Building Today, Volume 1 Number 2 (January 1937)
Orderliness in Furnishing
Discussing the question of successful furnishing, someone said to me the other day, "In my opinion there is nothing easier; there are only two requirements: perfect taste and unlimited funds."
Most of us either furnish or refurnish on only two major occasions—when we marry and when we build—and I think I may safely say that in both circumstances funds are likely to be anything but unlimited! It is the object of these notes to make a few general suggestions which may be helpful in overcoming this difficulty.
Most of us could readily name one or two of our friends who have furnished their homes in a haphazard sort of way, with the result that, although each piece may be tasteful and attractive in itself, there is no cohesion in the scheme as a whole. Decide on a definite scheme right from the start, with a definite end in view—that the result should be simple and harmonious. This is absolutely essential for success, because we have to live in such intimate contact with our furniture and furnishings, that any suggestion of restlessness becomes intolerable.
Always furnish for comfort—both physical and artistic—and you can never be disappointed in the result.
For your furniture to look its best it must have the proper background in walls and floor coverings. In the principal rooms carpets are best carried right up to the walls—this always has the effect of giving full value to the size of the room. They should be as restful as possible, both in colour and pattern. A perfectly plain carpet in some cool pastel shade is most suitable for the modern interior.
If your floors are polished hardwood, or some similar finish, a few really good rugs will be quite effective. Curtains and other furnishings should tone with the floor coverings, or may, if small in quantity, be of some contrasting colour; simple hangings generally give the best effect.
Comfort and simple, graceful lines are the two essentials for chairs and settees. Chair coverings should have a rather plain texture or pattern and should preferably be light in colour.
Paint your picture with broad strokes of the lighter tones, relieved by a few—a very few— features of a brighter colour—a single vase, cushions, or bowls of flowers. The modern interior demands considerable restraint in the direction of pictures and ornaments; just a few page 35pieces, of real merit in design or colour, are most effective.
Furnishing your bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen resolves itself largely into the selection of suitable colour harmonies. Once you have decided on your scheme, carry it right through the room—sunny effects for your kitchen (primrose is a pleasant colour), cool colours for your bathroom (pale blues and greens).
Consider all your rooms with the same guiding principle in mind, whatever style of furniture you adopt, whatever your colour harmonies; follow your scheme through to its logical conclusion, so that you may achieve orderliness in your furnishing.