This section is from the book "A Manual Of Home-Making", by Martha Van Rensselaer. Also available from Amazon: A Manual of Home-Making.
From the foregoing discussion it follows that:
1. Southerly rooms with a superabundance of light and sunshine need in general cool and dark colors to temper the light.
2. Northerly rooms with no sunshine and too little light need in general light, yellowish colors to introduce a feeling of cheer and sunshine.
3. Rooms that are comfortably lighted and sufficiently sunny are open to a variety of color treatments.
4. Rooms that are over-large and yet are comfortably lighted may be given a more friendly aspect by the use of warm colors that are medium dark.
5. In rooms that are too small and yet are comfortably lighted, a feeling of space can be suggested by the use of light or bluish colors.
6. In rooms in which the woodwork is already finished and cannot be changed, the color scheme is within limits predetermined. From it walls and furnishings must take their cue.
7. Rooms that are comfortably large and light and with no hampering conditions are open to a variety of color treatments.
8. The living-room adapted to many uses and many persons should be more dignified and impersonal in color scheme than the other rooms of the house. It should be more neutral in its general scheme in order to be adaptable to a greater variety of coloring in the smaller areas. Books, pictures, an open fire, flower arrangements, and other changing and accidental conditions inevitably bring many touches of brilliant and varying color into the living-room.
9. A dining-room devoted to good cheer and used only for short periods admits a livelier treatment. Sometimes dishes that have a decided color may well give the keynote to the color scheme.
10. Since the bedroom is for sleep and rest, even though it is for personal use and allows a larger margin for individual preference than do other rooms, nothing should take precedence over those qualifications that fit it for its purpose. The white bed, white towels, and light furniture characteristic of the daintiness desirable in bedrooms, call for lighter colorings than do the family rooms. For bedrooms used also for both study and sitting-room, compromises must be made. The white bed is no longer suitable; the bedroom takes on the functions and, therefore, should assume the appearance of a living-room as far as possible.
11. Since the bathroom should appear, as well as be, immaculate, all white or white with other light colors is most suitable. White with yellow for a bathroom on the north side of a house, white and blue or white and green for a sunny-bathroom, are good.
Left: A group of furnishings showing an uncrowded arrangement and an unobtrusive background. Right: A similar group showing how an obtrusive background and a crowded arrangement may obliterate the effect of even well-selected furnishings.
12. For the kitchen, light colors are cheerful and cleanly in appearance. They have the added value of so diffusing the light both by day and by night that there need be no dark corners to work in.
It follows from all these manifest influences of color, that the rooms to be treated should be examined as to exposure, lighting, size, proportion, and use before determining the color scheme.