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Title: The Art of Interior Decoration
Author: Wood, Grace, Burbank, Emily
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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     There is something unusually exquisite about this composition.
     You will discover at a glance perfect balance, repose--line,
     everywhere, yet with it infinite grace and a winning charm. One
     can imagine a tea tray brought in, a table placed and those two
     attractive chairs drawn together so that my lady and a friend may
     chat over the tea cups.

     The mirror is an Italian Louis XVI.

     The sconces, table and chairs, French.

     The vases, Italian, all antiques.

     A becoming mellow light comes through the shade of deep cream
     Italian parchment paper with Louis XVI decorations.

     It should be said that the vases are Italian medicine
     jars--literally that. They were once used by the Italian
     chemists, for their drugs, and some are of astonishing
     workmanship and have great intrinsic value, as well as the added
     value of age and uniqueness.

     The colour scheme is as attractive as the lines. The walls are
     grey, curtains of green and grey, antique taffeta being used,
     while the chairs have green silk on their seats and the table is
     of green and faded gold. The green used is a wonderfully
     beautiful shade.

[Illustration: _Portion of a Drawing Room, Perfect in Composition and






_At the age of eighty, an inspiration to all who meet her, because she
is the embodiment of what this book stands for; namely, fidelity to
the principles of Classic Art and watchfulness for the vital new note
struck in the cause of the Beautiful._


If you would have your rooms interesting as well as beautiful, make
them say something, give them a spinal column by keeping all
ornamentation subservient to line.

Before you buy anything, try to imagine how you want each room to look
when completed; get the picture well in your mind, as a painter would;
think out the main features, for the details all depend upon these and
will quickly suggest themselves. This is, in the long run, the
quickest and the most economical method of furnishing.

There is a theory that no room can be created all at once, that it
must grow gradually. In a sense this is a fact, so far as it refers to
the amateur. The professional is always occupied with creating and
recreating rooms and can instantly summon to mind complete schemes of
decoration. The amateur can also learn to mentally furnish rooms. It
is a fascinating pastime when one gets the knack of it.

Beautiful things can be obtained anywhere and for the minimum price,
if one has a feeling for line and colour, or for either. If the lover
of the beautiful was not born with this art instinct, it may be
quickly acquired. A decorator creates or rearranges one room; the
owner does the next, alone, or with assistance, and in a season or two
has spread his or her own wings and worked out legitimate schemes,
teeming with individuality. One observes, is pleased with results and
asks oneself why. This is the birth of _Good Taste_. Next, one
experiments, makes mistakes, rights them, masters a period, outgrows
or wearies of it, and takes up another.

Progress is rapid and certain in this fascinating
amusement,--study--call it what you will, if a few of the laws
underlying all successful interior decoration are kept in mind.

These are:


in line and colour scheme;


in decoration and number of objects in room, which is to be dictated
by usefulness of said objects; and insistence upon


which, like rests in music, have as much value as the objects
dispersed about the room.

Treat your rooms like "still life," see to it that each group, such as
a table, sofa, and one or two chairs make a "composition," suggesting
comfort as well as beauty. Never have an isolated chair, unless it is
placed against the wall, as part of the decorative scheme.

In preparing this book the chief aim has been clearness and brevity,
the slogan of our day!

We give a broad outline of the historical periods in furnishing, with
a view to quick reference work.

The thirty-two illustrations will be analysed for the practical
instruction of the reader who may want to furnish a house and is in
search of definite ideas as to lines of furniture, colour schemes for
upholstery and hangings, and the placing of furniture and ornaments in
such a way as to make the composition of rooms appear harmonious from
the artist's point of view.

The index will render possible a quick reference to illustrations and
explanatory text, so that the book may be a guide for those ambitious
to try their hand at the art of interior decoration.

The manner of presentation is consciously didactic, the authors
believing that this is the simplest method by which such a book can
offer clear, terse suggestions. They have aimed at keeping "near to
the bone of fact" and when the brief statements of the fundamental
laws of interior decoration give way to narrative, it is with the hope
of opening up vistas of personal application to embryo collectors or
students of periods.




Method of procedure.--Inherited eyesores.--Line.--Colour.--Treatment
of small rooms and suites.--Old ceilings.--Old floors.--To paint brass
bedsteads.--Hangings.--Owning two or three antique pieces of
furniture, how proceed.--Appropriateness to setting.--How to give your
home a personal quality.


Mere comfort.--Period rooms.--Starting a collection of antique
furniture.--Reproductions.--Painted furniture.--Order of procedure in
creating a room.--How to decide upon colour scheme.--Study
values.--Period ballroom.--A distinguished room.--Each room a
stage "set."--Background.--Flowers as decoration.--Placing
ornaments.--Tapestry.--Tendency to antique tempered by vivid Bakst


Silk, velvet, corduroy, rep, leather, use of antique silks,
chintz.--When and how used.


Materials woven by hand and machine, embroidered, or the combination
of the two known as Tapestry.--Painted tapestry.--Art fostered by the
Church.--Decorated walls and ceilings, 13th century, England.


Fixtures, as well as mantelpiece, must follow architect's
scheme.--Plan wall space for furniture.--Shades for lights.--Important
as to line and colour.


Coloured gauze sash-curtains.--Window shades of glazed linen, with
design in colours.--Striped canvas awnings.


Selecting pictures.--Pictures as pure decoration.--"Staring" a
picture.--Restraint necessary in hanging pictures.--Hanging


Where interest centres abound piano.--Where piano is part of ensemble.


Articles placed upon them.


Value as colour notes.


Proportions, tiles, andirons, grates.


A man's bathroom.--A woman's bathroom.--Bathroom fixtures.--Bathroom


Chiselling of
metals.--Ormoulu.--Chippendale.--Colonial.--Victorian.--The art of
furniture making.--How to hang a mirror.--Appropriate furniture.--A
home must have human quality, a personal note.--Mrs. John L.
Gardner's Italian Palace in Boston.--The study of colour
schemes.--Tapestries.--A narrow hall.


The story of the evolution of periods.--
--England.--America.--Epoch-making styles.


Greece.--Rome.--Byzantium.--Dark Ages.--Middle
Table.--Charlemagne's Chair.--Venice.


Interior decoration of Feudal Castle.--Tapestry.--Hallmarks of Gothic
oak carving.


Italy.--The Medici.--Great architects, painters, designers, and workers
in metals.--Marvellous pottery.--Furniture inlaying.--Hallmarks
of Renaissance.--Oak carving.--Metal work.--Renaissance in Germany
and Spain.


Renaissance of classic period.--Francis I, Henry II, and the
Louis.--Architecture, mural decoration, tapestry, furniture, wrought
metals, ormoulu, silks, velvets, porcelains.


How to distinguish them.--Louis XIV.--Louis XV.--Louis
XVI.--Outline.--Decoration.--Colouring.--Mural Decoration.--Tapestry.


French and English.


Chippendale.--Heppelwhite.--Sheraton.--The Adam
Brothers.--Characteristics of these and the preceding English periods;
Gothic, Elizabethan, Jacobean, William and Mary, Queen Anne.--William


Furniture.--Landscape paper.--The story of the evolution of wall


Shown in modern painted furniture.


Architecture and interior decoration become unrelated.--Machine-made
furniture.--Victorian cross-stitch, beadwork, wax and linen
flowers.--Bristol glass.--Value to-day as notes of variety.


Including "mission" furniture.--Treatment of an unplastered
cottage.--Furniture, colour-scheme.


Factory furniture.--Chintz.--The cheapest
mirrors.--Floors.--Walls.--Pictures.--Treatment of old floors.


Where economy is not a matter of importance.--Panelled walls.--Louis
XV painted furniture.--Taffeta curtains and bed-cover.--Chintz
chair-covers.--Cream net sash-curtains.--Figured linen window-shades.


Traditional colour-scheme of crimson and gold.


Porch-rooms.--Appropriate furnishings.--Colour schemes.


Colour schemes according to climate and season.--A small, cheap,
summer house converted into one of some pretentions by altering vital


Solving problems of the toilet.--Shoe cabinets.--Jewel
cabinets.--Dressing tables.


Variety of closets.--Colour scheme.--Chintz covered boxes.


Furniture.--Device for breaking length of hall.


In a warm climate.--In a cool climate.--Warm and cold colours.


Practical and suitable attractiveness.


Appropriateness the keynote.--Tableware.--Linen, lace, and
flowers.--Japanese simplicity.--Background.


Appropriateness.--Intelligent elimination.--Furnishings.--Colour
scheme.--Small suites.--Background.--Placing rugs and hangings.--Treatment
of long wall-space.--Men's rooms.--Table decoration.--Tea table.--How
to train the taste, eye, and judgment.


A panier fleuri collection.--A typical experience in collecting.--A
"find" in an obscure American junk-shop.--Getting on the track of some
Italian pottery.--Collections used as decoration.--A "find" in Spain.


The history of Wedgwood.--Josiah Wedgwood, the founder.




Murano Museum collection.--Table-gardens in Venetian glass.


Four Fundamental Principles of Interior Decoration Re-stated.


PLATE I Portion of a Drawing-room, Perfect in Composition and Detail.

PLATE II Bedroom in Country House. Modern Painted Furniture.

PLATE III Suggestion for Treatment of a Very Small Bedroom.

PLATE IV A Man's Office in Wall Street.

PLATE V A Corner of the Same Office.

PLATE VI Another View of the Same Office.

PLATE VII Corner of a Room, Showing Painted Furniture, Antique and

PLATE VIII Example of a Perfect Mantel, Ornaments and Mirror.

PLATE IX Dining-room in Country House, Showing Modern Painted

PLATE X Dining-room Furniture, Italian Renaissance, Antique.

PLATE XI Corner of Dining-room in New York Apartment, Showing Section
of Italian Refectory Table and Italian Chairs, both Antique and
Renaissance in Style.

PLATE XII An Italian Louis XVI Salon in a New York Apartment.

PLATE XIII Another Side of the Same Italian Louis XVI Salon.

PLATE XIV A Narrow Hall Where Effect of Width is Attained by Use of
Tapestry with Vista.

PLATE XV Venetian Glass, Antique and Modern.

PLATE XVI Corner of a Room in a Small Empire Suite.

PLATE XVII An Example of Perfect Balance and Beauty in Mantel

PLATE XVIII Corner of a Drawing-room, Furniture Showing Directoire

PLATE XIX Entrance Hall in New York Duplex Apartment. Italian

PLATE XX Combination of Studio and Living-room in New York Duplex

PLATE XXI Part of a Victorian Parlour in One of the Few Remaining New
York Victorian Mansions.

PLATE XXII Two Styles of Day-beds, Modern Painted.

PLATE XXIII Boudoir in New York Apartment. Painted Furniture, Antique
and Reproductions.

PLATE XXIV Example of Lack of Balance in Mantel Arrangement.

PLATE XXV Treatment of Ground Lying Between House and Much Travelled
Country Road.

PLATE XXVI An Extension Roof in New York Converted into a Balcony.

PLATE XXVII A Common-place Barn Made Interesting.

PLATE XXVIII Narrow Entrance Hall of a New York Antique Shop.

PLATE XXIX Example of a Charming Hall Spoiled by Too Pronounced a Rug.

PLATE XXX A Man's Library.

PLATE XXXI A Collection of Empire Furniture, Ornaments, and China.

PLATE XXXII Italian Reproductions in Pottery After Classic Models.

     "Those who duly consider the influence of the _fine-arts_ on the
     _human mind_, will not think it a small benefit to the world, to
     diffuse their productions as wide, and preserve them as long as
     possible. The multiplying of copies of fine work, in beautiful
     and durable materials, must obviously have the same effect in
     respect to the arts as the invention of printing has upon
     literature and the sciences: by their means the principal
     productions of both kinds will be forever preserved, and will
     effectually prevent the return of ignorant and barbarous ages."

     JOSIAH WEDGWOOD: Catalogue of 1787.

One of the most joyful obligations in life should be the planning and
executing of BEAUTIFUL HOMES, keeping ever in mind that distinction is
not a matter of scale, since a vast palace may find its rival in the
smallest group of rooms, provided the latter obeys the law of _good
line, correct proportions, harmonious colour scheme and
appropriateness_: a law insisting that all useful things be beautiful




Lucky is the man or woman of taste who has no inherited eyesores
which, because of association, must not be banished! When these exist
in large numbers one thing only remains to be done: look them over,
see to what period the majority belong, and proceed as if you _wanted_
a mid-Victorian, late Colonial or brass-bedstead room.

To rearrange a room successfully, begin by taking everything out of it
(in reality or in your mind), then decide how you want it to look, or
how, owing to what you own and must retain, you are obliged to have it
look. Design and colour of wall decorations, hangings, carpets,
lighting fixtures, lamps and ornaments on mantel, depend upon the
character of your furniture.

It is the mantel and its arrangement of ornaments that sound the
keynote upon first entering a room.

Conventional simplicity in number and arrangement of ornaments gives
balance and repose, hence dignity. Dignity once established, one can
afford to be individual, and introduce a riot of colours, provided
they are all in the same key. Luxurious cushions, soft rugs and a
hundred and one feminine touches will create atmosphere and knit
together the austere scheme of line--the anatomy of your room. Colour
and textiles are the flesh of interior decoration.

In furnishing a small room you can add greatly to its apparent size by
using plain paper and making the woodwork the same colour, or slightly
darker in tone. If you cannot find wall paper of exactly the colour
and shade you wish, it is often possible to use the wrong side of a
paper and produce exactly the desired effect.

In repapering old rooms with imperfect ceilings it is easy to disguise
this by using a paper with a small design in the same tone. A
perfectly plain ceiling paper will show every defect in the surface of
the ceiling.

If your house or flat is small you can gain a great effect of space
by keeping the same colour scheme throughout--that is, the same colour
or related colours. To make a small hall and each of several small
rooms on the same floor different in any pronounced way, is to cut up
your home into a restless, unmeaning checkerboard, where one feels
conscious of the walls and all limitations. The effect of restful
spaciousness may be obtained by taking the same small suite and
treating its walls, floors and draperies, as has been suggested, in
the same colour scheme or a scheme of related keys in colour. That is,
wood browns, beiges and yellows; violets, mauves and pinks; different
tones of greys; different tones of yellows, greens and blues.

Now having established your suite and hall all in one key, so that
there is absolutely no jarring note as one passes from room to room,
you may be sure of having achieved that most desirable of all
qualities in interior decoration--repose. We have seen the idea here
suggested carried out in small summer homes with most successful
results; the same colour used on walls and furniture, while exactly
the same chintz was employed in every bedroom, opening out of one
hall. By this means it was possible to give to a small, unimportant
cottage, a note of distinction otherwise quite impossible. Here,
however, let us say that, if the same chintz is to be used in every
room, it must be neutral in colour--a chintz in which the colour
scheme is, say, yellows in different tones, browns in different tones,
or greens or greys. To vary the character of each room, introduce
different colours in the furniture covers, the sofa-cushions and
lamp-shades. Our point is to urge the repetition of a main background
in a small group of rooms; but to escape monotony by planning that the
accessories in each room shall strike individual notes of decorative,
contrasting colour.


     A room with modern painted furniture is shown here. Lines and
     decorations Empire.

     Note the lyre backs of chairs and head board in day-bed.
     Treatment of this bed is that suggested where twin beds are used
     and room affords wall space for but one of them.

[Illustration: _Bedroom in Country House. Modern Painted Furniture._]

       *       *       *       *       *

What to do with old floors is a question many of us have faced. If
your house has been built with floors of wide, common boards which
have become rough and separated by age, in some cases allowing dust to
sift through from the cellar, and you do not wish to go to the expense
of all-over carpets, you have the choice of several methods. The
simplest and least expensive is to paint or stain the floors. In this
case employ a floor painter and begin by removing all old paint.
Paint removers come for the purpose. Then have the floors planed to
make them even. Next, fill the cracks with putty. The most practical
method is to stain the floors some dark colour; mahogany, walnut,
weathered oak, black, green or any colour you may prefer, and then wax
them. This protects the colour. In a room where daintiness is desired,
and economy is not important, as for instance in a room with white
painted furniture, you may have white floors and a square carpet rug
of some plain dark toned velvet; or, if preferred, the painted border
may be in come delicate colour to match the wall paper. To resume, if
you like a dull finish, have the wax rubbed in at intervals, but if
you like a glossy background for rugs, use a heavy varnish after the
floors are coloured. This treatment we suggest for more or less formal
rooms. In bedrooms, put down an inexpensive filling as a background
for rugs, or should yours be a summer home, use straw matting.

For halls and dining-rooms a plain dark-coloured linoleum, costing not
less than two dollars a yard makes and inexpensive floor covering.
If it is waxed it becomes not only very durable but, also, extremely
effective, suggesting the dark tiles in Italian houses. We do not
advise the purchase of the linoleums which represent inlaid floors, as
they are invariably unsuccessful imitations.

If it is necessary to economise and your brass bedstead must be used
even though you dislike it, you can have it painted the colour of your
walls. It requires a number of coats. A soft pearl grey is good. Then
use a colour, or colours, in your silk or chintz bedspread. Sun-proof
material in a solid colour makes an attractive cover, with a narrow
fringe in several colours straight around the edges and also, forming
a circle or square on the top of the bed-cover.

       *       *       *       *       *

If your gas or electric fixtures are ugly and you cannot afford more
attractive ones, buy very cheap, perfectly plain, ones and paint them
to match the walls, giving decorative value to them with coloured silk


     Shows one end of a very small bedroom with modern painted
     furniture, so simple in line and decoration that it would be
     equally appropriate either for a young man or for a young woman.
     We say "young," because there is something charmingly fresh and
     youthful about this type of furniture.

     The colour is pale pistache green, with mulberry lines, the same
     combination of colours being repeated in painting the walls which
     have a grey background lined with mulberry--the broad stripe--and
     a narrow green line. The bed cover is mulberry, the lamp shade is
     green with mulberry and grey in the fringe.

     On the walls are delightful old prints framed in black glass with
     gold lines, and a narrow moulding of gilded oak, an old style

     A square of antique silk covers the night table, and the floor is
     polished hard wood.

     Here is your hall bedroom, the wee guest room in a flat, or the
     extra guest room under the eaves of your country house, made
     equally beguiling. The result of this artistic simplicity is a
     restful sense of space.

[Illustration: _Suggestion for Treatment of a Very Small Bedroom_]

If you wish to use twin beds and have not wall space for them, treat
one like a couch or day-bed. See Plate II. Your cabinet-maker can
remove the footboard, then draw the bed out into the room, place in a
position convenient to the light either by day or night, after which
put a cover of cretonne or silk over it and cushions of the same.
Never put a spotted material on a spotted material. If your couch or
sofa is done in a figured material of different colours, make your
sofa cushions of plain material to tone down the sofa. If the sofa is
a plain colour, then tone it up--make it more decorative by using
cushions of several colours.

If you like your room, but find it cold in atmosphere, try deep cream
gauze for sash curtains. They are wonderful atmosphere producers. The
advantage of two tiers of sash curtains (see Plate IX) is that one can
part and push back one tier for air, light or looking out, and still
use the other tier to modify the light in the room.

Another way to produce atmosphere in a cold room is to use a
tone-on-tone paper. That is, a paper striped in two depths of the same
colour. In choosing any wall paper it is imperative that you try a
large sample of it in the room for which it is intended, as the
reflection from a nearby building or brick wall can entirely change a
beautiful yellow into a thick mustard colour. How a wall paper looks
in the shop is no criterion. As stated sometimes the _wrong side_ of
wall paper gives you the tone you desire.

When rearranging your room do not desecrate the few good antiques you
happen to own by the use of a too modern colour scheme. Have the
necessary modern pieces you have bought to supplement your treasures
stained or painted in a dull, dark colour in harmony with the
antiques, and then use subdued colours in the floor coverings,
curtains and cushions.

If you own no good old ornaments, try to get a few good shapes and
colours in inexpensive reproductions of the desired period.

If your room is small, and the bathroom opens out of it, add to the
size of the room by using the same colour scheme in the bathroom, and
conceal the plumbing and fixtures by a low screen. If the connecting
door is kept open, the effect is to enlarge greatly the appearance of
the small bedroom, whereas if the bedroom decorations are dark and the
bathroom has a light floor and walls, it abruptly cuts itself off and
emphasises the smallness of the bedroom.

Everything depends upon the appropriateness of the furniture to its
setting. We recall some much admired dining-room chairs in the home of
the Maclaines of Lochbuie in Argyleshire, west coast of Scotland. The
chairs in question are covered with sealskin from the seals caught off
that rugged coast. They are quite delightful in a remote country
house; but they would not be tolerated in London.

The question of placing photographs is not one to be treated lightly.
Remember, intimate photographs should be placed in intimate rooms,
while photographs of artists and all celebrities are appropriate for
the living room or library. It is extremely seldom that a photograph
unless of public interest is not out of place in a formal room.

To repeat, never forget that your house or flat is _your_ home, and,
that to have any charm whatever of a personal sort, it must suggest
_you_--not simply the taste of a professional decorator. So work with
your decorator (if you prefer to employ one) by giving your personal
attention to styles and colours, and selecting those most sympathetic
to your own nature. Your architect will be grateful if you will show
the same interest in the details of building your home, rather than
assuming the attitude that you have engaged him in order to rid
yourself of such bother.

If you are building a pretentious house and decide upon some clearly
defined period of architecture, let us say, Georgian (English
eighteenth century) we would advise keeping your first floor mainly in
that period as to furniture and hangings, but upstairs let yourself
go, that is, make your rooms any style you like. Go in for a gay riot
of colour, such combinations as are known as Bakst colouring,--if that
happens to be your fancy. This Russian painter and designer was
fortunate in having the theatre in which to demonstrate his
experiments in vivid colour combinations, and sometimes we quite
forget that he was but one of many who have used sunset palettes.


     Here we have a man's office in Wall Street, New York, showing how
     a lawyer with large interests surrounds himself with necessities
     which contribute to his comfort, sense of beauty and art

     The desk is big, solid and commodious, yet artistically unusual.

[Illustration: _A Man's Office in Wall Street_]

Recently the fair butterfly daughters of a mother whose taste has
grown sophisticated, complained--"But, Mother, we dislike
_periods_, and here you are building a Tudor house!" forgetting, by
the way, that the so-called Bakst interiors, adored by them, are
equally a _period_.

This home, a very wonderful one, is being worked out on the plan
suggested, that is, the first floor is decorated in the period of the
exterior of the house, while the personal rooms on the upper floors
reflect, to a certain extent, the personality of their occupants.
Remember there must always be a certain relationship between all the
rooms in one suite, the relationship indicated by lines and a
background of the same, or a harmonising colour-scheme.



One so often hears the complaint, "I could not possibly set out alone
to furnish a room! I don't know anything about _periods_. Why, a Louis
XVI chair and an Empire chair are quite the same to me. Then the
question of antiques and reproductions--why any one could mislead me!"

If you have absolutely no interest in the arranging or rearranging of
your rooms, house or houses, of course, leave it to a decorator and
give your attention to whatever does interest you. On the other hand,
as with bridge, if you really want to play the game, you can learn it.
The first rule is to determine the actual use to which you intend
putting the room. Is it to be a bedroom merely, or a combination of
bedroom and boudoir? Is it to be a formal reception-room, or a
living-room? Is it to be a family library, or a man's study? If it is
a small flat, do you aim at absolute comfort, artistically achieved,
or do you aim at formality at the expense of comfort?

If you lean toward both comfort and formality, and own a country house
and a city abode, there will be no difficulty in solving the problem.
Formality may be left to the town house or flat, while during
week-ends, holidays and summers you can revel in supreme comfort.

Every man or woman is capable of creating comfort. It is a question of
those deep chairs with wide seats and backs, soft springs, thick,
downy cushions, of tables and bookcases conveniently placed, lights
where you want them, beds to the individual taste,--double, single, or

The getting together of a period room, one period or periods in
combination, is difficult, especially if you are entirely ignorant of
the subject. However, here is your cue. Let us suppose you need, or
want, a desk--an antique desk. Go about from one dealer to the other
until you find the very piece you have dreamed of; one that gives
pleasure to you, as well as to the dealer. Then take an experienced
friend to look at it. If you have every reason to suppose that the
desk is genuine, buy it. Next, read up on the furniture of the
particular period to which your desk belongs, in as serious a manner
as you do when you buy a prize dog at the show. Now you have made an
intelligent beginning as a collector. Reading informs you, but you
must buy old furniture to be educated on that subject. Be eternally on
the lookout; the really good pieces, veritable antiques, are rare;
most of them are in museums, in private collections or in the hands of
the most expensive dealers. I refer to those unique pieces, many of
them signed by the maker and in perfect condition because during all
their existence they have been jealously preserved, often by the very
family and in the very house for which they were made. Our chances for
picking up antiques are reduced to pieces which on account of reversed
circumstances have been turned out of house and home, and, as with
human wanderers, much jolting about has told upon them. Most of these
are fortified in various directions, but they are treasures all the
same, and have a beauty value in line colour and workmanship and a
wonderful fitness for the purposes for which they were intended.

