The staining and painting of floors has already been spoken of. The woodwork of a parlor may often be brought into better harmony with the rest of the room by coats of cream-colored paint. The last coat should be mixed with good varnish to give a more resisting surface. Ugly radiators and steam pipes can be improved by a coating of aluminum enamel.
Most kitchens can easily be changed for the better. A drop-leaf table may be an added convenience. A table, preferably with two "stories" on rollers or castors, should be found in every kitchen. It should be small enough to pass through the doorways easily. It may be used to transfer dishes or food from one room to another. If the bread needs to be nearer the stove for warmth it can be put on this table and moved wherever needed. Such a table is also useful when one is making croquettes or doughnuts. Almost all kitchen tables are too low for a person of ordinary height.
TWO METHODS OF LENGTHENING THE TABLE LEGS.
Castors will add an inch or more to their height or the legs may be lengthened as shown in the illustration. The same fault is nearly always present in the height of the sink. Changing this will require some little outlay if the plumber must be called in, as is generally necessary. The traps need not be moved, the waste pipe should be lengthened by soldering a short piece of lead pipe to the end of the old pipe, attaching it anew to the outlet of the sink. The water faucets must be raised also in most cases.
The position of the range may be changed at slight expense by lengthening the stove pipe; its height should be considered too. The fuel ought to be stored on a level with the kitchen. The amount of energy required to carry the coal from the cellar to the range and again to carry the ashes back to the cellar can be measured in tons and is energy entirely wasted.
The illustration shows a window cupboard for provisions to save steps to the cellar in cool weather.
Be the house new or old much of its attractiveness is due to the care bestowed on small repairs. The slat-terly, neglected and generally run-down appearance of some houses is due to this neglect of small repairs. Broken door knobs, cracked window panes, scratched furniture that squeaks, doors that will not close, windows that will not open, are all real sources of discomfort in any home and yet are often found.
In fixing any contrivance about the house, it is first necessary to make a careful diagnosis of the difficulty before the trouble can be rectified. This is a self-evident statement, but altogether too frequently very simple repairs remain undone because the trouble is not investigated. If as much ingenuity as is shown in fixing over a dress were used about the house many inconveniences would be rectified and dollars saved. Many minor changes and repairs can be very easily made. More hooks where needed, a convenient shelf, a small cupboard - perhaps made from a box - may be of great convenience in either the kitchen or bathroom. If the men of the family cannot be inveigled into doing these things, it is very simple to take the initiative.
A WINDOW CUPBOARD litom the Cornell Reading Course for Farmers' Wives.
Every household should include among its essential possessions provisions for removing these difficulties. Most of them can be disposed of by the use of tools, glue, furniture polish, or some simple chemical.