One should have a definite plan in mind for the decoration and furnishing of the whole house before it is begun. Possibly only the color scheme for the walls can be realized the first year with a few pieces of good furniture, but these will be a pleasure because of the simplicity, harmony and comfort which they afford. Styles in furnishing vary; but good colors, good designs and appropriate furnishings are always in fashion and a satisfaction.
Perhaps a few concrete examples may help in the application of these principles of decoration. Let us begin with the vestibule - Certain additional principles apply in the selection of all furnishings, (i) The purpose of the room; (2) Its size; (3) The use of the article. These furnishings should be adapted to the purposes of a room so exposed as a vestibule. The floor coloring should be the deepest; a suitable gradation would leave the walls of a lighter tone with the ceiling still lighter. The amount of light will influence the color. The vestibule is not likely to be too well lighted, and therefore dull and dark colors are to be avoided. Pompeian red, or tints of brown corresponding with the natural finish of the wood are desirable.
The floor of the vestibule should be tile or linoleum that it may be easily cleaned. Owing to the effect that the weather may have upon the paper some prefer the use of rough plaster or paint. The window hangings should be of some washable material. The entrance is to shut out the world and at the same time serve as a pleasant introduction to the brightness and cheer within. Durable, substantial, and pleasing effects are to be sought in its furnishings.
In the hall proper the same rules as to gradation of color hold. It is safer and better, if one is somewhat of a novice in the selection of color, to choose some one prevailing tone for the hall and the rooms that open from the hall in order to avoid a striking contrast, and trust to relieve the monotony by a difference in the principal colors in the rugs. A grey green makes a comfortable color to live with, and the halls and rooms opening from it may have papers in which these colors predominate; varying shades of reds and browns may be used in the rugs.
In wall coverings one has the choice of many materials, calsomine, papers of many kinds, grass cloth, burlap and its near relative fabrikona. The list as given indicates in a measure the scale of cost. Plain papers have their use and their abuse. A plain paper makes a good background for pictures and is less likely to introduce elements that are at war with the other furnishings. On the other hand too liberal a use of it in a house tends to monotony. Very good patterns may be found in two-toned papers. Of a given sum of money to be expended in wall covering, some prefer to use elaborate and expensive Morris or Crane papers and to omit all the pictures.
Grass cloth makes satisfactory hanging. Its slightly uneven surface gives pleasing effects in the distribution of light and shades. Burlap and fabrikona are more expensive but they can be painted and so renewed. Both give a somewhat severe and substantial air to a room. Too much of them in a small house gives a somewhat heavy effect. They are, perhaps, most suitable for library and dining room.
A MORRIS ROOM PAPER AND DRAPERIES FROM THE DESIGNS OF WILLIAM MORRIS.
Courtesy of The Tobey Furniture Co.. Chicago.