"Surely we are many men of many minds!"


     The sofa large, strong and luxuriously comfortable; the curtains
     simple, durable and masculine in gender. The tapestry and
     architectural picture, decorative and appropriately impersonal,
     as the wall decorations should be in a room used merely for
     transacting business.

[Illustration: _A Corner of the Same Office_]

Some prefer antiques a bit dilapidated; a missing detail serving as a
hallmark to calm doubts; others insist upon completeness to the eye
and solidity for use; while the connoisseur, with unlimited means,
recognises nothing less than signed sofas and chairs, and other
_objets d'art_. To repeat:--be always on the lookout, remembering that
it is the man who knows the points of a good dog, horse or car who can
pick a winner.

Wonderful reproductions are made in New York City and other cities,
and thousands bought every day. They are beautiful and desirable
pieces of furniture, ornaments or silks; but the lover of the _vrai
antique_ learns to detect, almost at a glance, the lack of that
quality which a fine _old_ piece has. It is not alone that the
materials must be old. There is a certain quality gained from the long
association of its parts. One knows when a piece has "found itself,"
as Kipling would put it. Time gives an inimitable finish to any

If you are young in years, immature in taste, and limited as to bank
account, you will doubtless go in for a frankly modern room, with
cheerful painted furniture, gay or soft-toned chintzes, and
inexpensive smart floor coverings. To begin this way and gradually to
collect what you want, piece by piece, is to get the most amusement
possible out of furnishing. When you have the essential pieces for any
one room, you can undertake an _ensemble_. Some of the rarest
collections have been got together in this way, and, if one's fortune
expands instead of contracting, old pieces may be always replaced by
those still more desirable, more rare, more in keeping with your
original scheme.

To buy expensive furnishings in haste and without knowledge, and
within a year or two discover everything to be in bad taste, is a
tragedy to a person with an instinctive aversion to waste. Antique or
modern, every beautiful thing bought is a cherished heirloom in
embryo. Remember, we may inherit a good antique or _objet d'art_, buy
one, or bequeath one. Let us never be guilty of the reverse,--a
bar-sinister piece of furniture! Sympathy with unborn posterity should
make us careful.

It is always excusable to retain an ugly, inartistic thing--if it is
_useful_; but an ornament must be beautiful in line or in colour, or
it belies its name. Practise that genuine, obvious loyalty which hides
away on a safe, but invisible shelf, the bad taste of our ancestors
and friends.

Having settled upon a type of furniture, turn your attention to the
walls. Always let the location of your room decide the colour of its
walls. The room with a sunny exposure may have any colour you like,
warm or cold, but your north room or any room more or less sunless,
requires the warm, sun-producing yellows, pinks, apple-greens, beige
and wood-colours, never the cold colours, such as greys, mauves,
violets and blues, unless in combination with the warm tones. If it is
your intention to hang pictures on the walls, use plain papers.
Remember you must never put a spot on a spot! The colour of your walls
once established, keep in mind two things: that to be agreeable to the
artistic eye your ceilings must be lighter than your sidewalls, and
your floors darker. Broadly speaking, it is Nature's own arrangement,
green trees and hillsides, the sky above, and the dark earth beneath
our feet. A ceiling, if lighter in tone than the walls, gives a sense
of airiness to a room. Floors, whether of exposed wood, completely
carpeted, or covered by rugs, must be enough darker than your
sidewalls to "hold down your room," as the decorators say.

If colour is to play a conspicuous part, brightly figured silks and
cretonnes being used for hangings and upholstery, the floor covering
should be indefinite both as to colour and design. On the other hand,
when rugs or carpets are of a definite design in pronounced colours,
particularly if you are arranging a living-room, make your walls,
draperies and chair-covers plain, and observe great restraint in the
use of colour. Those who work with them know that there is no such
thing as an ugly colour, for all colours are beautiful. Whether a
colour makes a beautiful or an ugly effect depends entirely upon its
juxtaposition to other tones. How well French milliners and
dressmakers understand this! To make the point quite clear, let us
take magenta. Used alone, nothing has more style, more beautiful
distinction, but in wrong combination magenta can be amazingly,
depressingly ugly. Magenta with blue is ravishing, beautiful in
the subtle way old tapestries are: it touches the imagination whenever
that combination is found.


     The table is modern, but made on the lines of a refectory table,
     well suited in length, width and solidity for board meetings,

     The chairs are Italian in style.

[Illustration: _Another View of the Same Office_]

We grow up to, into, and out of colour schemes. Each of the Seven Ages
of Man has its appropriate setting in colour as in line. One learns
the dexterous manipulation of colour from furnishing, as an artist
learns from painting.

Refuse to accept a colour scheme, unless it appeals to your individual
taste--no matter who suggests it. To one not very sensitive to colour
here is a valuable suggestion. Find a bit of beautiful old silk
brocade, or a cretonne you especially like, and use its colour
combinations for your room--a usual device of decorators. Let us
suppose your silk or cretonne to have a deep-cream background, and
scattered on it green foliage, faded salmon-pink roses and little,
fine blue flowers. Use its prevailing colour, the deep cream, for
walls and possibly woodwork; make the draperies of taffeta or rep in
soft apple-greens; use the same colour for upholstery, make shades for
lamp and electric lights of salmon-pink, then bring in a touch of blue
in a sofa cushion, a footstool or small chair, or in a beautiful vase
which charms by its shape as well by reproducing the exact tone of
blue you desire. There are some who insist no room is complete without
its note of blue. Many a room has been built up around some highly
prized treasure,--lovely vase or an old Japanese print.

A thing always to be avoided is monotony in colour. Who can not recall
barren rooms, without a spark of attraction despite priceless
treasures, dispersed in a meaningless way? That sort of setting puts a
blight on any gathering. "Well," you will ask, "given the task of
converting such a sterile stretch of monotony into a blooming joy, how
should one begin?" It is quite simple. Picture to yourself how the
room would look if you scattered flowers about it, roses, tulips,
mignonette, flowers of yellow and blue, in the pell-mell confusion of
a blooming garden. Now imitate the flower colours by _objets d'art_ so
judiciously placed that in a trice you will admire what you once found
cold. As if by magic, a white, cream, beige or grey room may be
transformed into a smiling bower, teeming with personality, a room
where wit and wisdom are spontaneously let loose.

If your taste be for chintzes and figured silks, take it as a safe
rule, that given a material with a light background, it should be the
same in tone as your walls; the idea being that by this method you get
the full decorative value of the pattern on chintz or silk.

Figured materials can increase or diminish the size of a room, open up
vistas, push back your walls, or block the vision. For this reason it
is unsafe to buy material before trying the effect of it in its
destined abode.

Remember that the matter of _background_ is of the greatest importance
when arranging your furniture and ornaments. See that your piano is so
placed that the pianist has an unbroken background, of wall, tapestry,
a large piece of rare old sills, or a mirror. Clyde Fitch, past-master
at interior decoration, placed his piano in front of broad windows,
across which at night were drawn crimson damask curtains. Some of us
will never forget Geraldine Farrar, as she sat against that background
wearing a dull, clinging blue-green gown, going over the score,--from
memory,--of "Salomé."

The aim is to make the performer at the piano the object of interest,
therefore place no diverting objects, such as pictures or ornaments,
on a line with the listener's eye, except as a vague background.

There can be no more becoming setting for a group of people dining by
candle or electric light, than walls panelled with dark wood to the
ceiling, or a high wainscoting.

A beautiful sitting-room, not to be forgotten, had light violet walls,
dull-gold frames on the furniture which was covered in deep-cream
brocades, bits of old purple velvets and violet silks on the tables,
under large bowls of Benares bronze filled with violets. The grand
piano was protected by a piece of old brocade in faded yellows, and
our hostess, a well-known singer, usually wore a simple Florentine
tea-gown of soft violet velvet, which together with the lighter violet
walls, set off her fair skin and black hair to beautiful advantage.

Put a figured, many-coloured sofa cushion behind the head of a pretty
woman, and if the dominating colour is becoming to her, she is still
pretty, but change it to a solid black, purple or dull-gold and see
how instantly the degree of her beauty is enhanced by being
thrown into relief.


     Gives attractive corner by a window, the heavy silk brocade
     curtains of which are drawn. A standard electric lamp lights the
     desk, both modern-painted pieces, and the beautiful old flower
     picture, black background with a profusion of colours in lovely
     soft tones, is framed by a dull-gold moulding and gives immense
     distinction. The chair is Venetian Louis XV, the same period as
     desk in style.

     Not to be ignored in this picture is a tin scrap basket
     beautifully proportioned and painted a vivid emerald green; a
     valuable addition a note of cheerful colour. The desk and wooden
     standard of lamp are painted a deep blue-plum colour, touched
     with gold, and the silk curtains are soft mulberry, in two tones.

[Illustration: _Corner of Room, Showing Painted Furniture, Antique and

Study values--just why and how much any decorative article decorates,
and remember in furnishing a room, decorating a wall or dining-room
table, it is not the intrinsic value or individual beauty of any one
article which counts. Each picture on the wall, each piece of
furniture, each bit of silver, glass, china, linen or lace, each yard
of chintz or silk, every carpet or rug must be beautiful and effective
_in relation to the others used_, for the _art_ of interior decoration
lies in this subtle, or obvious, relationship of furnishings.

We acknowledge as legitimate all schemes of interior decoration and
insist that what makes any scheme good or bad, successful, or
unsuccessful presuming a knowledge of the fundamentals of the art, is
the fact that it is planned in reference to the type of man or woman
who is to live in it.

A new note has been struck of late in the arranging of bizarre,
delightful rooms which on entering we pronounce "very amusing."

Original they certainly are, in colour combinations, tropical in the
impression they make,--or should we say Oriental?

They have come to us via Russia, Bakst, Munich and Martine of Paris.
Like Rheinhardt's staging of "Sumurun," because these blazing interiors
strike us at an unaccustomed angle, some are merely astonished, others
charmed as well. There are temperaments ideally set in these interiors,
and there are houses where they are in place. We cannot regard them as
epoch-making, but granted that there is no attempt to conform to two of
the rules for furnishing,--_appropriateness_ and _practicality_,
the results are refreshingly new and entertaining. This is one of the
instances where exaggeration has served as a healthy antidote to the
tendency toward extreme dinginess rampant about ten years ago, resulting
from an obsession to antique everything. The reaction from this, a flaming
rainbow of colours, struck a blow to the artistic sense, drew
attention back to the value of colour and started the creative impulse
along the line of a happy medium.

Whether it be a furnished porch, personal suite (as bedroom, boudoir
and bath), a family living-room, dining-room, formal reception-room,
or period ballroom, never allow members of your household or servants
to destroy the effect you have achieved with careful thought and
outlay of money, by ruthlessly moving chairs and tables from one room
to another. Keep your wicker furniture on the porch, for which it was
intended. If it strays into the adjacent living-room, done in quite
another scheme, it will absolutely thwart your efforts at harmony,
while your porch-room done in wicker and gay chintzes, striped awnings
and geranium rail-boxes, cries out against the intrusion of a chair
dragged out from the house. Remember that should you intend using your
period ballroom from time to time as an audience room for concerts and
lectures, you must provide a complete equipment of small, very light
(so as to be quickly moved) chairs, in your "period," as a necessary
part of your decoration.

The current idea that a distinguished room remains distinguished
because costly tapestries and old masters hang on its walls, even when
the floor is strewn with vulgar, hired chairs, is an absurd mistake.
Each room from kitchen to ballroom is a stage "set,"--a harmonious
background for certain scenes in life's drama. It is the man or woman
who grasps this principle of a distinguished home who can create an
interior which endures, one which will hold its own despite the ebb
and flow of fashion. Imposing dimensions and great outlay of money do
not necessarily imply distinction, a quality depending upon unerring
good taste in the minutest details, one which may be achieved equally
in a stately mansion, in a city flat, or in a cottage by the sea.

The question of background is absorbingly interesting. A vase, with or
without flowers, to add to the composition of your room, that is, to
make "a good picture," must be placed so that its background sets it
off. Let the Venetian glass vase holding one rose stand in such a
position that your green curtain is its background, and not a
photograph or other picture. One flower, carefully placed in a room,
will have more real decorative value than dozens of costly roses
strewn about in the wrong vases, against mottled, line-destroying

Flowers are always more beautiful in a plain vase, whether of glass,
pottery, porcelain or silver. If a vase chances to have a decoration
in colour, then make a point of having the flowers it holds accord in
colour, if not in shade, with the colour or colours in the vase.

There is a general rule that no ornament should ever be placed in
front of a picture. The exception to this rule occurs when the picture
is one of the large, architectural variety, whose purpose is primarily
mural decoration,--an intentional background, as tapestries often are,
serving its purpose as nature does when a vase or statue is placed in
a park or garden. One sees in portraits by some of the old masters
this idea of landscape used as background. Bear in mind, however, that
if there is a central design--a definite composition in the picture,
or tapestry, no ornament should ever be so placed as to interfere with
it. If you happen to own a tapestry which is not large enough for your
space by one, two or three feet, frame it with a plain border of
velvet or velveteen, to match the dominating colour, and a shade
darker than it appears in the tapestry. This expedient heightens the
decorative effect of the tapestry.



In a measure, the materials for hangings and furniture-coverings are
determined more or less by the amount one wishes to spend in this
direction. For choice, one would say silk or velvet for formal rooms;
velvets, corduroys or chintz for living-rooms; leather and corduroy
with rep hangings for a man's study or smoking-room; thin silks and
chintz for bedrooms; chintz for nurseries, breakfast-rooms and

In England, slip-covers of chintz (glazed cretonne) appear, also, in
formal rooms; but are removed when the owner is entertaining. If the
permanent upholstery is of chintz, then at once your room becomes
informal. If you are planning the living-room for a small house or
apartment, which must serve as reception-room during the winter
months, far more dignity, and some elegance can be obtained for the
same expenditure, by using plain velveteen, modern silk brocades in
one colour, or some of the modern reps to be had in very smart shades
of all colours.

If your furniture is choice, rarely beautiful in quality, line and
colour, hangings and covers must accord. Genuine antiques demand
antique silks for hangings and table covers; but no decorator, if at
all practical, will cover a chair or sofa in the frail old silks, for
they go to pieces almost in the mounting. Waive sentiment in this
case, for the modern reproductions are satisfactory to the eye and
improve in tone with age.

If you own only a small piece of antique silk, make a square of it for
the centre of the table, or cleverly combine several small bits, if
these are all you have, into an interesting cover or cushion. Nothing
in the world gives such a note of distinction to a room as the use of
rare, old silks, properly placed.

The fashion for cretonne and chintz has led to their indiscriminate
use by professionals as well as amateurs, and this craze has caused a
prejudice against them. Chintz used with judgment can be most
attractive. In America the term chintz includes cretonne and stamped
linen. If you are planning for them, put together, for consideration,
all your bright coloured chintz, and in quite another part of your
room, or decorator's shop, the chintz of dull, faded colours, as they
require different treatment. A general rule for this material--bright
or dull--is that if you would have your chintz _decorate_, be careful
not to use it too lavishly. If it is intended for curtains, then cover
only one chair with it and cover the rest in a solid colour. If you
want chintz for all of your chairs and sofa, make your curtains, sofa
cushions and lamp shades of a solid colour, and be sure that you take
one of the leading colours in the chintz. Next indicate your intention
at harmony, by "bringing together" the plain curtains or chairs, and
your chintz, with a narrow fringe or border of still another colour,
which figures in the chintz. Let us suppose chintz to be black with a
design in greens, mulberry and buff. Make your curtains plain
mulberry, edged with narrow pale green fringe with black and buff
in it, or should your chintz be grey with a design in faded blues and
violets and a touch of black, make curtains of the chintz, and cover
one large chair, keeping the sofa and the remaining chairs grey, with
the bordering fringe, or gimp, in one or two of the other shades, sofa
cushions and the lamp shades in blues and violets (lining lamp shades
with thin pink silk), and use a little black in the bordering fringe.


     Shows an ideal mantel arrangement, faultless as a composition and
     beautiful and rare in detail. The exquisite white marble mantel
     is Italian, not French, of the time of Louis XVI.

     Though the designs of this period are almost identical, one
     quickly learns to detect the difference in feeling between the
     work of the two countries. The Italians are freer, broader in
     their treatment, show more movement and in a way more grace,
     where the French work is more detailed and precise, hence at
     times, by contrast, seems stilted and rigid.

     Enchantingly graceful are the two candelabra, also Louis XVI,
     while the central ornament is ideally chosen for size and design.

     The dull gold frame of the mirror is very beautiful, and the
     painting above the glass interesting and unusual as to subject
     and execution.

     The chair is a good example of Italian Louis XV.

[Illustration: _Example of a Perfect Mantel, Ornaments and Mirror_]

If you decide upon a very brilliant chintz use it only in one chair, a
screen, or in a valance over plain curtains with straps to hold them
back, or perhaps a sofa cushion. Whether a chintz is bright or dull,
its pattern is important. As with silks, brocaded in different
colours, therefore never use chintz where a chair or sofa calls for
tufting. A tufted piece of furniture always looks best done in plain

In using a chintz in which both colour and design are indefinite, the
kind which gives more or less an impression of faded tapestry, you
will find that the very indefiniteness of the pattern makes it
possible to use the chintz with more freedom, being always sure of a
harmonious background. The one thing to guard against is that on
entering a room you must not be conscious either of several colours,
or of any set design.



The story of the evolution of textiles (any woven material) is
fascinating, and like the history of every art, runs parallel with the
history of culture and progress in the art of living,--physical,
mental and spiritual.

To those who feel they would enjoy an exhaustive history of textiles
we recommend a descriptive catalogue relating to the collection of
textiles in the South Kensington Museum, prepared by the Very Rev.
Daniel Rock, D.D. (1870).

In the introduction to that catalogue one gets the story of woven
linens, cottons, silks, paper, gold and silver threads, interspersed
with precious jewels and glass beads--all materials woven by hand or

The story of textiles includes: 1st, woven materials; 2nd, embroidered
materials; 3rd, a combination of the two, known as "tapestry." If one
reads their wonderful story, starting in Assyria, then progressing to
Egypt, the Orient, Greece, Rome and Western Europe, in any history of
textiles, one may obtain quickly and easily a clear idea of this
department of interior decoration from the very earliest times.

The first European silk is said to have been in the form of
transparent gauze, dyed lovely tones for women of the Greek islands, a
form of costume later condemned by Greek philosophers.

We know that embroidery was an art three thousand years ago, in fact
the figured garments seen on the Assyrian and Egyptian bas-reliefs are
supposed to represent materials with embroidered figures--not woven
patterns--whereas in the Bible, when we read of embroidery, according
to the translators, this sometimes means woven stripes.


     An ideal dining-room of its kind, modern painted furniture,
     Empire in design. In this case yellow with decoration in white.
     Curtains, thin yellow silk.

     Note the Empire electric light fixtures in hand-carved gilded
     wood, reproductions of an antique silver applique. Even the steam
     radiators are here cleverly concealed by wooden cases made after
     Empire designs.

     The walls are white and panelled in wood also white.

[Illustration: _Dining-room in Country House, Showing Modern Painted
Furniture. Style Directoire._]

The earliest garments of Egypt were of cotton and hemp, or mallow,
resembling flax. The older Egyptians never knew silks in any form, nor
did the Israelites, nor any of the ancients. The earliest account of
this material is given by Aristotle (fourth century). It was
brought into Western Europe from China, via India, the Red Sea
and Persia, and the first to weave it outside the Orient was a maiden
on the Isle of Cos, off the coast of Asia Minor, producing a thin
gauze-like tissue worn by herself and companions, the material
resembling the Seven Veils of Salome. To-day those tiny bits of gauze
one sees laid in between the leaves of old manuscript to protect the
illuminations, as our publishers use sheets of tissue paper, are said
to be examples of this earliest form of woven silk.

The Romans used silk at first only for their women, as it was
considered not a masculine material, but gradually they adopted it for
the festival robes of men, Titus and Vespasian being among those said
to have worn it.

The first silk looms were set up in the royal palaces of the Roman
kings in the year 533 A.D. The raw material was brought from the East
for a long time but in the sixth century two Greek monks, while in
China, studied the method of rearing silk worms and obtaining the
silk, and on their departure are said to have concealed the eggs of
silk worms in their staves. They are accredited with introducing the
manufacture of silk into Greece and hence into Western Europe. After
that Greece, Persia and Asia Minor made this material, and Byzantium
was famed for its silks, the actual making of which got into the hands
of the Jews and was for a long time controlled by them.

Metals (gold, silver and copper) were flattened out and cut into
narrow strips for winding around cotton twists. These were the gold
and silver threads used in weaving. The Moors and Spaniards instead of
metals used strips of gilded parchment for weaving with the silk.

We know that England was weaving silk in the thirteenth century, and
velvets seem to have been used at a very early date. The introduction
of silk and velvet into different countries had an immediate and
much-needed influence in civilising the manners of society. It is hard
to realise that in the thirteenth century when Edward I married
Eleanor of Castile, the highest nobles of England when resting at
their ease, stretched at full length on the straw-covered floors of
baronial halls, and jeered at the Spanish courtiers who hung the walls
and stretched the floors of Edward's castle with silks in preparation
for his Spanish bride.

The progress of art and culture was always from the East and moved
slowly. Do not go so far back as the thirteenth century. James I of
England owned no stockings when he was James VI of Scotland, and had
to borrow a pair in which to receive the English ambassador.

In the eleventh century Italy manufactured her own silks, and into
them were woven precious stones, corals, seed pearls and coloured
glass beads which were made in Greece and Venice, as well as gold and
silver spangles (twelfth and thirteenth centuries).

Here is an item on interior decorations from Proverbs vii, 16; "I have
woven my bed with cords, I have covered it with painted tapestry
brought from Egypt." There were painted tapestries made in Western
Europe at a very early date, and collectors eagerly seek them (see
Plate XIV). In the fourteenth century these painted tapestries were
referred to as "Stained Cloth."

Embroidery as an art, as we have already seen, antedates silk
weaving. The youngest of the three arts is tapestry. The oldest
embroidery stitches are: "the feather stitch," so called because they
all took one direction, the stitches over-lapping, like the feathers
of a bird; and "cross-stitch" or "cushion" style, because used on
church cushions, made for kneeling when at prayer or to hold the Mass

Hand-woven tapestries are called "comb-wrought" because the instrument
used in weaving was comb-like.

"Cut-work" is embroidery that is cut out and appliqued, or sewed on
another material.

Carpets which were used in Western Europe in the Middle Ages are
seldom seen. The Kensington Museum owns two specimens, both of them
Spanish, one of the fourteenth and one of the fifteenth century.

In speaking of Gothic art we called attention to the fostering of art
by the Church during the Dark Ages. This continued, and we find that
in Henry VIII's time those who visited monasteries and afterward wrote
accounts of them call attention to the fact that each monk was
occupied either with painting, carving, modelling, embroidering or
writing. They worked primarily for the Church, decorating it for the
glory of God, but the homes of the rich and powerful laity, even so
early as the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), boasted some very
beautiful interior decorations, tapestries, painted ceilings and
stained glass, as well as carved panelling.

Bostwick Castle, Scotland, had its vaulted ceiling painted with
towers, battlements and pinnacles, a style of mural decoration which
one sees in the oldest castles of Germany. It recalls the illumination
in old manuscripts.



Candlesticks, lamps, and fixtures for gas and electricity must accord
with the lines of your architecture and furniture. The mantelpiece is
the connecting link between the architecture and the furnishing of a
room. It is the architect's contribution to the furnishing, and for
this reason the keynote for the decorator.

In the same way lighting fixtures are links between the construction
and decoration of a room, and can contribute to, or seriously divert
from, the decorator's design.

It is important that fixtures be so placed as to appear a part of the
decoration and not merely to illuminate conveniently a corner of the
room, a writing-desk, table or piano.


     The dining-room of this apartment is Italian Renaissance--oak,
     almost black from age, and carved.

     The seat pads and lambrequin over window are of deep red velvet.
     The walls are stretched with dull red _brocotello_ (a combination
     of silk and linen), very old and valuable. The chandelier is
     Italian carved wood, gilded.

     Attention is called to the treatment of the windows. No curtains
     are used, instead, boxes are planted with ivy which is trained to
     climb the green lattice and helps to temper the light, while the
     window shades themselves are of a fascinating glazed linen,
     having a soft yellow background and design of fruit and vines in
     brilliant colours.

[Illustration: _Dining-room Furniture, Italian Renaissance_]

In planning your house after arranging for proper wall space for your
various articles of furniture, keep in mind always that lights
will be needed and must be at the same time conveniently placed and
distinctly decorative.

