IN the first chapter of this Part, "The Basis of Successful Decoration," we have strongly advocated the use of Period Furniture when and where it may be had. The facilities at hand for the purchase of this furniture will forthwith fully be dealt with, but it may be helpful first to consider what may be done when, for reason of location or price it is beyond reach.

Present-Day Furniture

The assortment of good modern pieces is not extremely large, but we may at least be thankful for what there is. The utter badness of all mobiliary design after the decline of the Empire style persisted for many years - we have but to recall the furniture of our fathers and grandfathers, the period of black walnut and later of varnished golden oak. i l Eastlake" was a failure, as will be every attempt to create a style not based upon tradition and the long-established principles of beauty. "L'art Nouveau *' has happily passed.

The Mission style, which as the first attempt to escape from jig-saw and gingerbread is praiseworthy, is strictly utilitarian, heavy, unbeautiful, ungraceful, and with lines as antique as the ark. There is one thing to be said in its favour - it is admirable for a happy-go-lucky houseful of children, for it is almost impossible to destroy.

In its lighter forms particularly it is much more attractive when painted and perhaps banded or treated with a few strong, modest decorations, and upholstered in good virile style in solid colourful fabrics not too fine for its texture, in strong stripes, or in a bold printed linen or cretonne with rather striking but tasteful colour. So done it is excellent furniture for the "newer" decoration.

Then there is wicker - and is it not a comment upon the boasted artistic ability and advanced civilisation of the later nineteenth century to say that this is probably the most worthy thing in mobiliary development which it accomplished! In its way and in its place it is so good, however, that a separate section will be given it.

We have also the handsomer grade of department-store mahogany furniture, most of which to the tyro looks like period furniture but is not. Last summer the writers passed along a series of windows devoted to a "sale" of these goods and grew sick at heart.

There is, too, Peasant or English Cottage furniture, and for modest homes nothing better has ever been devised (Plates 78 B, 93 and 126). The reader will kindly remember, however, that this is period furniture as much as any other.

Some of these pieces may be found in the shops, for there are a few companies that are manufacturing it. There are also two firms, and perhaps others, that make it and sell direct to the consumer by means of representative sheets or catalogues.

Messrs. William Leavens & Co., Inc., of Boston, manufacture this cottage furniture and also pieces in the Mission vein. By use of the first a home may be charmingly fitted up - if one but has the taste; and we are trying to show the way. For the living-room a large gate-legged table and one or two smaller plain wall-tables; simple cottage chairs; some easy, comfortable wicker chairs with seat and back cushions; a large winged upholstered chair (for this a beautiful cretonne furniture-cover may be made which can be taken off for cleaning); a box-couch with solid colour cover, perhaps of velour, and attractive pillows of various, kinds; a tapestry or brocade hanging (see Plate 128 of a remodelled farm-house) with a simple chest of drawers below it, or else a long table in the place of the chest. On either of the last can be placed attractive candlesticks with candles and a bowl or two. A convenient desk is often welcome.

With these appropriately go bare, stained or painted floors with a few simple rugs in good colouring to accord with the colour-scheme decided upon (see section Unity and Variety); simple white curtains; a good lamp; a mirror or hanging over a small table used as a console. A few good prints in colour or monotone, or Japanese prints, in simple, well-chosen frames, or a really excellent water-colour or two are all the pictures needed.

For accessories use such things as a Chinese reproduction of a Kang-Hsi or Chien-Lung vase, a bowl or two of pottery in such solid colours as rose, blue, grey or yellow; a cylindrical Chinese medallion-ware lidded jar for cigarettes and a rose-bowl of transparent glass. By referring to the various chapters under which these matters of furnishing are discussed, many hints and illustrations will be found. A newly married couple of moderate means will find this method the most desirable and as inexpensive as is anything in these days of high costs.

Some of the pieces might be painted and others stained in the reddish-brown found on the colour-chart (not imitation mahogany). As means grow larger good mahogany or walnut pieces (antique or faithful reproductions) may be substituted and some of the original furniture used elsewhere.

This same firm (Leavens & Co.) makes two excellent styles of beds - those with simple slat head and foot boards and the turned four-poster. If twin-beds are used (and they should be if two occupy one room) the slat form is the better as the others give too "postery" an appearance where two beds are employed. They also supply good plain chests of drawers. It is better to get these without the attached mirrors and secure one with old mahogany or rosewood frame, which can readily be picked up at one of the antique shops. Or such a mirror as that which hangs above the console in Plate 92 A would be excellent.

A rather more expensive and also pleasing sort of furniture is made by the Erskine-Danforth Corporation of New York. This comprises excellent pieces of the simpler forms of period furniture, some of them, fortunately for variety's sake, other than English, and good forms of Peasant furniture painted and decorated. Even in inexpensive furnishing it is well to bear in mind the facilities of International-Inter Period Decoration treated in Part III.

It is unfortunate that there is not yet upon the market a good supply of Directoire furniture, than which nothing can be more simply graceful and attrafe-tive. It is practically simplified Louis Seize with a little more swing in the arms and legs of chairs and settees (Plates 171 and 172). Decorators fully appreciate the qualities of this furniture, and it is surprising that more of it has not previously been made. It is but one additional indication of the slowness of American furniture manufacturers in realising that there is a wide field for them if they will but supply faithful reproductions of simple forms of period furniture such as this and those pieces used in the remodelled farmhouse, and at moderate prices.

It is to be hoped that in these times of reconstruction and renewed enterprise both manufacturers and dealers will awake to the fact that there are people of moderate means but cultivated tastes who are looking to them to supply their needs. If they do not, acute foreign manufacturers are likely to do so to the detriment of American interests.

There is a considerable amount of painted furniture of modern character upon the market - most of it being simplifications and variations from eighteenth century forms. These are temporarily attractive; that is, they seem fresh and modern (largely because of their colouring) until one realises their remote origin and considers how much better is the origin than the derivation. It is a pity that they do not show greater distinction of design.