At the seaside, or in the country, where there is a great deal of sun, it is found that something can be done in the way of protecting the house from the penetration of its rays by the simple method of having the roof whitewashed. In this way the sun's rays are reflected, instead of being absorbed by the dark slates or tiles.
Sun-blinds are, of course, a very effectual protection, but, failing these, a good deal can be done by a judicious management of the windows. As many windows as possible should be left open during the night, so that the house may be thoroughly cooled throughout. In a town house the lower windows must be shut at night, or the occupants will be disturbed by the careful policeman on his rounds; but in a flat on the upper floors this plan can be carried out thoroughly. Then, so soon as the outside air begins to get warm, the windows should be closed, and curtains drawn. For this reason thickish curtains of some kind should be put up, as if only muslin ones are used, and there are no outside blinds, there is no means of excluding the extreme heat in the middle of the day.
A sun-blind over the front door is of considerable assistance in cooling the house, especially where this door has glass panels, which admit the sun's rays. In the country the door itself can then be open, thus ensuring a continued current of air. If the hall can be kept cool, it helps to cool the whole house. For this reason alone a tiled floor in the hall is better than linoleum.
Within doors a rearrangement of the furniture may be resorted to. The fireplace, which, during the winter, is the centre of the general scheme, should be hidden by a fire-screen, and the mantelshelf used as a resting-place for large vases of cool-looking greenery and flowers. The coalscuttle should be removed, or used as a receptacle for a fern. Those of copper or brass in a vase shape, or the iron cauldrons, look charming filled in this way. Even a lamp-stand can have the lamp taken out in the daytime, and a bowl of ferns or green branches put in its place.
Chairs covered in velvet or other heavy materials should always have loose covers during the summer, not only for the sake of comfort, but because they help to preserve the more expensive fabric. Very heavy-looking plush or velvet curtains should not be left up, and the more green that can be introduced into summer hangings, the cooler the effect. A practical idea, followed by some housekeepers, is to provide green linen covers for all the chairs during the summer. Green is a colour that always fades very quickly, but, instead of being cleaned, these covers are always sent to be re-dyed.
The possessors of parquet floors will find themselves already supplied with a suitable flooring. But in many houses there is no reason why carpets should not be taken up for the summer and the floors underneath stained. This costs very little, and is generally quite successful, if effected by some energetic member of the household. Many ready-prepared stains are sold for this purpose.
A Turkey carpet in a dining-room is especially apt to give a suggestion of heat. An alternative to taking it up and staining the floor is to cover the carpet entirely with a drugget. In the country, where there is a large house-party, this is an excellent plan, as it prevents the carpet from being spoilt by the constant running in and out of the garden, and is cool to the feet.
The nursery is a very important room to keep cool. This can best be done by sun-blinds outside the windows. Then the preservation of the children's food is equally essential, and many people now have nursery refrigerators. These are made of japanned iron, painted green outside, and lined inside with galvanised iron. There is the ice-chamber on one side, and on the other several movable shelves to hold the butter, milk, and so on. It is usual to make some arrangement with a fishmonger for a regular supply of ice, an average charge being about is. 6d. a week.
Electric fans are used to a certain extent, though the expenditure of current involved is a disadvantage, and they cost so much that some people have discarded them. They are, nevertheless, very useful in the kitchen in extremely hot weather. As, however, they only serve to circulate the air, and not to change it, they are not as practical as the electric exhaust fan fixed into one of the windows. These draw out all unpleasant smells and hot air, which are replaced by a perpetual flow of cool air from outside.
Treatment of the Hair
The Beauty of Motherhood and