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Homes And Their Decoration | by Lillie Hamilton French



In the following pages I have made no attempt to discuss architectural periods or problems. My purpose has been to help the bewildered householder to see clearly what results she has been striving for, and how to go to work to obtain them. I have discussed the question of decoration from this point of view only, quoting examples of successful interiors whenever they have seemed helpful. An experience of some years in answering letters from all over this country, from Canada, and from our colonists abroad, - letters written by women of wealth, of limited means, by the schoolgirl and the bride, - has enabled me to know something of the needs of a portion of my country-women...

TitleHomes And Their Decoration
AuthorLillie Hamilton French
PublisherDodd, Mead and Company
Year1903
Copyright1903, Dodd, Mead and Company
AmazonHomes and their decoration

By Lillie Hamilton French, Author of "Hezekiah's Wives," "My Old Maid's Corner," etc.

To Alice Carrington Royce

-Chapter I. Individual Requirements
IN the following pages I have made no attempt to discuss architectural periods or problems. My purpose has been to help the bewildered householder to see clearly what results she has been striving for...
-Individual Requirements. Part 2
Or, again, she might be a spinster, choosing between a boarding-house, a couple of rooms, or a cheap apartment. She might, as the wife of an artist, have to live in a studio-building, or if she had lo...
-Individual Requirements. Part 3
Whatever the life of the individual, whether it represents a growing prosperity, an enlarging, or a cramping, of means, a woman must prove her knowledge of requirements in still another way, - in the ...
-Individual Requirements. Part 4
For instance, should you, as I said, desire above all other things to be hospitable, to have your house express welcome, you must not suppose that this means a throwing down of all the barriers in ord...
-Chapter II. The Method Of Procedure
IN planning or furnishing a dwelling, whatever or wherever it may be, you must be governed by three considerations, - what you want, what you need, what you can have. I have put these considerations ...
-The Method Of Procedure. Part 2
If you have made no study of decoration, you should have confidence in your architect. To hamper him with your little insistences, demanding that he use certain possessions for which you may have a se...
-The Method Of Procedure. Part 3
On no account commit yourself to a wall-paper until you have brought home a generous sample and have lived with it in your house for several days. Hang it up and study it from several points of view; ...
-The Method Of Procedure. Part 4
A carpenter can make a wainscoting which may be painted white or stained. When wood is impossible, a dado of some stuff, or burlaps, or velours, may, in ordinary houses, take the place of the wood. Th...
-The Method Of Procedure. Part 5
What I have said in this chapter by way of counsel will fail to help the individual if she is reluctant to discard superfluous things, not only when arranging a house for the first time, but as she li...
-Chapter III. Color In Decoration
COLOR is a mystery, a charm, an enticement. It is stimulating, depressing, enervating, or uplifting. It warms or it chills. It will irritate, take the pleasure out of everything, and even go so far as...
-Color In Decoration. Part 2
Yellow, by the way, and not red, should be used in rooms where the sun does not shine. Yellow gives the effect of sunlight. When yellow is employed in the glass of a leaded pane, the effect on the glo...
-Color In Decoration. Part 3
Russet tones are delightful in living-rooms, whether in country or town. They can be introduced into a room having oak or walnut wood-work, by using golden brown on the walls and in the furniture, hav...
-Chapter IV. Kitchens
KITCHENS have always had a fasci-nation for me, possibly because I remember how delightful were some of those that I knew in my youth, - long, wide rooms, with white scrubbed floors, old Dutch ovens, ...
-Kitchens. Part 2
I know some other pretty kitchens, too, one in particular, out of which many and many a delightful dinner has been served to choice companies gathered in the adjoining studio. It is only about nine by...
-Kitchens. Part 3
I remember something my dear old mother told me of certain upheavals in her own kitchen long ago, somewhere in the forties. Hers was almost the first house in Washington into the kitchen of which runn...
-Chapter V. Bedrooms. Apartments
IT always astonishes me to discover people who can have their own way about things, contenting themselves with a bedroom and bath, when they might, if they chose, have dressing-rooms, boudoirs, or mor...
-Bedrooms. Apartments. Continued
In the treatment of the walls, the size of the room and the amount of light admitted must be taken into consideration; also the position of the bed, its standing against the wall or with the head only...
-Chapter VI. Bedrooms. Houses
