The question of a bed will always bother her. I should advise a divan and cushions, to be made up every night. A box under the divan will hold her skirts. Some folding beds never betray themselves, some can never be forgotten. I know a young art student who hung one with Japanese paper lanterns and Japanese pictures, and decked it out like a holiday ship, did everything, indeed, to make it look unapproachable and out of the question, a convenient hanging-place for all her odd possessions. Then she slept on a cot in the corner, arranged as a divan, and went to endless trouble to make it every night. She could not bring herself to submit to a folding bed. Another art student of my acquaintance slept on a divan, but none of her visitors suspected it. When some one at one of her studio teas looked about and asked her where she slept, she prevaricated and said down the hall, and her explanation was accepted, as it could not have been had the best designs of folding beds been set up among her canvases. Makeshifts, as I began by saying, must be the order of the day for those who dwell in cramped quarters. A screen is indispensable. Art students cook whole dinners on tiny gas stoves behind screens without any one's being the wiser between times. If such a student be a lady with traditions to draw upon, she can do all this and still make her surroundings interesting and stamp them with refine-ment. One such woman treated her studio in this way: A genuine old mahogany sideboard was set with silver. A divan with silk cushions was pushed against the wall, with a mahogany desk at its head. The mantel-shelf was filled with pieces of brass. A mahogany table stood in the centre of the room, several quaint chairs drawn up beside it. Her bureau, with its array of silver, was in a large closet, the door tight shut. A tall screen hid the sink with running water, and the pine table that held the gas stove on which she cooked all her meals. No one ever suspected what was behind that screen, - studio properties, visitors supposed. It was undeniably the home of a lady of taste and cultivation. Had she had less taste, she would not have put her bureau in that closet.
Another studio was arranged in this way by two women living together: As the ceiling was unusually high, a wide platform was arranged across one end of it, the end of it into which the entrance door opened. Access was had to this platform by a narrow staircase. The platform was protected by a balustrade hung with embroidered silks. Here she contrived a dainty bedroom. The other end of the long studio was partitioned off for another sleeping-room. The space under the platform and by the entrance door was utilized as a dining-room. One of these artists was a wood-carver. She designed a rich wainscoting for this dining-room, over which were shelves with carved brackets set out with china, pewter, and silver. The walls were covered with rough burlaps, treated liberally with gold paint.
From the four corners of the platform above, small brass altar-lamps were suspended. The tables and chairs were genuine black oak carved. The studio proper leading from this ante-chamber was furnished with divans, brasses, carved chairs, tapestries, pictures, and plants, - an enchanting room, as charming as its clever maker.
For a well-studied economy of space, I know few places to be compared to another studio belonging to a young woman whose taste in decoration is exceptionally good. The walls are hung with a russet-green denim, - denim green on one side and of reddish tone on the other. The wood-work is painted to match, the green paint being toned with much raw sienna. The floor, treated with wax, is rubbed every day until it has taken on a polish and a sunny, cinnamon tone that is delightful.
From the entrance door a view could originally be had of every corner of the room.
To remedy this, curtains are hung across to form a vestibule, the vestibule itself having a shallow closet at one side for dresses. In one corner of the room a corner closet was built, under which the bicycle is kept. The shelves are filled with artistic pottery. In the corner diagonally opposite, two divans are placed near the window. The steam heater, under a high side window, had a frame-work built over it, on which a seat is placed. Opposite the bicycle cupboard is an upright piano, behind which are shelves for dishes and a drop-shelf. Here great ingenuity is displayed in the shelves fitted in between the piers which jut out into the room. One set of shelves is devoted to china, the other to pans and kettles. The drop-shelf is made of a small bread board fastened to a shelf of the right height by hinges. Each cup has its proper hook, each plate its place. A denim curtain covers the shelves. As it exactly matches the wall color it never betrays itself, or what it conceals.
Across the "alcove," a framework is built, covered on the back with denim to match the walls. This is supplied with spring doors which swing in and can be fastened together, so that they form a sort of letter "A" round which easy access in and out is had. Inside of this enclosure the bed stands under the window, the latter being filled with a lattice made out of the inner wooden framework of an old Japanese screen from which the paper has been stripped. This part of the room, with its bed and wash-closet, is entirely shut off by the temporary partition from the living and working part, and becomes in reality a tiny separate chamber.
The pier glass, which is moved about the inner room, is also turned to double account, its lower part being fitted with shelves for holding shoes and toilet articles.
In the centre of the studio, a large oak table stands just under the huge skylight. Across the base of the skylight, high overhead, is another shelf for pottery. The room is delightful.