One is astonished to see how often the actual balance of a room is
upset by the careless placing of electric fixtures. Therefore keep in
mind when deciding upon the lighting of a room the following points:
first, fixtures must follow in line style of architecture and
furniture; second, the position of fixtures on walls must carry out
the architect's scheme of proportion, line and balance; third, the
material used in fixtures--brass, gilded wood, glass or wrought
iron--must contribute to the decorator's scheme of line and colour;
fourth, as a contribution to colour scheme the fixtures must be in
harmony with the colour of the side walls, so as not to cut them up,
and the shade should be a _light_ note of colour, not one of the
_dark_ notes when illuminated.

This brings us to the question of shades. The selecting of shapes and
colours for shading the lights in your rooms is of the greatest
importance, for the shades are one of the harmonics for striking
important colour notes, and their value must be equal by day and by
night; that is, equally great, _even if different_. Some shades,
beautiful and decorative by daylight, when illuminated, lose their
colour and become meaningless blots in a room. We have in mind a large
silk lamp shade of faded sage green, mauve, faun and a dull blue, the
same combination appearing in the fringe--a combination not only
beautiful, but harmonising perfectly with the old Gothic tapestry on
the nearby wall. Nothing could be more decorative in this particular
room during the day than the shade described; but were it not for the
shell-pink lining, gleaming through the silk of the shade when
lighted, it would have no decorative value at all at night.

In ordering or making shades, be sure that you select colours and
materials which produce a diffused light. A soft thin pink silk as a
lining for a silk or cretonne shade is always successful, and if a
delicate pink, never clashes with the colours on the outside. A white
silk lining is cold and unbecoming. A dark shade unlined, or a light
coloured shade unlined, even if pink, unless the silk is shirred very
full, will not give a diffused, yellow light.

It is because Italian parchment-paper produces the desired _glow_ of
light that it has become so popular for making shades, and, coming as
it does in deep soft cream, it gives a lovely background for
decorations which in line and colour can carry out the style of your

Figured Italian papers are equally popular for shades, but their
characteristic is to decorate the room by daylight only, and to impart
no _quality_ to the light which they shade. Unless in pale colours,
they stop the light, absolutely, throwing it down, if on a lamp, and
back against the wall, if on side brackets. Therefore decorators now
cut out the lovely designs on these figured papers and use them as
appliques on a deep cream parchment background.

When you decide upon the shape of your shades do not forget that
successful results depend upon absolutely correct proportions. Almost
any shape, if well proportioned as to height and width, can be made
beautiful, and the variety and effect desired, may be secured by
varying the colours, the design of decoration, if any, or the texture
or the length of fringe.

The "umbrella" shades with long chiffon curtains reaching to the
table, not unlike a woman's hat with loose-hanging veil, make a
charming and practical lamp shade for a boudoir or a woman's summer
sitting-room, especially if furnished in lacquer or wicker. It is a
light to rest or talk by, not for reading nor writing.

The greatest care is required in selecting shades for side-wall
lights, because they quickly catch the eye upon entering a room and
materially contribute to its appearance or detract from it.



The first thing to consider in selecting window shades when furnishing
a _house_, is whether their colour harmonises with the exterior.
Keeping this point in mind, further limit your selection to those
colours and tones which harmonise with your colour schemes for the
interior. If you use white net or scrim, your shades must be white,
and if ecru net, your shades must be ecru. If the outside of your
house calls for one colour in shades and the interior calls for
another, use two sets. Your dark-green sun shades never interfere, as
they can always be covered by the inner set. Sometimes the dark green
harmonises with the colouring of the rooms.

A room often needs, for sake of balance, to be weighted by colour on
the window sides more than your heavy curtains (silk or cretonne)
contribute when drawn back; in such a case decorators use coloured
gauze for sash curtains in one, two or three shades and layers, which
are so filmy and delicate both in texture and colouring that they
allow air and light to pass through them, the effect being charming.

Another way to obtain the required colour value at your windows is the
revival of glazed linens, with beautiful coloured designs, made up
into shades. These are very attractive in a sunny room where the
strong light brings out the design of flowers, fruits or foliage.
Plate X shows a room in which this style of shade is used with great
success. It is to be especially commended in such a case as Plate X,
where no curtains are used at windows. Here the figured linen shade is
a deliberate contribution to the decorative scheme of the room and
completes it as no other material could.

Awnings can make or mar a house, give it style or keep it in the class
of the commonplace. So choose carefully with reference to the colour
of your house. The fact that awnings show up at a great distance and
never "in the hand," as it were, argues in favour of clear stripes, in
two colours and of even size, with as few extra threads of other
colours as possible.


     Shows a part of a fine, old Italian refectory table, and one of
     the chairs, also antiques, which are beautifully proportioned and
     made comfortable with cushions of dark red velvet, in colour like
     curtains at window, which are of silk brocade.

     The standard electric lamps throw the light _up_ only. There are
     four, one in each corner of the room, and candles light the

     The wall decoration here is a flower picture.

[Illustration: _Corner of Dining-room in New York Apartment, Showing
Section of Italian Refectory Table and Italian Chairs, Both Antique
and Renaissance_]

_All awnings fade_, even in one season; green is, perhaps, the least
durable in the sun, yellows and browns look well the longest.
Fortunately an awning, a discouraging sight when taken down and in a
collapsed mass of faded canvas, will often look well when up and
stretched, because the strong light brings out the fresh colour of the
inside. Hence one finds these rather expensive necessities of summer
homes may be used for several seasons.



Strive to have the subject of your pictures appropriate to the room in
which they are to be hung.

It is impossible to state a rule for this, however, because while
there are many styles of pictures which all are able to classify, such
as old paintings which are antique in colouring, method and subject,
portraits, figure pictures, architectural pictures, flower and fruit
pictures, modern oil paintings of various subjects (modern in subject,
method and colouring), water colours, etchings, sporting prints,
fashion prints, etc., there is, also, a subtle relationship between
them seen and felt only by the connoisseur, which leads him to hang in
the same room, portraits, architectural pictures and flower pictures,
with beautiful and successful results. Often the relationship hangs on
similarity in period, style of painting or colour scheme. Your expert
will see decorative value in a painting which has no individual beauty
nor intrinsic worth when taken out of a particular setting.

The selecting of pictures for a room hinges first on their decorative
value. That is, their colour and size, and whether the subjects are
appropriate and sympathetic.

Always avoid heavy gold frames on paintings, for, unless they are real
objects of art, one gets far more distinction by using a narrow black
moulding. When in doubt always err on the side of simplicity.

If your object is economy as well as simplicity, and you are by chance
just beginning to furnish your house and own no pictures, we would
suggest good photographs of your favourite old masters, framed close,
without a margin, in the passepartout method (glass with a narrow
black paper tape binding).

Old coloured prints need narrow black passepartout, while broad
passepartout in pink, blue or pale green to match the leading tone in
wall paper makes your quaint, old black-and-white prints very

Never use white margins on any pictures unless your walls are white.

The decorative value of any picture when hung, is dependent upon its
background, the height at which it is hung, its position with regard
to the light, its juxtaposition to other pictures, and the character
of those other pictures--that is, their subjects, colour and line.

If you are buying pictures to hang in a picture gallery, there is
nothing to consider beyond the attraction of the individual picture in
mind. But if you are buying a picture to hang on the walls of a room
which you are furnishing, you have first to consider it as pure
_decoration_; that is, to ask yourself if in colour, period and
subject it carries out the idea of your room.

A modern picture is usually out of place in a room furnished with
antiques. In the same way a strictly modern room is not a good setting
for an old picture, if toned by time.

If you own or would own a modern portrait or landscape and it is the
work of an artist, and beautiful in colour, why not "star" it,--build
your room up to it? If you decide to do this, see that everything else
representing _colour_ is either subservient to the picture, or if
of equal value as to colour, that they harmonise perfectly with the
picture in mind.


     From a studio one enters a smaller room, one side of which is
     shown here, a veritable Italian Louis XVI salon.

[Illustration: _An Italian Louis XVI Salon in a New York Apartment_]

We were recently shown a painting giving a view of Central Park from
the Plaza Hotel, New York, under a heavy fall of snow, in the late
afternoon, when the daylight still lingered, although the electric
lights had begun to spangle the scene. The prevailing tone was a
delicate, opalescent white, shading from blue to mauve, and we were
told that one of our leading decorators intended to hang it in a blue
room which he was furnishing for a New York client.

Etchings are at their best with other etchings, engravings or water
colours, and should be hung in rooms flooded with light and delicately

The crowding of walls with pictures is always bad; hang only as many
as _furnish_ the walls, and have these on a line with the eye and when
the pictures vary but slightly in size make a point of having either
the tops of the frames or the bottoms on the same line,--that is, an
equal distance from floor or ceiling. If this rule is observed a
sense of order and restfulness is communicated to the observer.

If one picture is hung over the other uniformity and balance must be

One large picture may be balanced by two smaller ones.

Hang your miniatures in a straight line across your wall, under a
large picture or in a straight line--one under the other, down a
narrow wall panel.



A professional pianist invariably prefers the case of his or her piano
left in its simple ebony or mahogany, and would not approve of its
being relegated to the furniture department and decorated accordingly,
any more than your violinist, or harpist, would hand over his violin,
or harp, for decoration.

When a piano, however, is not the centre of interest in a house, and
the artistic ensemble of decorative line and colour is, the piano case
is often ordered at the piano factory to be made to accord in line
with the period of the room for which it is intended, after which it
is decorated so as to harmonise with the colours in the room. This can
be done through the piano factory; but in the case of redecorating a
room, one can easily get some independent artist to do this work, a
man who has made a study of the decorations on old spinets in
palaces, private mansions and museums. Some artists have been very
successful in converting what was an inartistic piece of furniture as
to size, outline and colour, into an object which became a pleasing
portion of the colour scheme because in proper relation to the whole.

You can always make an ebony or mahogany piano case more in harmony
with its setting by covering it, when not in use, with a piece of
beautiful old brocade, or a modern reproduction.


     Another side of same Italian Louis XVI salon. The tea-table is a
     modern painted convenience, the two vases are Italian pharmacy
     jars and the standard for electric lights is a modern-painted

[Illustration: _Another Side of Same Italian Louis XVI Salon_]



A dining-room buffet requires the same dignity of treatment demanded
by a mantelpiece whether the silver articles kept on it be of great or
small intrinsic value. Here, as in every case, appropriateness
dictates the variety of articles, and the observance of the rule that
there shall be no crowding nor disorder in the placing of articles
insures that they contribute decorative value; in a word, the size of
your buffet limits the amount of silver, glass, etc., to be placed
upon it.

The variety and number of articles on a dressing-table are subject to
the same two laws: that is, every article must be useful and in line
and colour accord with the deliberate scheme of your room, and there
must be no crowding nor disorder, no matter how rare or beautiful the
toilet articles are.



Every bedroom planned for a woman, young or old, calls for a work
table, work basket or work bag, or all three, and these furnish
opportunities for additional "flowers" in your room; for we insist
upon regarding accessories as opportunities for extra colour notes
which harmonise with the main colour scheme and enliven your interior
quite as flowers would, cheering it up--and, incidentally, its
inmates! Apropos of this, it was only the other day that some one
remarked in our hearing, "This room is so blooming with lovely bits of
colour in lamp shades, pillows, and _objets d'art_, that I no longer
spend money on cut flowers." There we have it! Precisely the idea we
are trying to express. So make your work-table, if you own the sort
with a silk work-bag suspended from the lower part, your work-basket
or work-bag, represent one, two or three of the colours in your room.

If some one gives you an inharmonious work-bag, either build a room up
to it, or give it away, but never hang it out in a room done in an
altogether different colour scheme.

Bird-cages, dog-baskets and fish-globes may become harmonious instead
of jarring colour notes, if one will give a little thought to the
matter. In fact some of the black iron wrought cages when occupied by
a wonderful parrot with feathers of blue and orange, red and grey, or
red, blue and yellow, can be the making of certain rooms. And there
are canaries with deep orange feathers which look most decorative in
cages painted dark green, as well as the many-coloured paroquet,
lovely behind golden bars.

Many a woman when selecting a dog has bought one which harmonised with
her costume, or got a costume to set off her dog! Certainly a dark or
light brindle bull is a perfect addition to a room done in browns, as
is a red Chow or a tortoise-shell cat.

See to it that cage and basket set off your bird, dog or cat; but
don't let them become too conspicuous notes of colour in your room or
on your porch; let it be the bird, the dog or the cat which has a
colour value.

The fish-globe can be of white or any colour glass you prefer, and
your fish vivid or pale in tone; whichever it is, be sure that they
furnish a needed--not a superfluous--tone of colour in a room or on a


     Shows narrow hall in an old country house, thought impossible as
     to appearance, but made charming by "pushing out" the wall with
     an antique painted tapestry and keeping all woodwork and carpets
     the same delicate dove grey.

[Illustration: _A Narrow Hall Where Effect of Width Is Attained by
Use of Tapestry with Vista_]



Nothing is ever more attractive than the big open fireplace, piled
with blazing logs, and with fire-dogs or andirons of brass or black
iron, as may accord with the character of your room. If yours is a
_period_ room it is possible to get andirons to match, veritable old
ones, by paying for them. The attractiveness of a fireplace depends
largely upon its proportions. To look well it should always be wider
than high, and deep enough to insure that the smoke goes up the
chimney, and not out into your room. If your fireplace smokes you may
need a special flue, leading from fireplace to proper chimney top, or
a brass hood put on front of the fireplace.

Many otherwise attractive fireplaces are spoiled by using the wrong
kind of tiles to frame them. Shiny, enamelled tiles in any colour, are
bad, and pressed red brick of the usual sort equally bad, so if you
are planning the fireplace of an informal room, choose tiles with a
dull finish or brick with a simple rough finish. In period rooms often
beautiful light or heavy mouldings entirely frame the three sides of
the fireplace when it is of wood. _Well designed_ marble mantels are
always desirable. This feature of decoration is distinctly within the
province of your architect, one reason more why he and the interior
decorator, whether professional or amateur, should continually confer
while building or rebuilding a house.

For coal fires we have a variety of low, broad grates; as well as
reproductions of Colonial grates, which are small and swung high
between brass uprights, framing the fireplace, with an ash drawer, the
front of which is brass. If you prefer the _old_, one can find this
variety of grate in antique shops as well as "Franklin stoves"
(portable open fireplaces).

If your rooms are heated with steam, cover the radiators with wooden
frames in line with the period of your room cut in open designs to
allow heat to come through, and painted to match the woodwork of the
room. See Plate XIX.

Let the fireplace be the centre of attraction in your room and draw
about it comfortable chairs, sofas and settles,--make it easy to enjoy
its hospitable blaze.



Sumptuous bathrooms are not modern inventions, on the contrary the
bath was a religion with the ancient Greeks, and a luxury to the early
Italians. What we have to say here is in regard to the bath as a
necessity for all classes.

The treatment of bathrooms has become an interesting branch of
interior decoration, whereas once it was left entirely to the
architect and plumber.

First, one has to decide whether the bathroom is to be finished in
conventional white enamel, which cannot be surpassed for dainty
appearance and sanitary cleanliness. Equally dainty to look at and
offering the same degree of sanitary cleanliness, is a bathroom
enamelled in some delicate tone to accord in colour with the bedroom
with which it connects.


     This illustration speaks for itself--fruit dishes and fruit,
     candlesticks, covered jars for dried rose leaves, finger bowls,
     powder boxes, flower vase, and scent bottles--all of Venetian
     Glass in exquisite shades.

[Illustration: _Venetian Glass, Antique and Modern_]

Some go so far as to make the bathroom the same colour as the
bedroom, even when this is dark. We have in mind a bath opening out of
a man's bedroom. The bedroom is decorated in dull blues, taupe and
mulberry. The bathroom has the walls painted in broad stripes of dull
blue and taupe, the stripes being quite six inches wide. The floor is
tiled in large squares of the same blue and taupe; the tub and other
furnishings are in dull blue enamel, and the wall-cabinets (one for
shaving brushes, tooth brushes, etc., another for shaving cups,
medicine glasses, drinking glasses, etc., and the third for medicines,
soaps, etc.) are painted a dull mulberry. Built into the front of each
cabinet door is an old coloured print covered with glass and framed
with dull blue moulding and on the inside of each cabinet door is a
mirror. One small closet in the bathroom is large enough to hang bath
robe, pajamas, etc., while another is arranged for drying towels and
holds a soiled clothes basket. On the inside of both doors are
full-length mirrors.

The criticism that mirrors in men's bathrooms are necessarily an
effeminate touch, can be refuted by the statement that so sturdy a
soldier as the Great Napoleon had his dressing room at Fontainebleau
lined with them! This fact reminds us that we have recently seen a
most fascinating bathroom, planned for a woman, in which the walls and
ceiling are of glass, cut in squares and fitted together in the old
French way. Over the glass was a dull-gold trellis and twined in and
out of this, ivy, absolutely natural in appearance, but made of
painted tin. The floor tiles, and fixtures were white enamel, and a
soft moss-green velvet carpet was laid down when the bath was not

Bathroom fixtures are to-day so elaborate in number and quality, that
the conveniences one gets are limited only by one's purse. The leading
manufacturers have anticipated the dreams of the most luxurious.

Window-curtains for bathrooms should be made of some material which
will neither fade nor pull out of shape when washed. We would suggest
scrim, Swiss, or China silk of a good quality.

When buying bath-mats, bath-robes, bath-slippers, bath-towels,
wash-cloths and hand-towels, it is easy to keep in mind the
colour-scheme of your rooms, and by following it out, the general
appearance of your suite is immensely improved.

For a woman's bathroom, Venetian glass bottles, covered jars and bowls
of every size, come in opalescent pale greens and other delicate
tints. See Plate XI. Then there are the white glass bottles, jars,
bowls, and trays with bunches of dashing pink roses, to be obtained at
any good department store. Glass toilet articles come in considerable
variety and at all prices, and to match any colour scheme; so use them
as notes of colour on the glass shelves in your bathrooms. Here, too,
is an opportunity to use your old Bristol or Bohemian glass, once
regarded as inherited eyesores, but now unearthed, and which, when
used to contribute to a colour scheme, have a distinct value and real


    Part of a room in a small suite where the furniture is all old and
    the majority of it Empire in style. However, the small piano at
    once declares itself American Empire. The beautifully decorative
    nameplate on its front reads, "Geib & Walker, 23 Maiden Lane,
    N.Y." The date of piano is about 1830.

    The brown mahogany commode on the right has the lion's claw-feet,
    and pilasters are topped by women's heads in bronze. This piece
    was bought in France. It has the original marble top, dark pink
    veined with white. The knobs on drawers are bronze lions' heads,
    holding rings in their mouths. Chairs are Italian and between
    Directoire and Empire.

    The table, a good specimen, was also found in France. On the table
    is a French vanity mirror, Louis XVI in time, very Greek in
    design. The mirror is on both sides and turns on a gold arrow
    which pierces it. The bronze frame of mirror has a design so
    intricate in detail that it resembles lace work.

    The vase on the piano is Empire and antique, decoration of green
    and gold. The flowers on table are artificial, a quaint Victorian

    Through the doorway one sees the end of an Empire bed which came
    from an old château in Brittany. Note the same pilasters as on
    bureau, only that in this case the woman's head is gilded wood and
    two little feet of gilded wood appear at base of mahogany

    A gilded urn rests on a mahogany post of bed against the wall, the
    only position possible for beds of this style. The head and foot
    board are of equal height and alike.

    Few Empire beds are now on the market. This one is used with a
    roll at each end and is covered with genuine Empire satin in
    six-inch stripes of canary yellow and sage green divided by two
    narrow black stripes and a narrow white stripe between them.

[Illustration: _Corner of a Room in a Small Empire Suite_]

To-day a bathroom is considered the necessary supplement to every
bedroom in an apartment or house, where the space allows, and no house
is regarded as a good investment if built with less than one bath to
communicate with every two rooms. Yet among the advertisements in the
New York City Directory of 1828 we read the following naïve statement
concerning warm baths, which is meant in all seriousness. It refers to
the "Arcade Bath" at 32 Chambers Street, New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The warm bath is more conducive to health than any luxury which
     can be employed in a populous city; its beneficial effects are
     partially described as follows:

     "The celebrated Count Rumford has paid particular attention to
     the subject of Warm Bathing; he has examined it by the test of
     experiments, long and frequently repeated, and bears testimony to
     its excellent effects. 'It is not merely on account of the
     advantages,' says the count, 'which I happen to see from Warm
     Bathing, which renders me so much an advocate of the practice;
     exclusive of the wholesomeness of the warm bath, the luxury of
     bathing is so great, and the tranquil state of the mind and body
     which follows, is so exquisitely delightful, that I think it
     quite impossible to recommend it too highly, if we consider it
     merely as a rational and elegant refinement. The manner in which
     the warm bath operates, in producing the salutary
     consequences, seems very evident. The genial warmth which is
     so applied to the skin in the place of the cold air of the
     atmosphere, by which we are commonly surrounded, expands all
     those very small vessels, where the extremities of the arteries
     and veins unite, and by gently stimulating the whole frame,
     produces a full and free circulation, which if continued for a
     certain time, removes all obstructions in the vascular system,
     and puts all the organs into that state of regular, free, and
     full motion which is essential to health, and also to that
     delightful repose, accompanied by a consciousness of the power of
     exertion, which constitutes the highest animal enjoyment of which
     we are capable.'

     "N.B.: As the Bath is generally occupied on Saturday evenings and
     Sunday mornings, it is recommended to those who would wish to
     enjoy the Bath and avoid the crowded moment, to call at other
     times. The support of the public will be gratefully received and
     every exertion made to deserve it. For the Proprietor, G. Wright.

     "Strangers will recognise the Bathing House from the front being
     extended over two lots of ground, and the centre basement being
     of free-stone."

       *       *       *       *       *

The bathtub then was the simple tin sort, on the order of the round
English tub. To-day the variety of bathtubs as to size, shape,
material and appointments is bewildering; tubs there are on feet and
tubs without feet, tubs sunken in the floor so that one goes down
steps into them, tubs of large dimensions and tubs of small, and all
with or without "showers," as the purchaser may prefer. Truly the warm
baths so highly recommended in Count Rumford's rhapsody are to be had
for the turning of one's own faucet at any moment of the day or night!

The Count Rumford in question is that romantic figure, born of simple
English parents, in New England (Woburn, Mass., 1753), who went abroad
when very young and by the great force of his personality and genius,
became the power behind the throne in Bavaria, where he was made
Minister of War and Field Marshal by the Elector, and later knighted
in recognition of his scientific attainments and innumerable civic
reforms. There is a large monument erected to the memory of Count
Rumford in Munich. He died at Auteuil, France, in 1814.



We use the term "period rooms" with full knowledge of the difficulties
involved, in defining Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Directoire,
Jacobean, Empire, Georgian, Victorian and Colonial decorations. Each
period certainly has its distinctive earmarks in line and typical
decoration, but you must realise that a period gradually evolves, at
first exhibiting characteristics of its ancestors, then as it matures,
showing a definite _new_ type, and, later, when the elation of success
has worn off, yielding to various foreign influences. By way of
example, note the Chinese decoration on some of the painted furniture
of the Louis XVI type, the Dutch influence on Chippendale in line, and
the Egyptian on Empire.

One fascinating way of becoming familiar with history, is to delve
into the origin and development of periods in furniture. The story of
Napoleon is recorded in the unpretentious Directoire, the ornate
Empire of Fontainebleau, while the conversion of round columns into
obelisk-like pilasters surmounted by heads, the bronze and gilded-wood
ornaments in the form of the Sphynx, are frank souvenirs of Egypt.

Every period, whether ascribed to England, France, Italy or Holland,
has found expression in all adjacent countries. An Italian Louis XVI
chair, mirror or applique is frequently sold in Paris or London as
French and Empire furniture was "made in Germany." Periods have no
restricted nationality; but nationality often declares itself in
periods. That is to say, lines may be copied; but workmanship is
another thing. Apropos of this take the French Empire furniture,
massive as much of it is, built squarely and solidly to the floor, but
showing most extraordinary grace on account of the amazing delicacy of
intricate designs, done by the greatest French sculptors of the time
and worked out in metal by the trained hands of men who had a special
genius for this art. At no other time, nor in any other country, has
an equal degree of perfection in the fine chiselling of metals so much
as approached the standard attained during the Louis[1] and the Empire
periods. If in your wandering, you happen upon a genuine bit of this
work in silver or ormoulu, buy it. The writer once found in a New
Jersey antique shop, a rare Empire bronze vase, urn-shaped, a specimen
of the very finest kind of this metal engraving. The price asked for
it (in ignorance, of course) was $2.50! The piece would have brought
$40 in Paris. But the quest of the antique is another story.

When one realises the eternal borrowing of one country from another,
the ever-recurring renaissance of past periods and the legitimate and
illegitimate mixing of styles, it is no wonder that the amateur feels
nervously uncertain, or frankly ignorant. Many a professional
decorator hesitates to give a final judgment.

