In selecting the furniture of parlors, some reference should be had to correspondence of shades and colors. Curtains should be darker than the walls; and, if the walls and carpets be light, the chairs should be dark, and vice versa. Pictures always look best on light walls.

In selecting carpets for rooms much used, it is poor economy to buy cheap ones. Ingrain carpets, of close texture, and the three-ply carpets, are best for common use. Brussels carpets do not wear so long as the three-ply ones, because they can not be turned. Wilton carpets wear badly, and Venetians are good only for halls and stairs.

In selecting colors, avoid those in which there are any black threads; as they are usually rotten. The most tasteful carpets are those which are made of various shades of the same color, or of all shades of only two colors; such as brown and yellow, or blue and buff, or salmon and green, or all shades of green, or of brown. All very dark shades should be brown or green, but not black.

In laying down carpets, it is a bad practice to put straw under them, as this makes them wear out in spots. Straw matting, laid under carpets, makes them last much longer, as it is smooth and even, and the dust sifts through it. In buying carpets, always get a few yards over, to allow for waste in matching figures.

In cutting carpets, make them three or four incher shorter than the room, to allow for stretching. Begin to cut in the middle of a figure, and it will usually match better. Many carpets match in two different ways, and care must be taken to get the right one. Sew a carpet on the wrong side, with double waxed thread, and with the ball-stitch. This is done by taking a stitch on the breadth next you, pointing the needle toward you; and then taking a stitch on the other breadth, pointing the needle from you. Draw the thread tightly, but not so as to pucker. In fitting a breadth to the hearth, cut slits in the right place, and turn the piece under. Bind the whole of the carpet with carpet-binding, nail it with tacks, having bits of leather under the heads. To stretch the carpet, use a carpet-fork, which is a long stick, ending with notched tin, like saw-teeth. This is put in the edge of the carpet, and pushed by one person, while the nail is driven by another. Cover blocks or bricks with carpeting like that of the room, and put them behind tables, doors, sofas, etc., to preserve the walls from injury by knocking, or by the dusting-cloth.

Cheap footstools, made of a square plank, covered with tow-cloth, stuffed, and then covered, with carpeting, with worsted handles, look very well. Sweep carpets as seldom as possible, as it wears them out. To shake them often is good economy. In cleaning carpets, use damp tea leaves, or wet Indian meal, throwing it about, and rubbing it over with the broom. The latter is very good for cleansing carpets made dingy by coal-dust. In brushing carpets in ordinary use, it will be found very convenient to use a large flat dust-pan, with a perpendicular handle a yard high, put on so that the pan will stand alone. This can be carried about and used without stooping, brushing dust into it with a common or small whisk broom. The pan must be very large, or it will be upset.

When carpets are taken up, they should be hung on a line, or laid on long grass, and whipped, first on one side, and then on the other, with pliant whips. If laid aside, they should be sewed up tight in linen, having snuff or tobacco put along all the crevices where moths could enter. Shaking pepper, from a pepper-box, round the edge of the floor, under a carpet, prevents the access of moths.

Carpets can be best washed on the floor, thus: First shake them; and then, after cleaning the floor, stretch and nail them upon it. Then scrub them in cold soap-suds, having half a tea-cupful of ox-gall to a bucket of water. Then wash off the suds with a cloth in fair water. Set open the doors and windows for two days or more. Imperial Brussels, Venetian, ingrain, and three-ply carpets can be washed thus; but Wilton and other plush carpets can not. Before washing them, take out grease with a paste made of potter's clay, ox-gall, and water.

Straw matting is the best for chambers and summer par-lors. The checked, of two colors, is not so good to wear. The best is the cheapest in the end. When washed, it should be done with salt water, wiping it dry; but frequent washing injures it. Bind matting with cotton binding. Sew breadths together like carpeting. In joining the ends of pieces, ravel out a part, and tie the threads together, turning under a little of each piece, and then, laying the ends close, nail them down, with nails having kid under their heads.

In hanging pictures, put them so that the lower part shall be opposite the eye. Cleanse the glass of pictures with whiting, as water endangers the pictures. Gilt frames can be much better preserved by putting on a coat of copal varnish, which, with proper brushes, can be bought of carriage or cabinet makers. When dry, it can be washed with fair water. Wash the brush in spirits of turpentine.

