OF HOME DECORATION With Practical Examples
Candace Wheeler 1903
Mrs Wheeler wrote for the moneyed upper class, and was an important figure in the world of American design
Again, if you wish to read the book, the link is at the bottom of the article. There are some very good photographs, I’ve included some of them here.


A colonial mantel and English hob-grate in Mrs. Wheeler's home

SERVANT’S QUARTERS
The same care in choice of colour will be as well bestowed on the servants' floor as on those devoted to the family, and curtains, carpets and furniture may possess as much beauty and yet be perfectly appropriate to servants' use.
On this upper floor, it goes almost without saying, that the walls must be painted in oil-colour instead of covered with paper. That the floors should be uncarpeted except for bedside rugs which are easily removable. That bedsteads should be of iron, the mattress with changeable covers, the furniture of painted and enameled instead of polished wood, and in short the conditions of healthful cleanliness as carefully provided as if the rooms were in a hospital instead of a private house—but the added comfort of carefully chosen wall colour, and bright, harmonizing, washable chintz in curtains and bed-covers.

……As I have said elsewhere, the walls in a servant's bedroom—and preferably in any sleeping-room—should for sanitary reasons be painted in oil colours, but the possibilities of decorative treatment in this medium are by no means limited. All of the lighter shades of green, blue, yellow, and rose are as permanent, and as easily cleaned, as the dull grays and drabs and mud-colours which are often used upon bedroom walls—especially those upper ones which are above the zone of ornament, apparently under the impression that there is virtue in their very ugliness.
"A good clean gray" some worthy housewife will instruct the painter to use, and the result will be a dead mixture of various lively and pleasant tints, any one of which might be charming if used separately, or modified with white. A small room with walls of a very light spring green, or a pale turquoise blue, or white with the dash of vermilion and touch of yellow ochre which produces salmon-pink, is quite as durably and serviceably coloured as if it were chocolate-brown, or heavy lead-colour; indeed its effect upon the mind is like a spring day full of sunshine instead of one dark with clouds or lowering storms.
The rule given elsewhere for colour in light or dark exposure will hold good for service bedrooms as well as for the important rooms of the house. That is; if a bedroom for servants' use is on the north or shadowed side of the house, let the colour be salmon or rose pink, cream white, or spring green; but if it is on the sunny side, the tint should be turquoise, or pale blue, or a grayish-green, like the green of a field of rye. With such walls, a white iron bedstead, enameled furniture, curtains of white, or a flowered chintz which repeats or contrasts with the colour of the walls, bedside and bureau rugs of the tufted cotton which is washable, or of the new rag-rugs of which the colours are "water fast," the room is absolutely good, and can be used as an influence upon a lower or higher intelligence.
As a matter of utility the toilet service should be always of white; so that there will be no chance for the slovenly mismatching which results from breakage of any one of the different pieces, when of different colours. A handleless or mis-matched pitcher will change the entire character of a room and should never be tolerated.
If the size of the room will warrant it, a rocking-chair or easy-chair should always be part of its equipment, and the mattress and bed-springs should be of a quality to give ease to tired bones, for these things have to do with the spirit of the house….
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Buckram frieze for a dining room, note portieres

COLOR AND STENCILLING

What I have said with regard to painted walls in plain tints applies to bedrooms of every grade, but where something more than merely agreeable colour effect is desired a stencilled decoration from the simplest to the most elaborate can be added.
…………………………….
Its simplest form is that of a stencilled border in flat tints used either in place of a cornice or as the border of a wall-paper is used…………….. After this we come to borders of repeating design used as friezes. This can be done with the most delicate and delightful effect, although the finished wall will still be capable of withstanding the most energetic annual scrubbing. Frieze borders of this kind starting with strongly contrasting colour at the top and carried downward through gradually fading tints until they are lost in the general colour of the wall have an openwork grille effect which is very light and graceful. There are infinite possibilities in the use of stencil design without counting the introduction of gold and silver, and bronzes of various iridescent hues which are more suitable for rooms of general use than for bedrooms. Indeed in sleeping-rooms the use of metallic colour is objectionable because it will not stand washing and cleaning without defacement. The ideal bedroom is one that if the furniture were removed a stream of water from a hose might be played upon its walls and ceiling without injury. I always remember with pleasure a pink and silver room belonging to a young girl, where the salmon-pink walls were deepened in colour at the top into almost a tint of vermilion which had in it a trace of green. It was, in fact, an addition of spring green dropped into the vermilion and carelessly stirred, so that it should be mixed but not incorporated. Over this shaded and mixed colour for the space of three feet was stencilled a fountain-like pattern in cream-white, the arches of the pattern rilled in with almost a lace-work of design. The whole upper part had an effect like carved alabaster and was indescribably light and graceful.
The bed and curtain-rods of silver-lacquer, and the abundant silver of the dressing-table gave a frosty contrast which was necessary in a room of so warm a general tone. This is an example of very delicate and truly artistic treatment of stencil-work, and one can easily see how it can be used either in simple or elaborate fashion with great effect.


There are other methods of decoration in oils which will meet the wants of the many who like to exercise their own artistic feelings and ability in their houses or rooms. The painting of flower-friezes upon canvas which can afterward be mounted upon the wall is a never-ending source of pleasure; and many of these friezes have a charm and intimacy which no merely professional painter can rival. These are especially suitable for bedrooms, since there they may be as personal as the inmate pleases without undue unveiling of thoughts, fancies, or personal experiences to the public. A favourite flower or a favourite motto or selection may be the motive of a charming decoration, if the artist has sufficient art-knowledge to subordinate it to its architectural juxtaposition. A narrow border of fixed repeating forms like a rug-border will often fulfil the necessity for architectural lines, and confine the flower-border into limits which justify its freedom of composition.
If one wishes to mount a favourite motto or quotation on the walls, where it may give constant suggestion or pleasure—or even be a help to thoughtful and conscientious living—there can be no better fashion than the style of the old illuminated missals. Dining-rooms and chimney-pieces are often very appropriately decorated in this way; the words running on scrolls which are half unrolled and half hidden, and showing a conventionalised background of fruit and flowers.