To take one case in point, we glibly speak of "Colonial" furniture,
that term which covers such a multitude of sins, and inspiring
virtues, too! We have the Colonial which closely resembles the Empire,
and we have what is sometimes styled the Chippendale Colonial,
following the Chippendale of England. Our Colonial cabinet-makers
used as models, beautiful pieces imported from England, Holland and
France by the wealthier members of our communities. Also a Chinese and
Japanese influence crept in, on account of the lacquer and carved teak
wood, brought home by our seafaring ancestors. It is quite possible
that the carved teak wood stimulated the clever maker of some of the
most beautiful Victorian furniture made in America, which is gradually
finding its way into the hands of collectors. Some of these
cabinet-makers glued together and put under heavy pressure seven to
nine layers of rosewood with the grain running at every angle, so as
to produce strength. When the layers had been crushed into a solid
block, they carved their open designs, using one continuous piece of
wood for the ornamental rim of even large sofas. The best of the
Victorian period is attractive, but how can we express our opinion of
those American monstrosities of the sixties or seventies, beds in
rosewood and walnut, the head-boards covering the side of a room,
bureaus proportionately huge, following out the idea that a piece of
furniture to be beautiful must be very large and very expensive! It
is to be hoped that the lovely rosewood and walnut wasted at that time
are to-day being rescued by wary cabinet-makers.

The art of furniture making, like every other art, came into being to
serve a clearly defined purpose. This must not be forgotten. A chair
and a sofa are to sit on; a mirror, to _reflect_. Remember this last
fact when hanging one. It is important that your mirror reflect one of
the most attractive parts of your room, and thus contribute its quota
to your scheme of decoration. It is interesting to note that chairs
were made with solid wooden seats when men wore armour, velvet
cushions followed more fragile raiment, and tapestries while always
mural decorations were first used in place of doors and partitions, in
feudal castles, before there were interior doors and partitions. Any
piece of furniture is artistically bad when it does not satisfactorily
serve its purpose. The equally fundamental law that everything useful
should at the same time be beautiful cannot be repeated too often.

Period rooms which slavishly repeat, in every piece of furniture and
ornament, only one type, have but a museum interest. If your rooms are
to serve as a home, give them a winning, human quality, keep before
your mind's eye, not royal palaces which have become museums, but
_homes_, built and furnished by men and women whose traditions and
associations gave them standards of beauty, so that they bought the
choicest furniture both at home and abroad. In such a home, whether it
be an intimate palace in Europe, a Colonial mansion in New England, or
a Victorian interior of the best type, an extraneous period is often
represented by some _objet d'art_ as a delightful, because harmonious
note of contrast.

For example, in a Louis XVI salon, where the colour scheme is
harmonious, one gradually realises that one of the dominant ornaments
in the room is a rare old Chinese vase, brought back from the Orient
by one of the family and given a place of honour on account of its

Every one understands and feels deeply the difference between the
museum palace or the period rooms of the commonplace decorator, and
such a marvellous, living, breathing, palatial home as that "Italian
palace" in Boston, Massachusetts, created, not inherited, by Mrs. John
L. Gardner. Here we have a splendid example to illustrate the point we
are trying to make; namely, regardless of its dimensions, make your
home _home-like_ and like _you_, its owner. Never allow any one,
professional or amateur, to persuade you to put anything in it which
you do not like yourself; but if an expert advises against a thing,
give careful consideration to the advice before rejecting it. Mrs.
Gardner's house is unique among the great houses of America as having
that quality of the intimate palaces abroad,--a subtle mellowness
which in the old world took time and generations of cultivated lovers
of the rare and beautiful, to create. Adequate means, innate art
appreciation, experience and the knowledge which comes from keeping in
touch with experts, account for the intrinsic value of Mrs. Gardner's
collection; but the subtle quality of harmony and vitality is her own
personal touch. The colour scheme is so wisely chosen that it actually
does unite all periods and countries. One is surprised to note how
perfectly at home even the modern paintings appear in this version of
an old Italian palace.

Be sure that you aim at the same combination of beauty, usefulness,
and harmony between colour scheme and _objets d'art_. It is in colour
scheme that we feel the personality of our host or hostess, therefore
give attention to this point. Always have a colour scheme sympathetic
to _you_. Make your rooms take on the air of being your abode. It is
really very simple. What has been done with vast wealth can be just as
easily done by the man of one room and a bath. Know what you want, and
buy the best you can afford; by best, meaning useful things,
indisputably beautiful in line and colour. Use your Colonial
furniture; but if you find a wonderful Empire desk, with beautiful
brass mounts and like it, buy it. They are of the same period in point
of date, as it happens, and your Louis XVI bronze candlesticks will
add a touch of grace. The writer recalls a simple room which was
really a milestone in the development of taste, for it was so
completely harmonious in colouring, arrangement of furniture, and
placing of ornaments. Built for a painter's studio, with top light, it
was used, at the time of which we speak, for music, as a Steinway
grand indicated. The room was large, the floors painted black and
covered with faded Oriental rugs; woodwork and walls were dark-green,
as were the long, low, open bookcases, above which a large foliage
tapestry was hung. On the other walls were modern paintings with
antique frames of dulled gold, while a Louis XVI inlaid desk stood
across one corner, and there was an old Italian oval table of black
wood, with great, gold birds, as pedestal and legs, at which we dined
simply, using fine old silver, and foreign pottery. This room was
responsible for starting more than one person on the pursuit of the
antique, for pervading it was a magic atmosphere, that wizard touch
which comes of _knowing, loving_ and _demanding beautiful things_, and
then treating them very humanly. Use your lovely vases for your
flowers. Hang your modern painting; but let its link with the faded
tapestry be the dull, old frame. To be explicit, use lustreless frames
and faded colours with old furniture and tapestry. Your grandmother
wears mauves and greys--not bright red.

If your taste is for modern painted furniture and vivid Bakst colours
in cushions and hangings, take your lovely old tapestry away. Speaking
of tapestries, do not imagine that they can never be used in small
rooms and narrow halls. Plate XIV shows an illustration of a hall in
an old-fashioned country house, that was so narrow that it aroused
despair. We call attention to the fact that it gains greatly in width
from the perspective shown in the tapestry, one of the rare, old,
painted kind, which depicts distance, wide vistas and a scene flooded
with light. (An architectural picture can often be used with equally
good results.) To increase size of this hall, the woodwork, walls and
carpets were kept the same shade of pale-grey. The landscape paper in
our Colonial houses of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,
often large in design, pushed back the walls to the same amazing


[Footnote 1: Louis XIV, XV, and XVI.]



Periods in furniture are amazingly interesting if one plunges into the
story, not with tense nerves, but gaily, for mere amusement, and then
floats gently, in a drifting mood. One gathers in this way many
sparkling historical anecdotes, and much substantial data really not
so cumbersome as some imagine!

To know anything at all about a subject one must begin at the
beginning, and to make the long run seems a mere spin in an auto, let
us at once remind you that the whole fascinating tale lies between the
covers of one delightful book, the "Illustrated History of Furniture,"
by Frederick Litchfield, published by Truslove & Hanson, London, and
by John Lane, New York. There are other books--many of them--but first
exhaust Litchfield and apply what he tells you as you wander through
public and private collections of furniture.

If you care for furniture at all, this book, which tells all that is
known of its history, will prove highly instructive.

One cannot speak of the gradual development of furniture and
furnishing; it is more a case of _waves of types_, and the story
begins on the crest of a wave in Assyria, about 3000 years before
Christ! Yes, seriously, interior decoration was an art back in that
period and can be traced without any lost links in the chain of

From Assyria we turn to Egypt and learn from the frescoes and
bas-reliefs on walls of ruined tombs, that about that same time, 3000
B.C., rooms on the banks of the Nile were decorated more or less as
they are to-day. The cultured classes had beautiful ceilings, gilded
furniture, cushions and mattresses of dyed linen and wools, stuffed
with downy feathers taken from water fowl, curtains that were
suspended between columns, and, what is still more interesting to the
lover of furniture, we find that the style known as Empire when
revived by Napoleon I was at that time in vogue. Even more remarkable
is the fact that parts of legs and rails of furniture were turned as
perfectly (I quote Litchfield) as if by a modern lathe. The variety
of beautiful woods used by the Egyptians for furniture included ebony,
cedar, sycamore and acacia. Marquetry was employed as well as
wonderful inlaying with ivory, from both the elephant and
hippopotamus. Footstools had little feet made like lion's claws or
bull's hoofs. According to Austin Leyard, the very earliest Assyrian
chairs, as well as those of Egypt, had the legs terminating in the
same lion's feet or bull's hoofs, which reappear in the Greek, Roman,
Empire and even Sheraton furniture of England (eighteenth century).

The first Assyrian chairs were made without backs and of beautifully
wrought gold and bronze, an art highly developed at that time. In
Egypt we find the heads of animals capping the backs of chairs in the
way that we now see done on Spanish chairs.

The pilasters shown on the Empire furniture, Plate XVI, capped by
women's heads with little gold feet at base, and caryatides of a kind,
were souvenirs of the Egyptian throne seats which rested on the backs
of slaves--possibly prisoners of war. These chairs were wonderful
works of art in gold or bronze. We fancy we can see those interiors,
the chairs and beds covered with woven materials in rich colours and
leopard skins thrown over chairs, the carpets of a woven palm-fibre
and mats of the same, which were used as seats.

Early Egyptian rooms were beautiful in line because simple; never
crowded with superfluous furnishings. It is amusing to see on the very
earliest bas-reliefs Egyptian belles and beaux reclining against what
we know to-day as Empire rolls,--seen also on beds in old French
prints of the fourteenth century. Who knows, even with the Egyptians
this may have been a revived style!

One talks of new notes in colour scheme. The Bakst thing was being
done in Assyria, 700 B.C.! Sir George Green proved it when he opened
up six rooms of a king's palace and found the walls all done in
horizontal stripes of red, yellow and green! Also, he states that each
entrance had the same number of pilasters. Oh wise Assyrian King and
truly neutral, if as is supposed, those rooms were for his six wives!

In furniture, the epoch-making styles have been those showing _line_,
and if decorated, then only with such decorations as were subservient
to line; pure Greek and purest Roman, Gothic and early Renaissance,
the best of the Louis, Directoire and First Empire, Chippendale, Adam,
Sheraton and Heppelwhite.

The bad styles are those where ornamentations envelop and conceal line
as in late Renaissance, the Italian Rococo, the Portuguese Barrocco
(baroque), the curving and contorted degenerate forms of Louis XIV and
XV and the Victorian--all examples of the same thing, _i.e._: perfect
line achieved, acclaimed, flattered, losing its head and going to the
bad in extravagant exuberance of over-ornamentation.

There is a psychic connection between the _outline_ of furniture and
the _inline_ of man.

Perfect line, chaste ornamentation, the elimination of the superfluous
was the result of the Greek idea of restraint--self-control in all
things and in all expression. The immense authority of the law-makers
enforced simple austerity as the right and only setting for the daily
life of an Athenian, worthy of the name. There were exceptions, but as
a rule all citizens, regardless of their wealth and station, had
impressed upon them the civic obligation to express their taste for
the beautiful, in the erecting of public buildings in their city of
Athens, monuments of perfect art, by God-like artists, Phidias,
Apelles, and Praxiteles.



From Greece, culture, borne on the wings of the arts, moved on to
Rome, and at first, Roman architecture and decoration reproduced only
the classic Greek types; but, as Rome grew, her arts took on another
and very different outline, showing how the history of decorative art
is to a fascinating degree the history of customs and manners.

Rome became prosperous, greedy, powerful and imperious, enslaving the
civilised world, and, not having the restraining laws of Greece, waxed
luxurious and licentious, and chafed, in consequence, at the austere
rigidity of the Greek style of furnishing.

We know that in the time of Augustus Cæsar the Romans had wonderful
furniture of the most costly kind, made from cedar, pine, elm, olive,
ash, ilex, beach and maple, carved to represent the legs, feet, hoofs
and heads of animals, as in earlier days was the fashion in Assyria,
Egypt and Greece, while intricate carvings in relief, showed Greek
subjects taken from mythology and legend. Cæsar, it is related, owned
a table costing a million sesterces ($40,000).

But gradually the pure line swerved, ever more and more influenced by
the Orient, for Rome, always successful in war, had established
colonies in the East. Soon Byzantine art reached Rome, bringing its
arabesques and geometrical designs, its warm, glowing colours, soft
cushions, gorgeous hangings, embroideries, and rich carpets. In fact
all the glowing luxury that the _new_ Roman craved.

The effect of this _mésalliance_ upon all Art, including interior
decoration, was to cause its immediate decline. Elaboration and
_banal_ designs, too much splendour of gold and silver and ivory
inlaid with gold, resulted in a decadent art which reflected a
decadent race and Rome fell! Not all at once; it took five hundred
years for the neighbouring races to crush her power, but continuous
hectoring did it, in 476 A.D. Then began the Dark Ages merging into
the Middle Ages (fifth to fifteenth centuries).

Dark they were, but what picturesque and productive darkness! Rome
fell, but the Carlovingian family arose, and with it the great nations
of Western Europe, to give us, especially in France, another supreme
flowering of interior decoration. Britain was torn from the grasp of
Rome by the Saxons, Danes and Normans, and as a result the great
Anglo-Saxon race was born to create art periods. Mahomet appeared and
scored as an epoch-maker, recording a remarkable life and a spiritual
cycle. The Moors conquered Spain, but in so doing enriched her arts a
thousandfold, leaving the Alhambra as a beacon-light through the ages.
Finally the crusades united all warring races against the infidels.
Blood was shed, but at the same time routes were opened up, by which
the arts, as well as the commerce, of the Orient, reached Europe. And
so the Byzantine continued to contend with Gothic art--that art which
preceded from the Christian Church and stretched like a canopy over
Western Europe, all through the Middle Ages. It was in the churches
and monasteries that Christian art, driven from pillar to post by
wars, was obliged to take refuge, and there produced that marvellous
development known as the Gothic style,--of the Church, for the Church,
by the Church, perfected in countless Gothic cathedrals,--crystallised
glorias lifting their manifold spires to heaven,--ethereal monuments
of an intrepid Faith which gave material form to its adoration, its
fasting and prayer, in an unrivalled art.

There is one early Gothic chair which has come down to us,
Charlemagne's, made of gilt-bronze and preserved in the Louvre, at
Paris. Any knowledge beyond this one piece, as to what Carlovingian
furniture was like (the eighth century) we get only from old
manuscripts which show it to have been the pseudo-classic, that is,
the classic modified by Byzantine influence, and very like the Empire
style of Napoleon I. Here is the reason for the type. Constantinople
was the capital of the Eastern Empire, when in 726 A.D., Emperor Leo
III prohibited image worship, and the artists and artisans of his part
of the world, in order to earn a livelihood, scattered over Europe,
settling in the various capitals, where they were eagerly welcomed and

Even so late as the tenth to fourteenth centuries the knowledge we
have of Gothic furniture still comes from illustrated manuscripts and
missals preserved in museums or in the national libraries.

Rome fell as an empire in the fifth century. In the eighth century,
Venice asserted herself, later becoming the great, wealthy, Merchant
City of Eastern Europe, the golden gate between Byzantium and the West
(eleventh to fifteenth centuries). Her merchants visiting every
country naturally carried home all art expressions, but, so far as we
know, her own chief artistic output in very early days, was in the
nature of richly carved wooden furniture, no specimens of which



The Gothic Period is the pointed period, and dominated the art of
Europe from about the tenth to the fifteenth century. Its origin was
Teutonic, its development and perfection French.

At first, the house of a feudal lord meant one large hall with a
raised dais, curtained off for him and his immediate family, and
subdivided into sleeping apartments for the women. On this dais a
table ran crossways, at which the lord and his family with their
guests, ate, while a few steps lower, at a long table running
lengthwise of the hall, sat the retainers. The hall was, also, the
living-room for all within the walls of the castle. Sand was strewn on
the stone floor and the dogs of the knights ate what was thrown to
them, gnawing the bones at their leisure. This rude scene was
surrounded by wonderful tapestries hung from the walls:--woman's
record of man's deeds.

Later, we read of stairs and of another room known as the _Parloir_ or
talking-room, and here begins the sub-division of homes, which in
democratic America has arrived at a point where more than 200 rooms
are often sheltered under one private roof!

Oak chests figured prominently among the furnishings of a Gothic home,
because the possessions of those feudal lords, who were constantly at
war with one another, often had to be moved in haste. As men's lives
became more settled, their possessions gradually multiplied; but even
at the end of the eleventh century bedsteads were provided only for
the nobility, probably on account of expense, as they were very grand
affairs, carved and draped. To that time and later belong the
wonderfully carved presses or wardrobes.

Carved wood panelling was an important addition to interior decoration
during the reign of Henry III (1216-72).

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries England with Flanders led
in the production of mediæval art.

Hallmarks of the Gothic period are animals and reptiles carved to
ornament the structural parts of furniture and to ornament panels.
Favourite subjects with the wood carvers of that time were scenes from
the lives of the saints (the Church dominated the State) and from the
romances, chanted by the minstrels.



Following the Gothic Period came the Renaissance of Greek art which
began in Italy under the leadership of Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael,
who, rejecting the existing types of degraded decorative art, in Italy
a combination of the Byzantine and Gothic--turned to the antique, the
purest Greek styles of Pericles' time. The result was another period
of perfect line and proportion, called the Italian Renaissance, a
great wave of art which swept over all Europe, gaining impetus from
the wise patronage of the ruling Medicis. One of them (Pope Leo X with
the co-operation of Italy's reigning dukes and princes) employed and
so developed the extraordinary powers of Michael Angelo, Titian,
Raphael, Andrea del Sarto and Correggio.

By the end of the fifteenth century, Classic Greek art was engrossing
the mind of Western Europe, classical literature was becoming the
fashion and there was even an attempt to make Latin the popular

It was during the Renaissance that Palladio rebuilt the palaces of
Italy,--beautiful beyond words, and that Benvenuto Cellini designed in
gold, silver and bronze in a manner never since equalled. From that
same period dates the world-famous Majolica of Urbino, Pesaro and
Gubbio, shown in our museums. So far as house-furnishing went, aside
from palaces, there was but little that was appropriate for intimate
domestic life. The early Renaissance furniture was palatial,
architectural in outline and, one might almost say, in proportions.
The tables were impossibly high, the chairs were stiff, and the
cabinets immense and formal in outline. It had, however, much stately
beauty, and very lovely are certain old pieces of carved and gilded
wood where the gilt, put on over a red preparation and highly
burnished, has rubbed off with time, and shows a soft glow of colour
through the gold.

But as always, the curse of over-elaboration to please perverted
minds, was resorted to by cabinet-makers who copied mosaics with their
inlaying, and invented that form known as _pietra-dura_--polished
bits of marble, agates, pebbles and lapis lazuli. Ivory was carved
and used as bas-reliefs and ivory and tortoise shell, brass and
mother-of-pearl used as inlay. Elaborate Arabesque designs inlaid
were souvenirs of the Orient, and where the cabinetmaker's saw left
a line, the cuts were filled in with black wood or stained glue, which
brought out the design and so gave an added decorative effect. Skilled
artisans had other designs bitten into wood by acids, and shading was
managed by pouring hot sand on the surface of the wood. Hallmarks of
the Renaissance are designs which were taken from Greek and Roman
mythology, and allegories representing the elements, seasons, months
and virtues. Also, battle scenes and triumphal marches.

The insatiable love for decoration found still another expression in
silver and gold plaques of the highest artistic quality, embossed and
engraved for those princes of Florence, Urbino, Ferrara, Rome, Venice
and Naples, who vied with one another in extravagance until the
inevitable reaction came.


     An example of good mantel decoration. The vases and clock are
     Empire, the chairs Directoire, and footstools Louis XV.

     A low bowl of modern green Venetian glass holds flowers.

[Illustration: _An Example of Perfect Balance and Beauty in Mantel

Edmund Bonneffé says that in the latter part of the Renaissance,
while the effort of the Italians seems to have been to disguise wood,
French cabinet-makers emphasised its value--an interesting point to
bear in mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

If we trace the Renaissance movement in Germany we find that it was
Albrecht Dürer who led it. Then, as always, the Germans were foremost
in wood carving; with Holland and Belgium they are responsible for
much of the antique oak furniture on Renaissance lines. The
Scandinavians have also done wonderful wood carving, which is easily
confused with the early wood carving of the Russians, for the reason
that the Swedes settled Finland, and Russia's Ruric rulers (before the
Romanoff house,--sixteenth century) were from Finland.

In the sixteenth century metal work in steel, iron and brass reached
its height in Germany and Italy. It is supposed that the elaborate
mounts in furniture which were later perfected in France had their
origin in iron corners and hinge-plates used, at first, merely to
strengthen, but as the men who worked in metals became more and more
skilful, the mounts were made with the intent of mere decoration and
to draw attention to the beauty of the wood itself.

Before Dürer turned Germany's mind toward the Greek revival of Art,
the craftsmen of his country had been following Dutch models. This was
natural enough, for Charles V was king at that time, of Holland,
Germany and Spain, and the arts of the three countries, as well as
their commerce were interchangeable. In fact it was the Dutch painter,
Van Eyck, who took the Renaissance into Spain when called thereto
paint royalty. Sculptors, tapestry weavers, books on art, etc.,

That was the Spanish awakening, but the art of Spain during the
sixteenth century shows that the two most powerful influences were
Moorish and Italian. The most characteristically Spanish furniture of
that period are those cabinets,--"_Vargueos_," made of wood ornamented
on the outside with wrought iron, while inside are little columns made
of fine bone, painted and gilded. Much of the old Spanish furniture
reproduces German and Italian styles. Embossed leather put on with
heavy nails has always been characteristic of Spain, and in the
seventeenth century very fine Spanish mahogany and chestnut were
decorated with tortoise-shell inlaid with ivory, so as to make
elaborate pictures in the Italian style. (See Baron Davillier on
Spanish Furniture.).



The classic periods in French furniture were those known as Francis I,
Henry II and the three Louis,--XIV, XV, and XVI. One can get an idea
of all French periods in furnishing by visiting the collection in
Paris belonging to the government, "Mobilier National," in the new
wing of the Louvre.

It is always necessary to consult political history in order to
understand artistic invasions. Turn to it now and you will find that
Charles VIII of France held Naples for two years (1495-6), and when he
went home took with him Italian artists to decorate his palaces. Read
on and find that later Henry II married Catherine de Medici and loved
Diane de Poitiers, and that, fortunately for France, both his queen
and his mistress were patronesses of the arts. So France bloomed in
the sunshine of royal favour and Greek influence, as few countries
ever had. Fontainebleau (begun by Francis I) was the first of a chain
of French royal palaces, all monuments without and within, to a
picturesque system of monarchy,--Kings who could do no wrong, wafting
sceptres over powerless subjects, whose toil produced Art in the form
of architecture, cabinetmaking, tapestry weaving, mural decoration,
unrivalled porcelain, exquisitely wrought silver and gold plate,
silks, lovely as flower gardens (showing the "pomegranate" and "vase"
patterns) and velvets like the skies! And for what? Did these things
represent the wise planning of wise monarchs for dependent subjects?
We know better, for it is only in modern times that simple living and
small incomes have achieved surroundings of artistic beauty and

The marvels of interior decoration during the classic French periods
were created for kings and their queens, mistresses and favoured
courtiers. Diane de Poitiers wished--perhaps only dreamed--and an
epoch-making art project was born. Madame du Barry admired and made
her own the since famous du Barry rose colour, and the Sèvres
porcelain factories reproduced it for her. But how to produce this
particular illusive shade of deep, purplish-pink became a forgotten
art, when the seductive person of the king's mistress was no more.

If you would learn all there is to know concerning the sixteenth
century furnishings in France read Edmund Bonneffé's "Sixteenth
Century Furniture."

It was the Henry II interior decoration and architecture which first
showed the Renaissance of pure line and classic proportion, followed
by the never-failing reaction from the simple line to the undulating
over-ornate when decoration repeated the elaboration of the most
luxurious, licentious periods of the past.

One has but to walk through the royal palaces of France to see French
history beguilingly illustrated, in a series of volumes open to all,
the pages of which are vibrant with the names and personalities of men
and women who will always live in history as products of an age of
great culture and art.


     A delightful bit of a room. The furniture, in line, shows a
     Directoire influence. The striped French satin sofa and one chair
     is blue, yellow and faun, the Brussels tapestry in faded blues,
     fauns and greys. Over a charmingly painted table is a Louis XV
     gilt applique, the screen is dark in tone and has painted panels.

     The rug, done in cross-stitch, black ground and design colours,
     was discovered in a forgotten corner of a shop, its condition so
     dingy from the dust of ages that only an expert would have
     recognised its possibilities.

[Illustration: _Corner of a Drawing Room, Furniture Showing Directoire

The Louis XIV, XV and XVI periods in furniture are all related. Rare
brocades, flowered and in stripes, bronze mounts as garlands,
bow-knots and rosettes, on intricate inlaying, mark their common
relationship. The story of these periods is that gradually decoration
becomes over-elaborated and in the end dominates the Greek outline.

