The Englishmans desire to feel and look at a fire is unsatisfied by radiators, and open fires may be provided in the reception rooms; and when in use the other means of heating may be turned off.
At the present time electricity is being increasingly used for cooking. It has the obvious advantage of being scrupulously clean, but if it cannot be obtained at a cheap rate, and gas can be easily acquired, it maj be advisable to use the well-tried and improved gas-cooker.
Ventilation must be provided for in .all rooms without a fireplace. This is usually done by means of an air-brick. If casement windows are fitted it is important that a small portion be made to open for extra ventilation without having to open the whole.
An obvious advantage that the American and Canadian house enjoys is a threshold strip at the entrance to each room. This is merely a strip of hovelled wood which affords clearance for the door above any rug or carpet and helps to reduce draught.
FLOORS may be ornamental or plain, L- and may be of hard or soft wood; the harder and heavier the timber the more expensive it is. Doors can, if desired, be wax polished or painted. The question of good locks and furniture (handles) is important for obvious reasons The cheap house is apt to skimp on such matters, as well as in window-fittings.
Fitted cupboards are very usual. It often happens that recesses made by chimney-breasts may be utilized in this way and do not encroach on the usable space of the room.
Whitewash distemper is probably the most useful treatment for ceilings in that it can be easily washed off, and new applied at small cost. The question of wall decoration is usually best settled by hanging with paper, provided the paper is well hung. In the event of becoming soiled it can be inexpensively treated with one of the washable distempers. The ornate ceiling is a thing of the past, and it is not unusual to have plain cove (curved) cornices in lieu of ornamental ones.
To serve its purpose, says Sir William Orpen, marks the test of art for any structure. Hence the modern house, with its interior adapted to save work, fulfils the laws of beauty.