There is no reason why a girl should not make of her bedroom a private sanctum. In a house where there are only two ordinary sitting-rooms, it makes for the comfort, ami-ability, and general well-being of the family that the members should have some private corner where they may not merely sleep, but also spend pleasantly many hours. Such a dainty yet simple room as we describe helps to make life pleasant, for beauty does assist in comfort and happiness, though, of course, comfort is of first necessity.
All-important Question of Cost
Though all cannot afford to employ the skilled craftsman who produces individual furniture for individual use and taste, we all can express our taste and individuality in some subtle way by a scheme of decoration which has its counterpart in some other part of the room.
The most simple little room can be a model of artistic fitness, and, while costing for its furniture and decoration quite a modest sum, may, because of its well-thought-out planning for practical comfort, be far more attractive than the most sumptuous bedroom.
If a whole scheme is too costly to work out en bloc one may take comfort in the thought that, if the general plan is laid down, it is possible to proceed little by little, and complete the whole as means allow.
Sometimes it is useful to have a dressing-table, good chest of drawers, and a small hanging wardrobe en suite. Such sets can be purchased at any good furnishing shop, but little luxuries and necessaries which make for real comfort are not always obtained by purchase. Thought, taste, and intelligence are required for the making of the perfect bedroom, especially if funds will not allow of large expenditure.
The Cheapness of Pretty Things
Happily, pretty things are quite cheap, and, if all unnecessary and tawdry rubbish is avoided, one may concentrate one's funds on those articles which it is desirable to have of good quality.
For wall decoration there is nothing prettier than a rose pattern either in the natural or chintz style; the pale green of the foliage on the white of the background should be chosen for paint. Such a paper can be had for Is. or Is. 6d. per piece, and chintz to match, or a green linen, for Is. per yard.
Linoleum of plain ground in green, or the ever serviceable brown, should be on the floor, with a couple of good wool carpet squares or mats for the bedside. Do not buy anything with jute in it, as it is usually too dusty for a bedroom floor.
The kind of bed chosen must depend on individual taste, but it should be remembered that a fairly hard mattress is the most hygienic.
A very pretty bedspread can be made to fit into the scheme of rose decoration. A bed is such a large object in a small room that it is wise to try as much as possible to make it an object of beauty. Nothing gives so good an effect as a highly ornamental covering, which, of course, will be removed at night, and also during those times when a growing girl is resting.
It is best to choose a scheme of decoration for a bedspread that is achieved fairly quickly, for the labour entailed in the embroidering of so large a surface is very considerable. For this reason applique work is to be recommended rather than embroidery. Purchase a sufficient length of good, stout linen to reach well over the pillow and tuck down to the bottom of the bed; at the sides the bedspread should reach to within four inches of the floor, or, rather, the lace which surrounds it should make the completed counterpane of this size.
Therefore, decide what depth your edging of lace, fringe, or the like shall be, and then cut your linen. Sketch with the aid of a soup-plate the rounds that the rose garlands shall follow. Next, cut out of a rose-strewn chintz enough sprays to build up the rose garlands. Tack these carefully in place, and do not economise the stitching in your tackings; then edge all the chintz sprays with buttonhole-stitch, done in green for the stems and foliage, and in shades of rose for the flowers, and the work is complete without further embroidery.
Some may prefer to make their whole quilt of lengths of chintz with rose garlanded flounce instead of the lace at the edge. The applique work on heavy linen, however, has the advantage of weight in keeping its place on the bed. Chintz, unless lined, is of a very elusive nature.
The writing-table shown in the coloured plate is a very excellent suggestion. It is simply a flap of wood such as is used in a narrow hall for a tray. The advantage of this is that it can be let down easily by removing the bracket, and more floor space is thus available. It is extremely steady, and can be used for ironing laces or for brushing, though this latter operation, except for very light, clean articles, should never be done in a bedroom.
A blotting-case of rose-printed chintz, with fastening of rose and white Chine ribbon. This dainty trifle would look charming in a girl's rose bedroom
The Girl Who Leaves School
It is very desirable for the girl who is growing up to feel that she may look upon one room in the house as her very own. It gives her a personal pleasure in certain household things, which any amount of responsibility in taking care of the family possessions does not impart. She finds a delight in making pretty things for her room, and should have a pleasure in seeing it always neat and in order. Such feelings should be fostered in every possible way. If the girl is to have a house of her own some day, how excellent that she should begin by seeing that one room, at any rate, is always in proper order.
It is no use scolding a girl for leaving things about if we give her no convenient places to put them in. First the mother should see that there is a place for everything, then later on she can reprove if everything is not in its place.
The hat problem is an exceedingly difficult one to solve, for in size hats seem to grow yearly ever more prodigious.
"Where can I keep my hats?" is the cry of the girl whose furniture is on a modest scale, consisting, perhaps, of a good chest of drawers and a small hanging wardrobe. It is considered by hygienic authorities highly obnoxious to keep hat-boxes under a bed, and certainly it is unsightly to pile them in a corner of the room; besides which, the frail cardboard soon gets out of order when frequently opened and shut, and is then no longer dustproof.
If you cannot buy a box of suitable size, get a jobbing carpenter to make one of rough wood, for which he will charge about 3s. 6d., and make him put two strong iron hinges on the lid. Now line the box with white or cream sateen fastened on with tin-tacks, and making the rough edges neat at the bottom by covering a thin card the size of the box and slipping it in. Line the inside of the lid as well, after stuffing the top of the lid with vegetable down and covering with rose chintz. Now cover the outside of the box with the rosebud chintz, and tack a flounce round the edge of the lid, so that it hangs down over the side of the box and shuts it in a dustproof manner. Put one of the new castors at each corner, so that the ottoman hat-box will move easily along the ground, and attach a knob or handle by which to lift up the lid.
A dainty chair-cover for a rose bedroom. The flower spray is worked in giant ribbon of dark rose, and green and white embroidered sprays add an extra embellishment to the design. Rose ribbon is threaded through the cover and tied in a bow at one corner
This hat-box makes a comfortable seat, and will be found most useful. If made of the size suggested, several hard-wear hats can be kept in it, as well as a large feather-trimmed best hat.
The Best Place to Keep Boots
Another knotty problem is the keeping of boots and shoes in an orderly manner. Rows of footwear have a depressing appearance in a girl's dainty bedroom, which she likes also to use as a sitting-room, and even to invite an intimate friend into occasionally. The writer has found that a small book-case with several shelves is the very best receptacle for boots and shoes. If one looks about carefully, it is often possible to pick up such in painted deal in a second-hand shop.
Have a brass rod fixed at the top, and hang a curtain in front of the shelves. A division can be made in the shelves, and a section partitioned off in the middle for boots. The curtains hiding the boots would then be on each side, as our artist suggests.
A Hanging: Tidy
Numerous hook contrivances make for neatness in the bestowal of one's belongings. It is undesirable to pile the dressing-table with button-hook, shoe-horn, purse, and such things, which are very frequently required. A little bar with hooks, suspended with a ribbon, supplies the resting place for these numerous stray objects. It is very easily made.
Another cheap contrivance is a small piece of brass rod placed across one corner of the room; behind this can be slipped umbrella, sunshades in their loose linen cases, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and any other oddments of the same description.