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.
If furniture of this period is to be used, an excellent degree of variety will be secured by supplementing French pieces by those of other nations under the same influence. In a preceding section it was noted that in general the very distinct spirit and characteristics of Rococo furniture unfit it for association with that of other periods. In a distinctly French interior there is some reason for such a combination, and this and a method of procedure which secures sufficient unity will be discussed in the next chapter. For other interiors a' superior alternative will there also be given.
By the eclectic system of furnishing - a choosing from here, there and everywhere - Louis Quinze furniture is constantly used with all sorts of other mobiliary forms, and sometimes with very unfortunate results. The writers have seen an illustration of an otherwise admirable and very dignified room in the style of the Italian Renaissance where in the immediate foreground is one Louis XV chair, its framework light in hue (so that it is probably either painted or gilded) and covered with a light figured fabric, probably damask. It falls out woefully with the rest of the interior, and the want of discrimination shown in its introduction is decidedly to be deprecated.
Other instances are less disastrous, but the employment of a mixture of styles that have no real homogeneity gives such an interior the aspect of a museum. This may be unobjectionable in a studio or in the private palace, but elsewhere we may do better.
That good judgment, however, may surmount general difficulties is shown in the room so excellently arranged by Mr. Piatt (Plate 56). The effect is stamped as Italian by the tapestry and bust which at once meet the eye. The cabinet and the chair in the right foreground are also Italian and of an earlier period than that of the furniture on the left, which is Louis Quinze. It is, however, a restrained and chastened form of the period. It is slender, but so is the Italian chair, and though the latter is generally rectangular the long sweeping scroll of the arm closely echoes the general lines of the French pieces. Both are also alike in hue. Here, then, we have a sufficient degree of unity with a pleasant variety, and examples such as this may be of the greatest value to salesmen advising their customers as to purchases as well as to professional decorators and buyers of their own furniture.