In the reaction from the elaborate and costly creations of lace which were the pride of our mothers, the frequent present prescription of absolutely plain material for thin curtains goes, perhaps, too far. Especially is this the case in drawing-rooms facing upon the street, for from that point inner curtains are not visible, and perfectly plain materials are not appropriate to the front of a handsome house, however well they may answer for simpler ones. In such instances it is advisable to have strength and simplicity in the design chosen but to add to these a certain richness. If no inner curtains are used, or if they are of solid colouring, there is much freedom of choice, but if inner curtains are patterned and varied in colouring a greater severity in the thin curtains must obtain and the two must not conflict in design or scale. Drawing-rooms, reception-rooms and boudoirs are all "of an elegance," and, unless redeemed by handsome inner curtains, plain thin materials leave something to be desired. There are many beautiful stripes, figures and patterns in net and madras (Plate 83 A).

Dining-rooms and living-rooms are sometimes elegant and sometimes simple, and the curtains chosen should be in accordance.

For cottages, many apartments and simple bedrooms nothing is prettier than flounced muslin curtains: they have a charm all their own and are most convenient, as they can be purchased ready to put up. Other execellent selections are plain materials with insertion near the edge, or with a wide hem and a narrow edge of Cluny lace sewed on the inner side and foot. Plain materials, from scrim to theatrical-net, are so numerous that it is hardly worth while to attempt to record them; all that is necessary being the selection of what is appropriate and pleasing for its particular use.

If the woodwork is ivory, cream or buff, it is better that the curtains should be similar in tone, but if it is pure white or of another colour, pure white curtains will be better: they seem to retain their freshness longer than the tones.

Coloured Sash Curtains

Coloured curtains next the sash are sometimes advisable for adding richness, the modification of light, or to carry out a decorative effect. If the natural light of a room is cold or dreary, thin curtains in one of the shades of yellow will brighten it and enliven the whole atmosphere of the room. Rose will warm it without so greatly increasing the effect of light. If, on the other hand, there is too great glare, cool green, blue-lavender or soft blue will modify it. In making a choice the colour-scheme of the room must, of course, be considered.

Among the materials for such purposes are thin silk, Japanese gauze, Japanese crepe, thin poplin, sun-fast and English casement cloth.