The three Louis mark a succession of great periods. Louis XIV, though
beautiful at its best, is of the three the most ornate and is
characterised in its worst stage by the extremely bowed (cabriole)
legs of the furniture, ludicrously suggestive of certain debauched
courtiers who surrounded the _Grande Monarch_.

Louis XV legs show a curve, also, but no longer the stoggy, squat
cabriole of the over-fed gallant. Instead we are entranced by an
ethereal grace and lightness of movement in every line and decoration.
Here cabriole means but a courtly knee swiftly bending to salute some
beauty's hand. So subtly waving is the curving outline of this
furniture that one scarcely knows where it begins or ends, and it is
the same with the decorations--exquisitely delicate waving traceries
of vines and flora, gold on gold, inlay, or paint in delicate tones.
All this gives to the Louis XV period supremacy over Louis XVI, whose
round, grooved, tapering straight legs, one tires of more quickly,
although fine gold and lovely paint make this type winning and

From Louis XVI we pass to the Directoire, when, following the
Revolution, the voice of the populace decried all ostentation and
everything savouring of the superfluous. The Great Napoleon in his
first period affected simplicity and there were no longer bronze
mounts, in rosettes, garlands and bow-knots, elaborate inlaying, nor
painted furniture with lovely flowering surfaces; in the most severe
examples not even fluted legs! Instead, simple but delicately
proportioned furniture with slender, squarely cut, chastely tapering
legs, arms and backs, was the fashion. In fact, the Directoire type is
one of ideal proportions, graceful outlines with a flowing movement
and the decoration when present, kept well within bounds, entirely
subservient to the main structural material. One feels an almost
Quaker-like quality about the Directoire, whether of natural wood or
plain painted surface.

With Napoleon's assumption of regal power and habits, we get the
Empire (he had been to Rome and Egypt), pseudo-classic in outline and
richly ornamented with mounts in ormoulu characteristic of the Louis.

The Empire period in furniture was dethroned by the succeeding régime.

When we see old French chairs with leather seats and backs, sometimes
embossed, in the Portuguese style, with small regular design, put on
with heavy nails and twisted or straight stretchers (pieces of wood
extending between legs of chairs), we know that they belong to the
time of Henry IV or Louis XIII. Some of the large chairs show the
shell design in their broad, elaborate stretchers.

The beautiful small side tables of the Louis and First Empire called
consoles, were made for the display of their marvellously wrought
pieces of silver, hammered and chiselled by hand,--"museum pieces,"
indeed, and lucky is the collector who chances upon any specimen



The only way to learn how to distinguish the three _Louis_ is to study
these periods in collections of furniture and objects of art, or,
where this is impossible, to go through books showing interiors of
those periods. In this way one learns to visualise the salient
features of any period and gradually to acquire a _feeling_ for them,
that subtle sense which is not dependent wholly upon outline,
decoration, nor colour, but upon the combined result.

French writers who specialise along the lines of interior decoration
often refer to the three types as follows:

Period of Louis XIV--heavily, stolidly masculine;

Period of Louis XV--coquettishly feminine;

Period of Louis XVI--lightly, alertly masculine.

One soon sees why, for Louis XIV furniture does suggest masculinity
by its weight and size. It is squarely made, straight (classic) in
line, equally balanced, heavily ponderous and magnificent. Over its
surface, masses of decoration immobile as stone carving, are evenly
dispersed, and contribute a grandiose air to all this furniture.

There was impressive gallantry to the Louis XIV style, a ceremonious
masculine gallantry, while Louis XV furniture--the period dominated by
women when "poetry and sculpture sang of love" and life revolved about
the boudoir--shows a type entirely _intime_, sinuously, lightly,
gracefully, coquettishly feminine, bending and courtesying, with no
fixed outline, no equal balance of proportions. Louis XV was the
period when outline and decoration were merged in one and the _shell_
which figured in Louis XIV merely as an ornament, gave its form (in a
curved outline) and its name "rococo" (Italian for shell) to the

As a reaction from this we get the Louis XVI period, again masculine
in its straight rigidity of line, its perfectly poised proportions,
the directness of its appeal to the eye, a "reflection of the more
serious mental attitude of the nation." Louis XVI had an aristocratic
sobriety and was masculine in a light, alert, mental way, if one can
so express it, which stimulates the imagination, in direct contrast to
the material and literal type of Louis XIV which, as we have said, was
masculine in its ponderous magnificence, and unyielding

So much for _outline_. Now for the _decoration_ of the three periods.

Remember that the Louis XIV, XV and XVI periods took their ideas for
decoration from the Greeks, via Italy, and the extreme Orient. A
national touch was added by means of their Sèvres porcelain medallions
set into furniture, and the finely chiselled bronzes known as ormoulu,
a superior alloy of metals of a rich gold colour. The subjects for
these chiselled bronzes were taken from Greek and Roman mythology;
gods, goddesses, and cupids the insignia of which were torches,
quivers, arrows, and tridents. There were, also, wreaths, garlands,
festoons and draperies, as well as rosettes, ribbons, bow-knots,
medallion heads, and the shell and acanthus leaf. One finds these in
various combinations or as individual motives on the furniture of
the Louis.


     Shows the red-tiled entrance hall of a duplex apartment in New

     On the walls are two Italian mirrors (Louis XVI), a side table
     (console) of the same epoch, and two Italian carved chairs.

[Illustration: _Entrance Hall in New York Duplex Apartment. Italian

The backgrounds for these mounts were the woods finely inlaid with
ivory shell and brass in the style of the Italian Renaissance.
Oriental lacquer and painted furniture, at that time heavily gilded.

The legs of chairs, sofas and tables of the Louis XIV period were
cabrioles (curved outward)--a development of the animal legs of carved
wood, bronze or gold, used by the ancient Assyrians, Egyptians and
Greeks as supports for tables and chairs. Square grooved legs also
appeared in this type.

The same grooves are found on round tapering legs of Louis XVI's time.
In fact that type of leg is far more typical of the Louis XVI period
than the cabriole or square legs grooved, but one sees all three

Other hallmarks of the Louis XVI period are the straight outlines,
perfectly balanced proportions, the rosettes, ribbon and bow-knot with
torch and arrows in chiselled bronze.

That all "painting and sculpture sang of love" is as true of Louis XVI
as of Louis XV. In both reigns the colouring was that of
spring-tender greens, pale blossoms, the grey of mists, sky-blues,
and yellows of sunshine.

During Louis XV's time soft cushions fitted into the sinuous lines of
the furniture, and as some Frenchman has put it, "a vague, discreet
perfume pervaded the whole period, in contrast to the heavier odour of
the First Empire."

The walls and ceilings of the three Louis were richly decorated in
accordance with a scheme, surpassing in magnificence any other period.

An intricate system of mouldings (to master which, students at the
École des Beaux Arts, Paris, must devote years) encrusted sidewalls
and ceilings, forming panels and medallions, over-doors and
chimney-pieces, into which were let paintings by the great masters of
the time, whose subjects reflected the moods and interests of each
period. The Louis XV and XVI paintings are tender and vague as to
subject and the colours veiled in a greyish tone, full of sentiment.

That was the great period of tapestry weaving--Beauvais, Arras and
Gobelin, and these filled panels or hung before doors.

It may be said that the period of Louis XVI profited by antiquity,
but continued French traditions; it was a renaissance of line and
decoration kept alive, while the First Empire was classic form
inanimate, because an abrupt innovation rather than an influence and a
development. One may go farther and quote the French claim that the
colour scheme of Louis XVI was intensely suggestive and personal,
while the Empire colouring was literal and impersonal.

Under Louis XVI furniture was all but lost in a crowd of other
articles, tapestry, draperies of velvet, flowered silks, little
objects of art in porcelain, more or less useless, silver and ormoulu,
exquisitely decorated with a précieuse intricacy of chiselled designs.

The Louis XVI period was rigid in its aristocratic sobriety, for
although torch and arrows figured, as did love-birds, in
decoration--(souvenirs of the painter Boucher), everything was set and
decorous, even the arrow was often the warrior's not cupid's; in the
same way the torch was that of the ancients, and when a medallion
showed a pastoral subject, its frame of straight lines linked it to
the period. Even if Cupid appeared, he was decorously framed or

To be sure, Marie Antoinette and the ladies of her court played at
farming in the Park of the Petite Trainon, at Versailles; but they
wore silk gowns and powdered wigs. To be rustic was the fad of the day
(there was a cult for gardening in England); but shepherdesses were
confined to tapestries, and, while the aristocracy held the stage, it
played the game of life in gloves.

There was about the interior decoration of Louis XVI, as about the
lives of aristocratic society of that time, a "penetrating perfume of
love and gallantry," to which all admirers of the beautiful must ever
return for refreshment and standards of beauty and grace.

Speaking generally of the three Louis one can say that on a background
of a great variety of wonderful inlaid woods, ivory, shell,
mother-of-pearl and brass, or woods painted and gilded, following the
Italian Renaissance, or lacquered in the manner of the Orient, were
ormoulu wrought and finely chiselled, showing Greek mythological
subjects; gods, goddesses and their insignia, with garlands,
wreaths, festoons, draperies, ribbons, bow-knots, rosettes and
medallions of cameo, Sèvres porcelain, or Wedgwood paste. Among the
lost arts of that time are inlaying as done by Boule and the finish
known as Vernis Martin.


     This large studio is a marked example of comfort and interest
     where the laws of appropriateness, practicableness, proportion
     and balance are so observed as to communicate at once a sense of

     Here the comfortable antiques and beautifully proportioned modern
     furniture make an ideal combination of living-room and painter's

[Illustration: _Combination of Studio and Living Room in a New York
Duplex Apartment_]

Tapestries and mural paintings were framed by a marvellous system of
mouldings which covered ceilings and sidewalls.

The colour scheme was such as would naturally be dictated by the
general mood of artificiality in an age when dreams were lived and the
ruling classes obsessed by a passion for amusements, invented to
divert the mind from actualities. This colour scheme was beautifully
light in tone and harmoniously gay, whether in tapestries, draperies
and upholstery of velvets, or flowered silks, frescoes or painted
furniture. It had the appearance of being intended to act as a
soporific upon society, whose aim it was to ignore those jarring
contrasts which lay beneath the surface of every age.



LOUIS XIV, 1643 to        {Compressed regularity   {Straight, square,
  1715                    {  giving way in         {  grooved and very
Key-note                  {  reaction to a         {  squat cabriole
  The Grand               {  ponderous ugliness.   {  legs.
  Audience Rooms          {                        {

THE REGENCY AND           {The Reign of Woman.     {Cabriole legs of a
  LOUIS XV, 1715 to       {                        {  perfect lightness
  1774                    {                        {  and grace.
Key-note                  {                        {
  The Boudoir             {                        {

                          {The transition style     {Legs tapering
                          {  between the Bourbon    {  straight, rounded
                          {  Interior Decoration    {  and grooved. A
                          {  and that of            {  few square-grooved
                          {  the "Directorate"      {  legs and
LOUIS XVI, 1774 to        {  and "Empire,"          {  a few graceful,
  1793                    {  characterised by a     {  slender cabriole
Key-note                  {  return to the classic  {  legs.
  The Salon _Intime_      {  line which reflects    {
                          {  a more serious turn    {
                          {  of mind on part of     {
                          {  the Nation in an age   {
                          {  of great mental        {
                          {  activity.              {

                          {Classic lines.
                          {Classic decorations with subjects taken from
                          {  Greek mythologies.
                          {Winged figures, emblems of liberty; antique
                          {  heads of helmeted warriors, made like
                          {  medallions, wreaths, lyres, torches,
                          {  rosettes, etc.
                          {Besides the wonderful mounts of Ormoulu,
                          {  designed by the great sculptors and painters
                          {  of the period, there was a great deal
                          {  of fine brass inlaying.
                          {Antique vases taken from ancient tombs were
THE FIRST EMPIRE,         {  placed in recesses in the walls of rooms
  NAPOLEON I, 1804        {  after the style of the ancient "Columbaria."
  to 1814                 {Every effort was made to surround Napoleon I
                          {  with the dignity and austere sumptuousness
                          {  of a great Roman Emperor. As we have said,
                          {  he had been in Rome and he had been in Egypt;
                          {  the art of the French Empire was reminiscent
                          {  of both. Napoleon would outstrip the other
                          {  conquerors of the world.
                          {Some Empire furniture shows the same fine
                          {  turning which characterizes Jacobean furniture
                          {  of both oak and walnut periods. We refer to
                          {  the round, not spiral, turning. See legs of
                          {  Empire sofa on which Madame Récamier reclines
                          {  in the well-known portrait by David (Louvre).


                          {Gothic, through 14th Century.
THE OAK PERIOD            {Renaissance, 16th Century.
  (including early        {Elizabethan, 16th Century.
  Jacobean)               {Jacobean or Stuart, 17th Century; James I,
                          {  Charles I and II, and James II, 1603-1688.

                          {Late Jacobean.
THE WALNUT PERIOD         {William and Mary, 1688.
                          {Queen Anne, 1702.

"MAHOGANY" PERIOD         {Chippendale.             {18th Century.
  (and other imported     {HEPPELWHITE.             {
  woods), or              {SHERATON                 {

                          {Almost no furniture exists of the 13th
                          {  Century. We get the majority of our
GOTHIC PERIOD,            {  ideas from illustrated manuscripts of
  Through 14th Century.   {  that time. The furniture was carved
                          {  oak or plain oak ornamented with
                          {  iron scroll work, intended both for
                          {  strength and decoration.

RENAISSANCE OR            {The characteristic, heavy, wide mouldings
  ELIZABETHAN,            {  and small panels, and heavy round
  16th Century.           {  carving.

                          {Panels large and mouldings very narrow and
                          {  flat, or no mouldings at all, and flat
                          {  carving. The classic influence shown during
JACOBEAN OR               {  the period of the Commonwealth in designs,
  STUART PERIOD,          {  pilastars and pediments was the result of a
  17th Century.           {  classic  reaction, all elaboration being
                          {  resented.
WALNUT PERIOD,            {The Restoration brought in elaborate
  late 17th Century.      {  carving. Dutch influence is exemplified
                          {  in the fashion for inlaying imported from
                          {  Holland, as well as the tulip design.
                          {  Turned legs, stretchers, borders and spiral
                          {  turnings, characterized Jacobean style.

In the GOTHIC PERIOD (extending      {
  through 14th Century), as          {
  the delightful irregularity in     {
  line and decoration shows,         {Tables, chests, presses (wardrobes),
  there was NO SET TYPE; each        {  chairs and benches or
  piece was an individual creation   {  settles.
  and showed the personality         {
  of maker.                          {

PERIOD (16th Century)                {Table chests, presses, chairs,
types begin to establish             {  benches, settles, and small
and repeat themselves.               {  chests of drawers.

                                     {Inlaying in ebony, ivory,
                                     {  mother-of-pearl, and ebonised
                                     {  oblong bosses of the jewel type
                                     {  (last half of 17th Century).
In the JACOBEAN (17th Century)       {  The tulip design introduced
there was already a set type,        {  from Holland as decoration.
pieces made all alike, turned        {Turned and carved frames and
out by the hundreds.                 {  stretchers; caned seats and
                                     {  backs to chairs, velvet cushions,
                                     {  velvet satin damask and
                                     {  needlework upholstery, the
                                     {  seats stuffed.

Henry VIII made England _Protestant_, it having been Roman
Catholic for several hundred years before the coming of the Anglo-Saxons
and for a thousand years after.

                {QUEEN ELIZABETH.
                {"The Elizabethan Period."

STUART.         {JAMES I. 1603.
"JACOBEAN."     {CHARLES I. (Puritan Revolution), 1628.

                {Oliver Cromwell. 1649.
PURITAN.        {

STUART.         {Charles II. (1660), Restoration.
"JACOBEAN."     {James II. (1686), Deposition and Flight.

                {William--Prince of Orange (Holland), 1688.
PROTESTANT.     {  Who had married the English Princess
                {  Mary and was the only available _Protestant_
                {  (1688).

PROTESTANT.     --Queen Anne (1702-1714).



It is interesting to note that the Great Fire of London started the
importation of foreign woods from across the Baltic, as great
quantities were needed at once for the purpose of rebuilding. These
soft woods aroused the invention of the cabinet-makers, and were
especially useful for inlaying; so we find in addition to oak, that
mahogany, pear and lime woods were used in fine furniture, it being
lime-wood that Grinling Gibbons carved when working with Sir
Christopher Wren, the famous architect (seventeenth century).

During the early Georgian period the oak carvings were merely poor
imitations of Elizabethan and Stuart designs. There seemed to have
been no artist wood-carvers with originality, which may have been
partly due to a lack of stimulus, as the fashion in the decoration of
furniture turned toward inlaying.


are characterised by _turned_ work, giving way to _flattened forms_,
and the disappearance of the elaborate front stretcher on Charles II

The coming of mahogany into England and its great popularity there
gives its name to that period when Chippendale, Heppelwhite, Sheraton
and the Adam Brothers were the great creative cabinet-makers. The
entire period is often called CHIPPENDALE, because Chippendale's books
on furniture, written to stimulate trade by arousing good taste and
educating his public, are considered the best of that time. There were
three editions: 1754, 1759, and 1762.

The work was entitled "The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director and
Useful Designs of Household Furniture in the Gothic, Chinese and
Modern Taste" (and there was still more to the title!).

Chippendale's genius lay in taking the best wherever he found it and
blending the whole into a type so graceful, beautiful, perfectly
proportioned, light in weight and appearance, and so singularly suited
to the uses for which it was intended, that it amounted to creation.

The "Chinese Craze" in England was partly due to a book so called,
written by Sir William Chambers, architect, who went to China and not
only studied, but sketched, the furniture, he saw there.

Thomas Sheraton, we are assured, was the most cultivated of this group
of cabinet-makers. The three men made both good and bad styles. The
work of the three men can be distinguished one from the other and,
also, it can be very easily confused. To read up a period helps; but
to really know any type of furniture with certainty, one must become
familiar with its various and varying characteristics.

The houses and furniture designed and made by the Adam brothers were
an epoch in themselves. These creations were the result of the
co-operation of a little band of artists, consisting of Michael Angelo
Pergolesi, who published in 1777, "Designs for Various Ornaments";
Angelica Kauffman and Cipriani, two artist-painters who decorated the
walls, ceilings, woodwork and furniture designed by the Adam brothers;
and another colleague, the great Josiah Wedgwood, whose medallions and
plaques, cameo-like creations in his jasper paste, showed both classic
form and spirit.

The Adam brothers' creations were rare exotics, with no forerunners
and no imitators, like nothing the world had ever seen--yet reflecting
the purest Greek period in line and design.

One of the characteristics of the Mahogany Period was the cabriole
leg, which is, also, associated with Italian and French furniture of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As a matter of fact this
form of leg is as old as the Romans and is really the same as the
animal legs of wood or bronze, used as supports for tripods and tables
by Assyrians, Egyptians and Greeks. The cabriole leg may be defined as
"a convex curve above a concave one, with the point of junction
smoothed away. On Italian console tables and French commodes we see
the two simple curves disguised by terminal figures."

The rocaille (shell) ornament on the Chippendale as well as the
cabriole leg copied from Italy and France, and the Dutch foot from
Holland, substantiate our claim that Chippendale used what he found
wherever he found it irrespective of the stigma of plagiarism.

There is a beautiful book by F.S. Robinson in which the entire subject
of English furniture is treated in a most charming fashion.

Now let us return a moment to the Jacobean period. It was under
Charles I that couches and settles became prominent pieces of
furniture. Some of the Jacobean chairs are like those made in Italy,
in the seventeenth century, with crossed legs, backs and seats covered
with red velvet. Other Jacobean chairs had scrollwork carved and
pierced, with central panel in the back of embroidery, while the seat
was of cane.

Some of the Jacobean cabinets had panels of ebony, the other parts
inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ivory.

The silver Jacobean furniture is interesting and the best examples of
this type are said to be those belonging to Lord Sackville. They are
of ebony with silver mountings.

Yorkshire is noted for its Jacobean furniture, but some famous rooms
done in this style are at Langleys, in Essex, the seat of Col.
Tufnell, where the ceilings and mantels are especially fine and the
library boasts interesting panelled walls, once enlivened by stained
glass windows, when this room was used as a private chapel for the

Jacobean carving was never ornate.

Twenty years later came the Queen Anne period. Queen Anne chairs show
a solid splat, sometimes vase-shaped, and strap-work arabesques. Most
of the legs were cabriole, instead of the twisted turnings (on Stuart
lines) which had been Supports for chairs, cabinets and tables. The
Queen Anne chair legs terminated when cabriole, in claws and balls or
simple balls. Settees for two were then called "love seats," and
"pole-screens" belonged to this period, tall, slender poles with
small, sliding screens.

Queen Anne hangings were of rich damasks, silks and velvets, and the
wainscot of rooms was painted some pale colour as an effective
background to set off the dark, turned walnut or gorgeous lacquer
made in red, green or black, and ornamented with gold. Some of the
Queen Anne pieces of this variety had hinges and lockplates of chased
brass. Another variety was of oak, veneered with walnut and inlaid.

The very high ceilings of the Queen Anne period led to the use of
"tall boys" or family bureaus, those many-storied conveniences which
comprised a book-case above, writing desk in the middle, and drawers

Lockwood says in giving the history of chairs, in his "Cabinet Makers
from 1750 to 1840": "Extravagance of taste and fluctuation of fashion
had reached high water mark due to increase of wealth in England and
her colonies. From the plain, stately pieces of Queen Anne the public
turned to the rococo French designs of early Chippendale, then tiring
of that, veered back to classic lines, as done by the Adam brothers,
and so on, from heavy Chippendale to the overlight and perishable
Heppelwhite. Then public taste turned to the gaudily painted Sheraton
and finally, took to copying the French Empire."

The American Revolutionary War stopped the exportation of furniture
to America, with the result that cabinet-makers in the United States
copied Chippendale and neglected all other later artists. When America
began again to import models, Sheraton was an established and not a
transitional type. Beautiful specimens are shown in the Nichols house,
at Salem, Mass., furnished in 1783. The furniture used by George
Washington when President of the United States in 1789, and now in the
City Hall, New York, is pure Sheraton. (See Colonial Furniture, Luke
Vincent Lockwood.)

Sir Christopher Wren, architect, with Grinling Gibbons, designer and
wood-carver, were chiefly responsible for the beautifully elaborate
mouldings on ceilings and walls, carved from oak and used for forming
large panels with wide bevels, into which were sometimes set

The Italian stucco mouldings were also used at that time. The fashion
for elaborate ceilings and sidewalls had come to England via Italy and
France. The most elaborate ones of those times were executed under
Charles II and William III, the ceilings rivalling those of Louis XIV.

William and Mary (1687-1702) brought over with them from Holland,
Dutch cabinet makers, which accounts for the marked Dutch influence on
the Mahogany Period, an influence which shows in a Dutch style of
inlaying, cabriole legs and the tulip design. A sure sign of the
William and Mary period is the presence of jasmine, as designed for
inlaying in bone, ivory or hollywood.

Lacquer came to England via Holland, the Dutch having imported Chinese

The entire Mahogany Period, including the Adam brothers, used the
shell as a design and the backs of settees resembled several chair
backs places side by side.

A feature of the Mahogany Period were the knife-boxes and cases for
bottles, made of mahogany and often inlaid, which stood upon pedestals
constructed for the purpose, at each side of the sideboard. Later the
pedestals became a part of the sideboard. The urn-shaped knife-boxes
were extremely graceful as made by Adam, Chippendale and Heppelwhite.

It is impossible to clearly define all of the work of the
cabinet-makers of the mahogany or any other period, for reasons
already stated. So one must be prepared to find Chippendale sofas
which show the shapes originated by him and, also, at times, show
Louis XVI legs and Louis XV outline. Chippendale's contemporaries were
quite as apt to vary their types, and it is only by experience that
one can learn to distinguish between the different artists, to
appreciate the hall marks of creative individuality.

The early Chippendale was almost identical with Queen Anne furniture
and continued the use of cabriole leg and claw and ball feet. The top
of the Chippendale chairs were bow-shaped with ends extending beyond
the sides of the back and usually turned _up_. If turned down they
never rounded into the sides, as in the case of Queen Anne chairs. The
splats have an upward movement and were joined to chair seats, and not
to a cross-rail. They were pierced and showed elaborate ribbon and
other designs in carving. There were, also, "ladder backs," and the
Chinese Chippendale chairs, with lattice work open carved and
extending over entire backs. The characteristic Chippendale leg is
cabriole with claw and ball foot.

The setting for Chippendale furniture was a panelled dado, classic
mantelpiece, architraves and frieze, and stretched over sidewalks,
above dado, was silk or paper showing a large pattern harmonising with
the furniture. The Chinese craze brought about a fashion for Chinese
wall papers with Chinese designs. This Chinese fashion continued for
fifty years.