Curtains, ottomans, and sofas covered with worsted, can be cleansed by wheat bran rubbed on with flannel. Dust Venetian blinds with feather brushes. Buy light-colored ones, as the green are going of fashion. Strips of linen or cotton, on rollers and pulleys, are much in use, to shut out the sun from curtains and carpets. Paper curtains, pasted on old cotton, are good for chambers. Put them on rollers having cords nailed to them, so that when the curtain falls the cord will be wound up. Then, by pulling the cord, the curtain will be rolled up.

House-cleaning should be done in dry, warm weather. Several friends of the writer maintain that cleaning paint, and windows, and floors in hard, cold water, without any soap, using a flannel wash-cloth, is much better than using warm suds. It is worth trying. In cleaning in the common way, sponges are best for windows, and clean water only should be used. They should be first wiped with linen, and then with old silk. The outside of windows should be washed with a long brush made for the purpose; and they should be rinsed, by throwing upon them water containing a little saltpetre.

When inviting company, mention in the note the day of the month and week, and the hour for coming. Provide a place for ladies to dress their hair, with a glass, pins, and combs. A pitcher of cold water and a tumbler should be added. When the company is small, it is becoming a common method for the table to be set at one end of the room, the lady of the house to pour out tea, and the gentlemen of the party to wait on the ladies and themselves. When tea is sent round, always send a tea-pot of hot water to weaken it, and a slop-bowl, or else many persons will drink their tea much stronger than they wish.

Let it ever be remembered that the burning of lights and the breath of guests are constantly exhausting the air of its healthful principle; therefore avoid crowding many guests into one room. Do not tempt the palate by a great variety of unhealthful dainties. Have a warm room for departing guests, that they may not become chilled before they go out.

A parlor should be furnished with candle and fire screens, for those who have weak eyes; and if, at table, a person sits with the back near the fire, a screen should be hung on the back of the chair, as it is very injurious to the whole system to have the back heated.

Pretty baskets, for flowers or fruits, on centre-tables, can be made thus: Knit, with coarse needles, all the various shades of green and brown, into a square piece. Press it with a hot iron, and then ravel it out. Buy a pretty-shaped wicker-basket, or make one of stiff millinet, or thin pasteboard, cut the worsted into bunches, and sew them on, to resemble moss. Then line the basket, and set a cup or dish of water in it, to hold flowers, or use it for a fruit-basket. Handsome fire-boards are made by nailing black foundation-muslin to a frame the size of the fire-place, and then cutting out flowers from wall-paper and pasting them on the muslin, according to the fancy.

Mahogany furniture should be made in the spring, and stand some months before it is used, or it will shrink and warp. Varnished furniture should be rubbed only with silk, except occasionally, when a little sweet-oil should be rubbed over, and wiped off carefully. For unvarnished furniture, use beeswax, a little softened with sweet-oil; rub it in with a hard brush, and polish with woolen and silk rags. Some persons rub in linseed-oil; others mix beeswax with a little spirits of turpentine and rosin, making it so that it can be put on with a sponge, and wiped off with a soft rag. Others keep in a bottle the following mixture: two ounces of spirits of turpentine, four table-spoonfuls of sweet-oil, and one quart of milk. This is applied with a sponge, and wiped off with a linen rag.

Hearths and jambs, of brick, look best painted over with black-lead, mixed with soft soap. Wash the bricks which are nearest the fire with redding and milk, using a painter's brush. A sheet of zinc, covering the whole hearth, is cheap, saves work, and looks very well. A tinman can fit it properly.

Stone hearths should be rubbed with a paste of powdered stone, (to be procured of the stone-cutters,) and then brushed with a stiff brush. Kitchen-hearths, of stone, are improved by rubbing in lamp-oil.

Stains can be removed from marble by oxalic acid and water, or oil of vitriol and water, left on fifteen minutes, and then rubbed dry. Gray marble is improved by linseed-oil. Grease can be taken from marble by ox-gall and potter's clay wet with soap-suds, (a gill of each). It is better to add, also, a gill of spirits of turpentine. It improves the looks of marble to cover it with this mixture, leaving it two days, and then rubbing it off.

Unless a parlor is in constant use, it is best to sweep it only once a week, and at other times use a whisk-broom and dust-pan. When a parlor with handsome furniture is to be swept, cover the sofas, centre-table, piano, books, and mantel-piece, with old cottons, kept for the purpose. Remove the rugs, and shake them, and clean the jambs, hearth, and fire-furniture. Then sweep the room, moving every article. Dust the furniture with a dust-brush and a piece of old silk. A painter's brush should be kept to remove dust from ledges and crevices. The dust-cloths should be often shaken and washed, or else they will soil the walls and furniture when they are used. Dust ornaments, and fine books, with feather brushes, kept for the purpose.