The bedroom furniture must be chosen rather with a view to fitness than to fashion. "Sets" are no more. How stereotyped and assertive they were, and undecorative! Bed, dresser, and wash-stand, forcibly recalling to one the big bear, middle-sized bear, and little bear of nursery lore, were clumsy and heavy and bad, even in hardwood; but when they were simply stained imitations of the real thing, and ornate with wooden knobs, machine carving, and ungraceful lines, they were truly unspeakable. The bed with its fat bolster, on top of which, like Ossa on Pelion piled, stood the pillows, perhaps covered with shams which bade one "Good night" and "Good morning" in red cotton embroidery - was especially hideous as contrasted with our present-day enameled or brass bed, and belongs to the dark ages of crocheted "tidies," plush-covered photograph albums, "whatnots," prickly, slippery haircloth furniture, and other household idols which bring thoughts that lie too deep for tears. Only two styles of sets find a welcome in the up-to-date home - the rich, dark, mellow mahogany, which is too costly for the average pocketbook, and the white enameled. Even so the component parts differ from those of a few years back; then the dresser was considered an absolute essential; now we frequently prefer the more graceful dressing table, with its small drawer or two for the unornamental toilet accessories, or the compromise between the two - the princess dresser - with the roomy chest of drawers or chiffonier. The all-white furniture gives the room an air of chaste purity and is no more expensive than a set in any other good wood, but must be well enameled or it will be impossible to keep it clean.
The very prettiest bedroom woodwork is of white enamel, which has that light, airy look we so want to catch, and never quarrels with either furniture or decorations. But of woodwork painted in any color beware, take care! Finely finished hardwood has the honesty of true worth and needs no dressing up; but its poor relation, that hideous product of old-time dark stain and varnish is only a kill-beauty, and should be wiped out of existence with a dose of white paint.
The trend of popular sentiment is toward the metal bed, with accompanying furniture in plain or bird's-eye maple, mahogany, dark oak, curly birch, or mahogany-birch. Dressers range in price from $9 to $50; princess dressers from $10.50 to $50; chiffoniers from $10 to $35; and dressing tables from $10 to $50. Furniture, like friends, cannot be acquired promiscuously without unpleasant consequences. There is no economy in buying cheap, veneered pieces which will be - or ought to be - always an eyesore. The truly thrifty home-maker will wait until she can afford to buy something genuinely good, and then buy it with the conviction that she is laying up treasures of future happiness and contentment. The "good" piece is exactly what it claims to be, without pretense or artificiality, of hardwood of course, of simple construction, and graceful, artistic lines, its few decorations carved, not glued on.