KITCHEN

Tiled walls, impervious to moisture, and repellent of fumes, are ideal boundaries of a kitchen, and may be beautiful in colour, as well as virtuous in conduct. They may even be laid with gradations of alluring mineral tints, but, of course, this is out of the question in cheap buildings; and in demonstrating the possibility of beauty and intrinsic merit in small and comparatively inexpensive houses, tiles and marbles must be ruled out of the scheme of kitchen perfection. Plaster, painted in agreeable tints of oil colour is commendable, but one can do better by covering the walls with the highly enamelled oil-cloth commonly used for kitchen tables and shelves. This material is quite marvellous in its combination of use and effect. Its possibilities were discovered by a young housewife whose small kitchen formed part of a city apartment, and whose practical sense was joined to a discursive imagination. After this achievement—which she herself did not recognise as a stroke of genius—she added a narrow shelf running entirely around the room, which carried a decorative row of blue willow-pattern plates. A dresser, hung with a graduated assortment of blue enamelled sauce-pans, and other kitchen implements of the same enticing ware, a floor covered with the heaviest of oil-cloth, laid in small diamond-shapes of blue, between blocks of white, like a mosaic pavement, were the features of a kitchen which was, and is, after several years of strenuous wear, a joy to behold. It was from the first, not only a delight to the clever young housewife and her friends, but it performed the miracle of changing the average servant into a careful and excellent one, zealous for the cleanliness and perfection of her small domain, and performing her kitchen functions with unexampled neatness.
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I have used this expedient of oil-cloth-covered walls—for which I am anxious to give the inventor due credit—in many kitchens, and certain bathrooms, and always with success.
It must be applied as if it were wall-paper, except that, as it is a heavy material, the paste must be thicker. It is also well to have in it a small proportion of carbolic acid, both as a disinfectant and a deterrent to paste-loving mice, or any other household pest. The cloth must be carefully fitted into corners, and whatever shelving or wood fittings are used in the room, must be placed against it, after it is applied, instead of having the cloth cut and fitted around them.
When well mounted, it makes a solid, porcelain-like wall, to which dust and dirt will not easily adhere, and which can be as easily and effectually cleaned as if it were really porcelain or marble.
Such wall treatment will go far toward making a beautiful kitchen. Add to this a well-arranged dresser for blue or white kitchen china, with a closed cabinet for the heavy iron utensils which can hardly be included in any scheme of kitchen beauty; curtained cupboards and short window-hangings of blue, or "Turkey red"—which are invaluable for colour, and always washable; a painted floor—which is far better than oil-cloth, and one has the elements of a satisfactory scheme of beauty.
A French kitchen, with its white-washed walls, its shining range and rows upon rows of gleaming copper-ware, is an attractive subject for a painter; and there is no reason why an American kitchen, in a house distinguished for beauty in all its family and semi-public rooms, should not also be beautiful in the rooms devoted to service. We can if we will make much even in a decorative way of our enamelled and aluminum kitchen-ware; we may hang it in graduated rows over the chimney-space—as the French cook parades her coppers—and arrange these necessary things with an eye to effect, while we secure perfect convenience of use. They are all pleasant of aspect if care and thought are devoted to their arrangement, and it is really of quite as much value to the family to have a charming and perfectly appointed kitchen, as to possess a beautiful and comfortable parlour or sitting-room.
If the chairs are chosen for strength and use, and are painted or stained to match the colour of the floor, they add to the satisfaction of the eye, as well as minister to the house service. ……... Of course in selecting such furnishings of the kitchen as chairs, one must bear in mind that even their legitimate use may include standing, as well as sitting upon them; that they may be made temporary resting-places for scrubbing pails, brushes, and other cleaning necessities, and therefore they must be made of painted wood; but this should not discourage the provision of a cane-seated rocking-chair for each servant, as a comfort for weary bones when the day's work is over.
In establishments which include a servants' dining-or sitting-room, these moderate luxuries are a thing of course, but in houses where at most but two maids are employed they are not always considered, although they certainly should be.
A suggested sitting area for maids
If a corner can be appropriated to evening leisure—where there is room for a small, brightly covered table, a lamp, a couple of rocking-chairs, work-baskets and a book or magazine, it answers in a small way to the family evening-room, where all gather for rest and comfort.



CEILINGS
In simple houses with plaster ceilings the tints to be used are easily decided. The rule of gradation of colour from floor to ceiling prescribes for the latter the lightest tone of the gradation, and as the ceiling stands for light, and should actually reflect light into the room, the philosophy of this arrangement of colours is obvious. It is not, however, an invariable rule that the ceiling should carry the same tint as the wall, even in a much lighter tone, although greater harmony and restfulness of effect is produced in this way. A ceiling of cream white will harmonise well with almost any tint upon the walls, and at the same time give an effect of air and light in the room. It is also a good ground for ornament in elaborately decorated ones.
If the walls are covered with a light wall-paper which carries a floral design, it is a safe rule to make the ceiling of the same colour but a lighter shade of the background of the paper, but it is not by any means good art to carry a flower design over the ceiling. One sometimes sees instances of this in the bedrooms of fairly good houses, and the effect is naturally that of bringing the ceiling apparently almost to one's head, or at all events, of producing a very unrestful effect…….
For the ordinary, or comparatively inexpensive home, we need not consider the ceiling an object for serious study, because it is so constantly out of the line of sight, and because its natural colourless condition is no bar to the general colour-effect………….

