The hall being the index to the whole house, due care should therefore be given to its furnishing. Light colors and gilding should be avoided. The wall and ceiling decorations now mostly used are in dark, rich colors, shaded in maroons or deep reds. Plain tinted walls and ceilings in fresco or wainscot are also frequently used.
The latest shades of wall paper come in wood colors, dark olive-greens, stone color, and grays, in tile, arabesque and landscape designs, and with these are used a corresponding dado and frieze. A tile or inlaid floor is the most appropriate, but if circumstances do not admit of one of these, a floor stained a deep wood-brown, base board and moldings to correspond, may be substituted; when India mattings and rugs may be used.
The colors now in vogue for hall carpets are crimson or Pompeiian reds, with small figures of moss-green or peacock-blue. The prevailing shades of the walls and floor should be incorporated in the stair carpet.
If the hall is narrow, none but the most essential pieces of furniture should be used; but if wide enough, there may be a lounge placed against one of the walls, an old-fashioned clock of the cuckoo style set in a quiet corner, two high-backed chairs upholstered in leather, a table, an umbrella-stand placed near the door, a jardinière filled with tropical plants set near the foot of the stairway, and a hall mirror with a deer’s head and antlers placed above it and a wooden or marble slab underneath.
The slab should be covered with a Roman scarf, allowing a fall of twelve inches at each end. The hatrack must also find a place.
Family portraits or a few well-selected pictures are appropriate for these walls. If the door-lights are not stained glass, lace shades in designs of birds, cupids, and garlands of flowers are used; also, etchings in various colors and designs are worked on different fabrics. Crimson silk shades lined with black netting are very desirable, as the light penetrating through them fills the hall with a rich, subdued glow.