WHEN one considers what the bedroom suggests in the way of personal habits, refinements, and niceties of life, a more than particular interest in it excites no surprise, since a discussion of its appo...
-Bedrooms. Houses. Part 2
Color can be introduced in paper, paint, or hangings. In rooms occupied by servants who come and go, paint, of course, is a necessity. It is preferable in nurseries, unless the paper can be changed at...
-Bedrooms. Houses. Part 3
The head of the bed goes against the blank wall with the night-table beside it. At the foot of the bed is the couch, facing the fire, one end being toward the window. To the right of the couch, on the...
-Bedrooms. Houses. Part 4
When a guest-room is to be arranged, extra care is required. In the furnishing of the guest-room there is greater need for the exercise of tact than in any other room of a house. Nowhere else does a h...
-Chapter VII. Beds And Bed-Linen
THE most important feature in every bedroom is, of course, the bed, and nearly every one has some fad about it. Certain monarchs, who had been soldiers as well, would never, even in their palaces, sle...
-Beds And Bed-Linen. Part 2
Within the last few years the fashion of multiplying the number of pretty little pillows has increased. There is one to be slipped beneath the head of the sleeper at night, and which the owner general...
-Beds And Bed-Linen. Part 3
When the rest of the room permits the extravagance, the cover may be made of some rich old embroidered satin or silk, results of a forage in old palaces abroad; brocades are used in this way, fine old...
-Beds And Bed-Linen. Part 4
I suppose every newspaper office having a household department receives letters from young housekeepers and brides-to-be asking what must be purchased for the new home, how many sheets and pillow-case...
-Chapter VIII. Bathrooms
IT used to be the cry of returning travellers from abroad that no conveniences for bathing existed in Europe, and that for a good honest tub, with hot and cold running water, one must come back to thi...
-Bathrooms. Part 2
Another bathroom, overlooking the trees of the Park, is entirely constructed of green and white marbles of charming tones. Evergreens fill the outside window-boxes in winter. In the spring these boxes...
-Bathrooms. Part 3
Something to hold medicines and simple household remedies is of paramount importance in bathrooms, especially in those attached to guest-rooms, and still more especially when those guest-rooms belong ...
-Chapter IX. Dining-Rooms
ONLY those who have had to grope their way alone through the errors and the agonies of furnishing a house can understand the difference between the problems presented by the parlor and the dining-room...
-Dining-Rooms. Part 2
White wood-work and ceiling, a paper covered with enormous poppies, a white shelf under the frieze for blue and white china, made of another small apartment-house dining-room an oasis in the hot and d...
-Dining-Rooms. Part 3
The curtained cupboard holding dishes would be out of the question in the dining-room of a town house, but I saw a little scrap of a dining-room in an apartment made quite lovely with one. The shelves...
-Dining-Rooms. Part 4
About seven miles out of Palma on the Island of Majorca there is a fascinating country house owned by the Count of Montenegro to which he pays occasional visits. His dining-room, a yellow and blue roo...
-Dining-Rooms. Part 5
Another dining-room is of old black-oak, the frieze of green tapestry. Green tapestry is used on the tall, black-oak dining chairs. All the furniture is Italian. A carved sideboard of much beauty, pic...
-Chapter X. The Dining-Room: The Decoration Of The Table
IN the sixties and early seventies of the last century, it was proper to set a dinner-table with wonderful forms in sugars and sweets, pyramids of nougat and candied oranges; little cakes surmounted b...
-The Dining-Room: The Decoration Of The Table. Part 2
From childhood I still carry the remembrance of the perfume of heliotrope on a hot day in a dining-room on the Hudson. The room I entered, after a scorching drive over a long sunny road, was made cool...
-The Dining-Room: The Decoration Of The Table. Part 3
For the fun of the thing, as children say, - for the sentiment of it, as older persons put it, - tables may, on gala days, be arranged with special outfits and souvenirs, the insignia of championshi...
-Chapter XI. The Dining-Room: The Appointments Of The Table
THE bride-to-be asks again and again: What shall I buy for my table? forgetting how much will depend upon her place in the world and the amount of entertaining required of her. The extent of her pur...
-Chapter XII. Sideboards
I FEEL justified in devoting a short chapter to this subject, since it is one that has occasioned much confusion to many minds. What is proper and what is not proper in a sideboard are questions invar...
-Chapter XIII. Parlors
NO one, however humble, is without some position in the world, entailing relations with friends and neighbors, and duties of a social character. The wife of a parson has one kind of duty to perform, t...
-Parlors. Part 2
Yet I know another whitewashed room in a country place designed by young artists who could not afford paper - the most restful, the most delightful, and certainly the most refreshing room on a warm su...
