Russet tones are delightful in living-rooms, whether in country or town. They can be introduced into a room having oak or walnut wood-work, by using golden brown on the walls and in the furniture, having a lower key in the carpet, and somewhere among the golden greens of the cushions a flaming note of red. Whenever the yellow oak of commerce must be retained in the trim and wainscoting, russet tones are to be recommended.

The grays and greens of nature are symphonies, especially the purple grays and greens of French forests. Grays and greens in houses seldom produce an agreeable impression, unless some artist understanding color has been at work. The gray wood now so fashionable when used as a high wainscoting in a dining-room blends happily with the green of ferns or the silvery green of fine velvets. The soft greenish or silvery grays of a burlaps that has been treated by an artist is delightful as a background for tapestries, pictures, and carvings.

Of all colors used in our houses green makes the most satisfactory and reposeful background, - not light pea-green, nor blue-green, nor yet a certain flashy, shiny, uncomfortable green; none of the greens that are seen in some shop-window and, alas! in many houses. The greens to which I refer as being reposeful are the dark olives, which do not change under lamplight, and which make a wall an inconspicuous setting for pictures, books, and flowers. With this green can be combined pinkish tones, yellow, or red. Blue is also good with it, when introduced as blue plates on dining-room walls.

If you like yellow, you can introduce it into a green room, in brass, in the braid of a curtain, or as the gold mats of your pictures. The green of the mullein stalk, or an apple-green, will carry a room up to a higher key and give an effect suitable for bedrooms and dining-rooms.

Recently it has been the fashion to combine red with green. It has become an every-day occurrence to see green walls with red hangings, or red walls with green draperies and carpets. The reds of hangings, either on the walls or at the openings, are seldom of a solid unbroken color. Thus with red velvets there is almost always the braid, eight or ten inches wide, and shot with a gold thread or a yellow silk. When brocades or damasks are used, their raised figures break the light as it falls, and carry the eye away from the tedium of an unrelieved solidity.

One country house, used in winter, has been treated with reds and greens in this way. All the floors are covered with a rich red velvet carpet - a sweep of splendid color lying across the drawing-room floor, the much-divided hall, up the stairs to the bedrooms above, down the flight of a dozen steps or more to the library door, and on across that floor to the fireplace at its end, some forty feet away. The walls of the drawing-room are covered with a large red figure on a white ground. The hall is green, - a better background for the pictures; the library, red. No sense of confusion is conveyed by the breaking up of the wall-colors. That splendid sweep of red in the carpet, when the doors are thrown open, brings everything together. An unbroken stretch of wall-space could never have done this.

When dependence must be placed upon color to make a room interesting, costly materials and furniture are not a necessity, although it is well to remember that certain reds, fine yellows, and grays are found only in expensive textiles.

Repose in a room comes from a certain evenness of tone. A room, however simple, can in its color and proportion suggest charm and repose. The dyes of most denims are excellent, and a room hung, curtained, and upholstered in a denim of good tone can be invested with dignity. Take a certain room in which I am a frequent visitor. The wood-work and ceiling are white, the walls covered with a dark-red paper, the floor is bare except for a single rug. The divan cushions are covered with red denim; the curtains, having a valance across the top, are of the same material. Plants fill the windows. The walls are lined with photographs, -Van Dycks and Rembrandts, in dark frames without mats. The white mantel is decorated with an old-fashioned mirror in a gilt frame, a pair of crystal candlesticks, and a vase of flowers. There are books on the white shelves, and on the well-appointed writing-table. Here is a room which is simplicity itself, and costs but a few dollars to furnish; yet every visitor who crosses the threshold recognizes at once that its inmate is a lady, intellectual and refined; that while economy has of necessity been practised, its mistress has utilized limited means at her command with discretion and intelligence. Indeed, as I discovered one day, she has a series of pasteboard boxes high up on a closet shelf, filled with superfluous things, - presents and legacies that would have been out of key with the simplicity of her present condition, or with colors and tones that would have made her room a discord. Compare such a room with one hung with a paper showing gilt figures, maroon curtains at the windows, chairs tied with blue bows, and lamps with globes decorated with pink roses. One room is reposeful and dignified, in spite of the inexpen-siveness of the materials in it; the other would be discordant, obtrusive, unrestful, however costly the stuffs employed.

Indeed, a question of cost does not enter into the subject at all, except as money is a means of purchase. The most exquisite old Colonial house I ever saw was spoiled by colors at variance with its traditions and its builder's taste: they seemed foreign in that beautiful old house; intruders, having no business to lodge there even for a night - out of harmony with the walls, the lovely windows, the simple fireplace. Yet the woman who chose those colors could have bought anything she wanted; she was always buying, always busy over selections; but she knew nothing of relative values, of what constituted the appropriate, or belonged to the period of which her home was, architecturally, so beautiful an example. Failing this knowledge, she failed in every purchase, and the result was a hopeless discord. This gives me, just here, the opportunity to say, that the owner of a beautiful house has that which is a contribution to her time, an education to her contemporaries. For this reason it should be obligatory to make the house a perfect presentment of the period it represents, either the present or the past. One is untrue to ideals who inherits a noble example of old architecture, and allows the whims of an uncultivated taste to destroy its dignity and repose. It is only when we keep in view this point about houses, books, or pictures, when we regard them as we ought, that we need feel no sense of self-reproach in criticizing the dwelling-places of our neighbors.

When its occupant makes no pretence in a house, being too poor to do more than make a habitation comfortable and hospitable, the case is altered. Then criticism would be criticism of another's limitations, another's poverties, and nothing is worse than that. But a faultless piece of architecture spoiled by the bad taste of a legatee, who does not know one good thing from another, and who is too vain and too indifferent to seek advice, becomes a fit subject for criticism.