Chippendale carved the posts of his bedsteads, and so the bed curtains
were drawn back and only a short valance was used around the top,
whereas in the time of William and Mary bed curtains enveloped all the
woodwork. Still earlier in the Elizabethan period bed posts were
elaborately carved.

In the eighteenth century it was the fashion to embroider the bed

The Chippendale china-cabinets with glass fronts, were the outcome of
the fad for collecting Chinese and French porcelain, and excellent
taste was displayed in collecting these small articles within definite
and appropriate limits. Cabinets with glass doors were also used as
receptacles for silverware.

Thomas Sheraton (1760-1786), another great name in the Mahogany
Period, admired Louis XV and Louis XVI and one can easily trace French
influence in the "light, rhythmic style" he originated. Sheraton's
contribution to interior decoration was furniture. His rooms, walls,
ceilings, over-doors, windows and chimney pieces, are considered very
poor; which accounts for the fact that Sheraton furniture as well as
Heppelwhite was used in Adam rooms.

Sheraton made a specialty of pieces of furniture designed to serve
several purposes, and therefore adapted for use in small rooms; such
as dressing-tables with folding mirrors, library step-ladders
convertible into tables, etc.

The backs of Sheraton chairs had straight tops and several small
splats joined to a cross-rail, and not to the seat. The legs were

Sheraton introduced the use of turned work on the legs and outer
supports of the backs of chairs, and produced fine examples of painted
furniture, especially painted satin-wood. He, also, did some very fine
inlaying and used cane in the seats and backs of chairs which he
painted black and gold. Among those who decorated for him was Angelica

Heppelwhite chairs are unmistakable on account of their _shield_,
_heart_ or _oval_ backs and open splats, which were not joined to
the seat in the centre of backs. The most beautiful were those with carved
Prince of Wales feathers, held together by a bow-knot delicately
carved. They were sometimes painted. The legs of Heppelwhite furniture
were straight.

We see in the book published by A. Heppelwhite & Co., a curious
statement to the effect that cabriole chairs were those having stuffed
backs. This idea must have arisen from the fact that many chairs of
the eighteenth century with cabriole legs, did have stuffed backs.

Robert Adam, born in 1785, was an architect and decorative artist. The
Adam rooms, walls, ceilings, mantels, etc., are the most perfect of
the period; beautiful classic mouldings encrust ceilings and
sidewalls, forming panels into which were let paintings, while in
drawing-rooms the side panels were either recessed so as to hold
statuary in the antique style, or were covered with damask or
tapestry. It is stated that damask and tapestry were never used on the
walls of Adam dining-rooms. James Adam, a brother, worked with

Every period had its own weak points, so we find the Adam brothers at
times making wall-brackets which were too heavy with ram's heads,
garlands, etc., and the Adam chairs were undoubtedly bad. They had
backs with straight tops, rather like Sheraton chairs, and several
small splats joining top rail to seat. The bad chairs by Adam, were
improved upon by Sheraton and Heppelwhite. The legs of Adam furniture
were straight.

The ideal eighteenth century interior in England was undoubtedly an
Adam room with Heppelwhite or Sheraton furniture.

Sir John Soane, architect, had one of the last good house interiors,
for the ugly Georgian style came on the scene about 1812. Grinling
Gibbons' carvings of heavy fruits and flowers, festoons and masks made
to be used architecturally we now see used on furniture, and often
heavily gilded.

William Morris was an epoch maker in English interior decoration, for
he stood out for the "great, simple note" in furnishings. The
pre-Raphaelites worked successfully to the same end, reviving classic
simplicity and establishing _the value of elimination_. The good,
modern furniture of to-day, designed with reference to meeting the
demands of modern conditions, undoubtedly received a great impetus
from that reaction to the simple and harmonious.



The furniture made in America during the eighteenth and early
nineteenth centuries was reproduced from English models and shows the
influence of Chippendale, Sheraton, Heppelwhite and the Adam brothers.
For those interested in these early types of American output, the Sage
and other collections in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, give a
delightful object lesson, and there has been much written on the
subject in case any data is desired.

If some of our readers own heirlooms and plan reproducing Colonial
interiors of the finest type, we would advise making an effort to see
some of the beautiful New England or Virginia homes, which remain
quite as they were in the old days; fine square rooms with hand-carved
woodwork, painted white, their walls panelled in wood and painted the
same white. Into these panels were set hand-painted wall paper. The
authors saw some made for a house in Peabody, near Salem,
Massachusetts, some time between 1760 and 1800, and were amazed to
find that the colours were as vivid as when first put on.

Here let us say that the study of interior decoration throws a strong
light on the history of walls. In Gothic days the stone or wood of the
feudal hall was partially concealed by tapestries,--the needlework of
the women of the household, a record of the gallant deeds of men used
as interior decoration. Later of course, the making of tapestries
became a great industry in Italy, France and Belgium, an industry
patronised by kings and the nobility, and subsidised by governments.

Next we have walls sheathed with wood panelling. Then during the late
Renaissance, painted portraits were let into these panels and became a
part of the walls. Later, the upper half, or two-thirds of the
panelling, was left off, and only a low panelling, or "dado,"
remained. This, too, disappeared in time.

Landscape paper was the bridge between the panelled walls with
pictures built into them, and the painted or papered walls with
pictures hung on them. The paper which we have already referred to, is
one of the finest examples of its kind, and while there is only enough
for one side of a room, it is valued at $5,000. The design is eight
feet high, each strip 22 inches wide, and there are eighteen of the
original twenty strips. Two breaks occur, numbers 16 and 18. The owner
believes that the Puritan attitude of her ancestors caused them to
destroy the panels which showed nude figures engaged in battle. This
paper is now the property of Mrs. Eliza Brown of Salem, Massachusetts.
It was found in her grandfather's attic in Gloucester, and was given
to Mrs. Brown by her grandmother. It was in an army chest belonging to
Judutham Baldwin, a Colonel of Engineers in the Revolutionary Army,
who laid out the forts in Boston Harbour.

Kate Sanborn, in her book on "Old Wall Papers" speaks of this
particular paper. "Paper from the Ham House at Peabody, Massachusetts,
now occupied by Dr. Worcester. Shows tropical scenes. These scenes are
quite similar to those of the Pizarro paper and may have been the
work of the same designer." (The so-called "Pizarro in Peru" paper is
shown in plate 34 and 35 of the same book, and is in Duxbury, Mass.)
Pizarro's invasion of Peru was in 1531. The colouring of Mrs. Brown's
paper is white background with foliage in vivid greens, while figures
of Peruvians wear costumes of brilliant blues and vermillion reds, a
striking contrast to their soft, brown skins.

This paper is now in the market, but let us hope it may finally rest
in a museum.



The revival of Directoire and Empire furniture within the past few
years, is attributed by some, to that highly artistic, and altogether
illuminating publication, the _Gazette do Bon Ton_--Arts, Modes and
Frivolities--published in Paris by the Librarie Centrale des Beaux
Arts, 13 rue Lafayette and contributed to by the leading artists of
Paris--the ultra moderns.

There was a time, fifteen or twenty years ago, when one could buy
Empire furniture at very low figures, for in those days there was many
a chance to pick up such pieces. To-day, a genuine antique or a
hand-made reproduction of an antique made sixty years ago, will
command a large price, and even in Paris one has difficulty in finding
them in the shops at any price.

Empire furniture ceased to be admired in America when the public got
"fed up" on this type by its indiscriminate use in hotels and other
public buildings.

The best designers of modern painted furniture are partly responsible
for the revived interest in both Empire and Directoire. From their
reproductions of the beautiful simple outlines, we, as a people, are
once more beginning to _feel_ line and to recognise it as an intrinsic
part of beauty.


     A Victorian group in a small portion of a very large parlour, 70
     x 40 feet, one of the few remaining, if not the last, of the old
     Victorian mansions in New York City, very interesting as a
     specimen of the most elegant style of furnishing in the first
     half of the nineteenth century.

     We would call attention to the heavy moulding of ceilings, the
     walls painted in panels (painted panels or wall paper to
     represent panels, is a Victorian hallmark), beautifully
     hand-carved woodwork, elaboration of design and colon carpet,
     woven in one piece for the room; in fact the characteristic
     richness of elaboration everywhere: Pictures in gilded carved
     frames, hung on double silk cords with tassels, heavily carved
     furniture made in England, showing fruits, flowers and medallion
     heads, and a similar elaboration and combination of flora and
     figures on bronze gas fixtures.

     Heavy curtains of satin damask hung at the windows, held back by
     great cords and tassels, from enormous brass cornices in the form
     of gigantic flowers.

     Also of the period is an immense glass case of stuffed birds,
     standing in the corner of the large dining-room. This interior
     was at the height of its glory at the time of the Civil War, and
     one is told of wonderful parties when the uniforms of the
     Northern officers decorated the stately rooms and large shaded
     gardens adjoining the house.

     As things go in New York it may be but a matter of months before
     this picturesque landmark is swept away by relentless Progress.

[Illustration: _Part of a Victorian Parlour in One of the Few
Remaining New York Victorian Mansions_]



Gradually architecture and interior decoration drew apart, becoming
two distinct professions, until during the Victorian era the two were
unrelated with the result that the period of Victorian furniture is
one of the worst on record.

There were two reasons for this divorce of the arts, which for
centuries had been one in origin and spirit; first, the application of
steam to machinery (1815) leading to machine-made furniture, and
second, the invention of wall-paper which gradually took the place of
wood panelling and shut off the architects from all jurisdiction over
the decoration of the home.

With the advent of machine-made furniture came cheap imitations of
antiques and the rapid decadence of this art. Hand-made reproductions
are quite another thing. Sir Richard Wallace (of the Wallace
Collection, London) is said to have given $40,000 for a reproduction
of the _bureau du Louvre_.

Fortunately, of late years a tide has set in which favours simple,
well made furniture, designed with fine lines and having special
reference to the purposes for which each piece is intended, and to-day
our houses can be beautiful even if only very simple and inexpensive
furniture is used.

In the Victorian prime, even the carved furniture, so much of which
was made in England both for that country and the United States (see
Plate XXI), was not of the finest workmanship, compared with carvings
of the same time in Belgium, France, Germany and Austria.

To-day Victorian cross-stitch and bead work in chairs, screens,
footstools and bell-pulls, artificial flowers of wax and linen, and
stuffed birds, as well as Bristol glass in blue, green and violet, are
brought out from their hiding places and serve as touches of colour to
give some of the notes of variety which good interior decoration

To be fascinating, a person must not be too rigidly one type. There
must be moments of relaxation, of light and shade in mood, or one is
not charmed even by great beauty. So your perfect room must not be
kept too rigidly in one style. To have attraction it must have variety
in both line and colour, and reflect the taste of generations of home
lovers. The contents of dusty garrets may add piquancy to modern
decorations, giving a touch of the unusual which is very charming.



Painted furniture is, at present, the vogue, so if you own a piece
made by the Adam brothers of England, decorated by the hand of
Angelica Kauffman, or Pergolesi, from Greek designs, now is the moment
to "star" it.

Different in decoration, but equal in charm, is the seventeenth and
eighteenth century painted lacquers of Italy, France, China and Japan.
In those days great masters laboured at cabinetmaking and decorating,
while distinguished artists carved the woodwork of rooms, and painted
the ceilings and walls of even private dwellings.

To-day we have reproductions (good and bad) of the veteran types, and
some commendable inventions, more or less classic in line, and
original in colouring and style of decoration. At times, one wishes
there was less evident effort to be original. We long for the repose
of classic colour schemes and classic line. In art, the line and the
combination of colours which have continued most popular throughout
the ages, are very apt to be those with which one can live longest and
not tire. For this reason, a frank copy of an antique piece of painted
furniture is generally more satisfactory than a modern original.

If you are using dull coloured carpets and hangings, have your modern
reproductions antiqued. If you prefer gay, cheering tones, let the
painted furniture be bright. These schemes are equally interesting in
different ways. It is stupid to decry new things, since every grey
antique had its frivolous, vivid youth.

One American decorator has succeeded in making the stolid,
uncompromising squareness of mission furniture take on a certain
lightness and charm by painting it black and discreetly lining it with
yellow and red. Yellow velour is used for the seat pads and heavy
hangings, thin yellow silk curtains are hung at the windows, and the
black woodwork is set off by Japanese gold paper. In a large house, or
in a summer home where there are young people coming and going, a
room decorated in this fashion is both gay and charming and makes a
pleasant contrast to darker rooms. Then, too, yellow is a lovely
setting for all flowers, the effect being to intensify their beauty,
as when flooded by sunshine.

Another clever treatment of the mission type, which we include under
the heading Painted Furniture, is to have it stained a rich dark
brown, instead of the usual dark green. Give your dealer time to order
your furniture unfinished from the factory, and have stained to your
own liking; or, should you by any chance be planning to use mission in
one of those cottages so often built in Maine, for summer occupancy,
where the walls are of unplastered, unstained, dove-tailed boards, and
the floors are unstained and covered with matting rugs, try using this
furniture in its _natural_ colour--unfinished. The effect is
delightfully harmonious and artistic and quite Japanese in feeling.

In such a cottage, the living-room has a raftered ceiling, the
sidewalls, woodwork, settles by the fireplaces, open bookcases and
floor, are all stained dark walnut. The floor colour is very dark,
the sidewalls, woodwork and book shelves are a trifle lighter, and the
ceiling boards still lighter between the almost black, heavy rafters.
The mission furniture is dark brown, the hangings and cushions are of
mahogany-coloured corduroy, and the floor is strewn with skins of
animals. There are no pictures, the idea being to avoid jarring notes
in another key. Instead, copper and brass bowls contribute a note of
variety, as well as large jars filled with great branches of flowers,
gathered in the nearby woods. The chimney is exposed. It and the large
open fireplace are of rough, dark mottled brick.

A room of this character would be utterly spoiled by introducing white
as ornaments, table covers, window curtains or picture-mats; it is a
colour scheme of dull wood-browns, old reds and greens in various
tones. If you want your friends' photographs about you in such a room,
congregate them on one or two shelves above your books.



The experience of the author is that the most attractive, inexpensive
furniture is that made by the Leavens factory in Boston. This
furniture is so popular with all interior decorators that it needs no
further advertising. Order for each single iron bed two _foot boards_,
instead of a head and a footboard. This the factory will supply upon
demand. Then have your bed painted one of the colours you have chosen
as in the colour scheme for your room. Say, the prevailing note of
your chintz. Have two rolls made, to use at the head and foot (which
are now of equal height) and cover these and the bed with chintz, or,
if preferred, with sun-proof material in one of the other colours in
your chintz. By this treatment your cheap iron bed of ungainly
proportions, has attained the quality of an interesting, as well as
unique, "day-bed."


     Two designs for day-beds which are done in colours to suit the
     scheme of any room.

     These beds are fitted with box springs and a luxurious mattress
     of feathers or down, covered with silk or chintz, coverlet and
     cushions of similar material, in colours harmonising with beds.
     If desired, these lounges can be made higher from the floor.

[Illustration: _Two Styles of Day-beds_]

The most attractive cheap bureau is one ordered "in the plain" from
the factory, and painted like the bed. If you would entirely remove
the factory look, have the mirror taken off the bureau and hang it on
the wall over what, by your operation, has become a chest of drawers.
If you want a long mirror in your rooms, the cheapest variety is
mirror glass, fastened to the back of doors with picture moulding to
match woodwork. This is also the cheapest variety of over-mantel
mirrors. We have seen it used with great success, let into walls of
narrow halls and bedrooms and framed with a dull-gold moulding in the
style of room.

For chairs, use the straight wooden ones which are made to match the
bureau, and paint them like the bed and bureau.

For comfortable arm-chairs, wicker ones with chintz-covered pads for
seat and back are best for the price, and these can also be painted.

Cheap tables, which match the bureau, when painted will do nicely as a
small writing-table or a night-table for water, clock, book, etc.

If the floors are new and of hard wood, wax them and use a square of
plain velvet carpet in a dark tone of your dominant colour. Or if
economy is your aim, use attractive rag rugs which are very cheap and
will wash.

If your floors are old and you intend using a large velvet square,
paint the edges of the floor white, or some pale shade to match the
colour of the walls. Or, use filling all over the floor. If you cannot
afford either and must use small rugs, stain or paint your floors a
dark colour, to be practical, and use only necessary rugs; that is,
one before bed, bureau and fireplace.

Sofas are always expensive. That is one reason for advising that beds
be treated like "day-beds."

Wall papers, at ten cents a roll, come in charming colours and
designs, and with a few cheap French coloured prints, framed in
passepartout, your room is attractive at once.

If your prints are black and white use broad passepartout in same
colour as the wall paper, only a tone deeper. If you use favourite
photographs, suppress all margins and frame with narrow black

For curtains use one of the sixty-or seventy-cent chintzes which come
in attractive designs and colours, or what is still cheaper,
sun-proof material, fifty inches wide (from $1.10 to $1.50 a yard),
and split it in half for curtains, edging them with a narrow fringe of
a contrasting colour which appears in the chintz of chair-pads.
Another variety of cheap curtains is heavy cream scrim with straps
(for looping back) and valance of chintz. These come cheaper than all
chintz curtains and are very effective, suggesting the now popular and
expensive combination of plain toned taffetas combined with chintz.

Use for sash curtains plain scrim or marquesette.

Let your lamps be made of inexpensive one-toned pottery vases,
choosing for these still another colour which appears in the chintz.
The lamp shades can be made of a pretty near-silk, in a plain colour,
with a fringe made up of one, two or three of the colours in the

If you happen to have your heart set on deep rose walls and your
bedroom furniture is mahogany, find a chintz with rose and French
blue, and then cover your arm-chair pads and bed with chintz, but make
your curtains of blue sun-proof material, having a narrow fringe of
rose, and use a deep rose carpet, or rugs, or if preferred, a dull
brown carpet to harmonise with the furniture. A plain red Wilton
carpet will dye an artistic deep mulberry brown. They are often bought
in the red and dyed to get this shade of brown.

For attractive cheap dining-room furniture, buy simple shapes,
unfinished, and have the table, sideboard and chairs painted dark or
light, as you prefer.

In your dining-room and halls, if the house is old and floors bad, and
economy necessary, use a solid dark linoleum, either deep blue or red,
and have it _waxed_, as an economical measure as well as to improve
its appearance.

In a small home, where no great formality is observed, well chosen
doilies may be used on all occasions, instead of table cloths. By this
expedient you suppress one large item on the laundry bill, the care of
the doilies in such cases falling to the waitress.

To make comfortable, convenient and therefore livable, a part of a
house, formerly an attic, or an extension with small rooms and low
ceilings, seems to be the special province of a certain type of mind,
which works best when there is a tax on the imagination.

When reclaiming attic rooms, one of the problems is how to get wall
space, especially if there are dormer windows and very slanting
ceilings. One way, is to place a dressing table _in_ the dormer, under
windows, covering the sides of the dormer recess with mirror glass,
edged with narrow moulding. The dressing-table is not stationary,
therefore it can be easily moved by a maid, when the rooms are



(Where economy is not an item of importance)

Here we can indulge our tastes for beautiful quality of materials and
fine workmanship, as well as good line and colour, so we describe a
room which has elegant distinction and atmosphere, yet is not a
so-called period room--rather a modern room, in the sense that it
combines beautiful lines and exquisite colouring with every modern
development for genuine comfort and convenience.

The walls are panelled and painted a soft taupe--there are no
pictures; simply one very beautiful mirror in a dull-gold frame, a
Louis XVI reproduction.


     In another suite we have a boudoir done in sage greens and soft
     browns. The curtains of taffeta, in stripes of the two colours.
     Two tiers of creme net form sash curtains.

     The carpet is a rich mulberry brown, day-bed a reproduction of an
     antique, painted in faded greens with _panier fleuri_ design on
     back, in lovely faded colours, taffeta cushions of sage green and
     an occasional note about the room of mulberry and dull blue.
     Electric light shades are of decorated parchment paper.

     Really an enchanting nest, and as it is in a New York apartment,
     and occasionally used as a bedroom, a piece of furniture has been
     designed for it similar to the wardrobe shown in picture, only
     not so high. The glass door, when open, disclose a toilet table,
     completely fitted out, the presence of which one would never

[Illustration: _Boudoir in New York Apartment. Painted Furniture,
Antique and Reproductions._]

The carpet made of dark taupe velvet covers the entire floor. The
furniture is Louis XV, of the wonderful painted sort, the beautiful
bed with its low head and foot boards exactly the same height, curving
backward; the edges a waved line, the ground-colour a lovely
pistache green, and the decoration gay old-fashioned garden flowers in
every possible shade. The bureau has three or four drawers and a bowed
front with clambering flowers. These two pieces, and a delightful
night-table are exact copies of the Clyde Fitch set in the Cooper
Hewitt Museum, at New York; the originals are genuine antiques, and
their colour soft from age.

A graceful dressing-table, with winged mirrors, has been designed to
go with this set, and is painted like the bureau. The glass is a
modern reproduction of the lovely old eighteenth century mirror glass
which has designs cut into it, forming a frame.

For chairs, all-over upholstered ones are used, of good lines and
proportions; two or three for comfort, and a low slipper-chair for
convenience. These are covered in a chintz with a light green ground,
like the furniture, and flowered in roses and violets, green foliage
and lovely blue sprays.

The window curtains are of soft, apple-green taffeta, trimmed with a
broad puffing of the same silk, edged on each side by black
moss-trimming, two inches wide. These curtains hang from dull-gold
cornices of wood, with open carving, through which one gets glimpses
of the green taffeta of the curtains.

The sash-curtains are of the very finest cream net, and the window
shades are of glazed linen, a deep cream ground, with a pattern
showing a green lattice over which climb pink roses. The shades are
edged at the bottom with a narrow pink fringe.

The bed has a cover of green taffeta exactly like curtains, with the
same trimming of puffed taffeta, edged with a black moss-trimming.

The mantelpiece is true to artistic standards and realises the
responsibility of its position as keynote to the room. Placed upon it
are a beautiful old clock and two vases, correct as to line and

Always be careful not to spoil a beautiful mantel or beautiful
ornaments by having them out of proportion one with the other. Plate
XXIV shows a mantel which fails as a composition because the bust, an
original by Behnes, beautiful in itself, is too heavy for the mantel
it stands on and too large for the mirror which reflects it and
serves as its background.

Keep everything in correct proportion to the whole. We have in mind
the instance of some rarely beautiful walls taken from an ancient
monastery in Parma, Italy. They were ideal in their original setting,
but since they have been transported to America, no setting seems
right. They belonged in a building where there were a succession of
small rooms with low ceilings, each room perfect like so many pearls
on a string. Here in America their only suitable place would be a
museum, or to frame the tiny "devotional" of some précieuse Flower of



An original scheme for a dining-room was recently carried out in a
country house in England by a woman whose hobby is illuminating. It
will appeal to experts in the advance guard of interior decoration.
The woman in question was stimulated for her task by coming into
possession of some interesting Jacobean pieces of furniture, of oak,
squarely and solidly made, with flat carvings, characteristic of the


     A beautiful mantel, a beautiful mirror, beautiful ornaments, and
     a rare and beautiful marble bust by Behnes, but because the bust
     is too large for both mantel and reflecting mirror, the
     composition is poor.

[Illustration: _Example of Lack of Balance in Mantel Arrangement_]

The large Jacobean chest happened to be lined, as many of those old
chests were, with quaint figured paper, showing a coat-of-arms
alternating with another design in large squares of black and grey.
This paper, the owner had reproduced to cover the walls of her
dining-room, and then she stained her woodwork black (giving the
effect of old black oak), also, the four corner cupboards, but
the _inside_ of these cupboards--doors and all--she made a rich
Pompeian red and lackered it. The doors are left open and one sees on
the shelves of the corner cupboards a wonderful collection of old
china, much of it done in rich gold. At night the whole is illuminated
with invisible electric bulbs. The gleaming effect is quite

The seat-pads on chairs, are made of hides, gilded all over, and on
the gilt the owner has painted large baskets holding fruit and flowers
done in gay colours. The long Jacobean bench has a golden cushion with
baskets painted on it in gay colours.

A part of the wonderful gold china is used at every meal, and the rest
of it being left on the shelves of the four cupboards with their
Pompeian red lining, when lit up, forms part of the glowing blaze of
colour, concentrated in all four corners of this unique room.

The Jacobean library in this house has the same black oak effect for
panelling and at the windows, hang long, red silk curtains, with deep
borders of gold on which are painted gay flowers. This blaze of colour
is truly Jacobean and recalls the bedroom at Knole, occupied by James
I where the bed-curtains were of red silk embroidered in gorgeous
gold, and the high post bedstead heavily carved, covered with gold and
silver tissue, lined with red silk, its head-board carved and gilded.

