In every house there should be a tiny room, garret, or cupboard where extra rugs, or carpets, curtains, screens and other winter comforts can be stored. Such things are but dust-traps in the summer. Rooms, however, overcrowded either with people, furniture, or draperies are an abomination. Therefore, put away extra flower vases and slippery, chilly chintz coverings during the winter, and get out cold-excluders and warmth-givers, which will in turn be stored when, perhaps in June, we shall be able to contemplate with equanimity the beauty of bare parquet or the absence of draught-excluding curtains.
How can a man be amiable when there is a draught at the back of his neck ? See to it that it is possible for each member of the household to engage in their ordinary avo tions without suffering acute discomiort.
Footstool which holds a tin hot water fitment. The lid is of a single piece of carpet so that the heat is felt through. Placed beneath a bridge table or in a motor-car such a footstool is a real comfort
During the winter, however, it is only the warm corners of our houses which we shall be able to use. The British ideals of health do not permit of the universal adoption of any systematic heating of our houses; hot-air pipes are usually considered stuffy; the heating by means of radiators is not popular. English people seem to prefer the open grate and the burning of soft coal, combined with the inevitable chill on every part of the body which is not actually toasted by the cheertul and genial warmth from the fire.
It is not for us to argue about the matter, but, simply accepting things as they are, to make a few suggestions which may alleviate the situation.
It is quite easy to get in a couple of men for an hour and move the heavy pieces of furniture essential for daily requirements into a south room, and far less trouble than constantly surrounding oneself with screens and footwarmers.
Sometimes a warm wall, or the close proximity of a well-heated room, makes the choice of the winter sitting-room easy, and the woman who thoroughly understands the art of making herself and other people comfortable will see to it that every advantage is taken of all favourable conditions.
Exigencies of space, special requirements of the different members of a family, or other objections may make the removal into another room impossible, in which case the plan of campaign must be more subtle.
Lounge chairs which have filled a natural place near the windows should during the winter be put in definite positions where the fire makes things cosy. If there is a window near a chimney corner, put a simple screen round, so that light without draught is obtained.
Remember that well-arranged light for everyone is no unimportant matter, and if a couple of fresh switches for table lamps have to be added, the money will be well laid out if extra comfort is given, and fees to the oculist are saved.
The wear and tear in temper from badly arranged common rooms in the house sends many a son into chambers, or daughter to her club.
Let every window, however daintily draped with diaphanous casement curtains in the summer, be furnished in the winter with a curtain ample enough to draw right over the entire window. Nothing adds to the cosiness of a room as thick draught - excluding curtains.
There are many kinds of door coverings, from the Cordova leather screen of the millionaire, or the carved Japanese folds of the connoisseur, to the drapery of art serge which those of humbler means may rely upon. Many are the fixtures which are warranted to ensure such length of drapery as will exclude all draughts and yet preclude the possibility of interference with the opening of the door. Every ironmonger will display a patent; the choice alone is embarrassing, but the practical woman will use a good test before deciding.
There is a fine opportunity for a distinctive note of colour in a portiere. Diagonal cloth of sage green, with velvet as a dado, looks well; the em-broideress will realise her opportunity and suit her patterns to the style of the room - Elizabethan stitches for the oak-furnished room, dainty Adams designs where Sheraton chairs and side-hoards are found. The richness of Louis XIV., or the restrained lines of Louis XVI., may respectively add to the beauty and completeness of the winter drawing-room in the French style.
It is impossible to feel really warm in a chintz-covered chair, and winter fog and much burning of coal is not conducive to their cleanliness. Therefore, remove your cretonnes and enjoy the cosiness of your velvet saddlebag, leather, or damask seats during the winter; or, if winter soil is feared for them, have slip covers made of wool damask, which is a well-wearing material, and can be obtained in every variety of artistic colouring.
A curtain bracket to be used where a chair needs sheltering but there is no room for a screen. A curtain can also be fixed on to the door in such a way that its opening is not impeded. Such drapery is valuable also for its decorative effect
See that each member of your family, and your maids, too, have as many blankets as they require. Some people like few, light bedclothes, others cannot sleep well without many coverings. With regard to eiderdown quilts, the lightest and cosiest of all winter bed - coverings, their ventilation has been much improved. Instead of the ineffectual eyelet holes, which were once relied upon, a line of openwork in silk or cotton, of the colour of the cover, is let in round the centre stitching. An excellent plan for preventing the quilt from tumbling off in the night is to sew wide satin ribbon across the lower corners, and to tie these ribbons round the foot rail. They are very ornamental, and a real comfort.