The Living-room

COMFORT above all else should be the first impression on entering the living-room. There is ‘his ‘chair and ‘her ‘chair, of course, but the thoughtful housewife sees to it that there is also a set of easy chairs for visitors.

Too often the living-room has only a settee and two easy chairs and the placement of the settee means that at once the visitors feel ill at ease as they watch the commotion made to get it forward to the fire for their special benefit.

Then, too, no one seems comfortable, for the two ‘special’ chairs are pushed back to let the settee get in. How much cosier it is to have a third easy chair in the middle and the three chairs right up to the fire.

Ff you are expecting guests, do arrange your fireside before they arrive in order to give a real welcome. That makes such a difference. And don’t forget the table for the glasses, the cups of tea, the cigarettes and ashtrays.

The living-room is the show-room where most housewives delight in having a display cabinet for any knick-knacks, special china pieces and souvenirs. Care should be taken to dust and rearrange this cabinet regularly; too often such a cabinet merely becomes a place to push every little odd thing into for safety, and it looks a real mix-up to visitors.

I’m astonished to find that most housewives have treasures tucked away in drawers and boxes. Why keep them stored away? Put them on show, where everyone can enjoy them. If you have lovely china, show it. If von have lovely linen, use it.

If you have lovely cushions, let them comfort and delight your family and friends.

We all hoard things. Why, T don’t know. Let us use everything we have that gives us pleasure. It is restful to enter a room that displays your treasures and you will get a mental tonic.

Well-placed attractive lights add a restful, pleasurable touch that is a lasting memory to all visitors.

If the ceiling of the room is low, lighting effects are best coming from table lamps and side-wall effects. Overhanging lights make a ceiling appear to be lower than it really is. If a room has a high ceiling, then ceiling lights are more effective – but shaded side lights and lamp units can also be added.

You cannot have too many lights in a sitting-room – in fact, each chair could have its own light. Twin table lamps placed on small tables each side of the settee not only give a good light to those reading or sewing on the settee, they also lend attraction to the room.

The homemaker needs to pay particular attention to the lighting in the living-room, for it is the place used for so many family purposes.

The piano needs its light and a parchment shade with sheet music design would be appropriate. Mother needs a sewing standard lamp behind her chair. Father needs a reading light.

And because coloured lights are used in the living-room more than in any other room in the house, the choice of lampshades should be planned in association with the furnishing.

Be bold in your choice of colours. The lighter the walls the bigger will the room appear to be . . . and why a white ceiling? Let the ceiling rone in with the walls.

Picture rails? Scrap them! They look our of place in a small room. They make the ceiling seem to be right on one’s head and take away any suggestion of height.

Keep to the law of oppnsircs. If the furniture is dark, have light walls. If the furniture is lie;ht. Have walls in aurumn shades.

You wanr the wall colour to (latter your furnirure by throwing it into noticeable relief. Pale green or yellow are fine colours for walls when the furniture is dark.

Avoid patterned wallpaper and designs on walls when the room is small – use self-colours to add the suggestion of space. Use patterns in a large room to ‘pull it in.’

Window furnishings should tone with the carpet. Choose furniture fabrics which are patterned to bring out the wall design and the colourings in the carpet.

And to make a room look even larger, paint the woodwork the same colour as the walls.

Red, yellow and orange tend to make a room smaller in appearance because they are known as advancing colours.

Green, blue and violet are receding colours.

Self-colours are suggested for house wall colourings, but when you enter a room you want a suggestion of warmth as well, so it is good to introduce red, yellow and orange touches. You can do this by means of the ornaments, cushions, and flowers.

I think that it would be hard to improve on a room with. Eggshell-blue walls, daffodil-yellow and say/- blue decorations, blue carpet with all colours of flowers in two corners of the carpet, and rose-pink colour suggestions in patterned light shades.

For the.older couple, a room with grey walls and heliotrope and mauve carpet, furnishings and curtains would be hard to beat.

If the room seems small and crowded, ‘push back the walls ‘with two oblong mirrors fixed on opposite walls: one above the settee, the other above the sideboard.

Fix a long mirror down each side of the fireplace and note how it enlarges a room.

Group two mirrors together in a corner of a room so that the warm colours of a vase of flowers, or a settee, reflect in them.

Square and oblong mirrors above the mantleshclf and fixed flat to the wall give a suggestion of extra depth to a room and make it look large – the sloped mirror takes away depth and gives the person sitting at the fireside the impression that reflected furniture is close to them; it also gives a room a crowded effect. Never fix mirrors above face level.

An oval or round mirror is best in a bedroom or bathroom.

In the hall have a long, narrow mirror on the wall opposite the entrance to a room. The room reflected in the mirror makes a house appear larger. Aim to have every room doorway like a frame to a lovely picture – the rooms being the pictures.

To save expense I have bordered my floral designed curtains all round with a 2-in. Drcp green braid (rhc green marching the settee and chairs). In this way I have eliminared the need for curtain hems and added rhrec inches to the length and three inches to the breadth of each curtain. 7.

Never place flowers above eye-level. If you are using green foliage, arrange it in the vase first.

Take violets from their vase at night and lay them, head under, in water.

Long-stemmed roses laid full length in a bath of tepid water for the night will regain their strength and stand straight in their vase the next day.

Tulips wrapped in thin paper and soaked in a similar manner respond well to this treatment.

Irises should have the water only halfway up their stems.

Change the water of flowers daily. Don’t let them remain in a draught and do not have them in the bedroom at night.

If you are sending flowers by post, cut them early in the morning, let them stand in water in a cool, dark place until night, wrap a little moss around each stem and pack close together in a stout box – a tin box if possible.

I have never been without coloured leaves in the home – a big bunch of them has filled up odd corners in my various homes all through my married life.