Another room at Knole was known as the "Spangle" bedroom. James I gave
the furniture in it to Lionel, Earl of Middlesex. Bed curtains, as
well as the seats of chairs and stools, are of crimson, heavily
embroidered in gold and silver.



"Sun-rooms" are now a feature of country and some town houses. One of
the first we remember was in Madrid, at the home of Canovas del
Castillo, Prime Minister during the Regency. Déjeuner used to be
served at one end of the conservatory, in the shadow of tall palms,
while fountains played, birds with gay plumage sang, and the air was
as fragrant as the tropics. For comfort, deep red rugs were put down
on the white marble floors. Which reminds us that in many Spanish
hand-made rugs, what is known as "Isabella white" figures
conspicuously. The term arises from the following story. It seems that
Queen Isabella during the progress of some war, vowed she would not
have her linen washed until her army returned victorious. The war was
long, hence the term!

In furnishing a conservatory or porch breakfast room, it is best to
use some variety of informal tables and chairs, such as painted
furniture, willow or bamboo, and coloured, not white, table cloths,
doilies and napkins, to avoid the glare from the reflection of strong
light. Also, informal china, glass, etc.

Screens, if necessary, should have frames to accord with the
furniture, and the panels should be of wood, or some simple material
such as sacking or rough linen, which comes in lovely vivid,
out-of-door colours.

The bizarre and fascinating sports balconies overlooking squash
courts, tennis courts, golf links, croquet grounds, etc., are among
the newest inventions of the decorator. Furnished porches we have all
grown accustomed to, and when made so as to be enclosed by glass, in
inclement weather, they may be treated like inside rooms in the way of
comforts and conveniences.

The smart porch-room is furnished with only such chairs, tables, sofas
and rugs as are appropriate to a place not thoroughly protected from
the elements, for while glass is provided for protection, a summer
shower can outstrip a slow-footed servant and valuable articles
made for indoors cannot long brave the effect of rain and hot sun.


     In this case the house stood so near the road that there was no
     privacy, so the ingenious architect-decorator became
     landscape-gardener and by making a high but ornamental fence and
     numerous arbours, carried the eye to the green trees beyond and
     back to the refreshing tangle of shrubs and flowers in the
     immediate foreground, until the illusion of being secluded was so
     complete that the nearby road was forgotten.

[Illustration: _Treatment of Ground Lying Between House and Much
Travelled Country Road_]

For this reason furnish your porch with colours which do not fade, and
with wicker furniture which knows how to contract and expand to order!

The same rule applies to rugs. Put your Oriental rugs indoors, and use
inexpensive, effective porch rugs which, with a light heart, you can
renew each season, if necessary.

The sports balcony is fitted out with special reference to the comfort
of those who figure as audience for sports, and as a lounge between
games, and each hostess vies with her friends in the originality and
completeness of equipment, as well as in the costumes she dons in her
commendable desire to make of herself a part of her scheme of

A country place which affords tennis courts, golf links, cricket and
polo grounds or has made arrangements for the exercise of any sports,
usually makes special provision for the comfort of those engaging in
them, more or less as a country club does. There is a large porch for
lounging and tea, and a kitchenette where tea, cooling drinks and
sandwiches are easily and quickly prepared, without interfering with
the routine of the kitchens. There are hot and cold plunge baths,
showers, a swimming pool, dressing rooms with every convenience known
to man or woman, and a room given over to racks which hold implements
used in the various sports, as well as lockers for sweaters, change of
linen, socks, etc., belonging to those stopping in the house.

Where sports are a main issue, an entire building is often devoted to
the comfort of the participants. We have in mind the commodious and
exceptionally delightful arrangements made for the comfort and
pleasure of those playing court tennis in a large and architecturally
fine building erected for the purpose on the estate of the Neville
Lyttons, Crabber Park, Poundhill, England.

If sport balconies overlook tennis courts or golf links, they are
fitted out with light-weight, easily moved, stiff chairs for the
audience, and easy, cushioned arm-chairs and sofas of upholstered
wicker, for the participants to lounge in between matches.

Card tables are provided, as well as small tea tables, to seat two,
three or four, while there is always one oblong table at which a
sociable crowd of young people may gather for chatter and tea!

If you use rail-boxes, or window-boxes, holding growing plants, be
sure that the flowers are harmonious in colour when seen from the
lawn, road or street, against their background of _house_ and the
awnings and chintzes, used on the porch.

The flowers in window-boxes and on porch-rails must first of all
decorate the _outside_ of your house. Therefore, before you buy your
chintz for porches, decide as to whether the colour of your house, and
its awnings, demands red, pink, white, blue, yellow or mauve flowers,
and then choose your chintz and porch rugs as well as porch
table-linen, to harmonise.

In selecting porch chairs remember that women want the backs of most
of the chairs only as high as their shoulders, on account of wearing



There are countless fascinating schemes for arranging sun-rooms. One
which we have recently seen near Philadelphia, was the result of
enclosing a large piazza, projecting from an immense house situated in
the midst of lawns and groves.

The walls are painted orange and striped with pale yellow; the floors
are covered with the new variety of matting which imitates tiles, and
shows large squares of colour, blocked off by black. The chintzes used
are in vivid orange, yellow and green, in a stunning design; the
wicker chairs are painted orange and black, and from the immense
iridescent globes of electric light hang long, orange silk tassels.


     Shows how to utilise and make really very attractive an extension
     roof, by converting it into a balcony.

     An awning of broad green and white stripes protect this one in
     winter as well as summer, and by using artificial ivy, made of
     tin and painted to exactly imitate nature, one gets, as you see,
     a charming effect.

[Illustration: _An Extension Roof in New York Converted into a

Iron fountains, wonderful designs in black and gold, throw water over
gold and silver fish, or gay water plants; while, in black and gold
cages, vivid parrots and orange-coloured canaries gleam through
the bars. Iron vases of black and gold on tall pedestals, are filled
with trailing ivy and bright coloured plants. Along the walls are
wicker sofas, painted orange and black, luxuriously comfortable with
down cushions covered, as are some of the chair cushions, in soft
lemon, sun-proofed twills.

Here one finds card-tables, tea-tables and smoking-tables, a
writing-desk fully equipped, and at one end, a wardrobe of black and
gold, hung with an assortment of silk wraps and "wooleys"--for an
unprovided and chilly guest, in early spring, when the steam heat is
off and the glass front open.

Even on a grey, winter day, this orange and gold room seems flooded
with sun, and gives one a distinctly cheerful sensation when entering
it from the house.

Of course, if your porch-room is mainly for mid-summer use and your
house in a warm region, then we commend instead of sun-producing
colours, cool tones of green, grey or blue. If your porch floor is
bad, cover it with dark-red linoleum and wax it. The effect is like a
cool, tiled floor. On this you can use a few porch rugs.

Black and white awnings or awnings in broad, green-and-white stripes,
or plain green awnings, are deliciously cool-looking, and rail-boxes
filled with green and white or blue and pale pink flowers are
refreshing on a summer day.

By the sea, where the air is bracing, and it is not necessary to trick
the senses with a pretence at coolness, nothing is more satisfactory
or gay than scarlet geraniums; but if they are used, care must be
taken that they harmonise with the colour of the awnings and the
chintz on the porch.

Speaking of rail-boxes reminds us that in making over a small summer
house and converting a cheap affair into one of some pretensions,
remember that one of the most telling points is the character of your
porch railing. So at once remove the cheap one with its small, upright
slats and the insignificant and frail top rail, and have a solid porch
railing (or porch fence) built with broad, top rail. Then place all
around porch, resting on iron brackets, rail-flower boxes, the tops of
these level with the top of the rail, and paint the boxes the colour
of the house trimmings. Filled with running vines and gay flowers,
nothing could be more charming.

Window-boxes make any house lovely and are a large part of that charm
which appeals to us, whether the house be a mansion in Mayfair or a
Bavarian farm house. Americans are learning this.

The window and rail-boxes of a house look best when all are planted
with the same variety of flowers.

Having given a certain air of distinction to your porch-railing, add
another touch to the appearance of your small, remodelled house by
having the shutters hung from the top of the windows, instead of from
the sides. A charming variety of awning or sun-shades, to keep the sun
and glare out of rooms, is the old English idea of a straw-thatching,
woven in and out until it makes a broad, long mat which is suspended
from the top of windows, on the outside of the house, being held out
and permanently in place, at the customary angle of awnings. We first
saw this picturesque kind of rustic awnings used on little cottages of
a large estate in Vermont, cottages once owned and lived in by
labourers, but bought and put in comfortable condition to be used as
overflow rooms for guests, in connection with the large family mansion
(once the picturesque village inn).

The art of making these straw awnings is not generally understood in
America. In the case to which we refer, one of the gardeners employed
on the estate, chanced to be an old Englishman who had woven the straw
window awnings for farm houses in his own country.

The straw awnings, with window-boxes planted with bright geraniums and
vines, make an inland cottage delightfully picturesque and are
practical, although by the sea the straw awnings might be destroyed by
high winds.



Every house, or flat, which is at all pretentious, should arrange a
Vanity Room for the use of guests, in which there are full-length
mirrors, a completely equipped dressing-table with every conceivable
article to assist a lady in making her toilet, slipper-chairs and
chairs to rest in, and a completely equipped lavatory adjoining.

The woman who takes her personal appearance seriously, just as any
artist takes her art (and when dressing is not an art it is not worth
discussion) can have her dressing-room so arranged with mirrors, black
walls and strong, cleverly reflected, electric lights, that she stands
out with a cleancut outline, like a cameo, the minutest detail of her
toilet disclosed. With such a dressing-room, it is quite impossible to
suffer at the hands of a careless maid, and one can use the black
walls as a background for vivid chair covers, sofa cushions and lamp

Off this dressing-room should be another, given over to clothes, with
closets equipped with hooks and shelves, glass cabinets for shoes and
slippers, and the "show-case" for jewels to be placed in by the maid
that the owner may make her selection.

At the time of the Louis, knights and courtiers had large rooms
devoted to the care and display of their wardrobes, and even to-day
there are men who are serious connoisseurs in the art of clothes.


     Interior decoration not infrequently leads to a desire to chic
     the appearance of one's "out-of-doors." We give an example of a
     perfectly commonplace barn made interesting by adding green
     latticework, a small iron balcony, ornamental gate and setting
     out a few decorative evergreens. Behold a transformation!

[Illustration: _A commonplace Barn Made Interesting_]

The dressing-table should be constructed of material in harmony with
the rest of your furniture. It may be of mahogany, walnut, rose wood,
satin wood, or some painted variety, or, as is the fashion now, made
of silk,--a seventeenth and eighteenth century style (in vogue during
the time of the Louis). These are made of taffeta with lace covers on
top, and in outline are exactly like the simple dotted-swiss
dressing-tables with which every one is familiar,--the usual variety,
so easily made by placing a wooden packing box on its side. In this
case have your carpenter put shelves inside for boots, shoes and
slippers. The entire top is covered with felt or flannel, over
which is stretched silk or sateen, in any colour which may harmonise
with the room. A flounce, as deep as the box is high, is made of the
same material as the top, and tacked to the edges of the table-top.
Cover the whole with dotted or plain swiss. A piece of glass, cut to
exactly fit the top of the table, is a practical precaution. A large
mirror, hung above yet resting on the table, is canopied in the old
style, with the same material with which you cover your

If the table is made of the beautiful taffeta, now so popular for this
purpose, as well as for curtains, it is, of course, not covered with
swiss or lace, except the top, on which is used a fine, hand-made
cover, of real lace and hand embroidery, in soft creams,--cream from
age, or a judicious bath in weak tea. The glass top laid over this
cover protects the lace.

If the table has drawers, each can be neatly covered with the taffeta,
as can the frame of any table. A good, up-to-date cabinet-maker
understands this work as so much of it is now done.



The modern architect turns out his closets so complete as to comfort
and convenience, that he leaves but little to be done by the
professional or amateur decorator. Each perfectly equipped bedroom
suite calls for, at least, two closets: one supplied with hooks,
padded hangers for coats, and covered hangers for skirts, if the
closet is for a woman; or, if it is for a man, with such special
requirements as he may desire. In the case of a woman's suite, one
closet should consist entirely of shelves. Paint all the closets to
harmonise with the suite, and let the paint on the shelves have a
second coat of enamel, so that they may be easily wiped off. Supply
your shelves with large and small boxes for hats, blouses, laces,
veils, etc., neatly covered with paper, or chintz, to harmonise with
the room.

Those who dislike too many mirrors in a room may have full length
mirrors on the inside of the closet doors.

Either devote certain shelves to your boots, shoes and slippers, or
have a separate shallow closet for these-shallow because it is most
convenient to have but one row on a shelf.

Where economy is not an item of importance, see that electric lights
are placed in all the closets, which are turned on with the action of
opening the door.

The elaboration of closets, those with drawers of all sizes and
depths, cedar closets for furs, etc., is merely a matter of the
architect's planning to meet the specific needs of the occupants of
any house.



A long, narrow hall in a house, or apartment, is difficult to arrange,
but there are methods of treating them which partially corrects their
defects. One method is shown on Plate XIV.

The best furnishing is a very narrow console (table) with a stiff,
high-backed chair on either side of it, and on the wall, over console,
a tapestry, an architectural picture or a family portrait. On the
console is placed merely a silver card tray.

Have a closet for wraps if possible, or arrange hooks and a table, out
of right, for this purpose. Keep your walls and woodwork light in
colour and in the same tone.


     An idea for treatment of a narrow hall, where the practical and
     beautiful are combined. The hall table and candlesticks are an
     example of the renaissance of iron, elaborately wrought after
     classic designs.

     The mirror over table is framed in green glass, the ornaments are
     of dull gold (iron gilded).

     The Venetian glass jar is in opalescent green, made to hold dried
     rose leaves, and used here purely as an ornament which catches
     and reflects the light, important, as the hall is dark.

     The iron of table is black touched with gold, and the marble slab
     dark-green veined with white.

[Illustration: _Narrow Entrance Hall of a New York Antique Shop_]

An interesting treatment of a long narrow hall is to break its length
with lattice work, which has an open arch, wide enough for one or two
people to pass through, the arch surmounted by an urn in which
ivy is planted. The lattice work has lines running up and down--not
crossed, as is the usual way. It is on hinges so that trunks or
furniture may be carried through the hall, if necessary. The whole is
kept in the same colour scheme as the hall.



By introducing plenty of yellow and orange you can bring sunshine into
a dark living-room. If your house is in a part of the country where
the heat is great, a dark living-room in summer is sometimes a
distinct advantage, so keep the colourings subdued in tone, and,
therefore, cool looking. If, on the contrary, the living-room is in a
cool house on the ocean, or a shaded mountainside, and the sun is cut
off by broad porches, you will cheer up your room, and immensely
improve it, by using sun-producing colours in chintzes and silks;
while cut flowers or growing plants, which reproduce the same
colouring, will intensify the illusion of sunshine.

Sash curtains of thin silk, in bright yellows, are always
sun-producing, but if you intend using yellows in a room, be careful
to do so in combination with browns, greens, greys, or carefully
chosen blues, not with reds or magentas.

Try not to mix warm and cold colours when planning your walls. Grey
walls call for dull blue or green curtains; white walls for red or
green curtains; cream walls for yellow, brown buff or apple green
curtains. If your room is too cold, warm it up by making your
accessories, such as lamp shades, and sofa pillows, of rose or yellow



Whether you expect to arrange for one servant or a dozen, keep in mind
the fact that efficiency is dependent upon the conditions under which
your manor maid-servant rests as well as works, and that it is as
important that the bedroom be _attractive_ as that it be comfortable.

For servants' rooms it is advised that the matter of furnishing and
decorating be a scheme which includes comfort, daintiness and
effectiveness on the simplest, least expensive basis, no matter how
elaborate the house. There is a moral principle involved here. In the
case of more than one servant the colour scheme alone needs to be
varied, for similar furniture will prevent jealousy among the
servants, while at the same time the task of inventing is reduced to
the mere multiplying of one room; even the wall paper and chintz being
alike in pattern, if different in colour.

The simplest iron beds, or wooden furniture can be painted white or
any colour which may be considered more durable.

In maids' rooms for summer use, a vase provided for flowers is
sometimes an incentive to personally contribute a touch of beauty.
That sense of beauty once awakened in a maid does far more than any
words on the subject of order and daintiness in her own room or in
those of her employer.



For the young and inexperienced we state a few rules for table
decoration. If you have furnished your dining-room to accord not only
with your taste, but the scale upon which you intend living, be
careful that the dining-table never strikes a false note, never "gets
out of the picture" by becoming too important as to setting or menu.
You may live very formally in your town house and very simply, without
any ostentation, in the country, but be sure that in all of your
experimenting with table decoration you observe above all the law of

Your decoration, flowers, fruit, character of bowl or dish which holds
them, or _objet d'art_ used in place of either; linen or lace, china,
glass and silver,--each and all must be in keeping. The money value
has nothing whatever to do with this question of appropriateness, when
considered by an artist decorator. Remember that in decorating,
things are classified according to their colour value, their lines and
the purpose for which they are intended. The dining-table is to eat
at, therefore it should primarily hold only such things as are
required for the serving of the meal. So your real decoration should
be your silver, glass and china, with its background of linen or lace.
The central decoration, if of flowers or fruit, must be in a bowl or
dish decorative in the same sense that the rest of the tableware is.

Flowers should be kept in the same key as your room. One may do this
and yet have infinite variety. Tall stately lilies, American Beauty
roses, great bowls of gardenias and orchids are for stately rooms.
Your small house, flat or bungalow require modest garden flowers such
as daffodils, jonquils, tulips, lilies-of-the-valley, snapdragons, one
long-stemmed rose in a vase, or a cluster of shy moss-buds or nodding

A table set with art in the key of a small menage and on a scale of
simple living, often strikes the note of perfection from the expert's
point of view because perfect of its kind and suitable for the
occasion. This appropriateness is what makes your "smart" table quite
as it makes your "smart" woman.

Wedgwood cream colour ware "C.C." is beautiful and always good form.
For those wanting colour, the same famous makers of England have an
infinite variety, showing lovely designs.

Unless you are a collector in the museum sense, press into service all
of your beautiful possessions. If you have to go without them, let it
be when you no longer own them, and not because they are hoarded out
of sight. You know the story of the man who bought a barrel of apples
and each day carefully selected and ate those that were rotten,
feeling the necessity of not being wasteful. When the barrel was empty
he realised that be had deliberately wasted all his good apples _by
not eating one_! Let this be a warning to him who would save his
treasures. If you love antiques and have joyously hunted them down
and, perhaps, denied yourself other things to obtain them, you are the
person to use them, even though the joy be transient and they perish
at the hand of a careless man or maid-servant. Remember, posterity
will have its own "fads" and prefer adding the pleasure of pursuit to
that of mere ownership. So bring out your treasures and use them!

As there are many kinds of dining-rooms, each good if planned and
worked out with an art instinct, so there are many kinds of tables.
The usual sort is the round, or square, extension table, laid with
fine damask and set with conventional china, glass and silver, rare in
quality and distinguished in design. For those who prefer the unusual
there are oblong, squarely built Jacobean and Italian refectory
tables. With these one makes a point of showing the rich colour of the
time-worn wood and carving, for the old Italian tables often have the
bevelled edge and legs carved. When this style of table is used, the
wood instead of a cloth, is our background, and a "runner" with
doilies of old Italian lace takes the place of linen.

In Feudal Days, when an entire household, master and retainers, sat in
the baronial hall "above and below the salt," tables were made of
great length. When used out of their original setting, they must be
cut down to suit modern conditions. In Krakau, Poland, the writer
often dined at one of these feudal boards which had been in our
hostess's family for several hundred years. To get it into her
dining-room a large piece had been cut out at the centre and the two
ends pushed together.

       *       *       *       *       *

For those who live informally, delightfully decorative china can be
had at low prices. It was once made only for the peasants, and comes
to us from Italy, France, Germany and England. This fact reminds us
that when we were travelling in Southern Hungary and were asked to
dine with a Magyar farmer, out on the windy Pasta, instead of their
usual highly coloured pottery, gay with crude, but decorative flowers,
they honoured us by covering the table with American ironstone china!
The Hungarian crockery resembles the Brittany and Italian ware, and
some of it is most attractive when rightly set.

When once the passion to depart from beaten paths seizes us it is very
easy to make mistakes. Therefore to the housekeeper, accustomed to
conventional china, but weary of it, we would commend as a safe
departure, modern Wedgwood and Italian reproductions of classic
models, which come in exquisite shapes and in a delicious soft cream
tone. If one prefers, it is possible to get these varieties decorated
with charming designs in artistic colourings, as previously stated.

For eating meals out of doors, or in "sun-rooms," where the light is
strong, the dark peasant pottery, like Brittany, Italian and
Hungarian, is very effective on dull-blue linen, heavy cream linen or
coarse lace, such as the peasants make.

Copper lustre, with its dark metallic surface; is enchanting on dark
wood or coloured linen of the right tone.

Your table must be a _picture_ composed on artistic lines. That is, it
must combine harmony of line and colour and above all, appropriateness.
Gradually one acquires skill in inventing unusual effects; but only
the adept can go against established rules of art and yet produce a
pleasing _ensemble_. We can all recall exceptions to this rule
for simplicity, beautiful, artistic tables, covered with rare and
entrancing objects,--irrelevant, but delighting the eye. Some will
instantly recall Clyde Fitch's dinners in this connection, but here
let us emphasise the dictum that for a great master of the art of
decoration there need be no laws.

A careful study of the Japanese principles of decoration is an ideal
way of learning the art of simplicity. It is impossible to deny the
immense decorative value of a single _objet d'art_, as one flower in a
simple vase, provided it is given the correct background.

Background in decoration is like a pedal-point in music; it must
support the whole fabric, whether you are planning a house, a room or
a table.


     Shows how a too pronounced rug which is out of character, though
     a valuable Chinese antique, can destroy the harmony of a
     composition even where the stage is set with treasures; Louis XV
     chairs, antique fount with growing plants, candelabra, rare
     tapestry, reflected by mirror, and a graceful console and a
     settee with grey-green brocade cushions.

[Illustration: _Example of a Charming Hall Spoiled by Too Pronounced a



We all know the saying that it is only those who have mastered the
steps in dancing who can afford to forget them. It is the same in
every art. Therefore let us state at once, that all rules may be
broken by the educated--the masters of their respective arts. For
beginners we give the following rules as a guide, until they get their
bearings in this fascinating game of making pictures by manipulating
lines and colours, as expressed in necessary furnishings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Avoid crowding your rooms, walls or tables, for in creating a _home_
one must produce the quality of restfulness by order and space.

As to walls, do not use a cold colour in a north or shaded room. Make
your ceilings lighter in tone than the side walls, using a very pale
shade of the same colour as the side walls.

Do not put a spotted (figured) surface on other spotted (figured)
surfaces. A plain wall paper is the proper, because most effective,
background for pictures.

Avoid the mistake of forgetting that table decoration includes all
china, glass, silver and linen used in serving any meal.

In attempting the decoration of your dining-room table avoid anything
inappropriate to the particular meal to be served and the scale of
service. Do not have too many flowers on your table, or flowers not in
harmony with the rest of the setting, in variety or colour.

Do not use peasant china, no matter how decorative in itself, on fine
damask or rare lace. By so doing you strike a false note. The
background it demands is crash or peasant laces.

Avoid crowding your dining-table or giving it an air of confusion by
the number of things on it, thus destroying the laws of simplicity,
line and balance in decoration.

Avoid using on your walls as mere decorations articles such as rugs or
priests' vestments primarily intended for other purposes.

Avoid the misuse of anything in furnishing. It needs only knowledge
and patience to find the correct thing for each need. Better do
without than employ a makeshift in decorating.

Inappropriateness and elaboration can defeat artistic beauty--but
intelligent elimination never can.

Beware of having about too many vases, or china meant for domestic
use. The proper place for table china, no matter how rare it is, is in
the dining-room. If very valuable, one can keep it in cabinets.

Useless bric-à-brac in a dining-room looks worse than it does anywhere

Your dining-room is the best place for any brasses, copper or pewter
you may own.

If sitting-room and dining-room connect by a wide opening, keep the
same colour scheme in both, or, in any case, the same depth of colour.
This gives an effect of space. It is not uncommon when a house is very
small, to keep all of the walls and woodwork, and all of the carpets,
in exactly the same colour and tone. If variety in the colour-scheme
is desired, it may be introduced by means of cretonnes or silks used
for hangings and furniture covers.

Avoid the use of thin, old silks on sofas or chair seats.

Avoid too cheap materials for curtains or chair covers, as they will
surely fade.

Avoid too many small rugs in a room. This gives an impression of
restless disorder and interferes with the architect's lines. Do not
place your rugs at strange angles; but let them follow the lines of
the walls.

Avoid placing ornaments or photographs on a piano which is in
sufficiently good condition to be used.

Avoid the chance of ludicrous effects. For example, keep a plain
background behind your piano. Make sure that, when listening to music
you are not distracted by seeing a bewildering section of a picture
above the pianist's head, or a silly little vase dodging, as he moves,
in front of, above, or below his nose!

