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.
Many devices for this purpose are used by the newer school of decoration. One of the most prominent of them is the painting of the woodwork (the "trim") a different shade from the walls, lighter or darker, or a strongly contrasting colour. Another is the lining up of the walls with a wainscot or a panel effect, or with vertical lines, or with a frieze or canopy, or around the ceiling, corners and doors (Plate 77 A). When such contrasts are used by the new movers as violet woodwork, or lines, with yellow walls, bright blue with red-orange walls, etc., one can only ask what becomes of restfulness: when various strong colours are used in the different rooms of the game house, one may enquire where their theory of unity has gone: and in both cases we may wonder how good a background these supply for our persons and our costumes, and how good they are to Jive with? Of course, if such decoration is to be merely temporary and to afford a passing diversion for variety's sake, these purposes are fulfilled.
Considerable strong colour may, however, be employed with unusual but most satisfactory results. The office and reception room by Mr. Aschermann (Plate 52 A) is a good example in point, and a combination used by Mrs. Grace Wood was also charming. This was a hall-bedroom with walls of grey, panelled with a broad band of mulberry and an inner line of pistache green. The furniture was in the green with mulberry lines, and the bed-cover mulberry. Such things have a freshness and verve which it would be well to impart into many dull and conventional homes. Fortunately these ideas may be carried out with sanity of effect and even strong contrast be preserved. Black or indigo lines upon a Chinese yellow, which are often used, are not at all bad if not overdone, because the contrasting hue is sombre and not brilliant.
Panelling is another strong resource of this method of decoration and many effects may be gained by its use. Both the small squared and the larger panelling of later times are used, and either in one or in two colours, these being either quiet or strong. Applied mouldings (Plate 65 B) are excellent for this purpose.
One very tasteful room known by the writers has a white ceiling and canopy effect with walls of peacock-blue burlap with cornice, background and vertical strip panelling in white enamel. This, however, is a single room. In a suite the panels of one or two important rooms may be filled with a painted decoration for greater ornament or with such a beautiful polychrome heavy Japanese paper as shown in Plate 54. Effective papers may also be used above a dado (Plate 78 A).
Conventional decorations in colour are often introduced in panels, and if well done the effect is excellent. They take the place of pictures, which should not appear upon such walls as these strongly marked ones unless of appropriate decorative and colourful character.
As cottage art is looked to for inspiration in one phase of "modern" decoration an exceptionally good example is given in Plate 78 B. In this instance the tones are quiet, but such restful interiors as this and those on Plate 93 would sustain a great deal of colour without disturbance.