California, with its pretty little bungalows, not only has pointed out to us the possibility of living satisfactorily in a small number of rooms, but has shown us something in the way of simple furnishings. Not until we see what may be "done without " do we realize how much that is superfluous crowds our floors.
A pretty good rule is to test everything first by its usefulness; if it is not useful, we may dispense with its purchase. Even at that, it may be necessary to demand that the article shall be not only useful but absolutely indispensable, for between the beguiling advertisement and the crafty salesman, almost anything that is manufactured may be proved necessary. At the best we shall probably purchase a-plenty, and the question of when a house reaches the point of overfurnishing is a difficult one to settle. Let one of us, for instance, venture at midnight into a dark room - be the apartment ever so large - with nothing but a rocker in it, and the impression may be gained that the place has been turned into a furniture warehouse. And some persons - none of us, to be sure! - are never happy while any of the floor or wall space is unoccupied.
So the world goes. But if nine out of ten persons bought only what they could not do without, what they did purchase could be of a great deal better quality.
No bit of furniture should be purchased for which there is not a suitable place in the house. A piece may be very attractive in the salesroom, and its practical qualities may appear irresistible, while on our own floors it may be perfectly incongruous and perhaps, on account of its enforced location, almost useless.
If for no other reason, we should go slow with our purchases because we cannot know the real needs of our home until we have lived in it. Experience will make some articles superfluous and substitute what we had not thought to want There should be a regular saving fund or appropriation for keeping up the house fittings, and usually it is found that this fund grows more steadily if we have some definite purchases in view. Leave some things to be "saved up for"; there will be less likelihood then of your being included in that large class to which the newspaper "small ads" appeal - "those who wish to trade what they don't want for what they do want."