THE pleasure of planning and building is vouchsafed (comparatively speaking) to the fortunate few. Many of us must adjust ourselves to environments designed for other people, and set up our household gods within walls at variance with our ideals, yet every householder can control, to some extent, the finish, decorations, and furnishings of the rooms wherein he dwells, and make them speak of his individuality rather than that of the earlier occupant. The old saying, that "He who knows a man's home knows also his heart," shows that even as long ago as the sixteenth century the home must have been characteristic of the man.

Much can be accomplished by refinishing woodwork, doing over the walls, and adjusting and arranging furniture. There are also certain objectionable features in the architectural detail of some rooms which can be eliminated. Grills can be removed from doorways and windows; ornate over-mantels can frequently be lifted bodily from their places, leaving a mantel shelf which will be found quite unobtrusive and useful. However, these concessions, which must be faced by the majority of people, for a part of their lives at least, will be dealt with at length in a later chapter.

Where the home is to be built, after site and style have been determined, a general plan of decoration for the interior should be evolved.

In the early days of the architect's preliminary sketches, after the kind of wood to be used for the interior has been selected, the treatment for the woodwork, floors, and side walls of the various rooms of the house should be decided. With this settled, the color motif for the entire scheme can be reached.

Most women have some preconceived ideas in regard to the kind of woodwork and decorations they desire in some, at least, of their rooms. One may favor a dining-room with a high paneled wainscot of dark wood, leading directly from a little drawing-room or parlor in which white woodwork plays an important part; for the remaining rooms of the house, "anything that looks well and will not be difficult to keep free from dust." From such ideas chaos sometimes results.

Frequently, upon the architect falls the necessity of dissuading or adjusting, as the case may be. If the interior of the house is designed along severely simple lines, he will show his client the advantage of stain and soft dull finish for the woodwork, and plain or two-toned walls with stenciled frieze of appropriate design as being the only right way to treat this to preserve the harmony of the whole, and to provide a suitable setting for the sturdily built furniture which should be used in a house of this type.

When the house is of less pronounced style of architecture, a wider choice is allowed. The dining-room paneled in dark wood is permissible where the hall is finished in mahogany stain, and the parlor opening off the hall may have the desired white enamel for the finish of its woodwork, or the doors leading into the hall and the hand-rail of the banister may be treated with the mahogany stain, while the other woodwork shows the same white enamel as the parlor. In the library, on the opposite side of the hall, the mahogany stain may be used throughout. This treatment for the standing woodwork is particularly suited to houses built on modified Colonial lines, and provides an excellent setting for mahogany furniture.

This Treatment Provides an Excellent Setting for Mahogany Furniture.

Plate XVII. This Treatment Provides an Excellent Setting for Mahogany Furniture.

In such an arrangement there is no jar or discord, as its unity is preserved. The selection and treatment of the woodwork of such rooms will be considered in the following chapter. Where the house is a very small one, and the cottage feeling is to be made evident, all the standing woodwork may be treated with an ivory-white enamel with good effect.

The advance in the art of planning the floor space for the house of moderate cost, which has developed largely in the last decade or two, usually allows the several living rooms to be thrown together and thus bear intimate relation one to the other. Hence, the color scheme for the whole must be considered together.

The Standing Woodwork and Walls of Adjoining.

Plate XVIII. The Standing Woodwork and Walls of Adjoining Rooms Must Show No Crude Contrasts.

No Architectural Detail of the Interior is of More Individual Importance.

PLATE B. No Architectural Detail of the Interior is of More Individual Importance than the Chimneypiece or Mantel. See Specifications, Chapter XXI (The Importance Of Working Specifications).

A rule which should always be followed in all types of houses is - the standing woodwork and walls of adjoining rooms must show no crude contrast, but harmonize well. An excellent plan is to select varying shades of the same color for the standing woodwork of the different rooms. For instance, the darkest brown stain may be used in the hall, if well lighted, and in the most spacious of the apartments, working gradually into lighter nut or gray-brown, or even silver gray is found harmonious. With the many excellent stains and special stain reducers now provided, these harmonious effects can be easily obtained.

For the wall treatment and draperies throughout (which must be considered together), a repetition of one or more of the colors in various combinations will be found restful and attractive.

The ceiling color is also an important consideration, as this must show a tone, while lighter in shade than either walls or woodwork, entirely harmonious with both. The ceiling color may sometimes be effectively repeated in the tiles about the fireplace, or in the diaphanous curtains which are hung next the glass of the windows. Flat finishes and matt-glaze effects on walls and ceilings adjust themselves more readily to existing conditions than any other materials. They can be obtained in shades and tones to match woodwork and furniture stains, fabrics, and rugs.