A sitting room in a country house
FLOORS
Mosaic floors, being as a rule confined to halls in private houses, need hardly be considered in this relation, and costly wood floors are almost necessarily confined to the yellows of the natural woods. ……..
As it is one of the principles of colour in a house that the floor is the foundation of the room, this weakness of colour in hard-wood floors must be acknowledged as a disadvantage. The floors should certainly be able to support the room in colour as well as in construction. It must be the strongest tint in the room, and yet it must have the unobtrusiveness of strength. This makes floor treatment a more difficult problem, or one requiring more thought than is generally supposed, and explains why light rooms are more successful with hard-wood floors than medium or very dark ones.
………to cover enough of the space with rugs to attract the eye, and restore the balance lost by want of strength of colour in the wood. Sometimes one or two small rugs will do this, and these may be of almost any tint which includes the general one of the room, even if the general tint is not prominent in the rug. If the use or luxury of the room requires more covered space, it is better to use one rug of a larger size than several small and perhaps conflicting ones…..
……in a room where the walls are of a pale shade of copper, the rugs should bring in a variety of reds which would be natural parts of the same scale, like lower notes in the octave; and yet should add patches of relative blues and harmonising greens; possibly also, deep gold, and black and white;—the latter in minute forms and lines which only accent or enrich the general effect……..

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In bedrooms …... Good pine floors well fitted and finished can be stained to harmonise with almost any tint used in furniture or upon the wall.
I remember a sea-side chamber in a house where the mistress had great natural decorative ability, and so much cultivation as to prevent its running away with her, where the floor was stained a transparent olive, like depths of sea-water, and here and there a floating sea-weed, or a form of sea-life faintly outlined within the colour. In this room, which seemed wide open to the sea and air, even when the windows were closed, the walls were of a faint greenish blue, like what is called dead turquoise, and the relation between floor and walls was so perfect that it remained with me to this day as a crowning instance of satisfaction in colour…..
……There is still a word to be said as to floor-coverings, which relates to healthful housekeeping instead of art, and that is, that in all cases where carpets or mattings are used, they should be in rug form, not fitted in to irregular floor-spaces; so as to be frequently and easily lifted and cleaned…………..

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A beautiful city home of seventy years ago is not very like a beautiful city home of to-day; perhaps less so in this than in any other country. The character of its fineness is curiously changed; the modern house is fitted to its inmates, while the old-fashioned house, modelled upon the early eighteenth century art of England, obliged the inmates to fit themselves as best they might to a given standard.

PRINCIPLES OF HOME DECORATION

excerpts from THE HOUSE 1907



THE HOUSE: its plan, decoration and care
1907

Read the book in image format. If you wish to copy some of the text, switch to text format, though it will have many “typos”. Pictures can be saved from the image format pages.
The author, Isabel Bevier, was a home economist and professor on the staff of the University of Illinois. This book was part of the curriculum, apparently, because it contains a quiz.
There are chapters on construction, some plans, and information about decorating. Information about how they prepared wood for painting is towards the end of the book. There are also sketches and photos, though most of the latter didn’t come out too well in the photocopying process. I did manage to touch up a few.
I chose the following excerpts because they were more in the line of general interest.
There’s a chapter list and link to the book at the end of this article.


FLOORS
Volumes might be written upon the subject of floors and their finishing, covering and care. Pine, hard and soft, maple, ash, and oak are the kinds of timber most often used in floors. Soft pine has the advantage of being least expensive. Oak is by many considered the best wood for floor uses, particularly if it is quarter-sawn. All woods darken in time if treated with oil.
Maple is preferred by those who object to the dark floors, as the closeness of its grain prevents the rapid absorption and consequent darkening by oil. The stained, painted, oiled or waxed floor partly covered by rugs is steadily growing in favor and displacing the floor covered with carpet.
There is much to be said in favor of the finished floor. It saves the tugging and pulling sometimes necessary to make the carpet fit. It simplifies very much the problem of house cleaning. Instead of that week or two in the spring and fall when all the carpets were taken up, pounded, beaten, stretched and pulled with the resulting finger and back aches, with the rug covered floor, the rugs are removed as often as need be, shaken, the floors wiped off with a damp or oiled cloth and the rugs relaid with much less expenditure of energy. The rugs are much lighter and easier to handle and the dust which accumulates under the ordinary carpet is thus dispensed with; so the rug covered floor is apt to be more sanitary. Some people object to any bare floor where there are children or elderly people. This can easily be obviated by the use of large rugs with borders of matting or filling.

…………The question as to whether the finish shall be paint, varnish, shellac or wax must be decided by the expense and by the use of the rooms. Wax and varnish are not desirable if the floor is to be subjected to the tread of many dusty feet. The oiled or painted floor will stand the wiping with the damp cloth to remove the dust much better. A little kerosene or milk added to the water used in sponging will serve to brighten either the paint or oil.

………No entirely satisfactory finish for the kitchen floor has yet been found. The time honored way of scrubbing with soap and water makes the whitest and cleanest looking floor, it is true but the work required! It does not seem to be an economic condition to have the floor of the work shop such that nothing may fall upon it. Linseed oil, frequently applied, makes a finish in every way good if it were not for the unsightly darkening. When the wood is thoroughly filled with oil, nothing will produce a spot on such a floor, not even grease. It may be wiped up with a wet cloth but should not be scrubbed with soap and water.
A good grade of linoleum makes a floor covering most easily cared for. When this is to be used there is no necessity of laying an expensive hard wood floor in the kitchen. This does not mean, however, that the floor need not be carefully laid, for if any of the boards warp the linoleum will be quickly worn through in the raised parts.

…..The floors of pantries, back hall and stairs may well be finished in oil……

A list of various floors and costs of each per square foot begins on p.117, it won’t come up properly in text format.

