Beginning with the base, as becomes a good builder, and working upward, floor coverings which cover without covering, if one may indulge in an Irishism, are far preferable to those which extend from wall to wall. Carpets undoubtedly have their uses: they make over well into rugs, supply heat to the feet, particularly in summer, and to the disposition during the semiannual house cleaning. They also cover a multitude of moths. But they belong to the dark ages of unenlightened womanhood whose chief end was to keep house, and have been jostled into the background by bare floors or mattings, with rugs. Hardwood floors certainly are nice and seem to wear an air of conscious pride of birth, but their humbler self-made brethren of common pine, stained and varnished or oiled, answer the purpose fully as well. It really amounts to a case of rugs make the floor, for if they are pretty and conveniently disposed about it, the floor itself receives very little attention. Small rugs before bed, dresser, and chiffonier will suffice in a small room, and can be easily taken out and cleaned, but a more commodious room requires the dressed look imparted by the larger rug. Whatever its size, avoid large figures and strong colors, choosing rather a small, somewhat indistinct pattern woven in the deeper shades of the other decorations of the room, at the same time supplying a foundation which, without calling attention to itself, becomes a good support for the general decorative plan - a base strong but neither heavy nor striking. Since we were made to stand erect and look up, it is irritating to have one's eyes drawn downward by the unattractive attraction of an ugly rug. The colonial cotton rag rugs are quite the most desirable for bedroom use, from a sanitary as well as an artistic standpoint, and are woven to produce charming effects. The usual combination is two colors - white with blue, yellow, green, or pink, black with red, different shades of the same color, etc. Occasionally three colors are used, but more are apt to destroy the dainty simplicity which is the chief charm of rugs of this kind. They are woven like any other rag rug, and of any dimensions.
Mattings, if preferred to the bare floor, come in a variety of patterns and colors and look neat and fresh, and cool in summer if used without rugs. They are a yard wide and range in price from 10 to 50 cents a yard for the Chinese, and from 20 to 60 cents for the Japanese. There is very little choice between the two, though the Chinese wears a little better, perhaps. Matting is easily broken and should not be used where the bed must be drawn away from the wall to be made, or heavy furniture moved about.