This section is from "Every Woman's Encyclopaedia". Also available from Amazon: Every Woman's Encyclopaedia.
If in the country, a local time-table should be placed in an accessible position, and many people also place the times of incoming and outgoing posts on a card for the benefit of their guests.
The telephone is often placed in the hall, but, if small, this is not convenient; and, moreover, all conversations are the common property of the whole household. It is better to fix the telephone where there is space for a chair and small table, so that messages can be taken and noted in comfort.
Some simple and artistic lighting fitment in a dark corner at the end of the stairs, or elsewhere, may be made a very pleasant and welcoming feature of a hall, and prevent an accident to unaccustomed feet.
In the sitting-room hall want of light is frequently a bar to perfect comfort. In these days of standard lamps for electric light, as well as for gas and oil, it is not difficult to obtain sufficient light, and nothing so contributes to the general comfort as a well-placed and artistically designed light holder.
Such things can be obtained in form to suit any period. If the hall is panelled, and an Elizabethan oak cupboard or
Flemish press has been converted to the purpose of holding the coats, we should select a veritable lantern such as a man-at-arms might have carried in a sixteenth century pageant. Even the glass is of a yellowish tinge, to suggest the horn sections which protected the dips; and, mounted upon a stand, this l a n t e r n will look well.
An antique design for a hall lantern which would be admirably in keeping with a panelled hall
If Jacobean chairs and tables furnish the hall, hanging sconces of that period are obtainable ready for electric wiring or for gas. Should the later Chippendale style be suitable, then glass lustres or gilt girandoles can be had for the asking.
The principal point to decide is the position in which the light will be most useful, and then to adjust it there. One word of warning : do not keep an ill-lit hall, if you wish your friends to obtain an impression of warmth, light, and welcome to your home.
To have a good light in the daytime is also an essential of comfort. I know of houses where the building of rooms round a central hall - a good idea in itself - has led to disaster with regard to the admission of daylight to the place of entry.
That architects are occasionally men of but one idea at a time is to be regretted, but the clever housewife can doubtless devise some way out of the difficulty, even though her professional house-planner may have failed.
There are several methods of letting daylight into a badly illuminated hall. One can sometimes be managed by means of a skylight, though to place this in a central position may be impossible owing to a room having been built above. There may be, however, a passage leading out into the garden, and this may permit of a skylight being placed so that the hall may have an opportunity of receiving some welcome rays of sunshine.
Again, it may be possible, by the sacrifice of a small morning-room, to obtain better lighting.
If the dark hall is surrounded by rooms, why not get rid of one of the partition walls, and thus, by opening the room and throwing it into the hall obtain a really adequate allowance of daylight.
Occasionally one can vastly improve a hall by letting glass panes into the front door. These panes may be of the old clear glass-bottle order, which always have an excellent appearance, or, if the house is in the country, quite clear bevelled sheets of glass will have a very lighting effect on the darkest hall. A little silk curtain can be drawn over the glass at night ; or, better still, a good strong-shutter be put up, so that the gaze of passers-by may not annoy those sitting in the hall. A large-sized pane of clear glass is charming in a door leading into the garden, and, of course, if such a door gives on to the hall, much more light can be obtained, while, at the same time, the effect' of a framed picture enclosing the garden scene is really charming.
We remember to have seen such a garden door in an old house in Suffolk. The clear blue sky, with a tracery of cedar branch seen across it, together with a peep of an herbaceous border of flaming poppies and blue delphiniums made a garden picture of the most vivid and delightful colouring, which, until one had examined its beauty through the clear glass pane, had all the effect of a perfectly painted picture.
Three beautiful designs for chairs suitable for a hall
Why the Open Grate is Popular - Radiant v.convexed Heat - The Wastefulness of Open Grates - Advantages and Disadvantages of Coal Fires - Stoves and their Drawbacks - How to Warm an
Entire House with One Stove - Hot-water Installations
The British householder is conservative in questions affecting his comfort; and probably for many generations to come he will regard the open grate as the plea-santest, most cheerful, and most convenient means for warming his rooms.
The open grate has lost none of its popularity, albeit other systems of heating are available, the efficiency of which has stood the test of use.
The question of open grate versus closed stove is not one of relative economy, or the latter would before this have obtained a firmer foothold in our homes. Neither is it altogether a question of sentiment, much as we love the cheery glow of coals in the grate. The true explanation of the popularity of the open grate is to be found in the. character of the warmth it diffuses.
Heat may reach our bodies in two ways. The heat rays emitted by incandescent fuel strike through the intervening air and become sensible heat when they reach our clothes and skin. This is termed radiant heat. It travels in straight lines from its source in every direction, and may be intercepted, as everyone knows who has used a firescreen.