-Parlors. Part 3
In any successful room, the interests must be concentrated, not scattered. The same rule holds good in art. But it must be remembered that this concentration of interest by no means implies the necess...
-Parlors. Part 4
The happiest arrangement of one of these rooms, when smaller, was accomplished with the aid of a carpenter, who filled one of the windows with a low shelf to form a seat, and running it in an unbroken...
-Parlors. Part 5
In regard to the brass Holland milk-can on the parlor table, - a table, by the way, once in the boudoir of Marie Antoinette, - there is nothing to be urged in defence except the plea of its color. It ...
-Chapter XIV. Drawing-Rooms
DRAWING-ROOMS, it must again be urged, are impossible except in houses where some other room has been provided for the recreation of the family. In a high-stoop town house a room on the second floor i...
-Drawing-Rooms. Continued
One of his methods is to take down all the partitions on a parlor floor except that which shuts it off from the front hall entrance, and to put up columns, making one large room full of angles. High a...
-Chapter XV. Libraries And Living-Rooms
FOR some reason, among us libraries and living-rooms seem interchangeable terms. Perhaps because we Americans are really a book-loving, or at least a book-admiring, people, liking to surround ourselve...
-Libraries And Living-Rooms. Part 2
A library with the same ground plan has mahogany doors, bookcases, and furniture. The frieze is of Spanish leather of dull rich tones. The chimney has a small recess just below the shelf for holding a...
-Libraries And Living-Rooms. Part 3
The sofa is made to face the fire when the room is not large enough for two at right angles to the hearth. A writing-table back of the sofa, with a lamp arranged to give light to those on the sofa and...
-Chapter XVI. Halls: Apartments
THERE are two kinds of halls which we in this day are called upon to consider. The architect designs one; the builder constructs the other. When a hall is to be treated we must know whether it is a h...
-Halls: Apartments. Part 2
The proportions of the mirror must depend upon the dimensions of the hall and the door. It may be oblong, oval, or square. A narrow shelf under the glass could hold the tray for cards, and the clothes...
-Halls: Apartments. Part 3
Upon the size and configuration of the hall must depend the nature of its wall covering. Its color depends upon that of the rooms to which the hall gives access. No one, for instance, would want to wa...
-Chapter XVII. Halls: Houses
THE halls of many old-fashioned houses of New England ran in a straight line through the middle of the house, with a door at either end. The back door, when opened and thrown back, gave charming gli...
-Halls: Houses. Part 2
After a color has been chosen, that of the design must arise. A long narrow hall wants neither a large figure nor a perfectly plain surface. A small broken, unobtrusive figure, just large enough to gi...
-Halls: Houses. Part 3
According to a present fashion, the doors of the new vestibules are of glass, protected on one side by an iron grating, on the other by a hanging of velvet or silk. The outer or street door has, in ma...
-Halls: Houses. Part 4
I had seen this hall before, but coming as I did that day direct from the house on the other side of the square, with its dingy old hall which marked the height of a past-time splendor, the contrast b...
-Chapter XIX. Windows
WINDOWS have often been likened to the eyes of a house, but they are something more than that to me. I never escape the feeling of the face behind the pane, and seldom of the soul shining out of the f...
-Windows. Part 2
One of the best ways of securing privacy by means of a curtain is to hang a thin, almost transparent colored material over the muslin that is next the panes. The muslin curtain against the panes can t...
-Windows. Part 3
In all old brick and stone houses of the conventional kind, with parlor and dining-room opening out of each other, the effect produced is of a long and narrow gallery lighted by windows at either end....
-Windows. Part 4
The same tact has been shown in the treatment of the windows of a Fifth Avenue apartment house. This apartment is on the tenth floor and overlooks a mile or more of ugly roofs and chimney-pots ending ...
-Windows. Part 5
As it is now the custom to curtain all the windows of one's house alike, so that they present a uniform appearance from the street, this dotted muslin cannot but add a note of refinement to one's dwel...
-Windows. Part 6
Finally I hit upon this plan, which gives me the sun or the stars when I want them. The curtains are ruffled down one side and across the bottom. A double row of stitching two inches from the top hold...
-Windows. Part 7
When for the sake of a becoming light one wants a color like pink at the window, the color of the cotton or chintz should be chosen with reference to the predominating color of some flower on the wall...
-Chapter XXI. The Floors
