An eating-room should have in it a large closet, with drawers and shelves, in which should be kept all the articles used at meals. This, if possible, should communicate with the kitchen by a sliding window, or by a door, and have in it a window, and also a small sink, made of marble or lined with zinc, which will be a great convenience for washing nice articles. If there be a dumb-waiter, it is best to have it connected with such a closet. It may be so contrived, that, when it is down, it shall form part of the closet floor.
A table-rug, or crumb-cloth, is useful to save carpets from injury. Booking, or baize, is best. Always spread the same side up, or the carpet will be soiled by the rug. Table-mats are needful, to prevent injury to the table from the warm dishes. Tea-cup-mats, or small plates, are useful to save the table-cloths from dripping tea or coffee. Butter-knives for the butter-plate, and salt-spoons for salt dishes, are designed to prevent those disgusting marks which are made when persons use their own knives to take salt or butter. A sugar-spoon should be kept in or by the sugar-dish, for the same purpose. Table-napkins, of diaper, are often laid by each person's plate, for use during the meal, to save the tablecloth and pocket-handkerchief. To preserve the same napkin for the same person, each member of the family has a given number, and the napkins are numbered to correspond, or else are slipped into ivory rings, which are numbered. A stranger has a clean one at each meal. Table-cloths should be well starched, and ironed on the right side, and always, when taken off, folded in the ironed creases. Doilies are colored napkins, which, when fruit is offered, should always be furnished, to prevent a person from staining a nice handkerchief, or permitting the fruit-juice to dry on the fingers.
Casters and salt-stands should be put in order, every morning, when washing the breakfast things. Always, if possible, provide fine and dry table-salt, as many persons are much disgusted with that which is dark, damp, and coarse. Be careful to keep salad-oil closely corked, or it will grow rancid. Never leave the salt-spoons in the salt, nor the mustard-spoon in the mustard, as they are thereby injured. Wipe them immediately after the meal.
For table-furniture, French china is deemed the nicest, but it is liable to the objection of having plates so made that salt, butter, and similar articles, will not lodge on the edge, but slip into the centre. Select knives and forks which have weights in the handles, so that, when laid down, they will not touch the table. Those with riveted handles last longer than any others. Horn handles (except buck-horn) are very poor. The best are cheapest in the end. Knives should be sharpened once a month, unless they are kept sharp by the mode of scouring.