The Welcoming Hearth - Exclusion of Draughts in the Sitting-room Hall - The Keeping of Outdoor Garments - Practical Hall Furniture - How to Arrange the Small Passage Hall - Lighting the cheery appearance in such a fireplace
The most import-ant feature in any hall should be its hearth. If it is possible to have a fireplace, however humble, we are right to make the most of it, for when the outer door is opened there is no more pleasant sight than a genial blaze, and the incoming guest may well feel a glow of pleasure on seeing a cheerful fire on the hearth on a chilly day.
An open grate, logs laid upon a great iron cradle, sparklingly bright fire-irons, and dogs that reflect the gleam of the flames, these are all essentials for the hearth of the ideal hall stove, or red-tiled, with beams of oak above, or with quaint flounce like a farmhouse kitchen, it matters not, so long as the hearth is spotlessly kept and the fire well tended.
Liberty & Co
So much to the good is it if there be sufficient space for an ingle-nook, for, though much comfort may be secured by the use of a large fourfold screen or a thick curtain, a hall is apt to prove a draughty sitting-room.
Realising this, some modern architects build a small entry, securely cut off from the main hall by doors, a detail which makes for comfort.
It is important that the outer garments of the family, which are usually kept in the hall, should be hidden away. These most generally belong to the men of the house, who, by some strange unwritten law, are always allowed to take off coats and hats downstairs, and are never expected to take them to their rooms.
Occasionally a small lobby is available, in which a plentiful supply of pegs and shelves makes the bestowal of such things easy but more often some contrivance must be invented whereby the litter of gloves, caps, mackintoshes, overcoats, and umbrellas may be kept.
Many excellent cupboards have been put upon the market, some of them really handsome pieces of furniture. Made to serve half a dozen purposes in the way of seating the chance visitor, providing hanging room for the coats, and a stand for the umbrellas, they take comparatively little floor space.
Such an ideal hallstand can be obtained 7 feet in height and 7 feet 6 inches wide ; giving a really serviceable cupboard, with handsome bottle-glass window and good copper hinges. At the back of the umbrella-stand there are tiles, so that no damp can matter, a seat of very comfortable dimensions being also arranged.
Another hall cupboard opens with two doors, and on the inside of one the stick-rack and umbrella-stand are fixed. This is a very excellent plan, for umbrellas have a very forlorn aspect when not in use, but necessitates some other provision for wet umbrellas.
A round mirror fixed above on the same door, and a shelf for gloves, makes this receptacle complete. The inside of the cupboard is simply arranged with hooks and a hat shelf. Such a wardrobe of fumed oak can be had for fourteen guineas.
In some hall cupboards there is a box for gloves. This seems better than the shelf, though whether any but the perfect male - not yet born - would ever be induced to put his gloves each day in a box is not within the scope of this article to decide.
A hall stand which serves several purposes. It accommodates coats and hats, affords a comfortable seat and has a most practical umbrella stand Liberty & Co.
A hall wardrobe in fumed oak, fitted inside with umbrella stand, shelf, and hooks. The round mirror is a most useful adjunct
Waring & Gillow
A Good Carpet
In the sitting-room hall there should always be a thick carpet. This serves a
, double purpose, in giving an impression of warmth and comfort on entering the house and also in ensuring quiet.
Besides the halls in which it is possible to sit to read or sew in comfort, there are those which, though more dignified in size than a passage, are yet too small for anything but a place of entry to a house.
The furniture for such halls must be very carefully chosen, and everything that is possible done to keep the floor space clear. A small cupboard or shelf, with curtain beneath, is essential for receiving the coats and hats, but nothing cumbersome must be allowed. A narrow table should hold the small silver card-salver and a post-box for letters ; a mirror should hang on the wall ; and a stick-rack, also on the wall, will economise space.