Avoid placing vases, or a clock, against a chimney piece already
elaborately decorated by the architect, as a part of his scheme in
using the moulding of panel to frame a painting over the mantel. In
the old palaces one sees that a bit of undecorated background is
provided between mantel and the architect's decoration.

If your room has a long wall space, furnish it with a large cabinet or
console, or a sofa and two chairs.

Avoid blotting out your architect's cleverest points by thoughtlessly
misplacing hangings. Whoever decorates should always keep the
architect's intention in mind.

Avoid having an antique clock which does not go, and is used merely as
an ornament. Make your rooms _alive_ by having all the clocks running.
This is one of the subtleties which marks the difference between an
antique shop, or museum, and a home.

Avoid the desecration of the few good antiques you own, by the use of
a too modern colour scheme. Have the necessary modern pieces you have
bought to supplement your treasures, stained or painted a dull dark
colour in harmony with the antiques, and then use dull colours in the
floor coverings, curtains and cushions. If you have no good _old_
ornaments, try to get a few good shapes and colours in inexpensive
reproductions of the period to which your antiques belong. Avoid the
mistake of forgetting that every room is a "stage setting," and must
be a becoming and harmonious background for its occupants.

Avoid arranging a Louis XVI bedroom, with fragile antiques and
delicate tones, for your husband of athletic proportions and elemental
tastes. He will not only feel, but look out of place. If he happens to
be fond of artistic things, give him these in durable shades and

Avoid the omission of a thoroughly masculine sitting-room, library,
smoking-room or billiard-room for the man, or men, of the house.

Avoid the use of white linen when eating out of doors. Saxe-blue, red
or taupe linen are restful to the eyes. In fact, after one has used
coloured linen, white seems glaring and unsympathetic even indoors,
and one instinctively chooses the old deep-cream laces. Granting this
to be a bit précieuse, we must admit that the traditional white
damask, under crystal and silver, or gold plate with rare porcelains,
has its place and its distinction in certain houses, and with certain


     Shows a man's library, masculine gender written all over
     it-strength, comfort, usefulness and simplicity.

     The mantel is arranged in accordance with rules already stated.
     It will be noticed that the ornaments on mantel in a way
     interfere with design of the large architectural picture.

[Illustration: _A Man's Library_]

Avoid in a studio, bungalow or a small flat, where the living-room
and dining-room are the same, all evidences of _dining-room_ (china,
silver and glass for use). Let the table be covered with a piece of
old or modern brocade when not set for use. A lamp and books further
emphasises the note of living-room.

Avoid the use of light-absorbing colours in wall papers if you are
anxious to create sympathetic cheerfulness in your rooms, and an
appearance of winning comfort. Almost all dark colours are
light-absorbing; greens, dull reds, dark greys and mahogany browns
will make a room dull in character no matter how much sunlight comes
in, or how many electric lights you use. Perhaps the only dark colour
which is not light-absorbing is a dark yellow.

Avoid the permanent tea-table. We are glad to record that one seldom
happens upon one, these days. How the English used to revile them! In
the simplest homes it is always possible at the tea hour, to have a
table placed before whoever is to "pour" and a tray on which are cups,
tea, cream, sugar, lemon, toast, cake or what you will, brought in
from the pantry or kitchen. There was a time when in America, one
shuddered at the possibility of dusty cups and those countless faults
of a seldom-rehearsed tea-table!

Avoid serving a lunch in an artificially lighted room. This, like a
permanent tea-table, is an almost extinct fashion. Neither was
sensible, because inappropriate, and therefore bad form. The only
possible reason for shutting out God's sunlight and using artificial
lights, is when the function is to begin by daylight and continue
until after nightfall.

If in doubt as to what is _good_, go often to museums and compare what
you own, or have seen and think of owning, with objects in museum



In a New York home one room is devoted to a so-called _panier fleuri_
collection which in this case means that each article shows the design
of a basket holding flowers or fruit. The collection is to-day so
unique and therefore so valuable, that it has been willed to a museum,
but its creation as a collection, was entirely a chance occurrence.
The design of a basket trimmed with flowers happened to appeal to the
owner, and if we are not mistaken, the now large collection had its
beginning in the casual purchase of a little old pendant found in a
forgotten corner of Europe. The owner wore it, her friends saw it, and
gradually associated the _panier fleuri_ with her, which resulted in
many beautiful specimens of this design being sought out for her by
wanderers at home and abroad. To-day this collection includes old
silks, laces, jewellery, wax pictures, old prints, some pieces of
antique furniture, snuffboxes and ornaments in glass, china, silver,

Every museum is the result of fads in collecting, and when one
considers all that is meant by this heading, which sounds so trifling
and unimportant to the layman, it will not seem strange that we
strongly recommend it as a dissipation!

At first, quite naturally, the collector makes mistakes; but it is
through his mistakes that he learns, and absolutely nothing gives such
a zest to a stroll in the city, a tramp in the country, or an
unexpected delay in an out-of-the-way town, as to have this collecting
bee in your bonnet. How often when travelling we have rejoiced when
the loss of a train or a mistake in time-table, meant an unexpected
opportunity to explore for junk in some old shop, or, perhaps, to
bargain with a pretty peasant girl who hoarded a beloved heirloom, of
entrancing interest to us (and worth a pile of money really), while
she lived happily on cider and cheese!

It is doubtless the experience of every lover of the old and the
curious, that one never regrets the expenses incurred in this quest of
the antique, but one does eternally regret one's economies. The
writer suffers now, after years have elapsed, in some cases, at the
memory of treasures resisted when chanced upon in Russia, Poland,
Hungary, Bohemia--where not! Always one says, "Oh, well, I shall come
back again!" But there are so many "pastures green," and it is often
difficult to retrace one's steps.

Then, too, these fads open our eyes and ears, so that in passing along
a street on foot, in a cab or on a bus, or in glancing through a book,
or, perhaps, in an odd corner of an otherwise colourless town, where
fate has taken us, we find "grist for our mill"--just the right piece
of furniture for the waiting place!

Know what you want, _really want it_, and you will find it some time,
somewhere, somehow!

As a stimulus to beginners in collecting, as well as an illustration
of that perseverance required of every keen collector, we cite the
case of running down an Empire dressing-table.

It was our desire to complete a small collection of Empire furniture
for a suite of rooms, by adding to it as a supplement to the bureau, a
certain type of Empire dressing-table. It is no exaggeration to say
that Paris was dragged for what we wanted--the large well-known
antique shops and the smaller ones of the Latin Quarter being both
ransacked. Time was flying, the date of our sailing was approaching,
and as yet the coveted piece had not been found. Three days before we
left, a fat, red-faced, jolly cabby, after making a vain tour of the
junk shops in his quarter, demanded to know exactly what it was we
sought. When told, he looked triumphant, bade us get into his cab,
lashed his horse and after several rapidly made turns, dashed into an
out-of-the-way street and drew up before a sort of junk store-house,
full of rickety, dusty odds and ends of furniture, presided over by a
stupid old woman who sat outside the door, knitting,--wrapped head and
all in a shawl. We entered and, there, to our immense relief, stood
the dressing table! It was grey with dust, the original Empire green
silk, a rusty grey and hanging in shreds on the back of the original
glass. There was a marble top set into the wood and grooved in a
curious way. The whole was intact except for a loose back leg, which
gave it a swaying, tottering appearance. We passed it in
silence--being experienced traders! Then, after buying several little
old picture frames, while Madame continued her knitting, we wandered
close to the coveted table and asked what was wanted for that broken
bit "of no use as it stands."

"Thirty francs" (six dollars) was the answer.

Later a well-known New York dealer offered seventy-five dollars for
the table in the condition in which we found it, and repaired as it is
to-day it would easily bring a hundred and fifty, anywhere!

As it happened, the money we went out with had been spent on
unexpected finds, and neither we nor our good-natured cabby were in
possession of thirty francs! In fact, cabby was rather staggered to
hear the price, having offered to advance what we needed. He suggested
sending it home "collect" but Madame would not even consider such an
idea. However, at last our resourceful jehu came to the rescue. If the
ladies would seat themselves in the cab, he could place the table in
front of them, with the cover of the cab raised, and Madame of the
shop could lock her door and mounting the box by the side of our
_cocher_, she might drive with us to our destination and collect the
money herself! He promised to bring her home safely again!

As we had only the next day for boxing and shipping, there was no
alternative. Before we had even taken in our grotesque appearance, the
horse was galloping, as only a Paris cab horse can gallop, toward our
abode in Avenue Henri Martin, past carriages and autos returning from
the _Bois_, while inside the cab we sat, elated by our success and in
that whirl of triumphant absorbing joy which only the real collector

This same modest little Empire collection had a treasure recently
added to it, found by chance, in an antique shop in Pennsylvania. It
was a mirror. The dealer, an Italian, said that he had got it from an
old house in Bordentown, New Jersey.

"It's genuine English," he said, certain he was playing his winning

It has the original glass and a heavy, squarely made, mahogany frame.
Strange to say it corresponds exactly with the bed and bureau in the
collection, having pilasters surmounted by women's heads of
gilded wood with small gilded feet showing at base.


     An end of a room containing genuine Empire furniture, Empire
     ornaments and a rare collection of Empire cups, which appear in a
     _vitrine_ seen near the dull-blue brocade curtains drawn over

     We would especially call attention to the mantelpiece, which was
     originally the Empire frame of a mirror, and to a book shelf made
     interesting by having the upper shelf supported by a charming
     pair of antique bronze cupids.

     This plate is reproduced to show as many Empire pieces as
     possible; it is not an ideal example of arrangement, either as to
     furniture in room or certain details. There is too much crowding.

[Illustration: _A Collection of Empire Furniture, Ornaments and

As the brother of the great Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte, king of Spain
and Rome, passed many years of his self-imposed exile in Bordentown,
in a house made beautiful with furnishings he brought from France, it
is possible this old mirror has an interesting story, if only it could
talk! Then, too, it was Bordentown that sheltered a Prince Murat, the
relative of Joseph Bonaparte. If it was he who conveyed our mirror to
these shores, a very different, but as highly romantic a tale might

For fear the precious ancient glass should be broken or the frame
destroyed, we bribed a Pullman-car porter to let us bring its six by
four feet of antiquity with us, in the train!

When you see a find always take it with you, or the next man may, and
above all, always be on the lookout.

It was from a French novel by one of the living French writers that we
first got a clue to a certain obscure Etruscan museum, hidden away in
the Carrara Mountains, in Italy. That wonderful little museum and its
adjacent potteries, which cover the face of Italy like ant-hills, are
to-day contributors to innumerable beautiful interiors in every part
of America.

We recall a dining-room in Grosvenor Square, London, where a
world-renowned collection of "powder-blue" vases (the property of Mr.
J.B. Joel) is made to contribute to a decorative scheme by placing the
almost priceless vases of old Chinese blue and white porcelain, in
niches made for them, high up on the black oak panelling. There are no
pictures nor other decorations on the walls, hence each vase has the
distinction it deserves, placed as it were, in a shrine.

In the Peter Hewitt Museum, New York, you may see an antique Italian
china cabinet, made of gilded carved wood, which shows on its
undulating front, row after row of small niches, lined with red
velvet. When each deep niche held its porcelain _chef d'oeuvre_, the
effect must have been that of a gold screen set with gems!

Speaking of red velvet backgrounds, in the same museum, standing near
the Italian cabinet, is an ancient Spanish one; its elaborate steel
hinges, locks and ornaments have each a bit of red velvet between
them and the oak of the cabinet. One sees this on Gothic chests in
England and occasionally on the antique furniture of other countries.
The red material stretched back of the metal fret-work, is said to be
a souvenir of the gruesome custom prevailing in ancient times, of
warning off invaders by posting on the doors of public buildings, the
skin of prisoners of war, and holding it in place with open-work
metal, through which the red skin was plainly seen!

At Cornwall Lodge, in Regents Park, London, the town house of Lady de
Bathe (Lily Langtry) the dining-room ceiling is a deep sky-blue, while
the sidewalls of black, serve as a background for her valuable
collection of old, coloured glass, for the most part English. The
collection is the result of the owner's eternal vigilance, when
travelling or at home.

A well-known Paris collector, now dead, found in Spain a bust which
had been painted black. Its good lines led him to buy it, and, when
cleaned, it proved to be a genuine Canova, and was sold by this
dealer, a reliable expert, to an American for five thousand dollars!
It had been painted during a Revolution, to save it from destruction.

The same dealer on another occasion, when in Spain, found an old silk
gown of lovely flowered brocade, but with one breadth missing. Several
years later, in an antique shop in Italy, he found that missing gore
and had it put back in the gown, thus completing the treasure which
some ruthless hand had destroyed.



Many of our museums have interesting collections of old Wedgwood.
Altogether the most complete collection we have ever seen is in the
museum adjoining the Wedgwood factories in Staffordshire, England. The
curator there, an old man of about seventy, loves to tell the story of
its founding and growth. He began as a labourer in the potteries and
has worked his way up to be guardian of the veterans in perfected
types. Many of the rare and beautiful specimens he has himself dug up
in the grounds, where from time to time, since 1750, they were thrown
out as broken, useless debris. The recovery of these bits, their
preservation and classification, together with valuable donations made
by English families who have inherited rare specimens, have not only
placed at the disposal of those interested, the fascinating history of
Wedgwood, in a thrilling object lesson, but has made the modern
Wedgwood what it is:--one of the most beautiful varieties of tableware
in the market to-day.

Josiah Wedgwood is said to have been the first English potter,
counting from the Roman time to the first quarter of the eighteenth
century, who made vases to be used for _mere decoration_. Chelsea,
Worcester and Derby were just then beginning to make fine porcelain.
In Wedgwood's day it was the rule for young men of title and wealth to
go abroad, and the souvenirs which they brought back with them, such
as pictures and vases, helped to form a taste for the antique, in
England. Then, too, books on Greek art were being written by English
travellers. Josiah Wedgwood had a natural bent for the pure line and
classic subjects, but he was, also, possessed with the keen
businessman's intuition as to what his particular market demanded. So
he sat about copying the line and decorations of the antique Greek
vases. He reproduced lines and designs in decoration, but invented the
"bodies," that is to say, the materials from which the potters moulded
his wares. He is said to have invented in all, twenty varieties. We
say that he reproduced Greek designs, and so he did, but John Flaxman,
his chief decorator, who lived in Rome, where he had a studio and
clever assistants, studied the classics, imbibed their spirit and
originated the large majority of Wedgwood's so-called "Greek" designs,
--those exquisite cameo-like compositions in white, on backgrounds of
pastel colours, which appeared as miniatures mounted for jewellery,
medallions let into wall panels, and on furniture and Carrara marble
mantelpieces, wonderful works of art wrought of his "Jasper" paste,
which make Josiah Wedgwood outrank any producer of ceramics who has
ever lived in any age.

Wedgwood's first vases were for use, although they were ornamental,
too. Those were the pots he made in which to grow bulbs or roots, and
the "bough pots" which were filled with cut flowers and used to
ornament the hearth in summer.

Mr. Frederick Rathbone, compiler of the Wedgwood catalogue in 1909, a
memorial to Josiah Wedgwood made possible by his great-granddaughter,
says that during his thirty-five years' study of Wedgwood's work, he
had yet to learn of a single vase which was ever made by him, or sent
out from his factory at Etruria, which was lacking in grace or beauty.

The Etrurian Museum, Staffordshire, shows Josiah Wedgwood's life work
from the early Whieldon ware to his perfected Jasper paste. Josiah's
"trials" or experiments, are the most interesting specimens in the
museum, and prove that the effort of his life was "converting a rude
and inconsiderable manufactory into an elegant art and an important
part of national commerce." Yet, although he is acknowledged by all
the world to have been the greatest artist in ceramics of his or any
period, remember pottery was only one of his interests. He was by no
means a man who concentrated day and night on one line of production.
He occupied himself with politics, and planned and carried through
great engineering feats and was, also, deeply interested in the
education of his children.

When Wedgwood began his work, all tea and coffee pots were
"salt-glazed," plain, or, if decorated, copies of Oriental patterns,
which were the only available models, imported for the use of the
rich. Wedgwood invented in turn his tortoise shell, agate, mottled
and other coloured wares, and finally his beautiful pale-cream, known
as "Queen's" ware, in honour of Queen Charlotte, his patron. It is the
"C.C." (cream colour) which is so popular to-day, either plain or
decorated. He invented colours, as well as bodies, for the manufacture
of his earthenware, both for use and for decoration, and built up a
business employing 15,000 persons in his factories,--and 30,000 in all
the branches of his business.

In 1896 the census showed 45,914 persons employed in the factories,
and at that time the annual amount paid in wages was over two million
pounds (ten million dollars).

We must remember that in 1760, the only way of transporting goods to
and from the Wedgwood factory was by means of pack-horses. Therefore
Josiah Wedgwood had to turn his attention to the construction of roads
and canals. As Mr. Gladstone put it in his address at the opening of
the Wedgwood Institute at Burslem, Staffordshire, "Wedgwood made the
raw material of his industry abundant and cheap, which supplied a vent
for the manufactured article and which opened for it materially a way
to what we may term the conquest of the outer world." Yet he never
travelled outside his own country; always employed English workmen to
carry out his ideas, and succeeded entirely by his own efforts,
unaided by the state. His first patroness was Catherine II of Russia,
for whom he made a wonderful table service, and his best customers
were the court and aristocracy of France, during that country's
greatest art periods (Louis XV and XVI). In fact Wedgwood ware became
so fashionable in Paris that the Sèvres, Royal Porcelain factory,
copied the colour and relief of his Jasper plaques and vases. It is
claimed by connoisseurs, that the Wedgwood useful decorative pottery
is the only ceramic art in which England is supreme and unassailable.

It has been said at the Wedgwood works, and with great pride, that the
copying of Wedgwood by the Sèvres factories, and the preservation of
many rare examples of his work to-day, in French museums, to serve as
models for French designers and craftsman, is a neat compliment to the
English--"those rude islanders with three hundred religions and only
one _sauce_"!


     In the illustration five of the four vases, four with covers and
     one without, are reproductions of old pharmacy jars, once used by
     all Italian druggists to keep their drugs in.

     The really old ones with artistic worth are vanishing from the
     open market into knowing dealers' or collectors' hands, or the
     museums have them, but with true Latin perspicuity, when the
     supply ceased to meet the demand, the great modern Italian
     potters turned out lovely reproductions, so lovely that they
     bring high prices in Italy as well as abroad, and are frequently
     offered to collectors when in Italy as genuine antiques.

[Illustration: _Italian Reproductions in Pottery after Classic Models_]



About nine years ago, an American connoisseur, automobiling from Paris
to Vienna, the route which lies through Northern Italy, quite by
chance, happened to see some statuettes in the window of a hopeful,
but unknown, potter's little shop, on a wonderful, ancient, covered
bridge. You, too, may have seen that rarely beautiful bridge spanning
the River Brenta, and have looked out through broad arches which occur
at intervals, on views, so extraordinary that one feels they must be
on a Gothic tapestry, or the journey just a dream! One cannot forget
the wild, rushing river of purplish-blues, and the pines, in deep
greens, which climb up, past ruined castles, perched on jutting rocks,
toward snow-capped mountain peaks. The views were beautiful, but so
were the statuettes which had caught our collector's eye. He bought
some, made inquiries as to facilities for reproduction at these
potteries, and exchanged addresses. The result was that to-day, that
humble potter directs several large factories, which are busy reviving
classic designs, which may be found on sale everywhere in Italy and in
many other countries as well as America.



If you have been in Venice then you know the Murano Museum and its
beguiling collection of Venetian glass, that old glass so vastly more
beautiful in line and decoration than the modern type of, say, fifteen
years ago, when colours had become bad mixtures, and decorations
meaningless excrescences.

A bit of inside information given out to some one really interested,
led to a revival of pure line and lovely, simple colouring, with
appropriate decorations or none at all. You may already know that
romantic bit of history. It seems that when the museum was first
started, about four hundred years ago, the glass blowers agreed to
donate specimens of their work, provided their descendants should be
allowed access to the museum for models. This contract made it a
simple matter for a connoisseur to get reproduced exactly what was
wanted, and what was not in the market. Elegance, distinguished
simplicity in shapes, done in glass of a single colour, or in one
colour with a simple edge in a contrasting shade, or in one colour
with a whole nosegay of colours to set it off, appearing literally as
flowers or fruit to surmount the stopper of a bottle, the top of a
jar, or as decorations on candlesticks.

It was in the Museo Civico of Venice that we saw and fell victims to
an enchanting antique table decoration--a formal Italian garden, in
blown glass, once the property of a great Venetian family and redolent
of those golden days when Venice was the playground of princes, and
feasting their especial joy; days when visiting royalty and the
world's greatest folk could have no higher honour bestowed upon them
than a gift of Venetian glass, often real marvels mounted in silver
and gold.

We never tired of looking at that fairy garden with its delicate
copings, balustrades and vases of glass, all abloom with exquisite
posies in every conceivable shade, wrought of glass--a veritable dream
thing! Finally, nothing would do but we must know if it had ever been
copied. The curator said that he believed it had, and an address was
given us. How it all comes back! We arose at dawn, as time was
precious, took our coffee in haste and then came that gliding trip in
the gondola, through countless canals, to a quarter quite unknown to
us, where at work in a small room, we came upon our glass blower and
the coveted copy of that lovely table-garden. This man had made four,
and one was still in his possession. We brought it back to America, a
gleaming jewelled cobweb, and what happened was that the very ethereal
quality of its beauty made the average taste ignore it! However, a few
years have made a vast difference in table, as well as all other
decorations, and to-day the same Venetian gardens have their faithful
devotees, as is proved by the continuous procession of the dainty
wonders, ever moving toward our sturdy shores.


In bringing our book to an end we would reiterate four fundamental
principles of Interior Decoration (and all decoration):

Good lines.

Correct proportions.

Harmonious colour scheme (which includes the question of background)


Observe these four laws and any house, all interior decoration, and
any lawn or garden, will be beautiful and satisfying, regardless of
type and choice of colours.

Whether or not you remain content with your achievement depends upon
your mental makeup. Really know what you want as a home, _want it_,
and you can work out any scheme, provided you have intelligence,
patience and perseverance.

To learn what is meant by _good line_, one must educate oneself by
making a point of seeing beautiful furniture and furnishings. Visit
museums, all collections which boast the stamp of approval of experts;
buy at the best modern and antique shops, and compare what you get
with the finest examples in the museums. This is the way that
_connaisseurs_ are made.


Acanthus leaf
Adam, James and Robert
Angelo, Michael (See Michelangelo)
Architectural picture
Attic rooms

Bohemian glass
Boucher François
Boule, André Charles
Bristol glass

Cæsar, Augustus
Carpets (_See_ Floor)
Cellini, Benvenuto
Charles I
Charles II
Charles V
Chares VIII
_Chef d'oeuvre_
"Chinese Craze"
Cipriani, Giovanni Battista
Cold Colours
Correggio, Antonio Allegri
Cretonne (_See_ Chintz)

Dark Ages
Du Barry, Madame
Du Barry rose
Dürer, Albrecht


Fire-dogs (_See_ Andirons)
Flaxman, John
Floors (_See_ Carpets)
Francis I
Franklin Stoves

Gibbons, Grinling
Glazed Linen

Henry II
Henry III
Henry IV
Henry VIII

Iron Work
Italian Louis XVI

James I
James II
James VI

Kauffman, Angelica
Key Note

Lamp Shades
Landscape Paper
Library, a Man's
Light-absorbing colours
Louis XIII
Louis XIV
Louis XV
Louis XVI
Lustre copper

Mahogany Period
Man's Room (_See_ Men's Rooms)
Marie Antoinette
Mediæval Art
Medici, Catherine de
Medicine jars
Men's Rooms
Metal Work
Middle Ages
Mission Furniture
Morris, William

Napoleon I
Narrow halls
New England

Oak Period
_Objets d'art_

Painted Furniture
Painted Tapestry
Palladio, Andrea
Panier fleuri
Parchment Paper Shades for Lights
Peasant China
Peasant Lace
Pergolese, Michael Angelo
Period Rooms
Pharmacy Jars (_See_ Medicine Jars)
Picture Frames
Poitiers, Diane de
Pomegranate Pattern
"Powder-Blue" Vases

Queen Anne
Queen Elizabeth

Refectory Tables
Rocaille (_See_ Shell Design)
Rolls, Empire

Sarto, Andrea del
Sèvres porcelain
Shades for Lights
Shell Design (_See_ Rocaille)
Sofa cushions
Sports Balconies
Stained Glass
Straw Awnings

Table decoration
Twin beds


Van Eyck
"Vase pattern"
Venetian Glass
Vernis Martin
Victorian Period
Vinci, Leonardo da
Virginia Homes

Warm colours
Wicker Furniture
William and Mary Period
Wren, Sir Christopher


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