NEXT to the treatment of the walls, the treatment of the floor is the most important factor in the furnishing of a room, and two great principles of decoration are involved in the selection of its cov...
-The Floors. Continued
Some compensation for this state of affairs is to be found in the increased excellence of our domestic manufactures. That which our influence has destroyed in the workers of the East, we have, after o...
-Chapter XXII. The Fireplace
MY fire is my friend, says Colonel Carter. After it talks to me for hours, we both get sleepy together, and I cover it up with its gray blanket of ashes and then go to bed. And I, likewise, says...
-The Fireplace. Part 2
In the ordinary brown stone or brick house, and in most of the smaller country places, the mantelpiece is a conventional arrangement of marble or wood, enclosing a fire-opening and surmounted by a she...
-The Fireplace. Part 3
When a drapery is a necessity, or when a householder thinks so, which amounts to the same thing, no law of arrangement can be laid down, although one positive statement can always be made. Nothing is ...
-Chapter XXIII. Verandas, Loggia, And Balconies
THE terrace, - the exquisitely appointed, the beautifully designed, the wonderfully proportioned terrace, with its marble urns, its carved balustrades, its flowers, its statues, its fountains, the ope...
-Verandas, Loggia, And Balconies. Continued
Whenever there is a covered porch or veranda below, and a window above, something answering to a loggia can be made. In one instance, the roof of a little porch over the front door was taken possessio...
-Chapter XXIV. The Lighting Of A House
THERE are two points of view from which the subject of lighting must be considered, whatever the medium employed, whether gas, electricity, oil, or candles are used. There must always, for instance, c...
-Chapter XXV. Picture Hanging And Framing
IT is quite thirty years - and I 've not forgotten it yet - since the framed photograph of a young woman hung between the two front windows of a conventional long and narrow parlor - the very long and...
-Chapter XXVI. The Decorative Possibilities In Plaster Casts
WITH discretion and a little money almost any house may be made interesting with plaster casts. This discretion, it goes without saying, must be displayed in the choice which the buyer makes. The stre...
-Chapter XXVII. Writing-Tables And Pianos
IT goes without saying - that no writing-table in a drawing-room ought to betray a familiar touch. It is not the place for private correspondence, for bills, memoranda, or for any personal possessions...
-Chapter XXVIII. Divans
NO divan should seem an excrescence in a room, a newly acquired purchase, a suggestion borrowed from a neighbor, a general catchall for pillows of every hue and description representing the work of am...
-Chapter XXIX. Mountain Camps And Holiday Retreats
THE fact that one is able to do as one pleases, to build after no law, to furnish after no particular fashion, makes a camp or holiday house delightful. The whim of the individual rules. If one person...
-Mountain Camps And Holiday Retreats. Continued
Each tent or cabin has its own open fire. When a tent is planned the chimney is built first. Round this chimney a wooden structure is erected, often of charming design, and intended as a dressing and ...
-Chapter XXX. Single Rooms And Studios
I HAVE often referred to apartment-house life as a series of makeshifts and compromises which must go endlessly on, now demanding the sacrifice of a sentiment, now the immolation of a comfort on the a...
-Single Rooms And Studios. Continued
The question of a bed will always bother her. I should advise a divan and cushions, to be made up every night. A box under the divan will hold her skirts. Some folding beds never betray themselves, so...
-Chapter XXXI. Making Over Furniture
IT may be of interest to some amateur with ample leisure and not a little talent to be exercised, to know what has been done in the way of transforming old appointments by several young women with a w...
-Making Over Furniture. Continued
Forest green and walnut stain can be purchased at any paint-shop in small cans. Twenty cents' worth will be sufficient for two or three large pieces of furniture. The main thing to observe is, to ...
-Chapter XXXII. Notes And Suggestions
SOME effective results may be obtained in the decoration of country houses for special festivities by the use of tennis nets, nailed, for instance, along the casings of stairways, their meshes filled ...
-Notes And Suggestions. Part 2
It would have been interesting to have devoted a separate chapter of the present volume to hospital-rooms - one for every house - rooms hygienically appointed, with oil-cloth and paint if nothing else...
-Notes And Suggestions. Part 3
The gray linen once universally used in our houses, giving them so bare and cold and uninviting a manner, is now seldom seen except on railroads and steamboats. It never had any tact, this gray linen....









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previous page: Your Home And Its Decoration | by The Sherwin-Williams Company
  
page up: Decoration Making Books
  
next page: The Decoration Of Houses | by Edith Wharton, Ogden Codman Jr.