20th Century Home Decorating Guide

20th Century Home Decorating Guide



The custom of​ appropriate and harmonious treatment of​ home decorating, interior decorations and suitable furniture, seems to​ have been in​ a​ great measure abandoned during the present century, owing perhaps to​ the indifference of​ architects of​ the time to​ this subsidiary but necessary portion of​ their work, or​ perhaps to​ a​ desire for economy, which preferred the cheapness of​ painted and artificially grained pine-wood, with decorative effects produced by wall papers, to​ the more solid but expensive though less showy wood-panelling, architectural mouldings, well-made panelled doors and chimney pieces, which one finds, down to​ quite the end of​ the last century, even in​ houses of​ moderate rentals. Furniture therefore became independent and "beginning to​ account herself an​ Art, transgressed her limits"... and "grew to​ the conceit that it​ could stand by itself, and, as​ well as​ its betters, went a​ way of​ its own."

Interior Conservatory Finishing

The interiors, handed over from the builder, as​ it​ were, in​ blank, are filled up from the upholsterer's store, the curiosity shop, and the auction room, while a​ large contribution from the conservatory or​ the nearest florist gives the finishing touch to​ a​ mixture, which characterizes the present taste for furnishing a​ boudoir or​ a​ drawing room.

There is, of​ course, in​ very many cases an​ individuality gained by the "omnium gatherum" of​ such a​ mode of​ furnishing. The cabinet which reminds its owner of​ a​ tour in​ Italy, the quaint stool from Tangier, and the embroidered piano cover from Spain, are to​ those who travel, pleasant souvenirs; as​ are also the presents from friends (when they have taste and judgment), the screens and flower-stands, and the photographs, which are reminiscences of​ the forms and faces separated from us by distance or​ death. The test of​ the whole question of​ such an​ arrangement of​ furniture in​ our living rooms, is​ the amount of​ judgment and discretion displayed. Two favorable examples of​ the present fashion, representing the interior of​ the Saloon and Drawing Room at​ Sandringham House, are here reproduced.

How The Gather Inheritance Influenced On The Home Decorations

There is​ at​ the present time an​ ambition on the part of​ many well-to-do persons to​ imitate the effect produced in​ houses of​ old families where, for generations, valuable and memorable articles of​ decorative furniture have been accumulated, just as​ pictures, plate and china have been preserved; and failing the inheritance of​ such household gods, it​ is​ the practice to​ acquire, or​ as​ the modern term goes, "to collect," old furniture of​ different styles and periods, until the room becomes incongruous and overcrowded, an​ evidence of​ the wealth, rather than of​ the taste, of​ the owner. as​ it​ frequently happens that such collections are made very hastily, and in​ the brief intervals of​ a​ busy commercial or​ political life, the selections are not the best or​ most suitable; and where so much is​ required in​ a​ short space of​ time, it​ becomes impossible to​ devote a​ sufficient sum of​ money to​ procure a​ really valuable specimen of​ the kind desired; in​ its place an​ effective and low priced reproduction of​ an​ old pattern (with all the faults inseparable from such conditions) is​ added to​ the conglomeration of​ articles requiring attention, and taking up space.

The limited accommodation of​ houses built on ground which is​ too valuable to​ allow spacious halls and large apartments, makes this want of​ discretion and judgment the more objectionable. There can be no doubt that want of​ care and restraint in​ the selection of​ furniture, by the purchasing public, affects its character, both as​ to​ design and workmanship.




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