This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
The most numerous type of win8 dow in the Francis I style was square-headed. An occasional variation was the rounding of the shoulders. This detail, however, chiefly appeared outside and did not affect the interior aspect. Besides these, there were also in lesser number round-arched windows and windows with flat elliptical-arched tops. The windows were generally large, two lights wide, and divided vertically by a mullion which was crossed by a transverse mullion or transome, nearer the top than the bottom, thus forming a cross, hence the name fenetre croisee. There were also smaller windows without mullions, square-headed, and filled by two full-length casements. Besides the leaded quarries or roundels in the metal casements, stained-glass cartoons were occasionally introduced. Door heads corresponded in shape to window heads and above the door heads carved or sculptured decoration was often added.
As in the preceding style, walls were panelled wholly or in part (Plate 26), stone-faced, or plastered. At times the plaster surface above the panelled wainscot was embellished by reliefs in stucco-duro (Plates 26 and 27). Paint and fresco adornment, as previously, were sometimes employed, but complete permanent decorations were still, for the most part, to be found only in the houses of the very great and very wealthy and it remained a common practice to deck comparatively austere walls with tapestries or with painted cloth and canvas hangings that could be taken down at will and moved elsewhere. The chief features of the rooms, however - fireplaces, overdoors and the like - were accorded rich permanent treatment.
The panels for wainscotted walls and for other interior woodwork were generally small (Plate 27) and very frequently square in shape, defined by mouldings of low profile, in a manner strongly reminiscent of North Italian Renaissance panelling of an earlier date. The motifs with which the panels were often enriched, as well as other decorated woodwork and interior stone carving, included arabesques, paterse, monograms (Plate 27), initials, emblems, mottoes on ribbon scrolls, cockleshells, ox skulls, plant forms and human and animal forms and heads. Gothic details had quite disappeared. All of these just mentioned, and others of similar nature, appeared more especially in chimney-piece carvings and in door trims and overdoor enrichments, where also one might find divers classic orders, of different scale, brought into the same composition without reference to classic precedent; capitals combining cornucopia, fanciful volutes and heads; and panelled pilasters enriched with arabesques, interlacing scrolls or strapwork, or with circles and lozenges, the former and latter of which were especially characteristic of Francis I decoration. The relief of all carved (Plate 26) ornament was almost invariably low and restrained, and the detail exceptionally refined.
Fireplaces were quite generally surmounted with a distinctly architectural chimney-piece composition carried up vertically to the ceiling. The chimney-piece of sculptured stone or carven wood displayed niches, canopies, pilasters, panelling and sculptured devices in impressive array above a suitable corresponding mantel carried on piers, corbels or caryatides.
Vaulted and stone slab ceilings were used in places that readily admitted their construction, but ceilings with exposed timbers and panelled ceilings were steadily becoming more and more the rule. The beamed and panelled wood ceilings were often divided up into small panels (Plate 27) and enriched with delicate carving or with colour and gold.
Stone, marble and encaustic tile floorings continued in use, but parquetted wood floors (Plate 27) were winning wider and wider favour as were also the floors of Italian enamelled or maiolica tiles in bright colours or with divers subjects in colour on a white ground.