This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
Within the last ten years there has been a most gratifying improvement in the popular taste as regards furniture. In drawing-rooms, however, there has been a tendency to overcrowding with the trivial and the useless. Especially has this deterioration been manifested in the decoration of the walls of drawing-rooms, boudoirs, and the like. That the art of Japan has had an influence t«»r good in substituting simplicity of design and graceful forms for floriditv and tasteless elal>oration, admits of no dispute; but the imitation has been pursued with more zeal than knowledge. The Japanese do not smother their walls with fans and plates, and their instinctive sense of the fitness of things would be shocked at sham shoes or banjoes of silk and cardboard. Indeed the scantiness of the furniture and ornaments in a Japanese room surprises the European, no less than the elegance and charm of the little that he sees.
In furnishing a room, even tiling that interferes with the freest ventilation. that favours the accumulation of dust or hinders its removal, should be rigidly excluded. A desk, cabinet, sideboard, chest, or other heavy piece of furniture, which could not well be raised on legs, may, without detracting in the least from its solid and massive appearance, be made easily movable in every direction by being fitted with ball-rollers of gun-metal, which are quite invisible, and so incomparablv superior to castors that the wonder is that they have not been long since applied to tables, heavy chairs, and couches. Leather covers of chairs and couches are better firmly stuffed and tightly stretched without "buttoning down", which, like all needless recesses and lodgments for dust and dirt (as deeply-embossed plushes, fluffy mats, and furs), are to be so far as possible avoided.