Many people who would be glad to have the benefit of the use of rugs, feel that they cannot undertake either the trouble or expense of having new floors laid. For such the following suggestions, which have been carried out in actual practice, are given. One woman wished to make over an old soft pine floor, but found the wide cracks a great detriment. She overcame this difficulty by stretching very tightly over the floor
strips of old sheeting. To this she applied two coats of paint and thus secured a very satisfactory "border" to her room, the center of which she covered with a rug made of old ingrain carpet which had been ravelled out and woven over.
Another woman secured a very good looking floor from an old, soft pine one with wide cracks by applying first, a coat of linseed oil, after which the cracks were filled with a "crack and crevice filler," then an oak stain and two coats of floor finish were used. The wood work of the floor was inconspicuous because it was of the same general tone as the rest of the wood work of the room,
This treatment, of the floor cost $5.00 and the floor is in quite good condition after two years constant use.

In treating an old floor it is well to avoid the use of bright colored stains or paints as such treatment calls attention to the floors; also very dark colors are to be avoided as they show the dust more easily than lighter colors. At the same time it is to be remembered that in the general color scheme of the room, the floors are supposed to carry the deepest tones, the walls to be lighter and the ceiling still lighter. It is well if possible to have the color of the floor blend with the color of the baseboard and with the border of the rug.
……The kinds of floor coverings now on the market are so numerous that one can hardly fail to find a suitable one. …….


a summer parlor
PICTURE MOLDING
If the ceiling be too high, the effect of lowering it may be given by allowing the ceiling paper (or calcimine) to extend a foot or more on the side wall. The picture molding may be put on where the ceiling paper meets that of the side wall. If the pictures are hung from this molding and brought down to the level of the eyes, one is helped to the impression that the molding marks the line of the ceiling. "Skied" pictures that one must stretch one's neck to see are never decorative. A wainscoting and frieze help greatly in breaking up a high side wall.
Note, “skying” pictures was beginning to be considered unfashionable in the 1880s, but though unfashionable, people were obviously still doing it in 1907. “Skied” pictures were hung one above another in a row toward the ceiling.
Again, if the ceiling be low a striped paper, where stripes extend from baseboard to ceiling, will make the ceiling appear higher than it really is…..

a New England Colonial style parlor

DECORATION AND FURNISHINGS
……..Certain general principles apply in the selection of decoration and furnishings. Avoid pretentious things. If real lace cannot be afforded, sham lace ought not to be allowed. Muslin curtains are better adapted to the purpose and much prettier than sham lace ones. Get simple things, few things, durable things and such as will harmonize with many others. Avoid the unusual; chairs with impossible twists in their legs; tables with glass and brass feet; settees, whose arms are "decorated" with hearts set on at irregular intervals and whose backs are "finished" with marvelous clusters of grapes glued on. These and their kind make a room a museum for the keeping of curios rather than a place of rest and beauty.
They must have been popular

THE HALL
The floor coloring should be the deepest; a suitable gradation would leave the walls of a lighter tone with the ceiling still lighter. The amount of light will influence the color. The vestibule is not likely to be too well lighted, and therefore dull and dark colors are to be avoided. Pompeian red, or tints of brown corresponding with the natural finish of the wood are desirable.
The floor of the vestibule should be tile or linoleum that it may be easily cleaned. Owing to the effect that the weather may have upon the paper some prefer the use of rough plaster or paint. …….
In the hall proper the same rules as to gradation of color hold. It is safer and better, if one is somewhat of a novice in the selection of color, to choose some one prevailing tone for the hall and the rooms that open from the hall in order to avoid a striking contrast,
and trust to relieve the monotony by a difference in the principal colors in the rugs. A grey green makes a comfortable color to live with, and the halls and rooms opening from it may have papers in which these colors predominate; varying shades of reds and browns may be used in the rugs.
In wall coverings one has the choice of many materials, calsomine, papers of many kinds, grass cloth, burlap and its near relative fabrikona. …………. Plain papers have their use and their abuse. A plain paper makes a good background for pictures and is less likely to introduce elements that are at war with the other furnishings. On the other hand too liberal a use of it in a house tends to monotony. Very good patterns may be found in two-toned papers. Of a given sum of money to be expended in wall covering, some prefer to use elaborate and expensive Morris or Crane papers and to omit all the pictures.
Grass cloth makes satisfactory hanging. Its slightly uneven surface gives pleasing effects in the distribution of light and shades. .Burlap and fabrikona are more expensive but they can be painted and so renewed. Both give a somewhat severe and substantial air to a room. Too much of them in a small house gives a somewhat heavy effect. They are, perhaps, most suitable for library and dining room.

LIVING ROOM
A two-toned green paper with a cream ceiling, weathered oak furniture and wood work, with Oriental rugs or American ones in shades of browns and a little red, make a satisfactory living room. Or one may use the copper brown tints for the walls with blues, browns and reds in the rugs. However, blue is likely to show soil and wear more easily than either browns or reds. Morris's words, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful", finds especial application in the sitting room. …………. Draperies and bric a brac should be conspicuous by their absence; a beruffled lamp and a bedecked sofa cushion are alike undesirable. A good light and comfortable chairs are essentials.
The furnishings of the parlor are best characterized as delicate. Some one' has said it corresponds to the afternoon tea toilet of the family. Whatever of elegance the family wishes to show will find its place here. Old rose or blues make a good background for the delicately upholstered furniture, the rare vase or bit of favrile glass. Oriental rugs with their mellowed tones will harmonize with almost any color.

