Summer blowers, of handsomely ornamented iron, are now much used to conceal the empty coal-grates, during the season of warm weather. Like chimney-boards, they render the room very close, by entirely excluding the fresh air that may enter from the chimney. Certainly, in a bed-chamber, it is best that the fire-place should always be left entirely open. A frame made to fit in exactly, and having open slats, like a Venetian door, is a good screen for a summer-hearth. These screens are best when divided down the middle, like a pair of Venetian shutters; one or both of which may be left open at night, if in a sleeping room. To sleep in a room from whence all external air is entirely excluded, cannot be otherwise than prejudicial to health; and rarely fails, sooner or later, to undermine the constitution. Many people accustom themselves to sleep with the window-sash farthest from the bed a little open all the year round, (except when the rain or snow comes in that direction;) and in consequence of having acquired this salutary habit, these persons rarely take cold from any exposure to a draught of air. On this subject, the author can adduce the evidence of her personal experience.
Another good chimney-screen is a maple or walnut-wood frame, filled up with open wire-work, painted green like a wire fender, and fitting exactly into the fire-place.
These frames should have two brass knobs near the top, for lifting them in and out. Chimney-boards, of course, can only be put into open fire-places, where wood is burnt in cold weather. On the hearth of a vacant Franklin stove it is usual to keep a large jar of flowers, which should be renewed every day or two.
Where there is no summer-blower, it is usual to decorate the empty grate with cut paper. This may be done in a very pretty manner by obtaining a sufficient quantity of coloured, glossy writing-paper, of such tints as will harmonize best with each other. For instance, green and lilac; green and light pink; light blue and dark brown; blue and buff, or cream-colour; purple and yellow; two shades of green - one very dark, the other very light; or two shades of blue - one much lighter than the other. Cut this paper, lengthways, into long, straight strips; in breadth, about three or four inches. Fold these slips lengthways, and evenly; and, while doubled, cut their edges with sharp scissors into a fringe. Then wreathe these double fringes thickly and closely round the bars of the grate, securing them with pins. On each bar there should be two wreaths, each of a different colour or shade. Twist or wrap these two wreaths together, so as to conceal the iron entirely; beginning the first twist or fringe from the left hand, and crossing or entwining it with one of another shade or colour commencing from the right. If well arranged, this mode of decorating an empty grate has an excellent effect. The bars should previously be well cleaned, and the back and whole interior of the grate completely blacked. Tissue-paper is too soft and thin for wreathing the bars of grates. Coloured writing-paper will be found much better; or, indeed, any nice paper that is thick and smooth, and of the same colour on both sides.