when you are on the subject of keeping the interior of a house in good repair, you have a tremendous amount of ground to cover. The interior of the average home is composed of many different materials, all kinds of textures, grains and colors, all worked over and installed in place by different kinds of mechanics and tradesmen, any one of whom might be an artist at his own trade but knows nothing about the others. The homeowner who undertakes his own interior repairs and maintenance jobs must learn and acquire a smattering of all trades. He will either make one or two attempts at small odd jobs and give up in disgust, or he will stick to it; master a few of the rules and techniques of the various trades, and get a great kick out of it. Incidentally, the ideas that he is saving a considerable amount of money will not be painful. The old saying that "an expert is a man possessed of a vast amount of ignorance on a great many subjects" is true. The homeowner does not want to be an expert with a finished hand for one task alone. He wants to have a small amount of knowledge about a great many things. Most house interiors have wood floors, trim, windows and doors. They have plaster walls and ceilings. Most of the walls are painted or covered with wallpaper, and a few of the floors are covered with linoleum or tile. It is not too much to expect, to be able to learn how to treat these materials once they have been put up or nailed down by an expert. It is being done every day by men and women who had the will to apply themselves, and in many cases it has developed into an interesting hobby. It has been proved beyond question, that any intelligent adult can handle his own interior repair work with ease, once he has been shown the right way in which to tackle it.

There are two reasons for keeping the interior of a house in good repair. The first is to make it pleasant to the eye, and the second is to make it comfortable. If you accomplish both of these things, you are doing a lot, and at the same time you will probably go a long way toward making the house safe to live in as well.

The first thing you notice when you enter a house is the condition of the walls and ceilings. If there is a gaping seam in the wallpaper, or one corner of it peeling off, it strikes your eye at once. You also think to yourself, that it seems a small thing to let go that way. If there is a large stain on the wall, you wonder why the owner has not done something about it. If there is a badly cracked ceiling, or a discolored ceiling, you promptly feel that the house is owned by careless or disinterested people, who are obviously content to live in any kind of surroundings. Other people notice exactly the same defects in your house when they enter it. You do not notice these small things about your own home for the simple reason that you are used to them, and they no longer register with you. A combination of shoddy walls and ceilings, plus badly scuffed floors that creak as you walk across them, is enough to convey a general air of dilapidation in any house.

Stained walls and spotted ceilings can ruin the appearance of a well furnished room

Stained walls and spotted ceilings can ruin the appearance of a well furnished room. The walls are the most important items of any enclosed area because they attract the most attention.

Wallpaper can be glued back in place in a few minutes. The procedure is to dampen the paper and the wall behind it with a wet sponge. We really mean dampen it - not soak it. Then apply a light coat of any good glue to the wall only, and press the paper back in place by balling up a clean cloth and using it to iron the paper out. Always iron the paper away from the center, and toward the seam which has opened or the corner which has peeled. In other words always wipe toward an edge or corner, never toward the paper which has remained in place.

Modern decorating practice does not insist upon all four walls being done in the same manner or with the same covering

Modern decorating practice does not insist upon all four walls being done in the same manner or with the same covering. Highly decorative effects have been achieved by contrasting treatment.

Wallpaper that is badly stained can seldom be cleaned properly unless it is the washable type, and even then you are liable to fade out the color. One of the best ideas is to paste a new strip of the same paper immediately over the stain. If you match the design carefully it will be practically impossible to see where the patch is made.

A year or two ago, interior decorators came out with the novel idea of papering one or two walls of a room, and painting the others. At first it appeared to be rather an odd idea, but gradually it took hold, and now you see many rooms done with contrasting walls. This opens endless possibilities for the homeowner with one or two walls in bad condition.

There are other ideas as well, where only one wall is in bad shape. Not long ago we saw a particularly clever one. A well known doctor had a very fine living room in his country house, and the walls were covered with an imported tapestry wallpaper. During the winter, a leak developed in the chimney and caused a large rust-colored stain over the mantel-piece, which completely ruined the paper. He found it impossible to get any more wall covering of the same color and pattern, and it looked as though he was in for a complete job of redecorating. However, a neighbor made a very smart suggestion, which was carried out. A sheet of mahogany veneered plywood, of sufficient size to completely cover the wall above the fireplace, was nailed over the mantel and framed with a fine beaded molding. The result was excellent, as it not only saved an expensive job of repapering, but actually improved the appearance of the room as well. Plywood and molding cost six dollars.