DINING ROOM
The dining room requires little furniture besides the the table, chairs and china which are its essentials. Soft yellow walls, mahogany furniture, ivory white paint and net curtains make a pleasing combination. Some prefer the Delft blue with cream ceiling, oak furniture and the Delft china displayed on the plate rail. The plate rail is a somewhat questionable feature, as sometimes used with a motley collection of old ugly china covered with dust, it is far from decorative. A sideboard on which a few good pieces are displayed at one time is likely to be more truly decorative, and a china closet built in, more useful.
Leather bottomed chairs are a desirable addition to a dining room, and burlaps may be used very successfully on its walls.
Note, I’ve seen references before to delft blue china and cream or white in the dining room
during this period, so it’s possible this was, or became, a very popular look.


KITCHEN
The kitchen furnishings should be such as can be kept clean easily. Linoleum seems to have the preference as a floor covering. Tiles are expensive, hard for those who must walk over them constantly and a hard wood floor is more difficult to keep in order than linoleum. A good piece of linoleum will last for years and its use dispenses with the scrubbing which takes so much time and energy. If the worker is careful to wipe up the spots immediately, the care of the kitchen floor is reduced to a minimum.
In wall coverings, one has the choice of paper, calsomine, paint, enamel paper or oilcloth. Paint sometimes scales and its continuous use necessitates a number of coats which must finally be removed and this is a somewhat tedious and expensive process. the enameled paper is quite durable and can be wiped with a damp cloth; oilcloth stands this treatment still better, and for the woman who does her own work and does not wish to calsomine or paper her kitchen every season, it is perhaps the most satisfactory wall covering and it may be obtained in very attractive patterns and colors. Under present circumstances the kitchen may be a very attractive room and color schemes are as effective here as anywhere……..

BEDROOM
A hard wood floor and a rug or two help to the simplicity which aids restfulness and to the cleanliness which is one of the most desirable elements in bedroom furnishings. Here is a chance for dainty belongings, for light and airy wall papers, cool blues, greens and pinks , not with fantastic figures that dizzy and perplex by their intricacies. The bedroom is not to be a sitting room, but a sleeping room with perhaps an easy chair and one or two favorite books, beside the mirror and drawers in dresser or chiffonier. The bath room may relieve the necessity for a wash stand and thus save the trouble of caring for the articles it requires.
One has a large opportunity for choice in the matter of suitable bedroom floor coverings, mattings in great variety, fiber carpets, Berea rugs or the more expensive ones.
A very attractive bedroom can be made with white enamel paint, white iron bedstead and the Japanese matting with its blue figures and a blue rug. An old dresser may be quite transformed by a coat or two of white paint. Rattan chairs because of their lightness make good bedroom chairs…..

bedroom in a restored Colonial house
BATHROOM
The bathroom is one of the most useful rooms of the house and can easily be one of the most attractive. Good plumbing, a commodious tub and a stationary wash stand are its most attractive furnishings. A hard wood or tile floor with a small rug, a wainscoting of wood, tile, or cement made to resemble tile, with paint or oilcloth above, give a good setting for the necessary fixtures. A small cupboard for the bathroom accessories, a larger one for the towels, a washable curtain, a good mirror and a towel rack complete the list of essentials. A desirable addition is the chute, by which the soiled clothes may be sent down to the laundry. Some very ugly bathrooms have been transformed by a generous use of white paint and enamel.

CURTAINS
………..The law of appropriateness should be observed in regard to window hangings. Curtains do soften the lines and take away the bareness and stiffness from the room, but that fact does not make it desirable to have a double set of draperies in a living room. The family need the light, air, and sunshine which the hangings, particularly if they are heavy, shut out. We forget that the heavy hangings were used originally for the purpose of keeping out the wind and rain which entered through the openings cut in the walls of the castle.
Texture and quality are important factors in selecting draperies. Silk lends itself most easily to graceful folds, and wool comes next, but alas! woolen stuffs are a favorite haunt for moths. This leaves cotton and linen for inexpensive hangings and there is a large list from which to choose; chintzes, lawns, muslins, cretonnes, denims, Madras, hop-sacking and countless others. Chintzes have a large use in bedrooms and in summer houses. Denim is very much prized by some - in indigo blue it is apt to hold its color well; that and Turkey red are the two colors which are most nearly "fast" in cotton stuffs. Madras makes very pretty and effective curtains for those who are not so old-fashioned as to feel that nothing is quite so satisfactory as white. The fading of most of the cotton stuffs is a serious objection to their use……

* * * *
Happily the style for papering ceilings in figured designs is going out. A ceiling so covered may be painted with two coats of calcimine and thus the restfulness of the room helped…………..
The staining and painting of floors has already been spoken of. The woodwork of a parlor may often be brought into better harmony with the rest of the room by coats of cream-colored paint. The last coat should be mixed with good varnish to give a more resisting surface. Ugly radiators and steam pipes can be improved by a coating of aluminum enamel………
………..Most kitchens can easily be changed for the better. ………….


before


after


SUGGESTIONS FROM STUDENTS OF HOME ECONOMICS INCLUDE
………..Another tells of a horizontal curtain pole placed high up in a large closet. This is used for hanging of dresses, each on its own dress hanger. A stick with a hook on the end served to put up and take down the hangers. Others place the pole under the closet shelf where it serves a similar purpose of economizing space………..
An ingenious arrangement for an ironing board is described by an Illinois student. The board is hinged at the wide end and has a hinged leg near the other end. When not in use, the board may be swung up into the narrow closet in which it fits, and the door closed. The closet contains the irons and other appliances and materials used for ironing.
Clothes chutes from the bath room to the laundry and built-in refrigerators with arrangements for filling the ice compartment from the outside, as illustrated in some of the plans, seem to be fully appreciated.

