Good lighting is always arranged so that it is most convenient to use. The common arrangement which is to have only one central light which hangs from the ceiling is bad for two reasons. If you are working at your desk there will be a shadow on the desk, or if you are looking into the mirror your face is in the shadow. The central light also often makes an unpleasant glare. The lights should be placed where they are most useful, one at each side of the mirror and one at the desk, as shown in Fig. 140. Physicians tell us that when we are reading or writing the light should be placed so that it does not shine into our eyes. This arrangement not only is convenient but gives a more charming effect.
Lamps and Lampshades. - What do you think are the important things to consider from the artistic point of view in selecting a reading lamp or floor lamp? Before you read the following paragraphs, try to remember what you learned about artistic furniture, and wall paper that can be applied to lamps.
In Fig. 141 which lampshade is in good proportion to the lamp base? Which shade is too large? Which shade is too small? Which lamp base has well placed decoration?
Study the lamps in Fig. 142 and decide which one has more pleasing lines. Which lamp has weak, scrawly curves that seem to give it a queer, weak appearance? It is no better taste to have a lampshade decorated with pictorial effects than to have a wall or rug that is pictorial. Is it not queer to have an electric light shining through a landscape painted on a parchment shade? Do you think the artificial roses sewed on the shade in Fig. 142 are appropriate? What other features in the first lamp are pictorial and should be avoided? It seems to be a common mistake to over-decorate lampshades with lace ruffles and gold braid. Have you ever seen a lampshade that was over-ornamented? What have you learned about color that will help you to select good color for your lampshade?
Helpful Things to Do. - 1. Draw a plan of your room showing where the lights should be located and write an explanation of why you think so. Do not forget the location for one base plug, at least, for attaching a vacuum cleaner and floor lamp or table lamp.
2. Find a picture of a lamp that you think is artistic and write an explanation of why you think so. Do the same with the picture of one that you think is not artistic.
Projects to Carry Out at Home. - Has this chapter suggested anything which has been useful to you at home? Have you carried out any project at home either in your own room or in other rooms of the house? It will make an interesting lesson if each girl reports on the things that she has done or plans to do. Some typical projects are suggested below.
1. Have you helped to select any piece of furniture? Were you able to point out the particular things that make a piece of furniture desirable? Describe your experiences in selecting this piece of furniture.
2. Have you helped to paint or refinish any piece of furniture? Why did you select the kind of finish which was used?
3. Have you found any fine old piece of furniture in the attic which has good lines and is worth refinishing?
4. Have you helped to select the wall paper or color of the paint for a room? On what basis did you make your selection?
5. Have you helped to calcimine or paper the walls of a room?
6. Have you been able to improve the lighting in your room by means of extension cords or otherwises?
Something to Think About. - If you could do one thing to make your home more attractive what would you do? Buy a new piece of furniture? Refinish the walls? Plan new lighting? Perhaps you have learned enough so that your mother and father will appreciate your suggestions and permit you to help plan for new things.