The dining-room should be furnished with a view to convenience, richness, and comfort. Choose deep, rich grounds for the walls—bronze-maroon, black, Pompeiian red, and deep olive—and the designs and traceries in old gold, olive or moss-green, with dado and frieze to correspond. Or, the walls may be wainscoted with oak, walnut, maple, etc. Some are finished in plain panels, with different kinds of wood; others, again, are elaborately carved, with fruit, flowers, and emblems of the chase. The floor is the next point for consideration. It may be of tile or laid in alternate strips of different colored woods, with a border of parquetry. Rugs or carpets may be used on these floors or dispensed with, according to taste. If a carpet is used, the dark, rich shades found in the Persian and Turkish designs should be chosen.
The window drapery should be those deep, rich colors that hold their own despite time and use—the pomegranates, rich crimsons, dark blues, dull Pompeiian reds, and soft olives. These curtains may be hung on poles, and should fall in heavy folds to the floor, then looped back with a wide embroidered dado. Screens of stained glass are now used in the windows. They are both useful and ornamental, for they exclude the strong rays of the sun, and the light filtering through them beautifies the room with its many mellow hues.
Dark wood should be used for the furniture. The chairs should be chosen in square, solid styles, and upholstered in embossed or plain leather, with an abundance of brass or silver headed nails which are used for upholstering leather and add much to the substantial appearance of the articles. The dining-table should be low, square or bevel cornered, heavily carved, and when not in use should be covered with a cloth corresponding in shade to the window drapery. A buffet may stand in one corner for the display of ceramics or decorated china.
The sideboard should be of high, massive style, with shelves and racks for glassware and pieces of china. A few pictures—two or three fruit pieces and one or two plaques of still life—are appropriate. A case of stuffed birds, a few large pots of tropical plants, and a fernery are in keeping with the dining-room appointments. A three-leaf folding Japanese screen should not be forgotten; also, a lamp shade of antique lace, lined with crimson silk, is very desirable.
THE OLD FASHIONED KITCHEN
It is a remark too often made that this or that “is good enough for a servant.” If all knew that unpleasant surroundings made unpleasant servants and ill-prepared meals, we think more pains would be taken to have pleasant and comfortable kitchens.
There should be a pleasant window or two through which fresh air and floods of sunlight may come, a few plants on the window sill, a small stand for a workbasket, an easy-chair that the servant may “drop into” when an opportunity offers, the walls painted or calcimined with some cheerful tint, and a general air of comfort pervading the whole kitchen