PAINTING AND FINISHING OF INTERIOR WOODWORK
A room of Colonial design is ordinarily best carried out in cream-white painted woodwork, as was done in most residences of the Colonial period, frequently the doors being of mahogany. This offers a pleasure-able contrast, and the white woodwork is best adapted to showing off the delicate furniture of that period, generally mahogany, with which a room of this style only should be furnished. Occasionally, a room in a very elaborate dwelling may be carried out entirely in mahogany, although this was rarely done in actual Colonial times; where occasional rooms such as halls or libraries were almost as rarely finished in oak. A room of English architectural character may be most appropriately carried out in oak, stained dark in tone. Less frequently rooms of this.period were executed in mahogany or walnut and very often their woodwork was painted and handled in a way not unlike our present so-called "Colonial" finish. The modern English, or so-called "mission style" of furniture, requires room backgrounds of similar simplicity and with oak or ash finish stained and treated in the same manner as the furniture itself. Sometimes appropriate and simple rooms of modern design may have their standing finisheven when of a soft wood or white-woodstained and finished in a like manner.
Painted woodwork should receive one coat of shellac varnish to prevent the sap, which is now very frequently in the wood placed upon the market, from coming through and staining the surface of the paint. Upon this first coat there should be applied four coats of paint, this number being about the least that can be depended upon to thoroughly cover the stock. Even then, if whitewood and pine are used side by side such as for architraves and door, for instanceit is quite possible that a difference between the two colors of white may be noticeable, the pine door being of a warmer, creamier tone and the whitewood being a little more to\vard the gray white. The least expensive way of finishing painted woodwork is to put a little varnish in the last coat and so impart a slight gloss to the surface……

chapter list
EVOLUTION OF THE HOUSE ...... 1
DEVELOPEMENT OF THE AMERICAN HOUSE . . 20
THE MODERN HOUSE ....... 49
HOUSE PLANNING ....... 52
ENTRANCES . . . . . .. .58
THE FARM HOUSE ....... 74
ROOMS .......... 80
STAIRS. . . . . . . . 90
SECOND FLOOR PLAN ....... 95
APARTMENTS ........ 95
CONSTRUCTION OF THE HOUSE ..... 101
FLOORS . . . ... . . . 109
DECORATION AND FURNISHINGS ..... 123
DRAPERIES . . . . . . . . .139
FURNITURE ......... 145
CARE OF THE HOUSE . . . . . . .152
HOUSES OF THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD . . .167 COLOR IN DECORATION ...... 170
HOUSEHOLD CONVENIENCES ...... 181
PLANS FOR A $2,000 COTTAGE ..... 185
COMPLETE HOUSE PLANS , . . . . .185
THE COST OF BUILDING BY FRANK CHOUTEAU BROWN ….189

There are also index pages

THE HOUSE, 1907

Friday, February 23, 2007

Excerpts from
THE COMPLETE HOME 1906


Excerpts from
THE KITCHEN
The kitchen of our grandmothers was a large, rambling affair, with numerous storerooms, closets, and pantries, the care of which involved a stupendous outlay of time and strength. But the demands of our modern and more strenuous life necessitate strict economy of both, and the result is a kitchen sufficiently large for all practical purposes, with every space utilized and everything convenient to the hand. The amount of woodwork is reduced to a minimum, since wood is a harboring place for insects and germs. Where it must be used it is of hard wood, or of pine painted and varnished, the varnish destroying those qualities in paint which are deleterious to health. The plumbing must be open, with no dark corners in which dust may hide. Odors from cooking pass out through a register in the chimney, and ventilation is afforded by transom and window. Blessed indeed is the kitchen with opposite windows, which insure a perfect circulation of air. So much for the general working plan.
LOCATION AND FINISH
For some reason best known to themselves architects almost invariably give to the kitchen the location with the least agreeable outlook, sun and scenery …………. and so we select cream white, warm, light grays or browns, Indian red, or bronze green—which is particularly good with oak woodwork—for walls and ceilings. Waterproof paper may be used, but is not particularly durable. Far better is the enameled paint, requiring three coats, or painted burlap. Or our thoughts may turn with longing to a white-tiled kitchen, with its air of spotless purity, but, too often, "beyond the reach of you and me." Why not substitute for it the white marbled oilcloth which produces much the same effect, and can be smoothly fitted if a little glue is added to the paste with which it is put on? A combination of white woodwork with blue walls and ceiling is charming, particularly where the blue-enameled porcelain-lined cooking utensils are used, and the same idea can be carried out in the floor covering. White with yellow is also dainty. …….

THE FLOOR
…………A beautiful, snowy hardwood floor, "clean enough to eat on," is a delight, but it has such an insatiable appetite for spots after the newness has worn off that it requires frequent scrubbing—twice a week at least—and on a dry day, if possible, with doors and windows opened during the operation, all of which means energy misapplied. ………. But the housekeeper who chooses the better part covers her floor with linoleum at comparatively small cost, a piece good both in quality and design selling at 60 cents a square yard. In this, too, the color idea can be carried out, the smaller designs being preferable. Neutral tints follow wood-carpeting designs, are neat, and less apt to soil than the lighter patterns. It is a wise plan in buying to allow enough linoleum for three smaller pieces to be placed before stove, table, and sink, thus saving wear and tear on the large piece.

THE WINDOWS
Kitchen windows must he washed once a week—oftener in fly time. A dainty valance, or sash curtains of muslin, dimity, or other summer wash goods, give an attractive and homey touch to the room. Each window should have a shade with a double fixture, fastened at the middle of the casement and adjusted upward and below from that point.

