A grandfathers clock is a time-honoured institution, and a framed or plain mirror is never out of place, but care must be taken to hang it sideways to the light, because direct sunlight is apt to spot it: Where there is no cloak-room, and space is available, a clothes cupboard is preferable to a hat-stand, with its miscellaneous array of headgear and garments. Umbrella stands are not beautiful, and when practicable should be concealed in a corner by the door. A few carefully chosen pictures may be displayed with advantage. A well-known publicist who has been caricatured many times in the Press has the original drawings of half a dozen of these efforts in his hall. In this way he pokes fun at himself, and suggests to those who call that he is by no means the fire-eating dragon some of the cartoonists have suggested. Here again the personality of the owner is reflected, as we noted in the case of the musician.
It may not be practicable to have a bowl of flowers on a little table, but the effect is always refreshingly delightful. And here let it be added that polished wood enhances the beauty of the posy. Wood is no longer covered up, as though one were ashamed of its nakedness. In this matter Nature requires no decoration. Much the same may be said of doors. In a dark house white enamel is valuable to relieve the drabness, but in a light house doors of some such timber as oak or Oregon pine, which has a pleasing grain, are preferable. A light stain or wax polish will enhance the markings.
Rugs are the best floor covering for wide halls; a runner for a narrow hall. If the floor is neither oak nor parquet, it is advisable to have linoleum, as stain is apt to wear off and look patchy with the constant use a hall gets. A chair or two is indispensable, although there is nothing better than a settle if space permits, and a chest is never out of place unless scarcity of accommodation precludes. The question of artificial lighting should be carefully studied. If there is a fireplace, and electricity is available, candle sconces are pretty, but a centre light should also be available if the place is roomy on account of the low power of small lamps. Poor light at night negatives all the care that may have been taken to make a hall bright and attractive. It is well for the housewife to remember that the first commandment was, Let there be light.
Choose Friendly Wallpapers
If the staircase is visible, it should have a carpet that matches, or at least blends with the floor covering of the hall Harmony is good in music and in all else. For this reason, it is advisable to choose wallpapers that are friendly throughout the house. Violent contrasts jar and mar. To go from a hall or corridor, or from one room to another, where extremes meet, is bad taste. Wallpapers should blend well, like good teas. Home should suggest and inspire rest, a presence undefined.