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.
A consideration of unity and variety would not be complete without thought directed toward the decoration of larger premises than those so far discussed. Their treatment is at once easier and more difficult; easier because the large room gives more scope to the play of decorative facilities; more difficult only because there are more rooms.
Their very spaciousness, if not cluttered with objects of all descriptions, has the effect of minimising pattern and harmonising colour. The smallness of a floor debars us from cutting it up with design, lest it look smaller than ever: and if we did use quiet Oriental rugs we should have to exercise our wits and our energies to find two or three sufficiently akin in tone and figure. Upon a spacious floor we may, however, by the use of due discrimination distribute several pieces even of differing characters. The few chairs which may find place in a small room must usually, for the avoiding of distraction, be covered with the same material: in the large living-room we may use one covering for most of the seating facilities and then indulge in a burst of varied colour with the big easy upholstered chairs. Chests, large cabinets, consoles and large luxurious couches are mostly forbidden by smallness of space but are the very things we need where there is abundance of room.
The opportunities for variety provided by the system here outlined are almost infinite. In a house of thirty rooms half a dozen of them might be in one general scheme and yet each be individual. If in so many the combination of rose and blue were used, for example, the rooms themselves would be on different floors and for different purposes - perhaps a drawing-room, nursery, man's room and boudoir with accompanying bedrooms. The furniture and furnishings of these various classes would naturally make a decided difference in the employment of the colouring and give very different effects. Then in one room the rose would be used in one place and in another in a different place; the shades may vary.considerably; the additional colours used for relief need not be all alike; plain goods would be used in one situation and blended or patterned in another and the character and designs of the textiles would naturally not be the same. In a boudoir and adjoining bedrooms the furnishings of the former would be the more luxurious - to mention one particular alone the curtains of the boudoir would be silken, perhaps with such an applique as is suggested in the chapter on Windows; those of the bedrooms might appropriately be a beautiful white net. An indication of the varying treatment of communicating bedrooms has already been given. In a man's room the colouring might well be deeper and more masculine - mulberry or Burgundy and plum-blue; in a young girl's the lighter French flowered stripes of rose qnd blue on cream; thus totally varying the tone and character, yet preserving the adopted hues and the unity thus gained.