THE SINK
…………….The sink, unless it is porcelain-lined, should be kept well painted and enameled, white being preferable to any color…………………

THE PANTRY
………………….The convenient pantry is equipped with both shelves and drawers, the latter to contain the neatly folded piles of dish, glass, and hand towels, cheesecloth dusters, holders, and cleaning cloths. There are usually four shelves, the top one being reserved for articles of infrequent use. On the others are arranged the kitchen dishes, pans, and all utensils which do not hang, together with jars and cans containing food. Leave nothing in paper bags or boxes to attract insects, soil the shelves, and give a disorderly appearance to an otherwise tidy pantry. Glass fruit jars are desirable repositories for small dry groceries—tea, coffee, rice, tapioca, raisins, currants, and the like—though very dainty and serviceable covered porcelain jars in blue and white are made especially for this purpose, those of medium size costing 25 cents each, the smaller ones less, the larger more. Jars or cans of japanned tin, designed for like use, are less expensive, but also less attractive, and in the course of time are liable to rust, particularly in summer, or where the climate is at all damp. ……….

THE REFRIGERATOR AND ITS CARE
The refrigerator may or may not stand in the pantry, according to convenience, or as there is sewer connection for it. Some authorities maintain that there is grave danger from sewer gas where the refrigerator is connected directly with the sewer, and that, therefore, the only safe way to dispose of the waste water is to catch it in a pan placed beneath the refrigerator, unless the house is so built that the waste pipe can be continued down into the cellar and there empty its contents into a sink…………………


THE STOVE
Of paramount importance is, of course, the stove, and what kind it shall be, whether gas, coal, or oil. Those of us who have grown accustomed to the immunity from those inevitable accompaniments of a coal range, ashes, soot, dust, and heat, afforded by the gas range, with its easily regulated broiler and oven, could hardly be persuaded to go back to first principles, as it were, and the coal range. But when this is necessary, either for warmth or because there is no gas connection in the house, one has a wide choice of first-class stoves and can hardly go astray in selecting one……………

THE TABLE AND ITS CARE
The table should stand on casters and be placed in a good light as far from the stove as may be. The latest product of the manufacturer's genius in this line contains two drawers—one spaced off into compartments for the different knives, forks, and spoons for kitchen use—a molding board, and three zinc-lined bins, one large one for wheat flour, and two smaller one for graham flour, corn meal, etc. When one considers the economy of steps between kitchen and pantry which it makes possible, its price, $6.75, is not large, while it obviates the necessity for purchasing bins and molding board. Our friend, the white table oilcloth, tacked smoothly in place, gives a dainty top which is easily kept clean with a damp cloth—another labor-saving device, which stands between cook and scrubbing brush. A zinc table cover is preferred by some housewives, as it absorbs no grease and is readily brightened with scouring soap and hot water. Separate zinc-covered table tops can be had for $1.50. The marble-topped table is not desirable, for, though it undoubtedly is an aid to the making of good pastry, it stains easily, dissolves in some acids, and clogs with oils. …………………

