Notwithstandinng the disparities of style in the period of Louis XIV, exterior architecture had reached under J. H. Mansart, the king's architect, a Classic dignity which in exterior work was well preserved under the following regime. We therefore have in the reign of Louis Quinze the felt incongruity of a Classic exterior with often a madly Romantic interior and furniture, and a wealth of beautiful but artistically frivolous accessories. The more deeply we look into the past the more thoroughly we realise that it was not so logical as enthusiasm sometimes leads innocence to think.

It may not be good practice to argue from a bad example, but where necessity knows no law it is human to take such comfort as we may. If, therefore, the modern conditions to which the writers have previously referred preclude the elaborate panelling of walls, surely a classically plain interior is not more incongruous with Louis XV furnishings than a Romantic interior in a Classic building. We are not left wholly to this reasoning, however, for there were some plain-wall backgrounds in this period. It was not the prevailing style, but they were sufficient in number to justify us in using this method.

But if an entire house or apartment may not be panelled in a fairly ornate phase of the period, it may in some cases at least be possible to treat the drawing-room or boudoir in a simplified manner. Preserving the rectangular base and tall panels, decorators, by the use of a very few characteristic curves at their tops, frequently supply an entirely simple but perfectly correct rendering of the style, such as was doubtless seen in the modest houses of this period.

Where panelling is entirely precluded, a perfectly plain painted or papered wall could be used, its tone being one of the soft, warm French greys, fawn, or an ivory-white. Especially in a boudoir, a grey-blue or soft rose or a greyed blue-green or pale sage green might be employed.

A paper-panelled wall would be permissible, provided the divisions were strictly architectural and not irregular and floral. Two shades of soft grey, or pale grey and blue, or pale grey and rose would be excellent.

French colour-prints (or their reproductions, if good) in the correct frames of the period, afford admirable wall decorations.

Tapestries appropriate in spirit are a great addition to the plain-wall treatment.

In such interiors plain or simply bordered rugs in soft greys, fawns, or such tones as the above could be used, or finely patterned Orientals in similar shades to the Aubusson or Savonnerie carpets. These were colourful but refined - no strident hues nor harsh contrasts have place in this decoration.