We are not perhaps thoughtful enough, either for ourselves or for our guests, with regard to what may be described as
True, some of us fall asleep at the proverbial moment when our heads touch the pillow, and do not open our eyes until the time when we are absolutely obliged to get up. But even these enjoy the pleasing experience of the early morning cup of tea brought in by a neat maid. For others there are often wakeful hours either just before this or when first going to rest. Yet many of us go on for years without troubling to see that we have a table of a convenient height at our bedside.
This question of having things just where they are wanted for use is one of the great secrets of a comfortably furnished home, and the housewife can thereby display a large amount of intelligence and forethought.
To have table, bed, and chair all to match arranged in a group, as it were, looks delightful, as will be seen in one of the illustrations. The bed in this case is a beautiful white enamelled one in the French style, panelled with cane; and the table, being also enamelled white, does not require a cloth, which is a distinct advantage.
In another sketch a delightful mahogany inlaid bed has by the side of it a little table in the same wood, which can be bought for about £2.
For a table of this sort a cloth of some kind is necessary, and a white lace-edged one can be bought very inexpensively, and looks as dainty as anything. Those of printed linen with floral borders are also good, but one has to be careful in using them in a room with a patterned cretonne or chintz. Often in this case a plain colour will look better, and an excellent plan is to have a small linen cloth with a hemstitched hem dyed to match the principal colour of the room.
A delightful alternative for a table is a little revolving bookcase. If this has a circular top it can be drawn near to the bed, and will give enough space at the top on which to rest other things such as the tea-tray, clock, and so on; while underneath are the books, placed so that the reader can readily put her hand on the volume that is wanted. This is the ideal thing for the bedside, and the price does not reach £3.
For those, however, who wish to enjoy to the full the luxury of breakfast in bed, an additional and much to be desired comfort is found in the adjustable bed-table that can be drawn out over the bed and regulated to any height. This reaches the acme of comfort, and is well worth the £2 that it will cost. It enables the occupant of the bed to lean back among the pillows without any anxiety as to the balancing of the tray.
With regard to this question of comfort, there is another thing that one wonders is not much more frequently used, and that is the bed-rest. For the nominal sum of four shil-lings it can be acquired in a simple canvas version on the lines of a hammock chair. When one remembers fruitless efforts to arrange pillows to give adequate support, and recollects also the unspeakable comfort of one of these rests with just a single pillow propped against it, it is surprising that any room is ever left without one. For those who care for it there is a more expensive edition in wood and cane work.
We now come to the matter of lighting. Of course, the usual thing nowadays is one of the convenient little electric lamps with a movable shade. It should be one of those made with a loop in the metal-work, and a hook should be placed in the wall so that it can be hung at the right height for seeing to read when sitting up in bed. Where, however, gas is used, people are far too apt to forget the necessity of a bedside candle. This should never be on a straight candlestick, as the grease is sure to get upset in moving it; but the candlestick should be of the regulation bedroom shape, with a tray to hold the matches. Sheffield plate is the ideal thing here, but brass or copper is good, and the touch of colour given by a green pottery candlestick often looks well.
An inlaid mahogany bedstead should be accompanied by a small mahogany table, covered with a lace-eaged white cloth. On this the early morning tray can be placed
Should books be required at night a revolving bookcase can be used in place of the ordinary table. On its polished top can be placed the Booker & Sullivan electric lamp, cup and saucer, or anything that may be required Messrs. Harrods