THE CHAIRS
The first aid to the cook should be at least one comfortable chair, neither a rocking chair nor one upholstered, both of which are out of place in the kitchen; but one low enough to rest in easily while shelling peas or doing some of the numerous tasks which do not require the use of the table. A chair of this kind has a cane seat and high back and can be purchased for $1.25, the other chair to be of the regulation kitchen style at 55 cents. The second aid is a 24-inch office stool at 85 cents, for use while washing dishes, preparing vegetables, etc. This sort of a stool is light, easily moved about, and means a great saving in strength. Though it has sometimes been dubbed a "nuisance" by the uninitiated, the woman who has learned its value finds it a very present help and wonders how she ever did without it.
THE KITCHEN CABINET
Occasionally it happens that a house is built with such slight regard for pantry room that we are constrained to wonder if, at the last minute, the pantry was not tucked into a little space for which there was absolutely no other use, and there left to be a means of grace to the thrifty housewife, whose pride it is to see her pots and pans in orderly array and with plenty of room to shine in. At this point there comes to her rescue the kitchen cabinet, which not only relieves the congestion in the pantry, but adds in no small measure to the attractiveness of the kitchen. These cabinets come in the natural woods, and should, as nearly as possible, match the woodwork of the kitchen. Many have the satin finish which renders them impervious to grease, and all are fitted out with molding boards, shelves, cupboards, and drawers of various sizes. So convenient is a cabinet of this kind, and so economical of steps, that it might well be called "the complete housewife." First and foremost, it accommodates the kitchen dishes, plates, platters, and saucers, standing on edge of course, with cups hanging from small hooks, and pitchers, bowls, etc., variously arranged. Then come the jars of spice, sugar, salt, tea, and coffee—all groceries, in fact, which are in most frequent use. Where the decorative design in both jars and dishes is carried out in the blue and white, with a utensil or two of the same coloring, the effect is truly charming, though this is, of course, a matter of individual taste. The cupboards are handy hiding places for the less ornamental bottles, brushes, etc., while the base, which is really nothing more nor less than a very complete kitchen table, usually has a shelf for kettles, stone jars, etc. A good cabinet can be had for $10, a more commodious one for $16, and so on. The cabinets without bases range from a tiny one, just large enough to hold six spice jars, at $1, to one, with five drawers, shelves, and cupboards with glass doors, for $6. Any price beyond this simply means elaboration of design without additional increase of capacity or convenience.
KITCHEN UTENSILS
……………Scouring has gone out with the heavy ironware which required it, in whose stead we have the pretty porcelain enamel ware and the less expensive agate ware, both of which need only a thorough washing in hot, soapy water, rinsing in boiling water, and careful drying. ……………. Kitchen crockery is being rapidly supplanted by the porcelain enamel dishes, which, though rather more expensive in the beginning, are unbreakable, and so cheaper in the long run. They are even invading the domain of the faithful yellow mixing bowl and becoming decidedly popular therein, being light in weight and more easily handled. …………….Never buy anything of copper for kitchen use, as the rust to which it is liable is a dangerous poison. There is one utensil only which is better to be of iron—the soup kettle—as it makes possible the slow simmering which is necessary for good soups and stews. ………….The following list may be too extensive for some purposes, not suited to others, but out of it the new housekeeper can select what she thinks her establishment will need, and estimate the price of stocking her kitchen with those necessaries which make for good housekeeping:
1 dozen individual jelly molds........................ $0.60
1 griddle............................................. .35
1 small funnel........................................ .03
1 large funnel........................................ .06
1 gas toaster......................................... .55
1 coal toaster........................................ .08
1 gas broiler......................................... .65
1 coal broiler........................................ .32
1 six-quart iron soup kettle.......................... 1.50
1 skimmer............................................. .14
1 small ladle......................................... .09
1 porcelain enamel dipper............................. .40
1 porcelain enamel sink strainer...................... .40
1 towel rack.......................................... .10
1 clock............................................... 1.00
1 purée sieve, with pestle............................ .18
2 galvanized iron refrigerator pans................... .50
1 dozen dish towels................................... 1.20
6 dishcloths.......................................... .30
1 set of scales....................................... .95
1 vegetable slicer.................................... .25
2 butter paddles...................................... .12
1 can opener.......................................... .08
1 potato ricer........................................ .25
1 apple corer......................................... .05
1 chopping bowl....................................... .15
1 tea kettle.......................................... 1.05
1 ice pick............................................ .12
1 pair scissors....................................... .23
1 scrub brush......................................... .20
1 sink brush.......................................... .08
1 mop handle.......................................... .38
1 oil can............................................. .35
1 whisk broom......................................... .15
1 small porcelain enamel pitcher...................... .26
1 two-quart porcelain enamel pitcher.................. .55
1 cake turner......................................... .08
1 porcelain enamel wash basin......................... .28
1 potato scoop........................................ .18
1 towel roller........................................ .10
1 rolling-pin......................................... .15
1 four-quart porcelain enamel saucepan, with cover.... .57
1 eight-quart porcelain enamel bread bowl............. .72
1 gravy strainer...................................... .18
1 nutmeg grater....................................... .09
1 spatula............................................. .25
1 egg beater.......................................... .10
1 dish mop............................................ .05
2 iron baking pans.................................... .20
1 collander........................................... .35
1 ten-inch porcelain enamel bowl...................... .35
2 eight-inch porcelain enamel bowls................... .48
3 five-inch porcelain enamel bowls.................... .33
1 fryer and basket.................................... 1.50
4 bread pans.......................................... .60
1 two-quart double boiler............................. .95
2 dish pans (agate)................................... 1.10
1 omelet pan.......................................... .10
1 porcelain enamel teapot............................. .65
1 porcelain enamel coffeepot.......................... .85
6 porcelain enamel plates............................. .78
1 porcelain enamel platter............................ .40
1 porcelain enamel platter (small).................... .35
6 porcelain enamel cups and saucers................... 1.14
Dredging boxes for salt, pepper, and flour............ .35
3 pie tins. .......................................... .12
1 galvanized iron garbage can, with cover............. .50
1 large dripping pan.................................. .17
1 small dripping pan.................................. .15
1 lemon squeezer...................................... .05
1 molding board....................................... .40
4 layer-cake tins..................................... .16
2 porcelain sugar jars................................ .50
6 porcelain spice jars................................ .60
1 half-pint tin cup................................... .05
1 six-quart milk pan.................................. .23
1 four-quart milk pan................................. .17
3 wrought-steel knives................................ .48
3 wrought-steel forks................................. .48
1 egg spoon........................................... .08
1 dozen muffin rings.................................. .46
1 biscuit pan......................................... .25
1 round fluted cake tin............................... .12
2 basting spoons...................................... .24
6 kitchen knives...................................... .50
6 kitchen forks....................................... .50
6 kitchen teaspoons................................... .48
3 kitchen tablespoons................................. .15
3 asbestos mats....................................... .15
1 chopping knife...................................... .20
1 wire dishcloth...................................... .12
1 flour scoop......................................... .19
1 sugar scoop......................................... .10
1 meat grinder........................................ 1.50
1 soap shaker......................................... .10
1 flour sifter........................................ .25
1 coffee mill......................................... .50
2 measuring cups...................................... .15
1 meat fork........................................... .09
1 larding needle...................................... .10
2 brooms.............................................. .60
1 long-handled hair broom............................. 1.45
1 dustpan............................................. .12
1 scouring box........................................ .50
1 draining rack....................................... .10
1 bread knife......................................... .25
1 cake knife.......................................... .20
1 meat knife ......................................... .55
1 peeling knife....................................... .10
1 bread box........................................... .70
1 cake box............................................ .70
1 three-quart porcelain enamel saucepan............... .36
1 oblong loaf-cake tin................................ .15
1 jelly mold.......................................... .30
1 wooden spoon........................................ .05
1 salt box............................................ .25
1 pepper box.......................................... .10
1 graduated quart measure............................. .16
3 small vegetable brushes............................. .15
1 dozen glass fruit jars.............................. .60
2 two-quart porcelain enamel saucepans................ 1.00
1 grater.............................................. .18
1 paper scrub pail.................................... .25
2 two-quart agate pans................................ .36

The book in its entirety may be read at
THE COMPLETE HOME
Chapters are…..
CHOOSING A PLACE TO LIVE
FLOORS, WALLS, AND WINDOWS
LIGHTING AND HEATING
FURNITURE
HOUSEHOLD LINEN
THE KITCHEN
THE LAUNDRY
TABLE FURNISHINGS
THE BEDROOM
THE BATH ROOM
CELLAR, ATTIC, AND CLOSETS
HANGINGS, BRIC-A-BRAC, BOOKS, AND PICTURES
THE NICE MACHINERY OF HOUSEKEEPING …what to do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.
HIRED HELP