However carefully a house may have been planned it is indeed rare that the result is perfect. Very many have not even the opportunity to plan for themselves and either buy houses built for others or are compelled by circumstances to live in rented houses. Remodelling a house that is hopelessly wrong is never a success, as the expense is oftentimes as great or greater than building anew. There are minor changes, however, which can be made at moderate cost.
It is always a good plan to have a carpenter or builder estimate the cost of any changes before beginning, and it will generally be found more satisfactory to have an architect plan alterations. If a house lacks a good broad porch or verandah, the addition of one will well repay the expense. Two seven by nine bedrooms with no closets had better be made into one fair sized bedroom and one closet.
A window cut in the kitchen or dark corner or closet will frequently be found worth the cost. The addition of a bay window is less in vogue now than a few years ago, but if made in keeping and not "stuck on," may improve the appearance of the outside of the house and brighten up the room wonderfully. Window seats cost but little and may be found to add much to the comfort of a room.
For the money expended the change in wall paper will produce the greatest difference in the appearance of a room. One never realizes the irritating and depressing influence of ugly wall paper until it is changed for the better. If over two layers of paper are on the wall, the old paper should be removed before putting on new, as the paste used may serve as an attraction for vermin and also make a very unsanitary condition.
It costs fifty cents a roll, more or less, to "hang" wall paper in addition to the cost of the paper itself, which may be from ten to fifty cents or a dollar or more a roll. A roll of paper will cover four square yards. Generous allowance must be made, however, for waste. The plain cartridge paper is very apt to fade as the coloring is simply a stain, while the figured papers are coated and printed with mineral colors or "lakes." The color of faded papers can be renewed or changed slightly by a thin coat of water color stain applied, of course, by one who has had experience. It sometimes happens that the fading of the paper adds to the harmony of a room.
In sections of this country burning soft coal, the use of wall paper cleaner is very common, but it is not so frequently made use of in the eastern states. The most convenient kind of wall paper cleaner comes as a powder which, when mixed with cold water, makes a mass of rubber-like consistency with which the paper is rubbed vigorously. It will brighten soiled paper greatly; pencil marks, even, may be removed with it.
A Two-Story Kitchen Table On Rollers Made from an Old Fashioned Wash Stand with Zinc Covered Top and Hooks for Utensils.
A home-made recipe for cleaning soiled wall paper is as follows: Take a salt sack or make a small cheese cloth bag, partly fill it with ordinary flour and gently rub the paper. The flour will become dusty as the wall paper grows cleaner. A friend of the author makes bread dough, bakes it so that it is quite "doughy," and uses this for a wall cleaner with great success. She says it is much cheaper than the ordinary cleaner.
Happily the style for papering ceilings in figured designs is going out. A ceiling so covered may be painted with two coats of calcimine and thus the restfulness of the room helped.
A Drop Leaf Table.