To preserve the leaves, place them on a sheet of brown paper. On each leaf put a small lump of candle-wax. Now protect the leaves with a second sheet of brown paper and press with a warm iron. The heat melts the wax and spreads it over each leaf. The leaves will keep indefinitely and retain their colour.

If beech leaves are put under the carpet (with a newspaper on top) for a few days, they will be pressed nicely for room decoration.

Preserved foliage can be stuck to plain twigs with gum, making an attractive decoration.

And if beech leaves are stood in a vase with a very little glycerine added, they will soak up the glycerine and this will preserve them and keep their colour for over a year.

At some time or other the home-maker will want to try her hand at making pot-pourri. Principal ingredients are rose petals, lavender flowers and stalks, violets, jessamine flowers, cloves, orris root, musk, cedar shavings. Balm, orange blossom, a very little thyme, and some rosemary are good additions. When dried and mixed well, and kept in jars and bowls, this pot-pourri will keep fresh and sweet. Stir it up every three weeks or so.

I have always loved having growing flowers near me, and early in marriage, when I had no garden, I had a window-box. They can be made to look quite artistic – and can prove most useful.

A flowering window-box is a great joy. Have a box made and drained with stones and soil – the nurseryman will help you with

Avoid pattern d wallpaper and designs on walls when the room is small – use self-colours to add the suggestion of space. Use patterns in a large room to ‘pull it in.’

Window furnishings should tone with the carpet. Choose furniture fabrics which are patterned to bring out the wall design and the colourings in the carpet.

And to make a room look even larger, paint the woodwork the same colour as the walls.

Red, yellow and orange tend to make a room smaller in appearance because they are known as advancing colours.

Green, blue and violet are receding colours.

Self-colours are suggested for house wall colourings, but when you enter a room you want a suggestion of warmth as well, so it is good to introduce red, yellow and orange touches. You can do this by means of the ornaments, cushions, and flowers.

I think that it would be hard to improve on a room with eggshell-blue walls, daffodil-yellow and saxe blue decorations, blue carpet with all colours of flowers in two corners of the carpet, and rose1/2pink colour suggestions in patterned light shades.

For the.older couple, a room with grey walls and heliotrope and mauve carpet, furnishings and curtains would be hard to beat.

If the room seems small and crowded, ‘push back the walls ‘with two oblong mirrors fixed on opposite walls: one above the settee, the other above the sideboard.

Fix a long mirror down each side of the fireplace and note how it enlarges a room.

Group two mirrors together in a corner of a room so that the warm colours of a vase of flowers, or a settee, reflect in them.

Square and oblong mirrors above the mantleshelf and fixed flat to the wall give a suggestion of extra depth to a room and make it look large – the sloped mirror takes away depth and gives the person sitting at the fireside the impression that reflected furniture is close to them; it also gives a room a crowded effect. Never fix mirrors above face level.

An oval or round mirror is best in a bedroom or bathroom.

In the hall have a long, narrow mirror on the wall opposite the entrance to a room. The room reflected in the mirror makes a house appear larger. Aim to have every room doorway like a frame to a lovely picture – the rooms being the pictures.

To save expense I have bordered my floral designed curtains all round with a 2-in. Deep green braid (the green marching the settee and chairs). In this way I have eliminated the need for curtain hems and added three inches to the length and three inches to the breadth of each curtain.

As the braid was only fourpence a yard and the material twelve shillings and seven pence a yard (36 in. wide), this was a

Never place flowers above eye-level. If you are using green foliage, arrange it in the vase first.

Take violets from their vase at night and lay them, Lead under, in water.

Long-stemmed roses laid full length in a bath of tepid water for the night will regain their strength and stand straight in their vase the next day.

Tulips wrapped in thin paper and soaked in a similar manner respond well to this treatment.

Irises should have the water only halfway up their stems.

Change the water of flowers daily. Don’t let them remain in a draught and do not have them in the bedroom at night.

If you are sending flowers by post, cut them early in the morning, let them stand in water in a cool, dark place until night, wrap a little moss around each stem and pack close together in a stout box – a tin box if possible.

I have never been without coloured leaves in the home – a big bunch of them has filled up odd corners in my various homes all through my married life.

To preserve the leaves, place them on a sheet of brown paper. On each leaf put a small lump of candle-wax. Now protect the leaves with a second sheet of brown paper and press with a warm iron. The heat melts the wax and spreads it over each leaf. The leaves will keep indefinitely and retain their colour.

If beech leaves are put under the carpet (with a newspaper on top) for a few days, they will be pressed nicely for room decoration.

Preserved foliage can be stuck to plain twigs with gum, making an attractive decoration.

And if beech leaves are stood in a vase with a very little glycerine added, they will soak up the glycerine and this will preserve them and keep their colour for over a year.

At some time or other the home-maker will want to try her hand at making pot-pourri. Principal ingredients are rose petals, lavender flowers and stalks, violets, jessamine flowers, cloves, orris root, musk, cedar shavings. Balm, orange blossom, a very little thyme, and some rosemary are good additions. When dried and mixed well, and kept in jars and bowls, this pot-pourri will keep fresh and sweet. Stir it up every three weeks or so.

I have always loved having growing flowers near me, and early in marriage, when I had no garden, I had a window-box. They can be made to look quite artistic – and can prove most useful.

A flowering window-box is a great joy. Have a box made and drained with stones and soil – the nurseryman will help you with advice. Have rustic decorative sides and have the box raised from the sill to allow for ventilation.

Geraniums are first favourites for a window-box, followed by canary creeper and petunias. Pansies can be put around the edges.

Many people have grown tomatoes successfully in window-boxes, especially if the window gets a lot of sun.

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