This is more easily explained when one thinks of how boys playing on a see-saw manage to balance each other. When two boys who are of the same weight sit at each end of the see-saw they have no trouble in balancing each other. In the first picture of Fig. 128 you can see how two boys of the same weight balance each other. In Picture 2 you can see what happened when a big boy came along and insisted upon having one end of the see-saw. What did the big boy do in Picture 3 so that he balanced the little boy?
Which picture of a see-saw is like the first wall shown in Fig. 127? Which picture of a see-saw is most like the second wall shown in Fig. 127? Have you noticed that there are not so many things on the wall in the second and third pictures as in the first? This helps to avoid the cluttered appearance of the first wall. Do you think you can rearrange a wall in your room so that it will have a more orderly and balanced arrangement?
Can you suggest how the banner in Picture 1 can be hung so that it helps to make the wall look unified?
Things to Remember in Hanging Pictures. - Artists have given certain rules for hanging pictures which you should know.
1. Hang pictures on the eye level so that they are easy to look at. Does it not seem foolish to hang a picture up near the ceiling so that one has to crane one's neck to see it?
2. Two straight wires should be used to hang a picture instead of one wire which makes a V-shaped angle on top of the picture. Notice the picture wires in Fig. 127 and decide on which walls the wires help to give an effect of unity.
3. Avoid queer arrangements of pictures such as "stair steps" as shown in the first picture of Fig. 127. It is advisable to avoid hanging two or more small pictures that are exactly the same shape near together because the general effect is apt to be monotonous.
4. When hanging pictures near to each other it is generally a good rule to have the centers of the pictures on the same level, as shown in Picture 3 of Fig. 129. This is a better arrangement than to have all the tops of the pictures or all the bottoms on a straight line as shown in Pictures 1 and 2.
5. Choose the best shaped wall space possible for a picture. For example, the space between the windows in Fig. 130 is better suited for the picture that is nearly square than for the long, narrow picture.
6. Pictures should be hung so that they are flat against the wall and not so that the top tilts out from the wall. Attractive Windows. - Curtains serve two purposes, first to secure privacy and second, to add attractiveness to the window. However, in case there is a fine view from a window and the window itself is attractive, there is no need of adding curtains which may obstruct the view and detract from the window. Have you ever seen a window that was attractive without curtaining. When curtains are hung at a window they should be planned so that they are in harmony with the structural lines of the room. Just as furniture and rugs should be placed so that they are in harmony with the rectangular shape of the room, curtains should be hung so that they are in harmony with the room. Windows are rectangular and conform to the general rectangular construction of the room. When curtains are added to the windows they should be in harmony with this general structure. Instead of concealing the window with draped curtains that are looped into many curves, it is better to let curtains hang straight so that they conform to the rectangle of the window. In Pictures 1 and 2 of Fig. 131 the curtains are arranged in such a way that they are in harmony with the shape of the window. Can you point out the lines of the curtains in Picture 3 which are distinctly out of harmony with the rectangular shape of the window?
Sash curtains which cover only the lower half of a window are not considered a good type of curtain from the artistic point of view. They fulfill only one of the purposes of a curtain, to secure privacy, but they do not add to the attractiveness of the window. The upper half of the window is left bare and does not seem to belong to the lower half which has a curtain. Consequently, the window does not seem to have unity.
A Problem to Do. - Sketch a good curtain arrangement for your room.
Other Rooms. - The arrangement of the furniture in the other rooms of the house offers the same problem as the arrangement of furniture in your room. Pianos and davenports set cornerwise and tables set askew are distinctly not in harmony with the structural lines of the room. Often it is much better to set a few of the chairs and perhaps other pieces of furniture slightly at an angle in order that they may be more conveniently used. This, however, is quite different from placing every piece of furniture and every rug at the most cornerwise slant possible.
Wall arrangements that have good balance and unity are as desirable in the other rooms of the house as in your bedroom. The same rules for hanging pictures also apply in other rooms.
Correct curtaining of windows is frequently even more of a problem in other rooms than in the bedroom. Bedroom curtains are generally kept simple, but often the living-room curtains are made more elaborate in the attempt to make them especially attractive. This often leads one to forget that truly beautiful curtains will be in harmony with the window itself. Projects to Carry Out at Home. - 1. Make a plan for rearranging your room which you think will make it more attractive. Make either a written or oral report to your class about your plan.
2. Ask your mother if you may help her to rearrange some other room. Explain to her what you have learned that makes you think you could do it well.
3. Can you plan a better curtain arrangement for any of the windows in your home?
4. Have you rehung any picture? Why?
How many things can you correct in the arrangement shown in Fig. 132. Trace the wall and make a better arrangement.
Find a good and a poor curtain arrangement in a magazine or newspaper. Write a brief statement telling why you think that one is good and one is poor.
1. The Principles of Interior Decoration. Bernard Jackway. The Macmillan Company.
2. Art in Everyday Life. Harriett and Vetta Goldstein. The Macmillan Company.
3. Interior Decoration. Frank Alvah Parsons. Doubleday, Page and Company. 4. Art and Economy in Home Decoration. Mabel T. Priestman.
John Lane and Company. 5. Planning and Furnishing the Home. Mary J. Quinn. Harper and Brothers.