It is possible to make a room inviting with any kind of furniture. Luxurious chairs or lounges are not essential, but tasteful arrangement is necessary if the furniture groups are to be so inviting that the persons walk to them the minute they enter the room. Whether the furniture is modern in its design or belongs to earlier periods, the same general rules hold true.
If one wishes constantly to change furniture arrangement it indicates that the grouping is not restful, and that its appearance is not satisfying. If furniture is comfortable in it arrangement and radiates hospitality there will be no unrest and no weekly spasm of rearrangement.
Balance: To be successful with furniture arrangement the matter of balance must be considered. Balance can be obtained in so many ways that individuality is not lost. Period, dated, modern furniture is handled in the same manner when applying the rules of balance.
The principle point in considering balance is that of scattering the big articles-whether furniture or ornaments.
Selecting Furniture: Big rooms sometimes lack character because they are filled with small chairs and spindling tables. A small room which is cluttered with big furniture is not pleasing. However, it is not necessary to use heavy furniture in a big room and light pieces in a small room. Comfort in a small room may be obtained with small-scale chairs of sturdy line. heavy and light-weight furniture may be perfectly balanced and give a large room a delightful appearance.
Single Chair: A chair is not effective unless it is in a group with other articles. A window and a chair with an end table often make a pleasing group. A picture will frequently tie a single chair to the room. A comfortable chair in front of a lovely picture is inviting. A grouping of this kind may be balanced with a desk, a piano, an end table, or if you love vintage things as I do, a record player.
The Davenport: A long, narrow table back of a davenport makes with the latter a useful group. Set the davenport in any place desired. Do not worry if it is in the middle of the room. Arrange books, magazines, and whatever you would like on the table; or two lamps, one at each end of the davenport, may be used.
Bedroom Furniture: Bedrooms give themselves to the expression of one individual. Every person should have free reign in the placement of his bedroom chair, lounging chair, table, magazine rack, writing desk, reading lamp, or whatever units mean most to his individual comfort. But in the arrangement of each group there should be an approximate equivalent of bulk.
Natural Grouping Centers
Stationary Articles: Doors, partitions, windows, radiators, stoves, and fireplaces have much influence upon furniture-placing. With careful study any room may be made attractive and sociable by tying the portable pieces to the stationary ones through the medium of the group. Each group should suggest a definite purpose, such as reading, sewing, or lounging.
The Fireplace: There are centers in a room that are automatically the basis for groupings. The fireplace is one. It is inviting and it should have furniture beside it in which one may relax. If the room is not large enough for a davenport in front of the fireplace there should be a chair with a comfortable stool or a floor pillow at either end of it. Chairs need some assistance if they fulfill their duty. The chairs do not need to be the same bulk. Matching chairs may be used, but those of varying weight and line are more pleasing if the balance has been worked out with end tables, lamps, and stools. An end table should be placed beside each lounging chair. The group then serves as a place to relax, and to lay personal possessions. Such groupings require good lighting. Floor lamps, study lamps, and individual lamps help to accomplish this.
A Window: A long window in a living-room may have an overstuffed chair at each end of it. That is called simple balance. Instead of a second upholstered chair, a wooden arm-chair has the same general effect at one end that the overstuffed chair and table do at the other end.
Furnishings / Rooms For Men
Furnishing rooms for men is not entirely a question of color selection; it concerns style, arrangement, and use of various pieces of furniture, rugs, draperies, pictures, and accessories. A man likes definite lines. He wants strength and substantiality. His room should be comfortable and inviting. It should offer a haven of escape from the feminine members of the family. A work table or flat desk, a comfortable bed, one which becomes a couch by day, if so desired-a chest of drawers, a mirror, a lounging chair, a desk chair, a sufficient number of lamps, and a bedside table make a good selection for the furniture.
Furnishings / Rooms For Women
Women like furniture with less bulk than designed for men. They enjoy daintier designs, and delicate colors. It is correct to furnish rooms for women with these points in mind. Rooms that are used for both men and women must strike a compromise in a pleasing blend of both natures.
Furnishings / Special Rooms
Bedrooms, dens, kitchens, and sun rooms are individual rooms and may be furnished with the occupant in mind. Living-rooms, libraries, game rooms, dining-rooms, and bathrooms must be furnished with the members of the family in mind.
Every furnishing should have a definite use. Each piece should improve the efficiency of the room and should add to the appearance of the room.
Scarfs: Scarfs are used to protect flat wood surfaces from being scratched or marred. Head and arm pieces for chairs and davenports are used for the protection they give against wear at points where the greatest use concentrates. These should be made of fabric of excellent quality. They should harmonize in design and color with the remainder of the room.
Pottery: Pottery may be plain, or it may be delicately decorated. It may be brilliant in color, or dull in its tone. It may have a glazed surface, or a soft, satin-like texture.
Brass and Copper: Brass or copper may be used for accent and focal point grouping. Either may be obtained in light or heavy weight, and it may be plain, hammered, or etched. Bowls, vases, trays, and coffee or tea set, are commonly used to improve the appearance of a room. Even good quality of brass and copper discolors readily; consequently, such pieces require care.
Pictures: It is much wiser to buy prints of good paintings than to buy poorly executed originals. Prints are available in almost all of the works of old masters and recognized modern artists. The picture should harmonize with the color plan of the room. Brilliant color may be selected if it blends with the room. Never purchase a print which has been framed. Make your selection from the unframed group and you will be able to judge the quality of the work. It is more satisfactory to select the frame, for then it can be planned to enhance the beauty of the picture and satisfy personal taste. Avoid the ornate frame. Pictures should be hung on a level with the eye. A person should not have to look up when enjoying a picture. The wires should be invisible. If that is not possible, they should extend to the moulding in parallel lines. Picture wires should never come together in a point at the moulding. Picture pins are the most satisfactory; they anchor the picture securely and invisibly. Small Pictures should be grouped to give the feeling of a unit. They should not be scattered around the room. In grouping small pictures, hang like subjects together.
Lamp Bases and Shades: The outside of the lamp shade may be a dark color to harmonize with the color plan of the room, but the inside should be light. The color of the base should be selected with the color plan of the room as a whole, and the color plan of the group of furniture with which the lamp is to be used, in mind. Lamps should blend with the group; thus they become parts of the unit and not things apart.
Chair Mats: Chairs with wooden seats may be made more comfortable if they are cushioned with mats. The texture of such mats is suitable also for the upholstery of a dressing-table bench or stool top. Round mats may be used on almost any chair, whatever the size or shape of the seat. There are no corners to curl. Square mats should approximate the size of the seat upon which they are to be placed. The corners may be notched to fit upright posts.
Stools and Pillows: A stool is such a necessary part of the reading corner, and reading is such a profitable and happy pastime for the family, that it is well worth any homemakers time to plan for it. A chair and ottoman set is practical, but as much comfort and often as fine appearance can be obtained by the purchase of odd stools that harmonize or contrast with other furnishings in the room. Often stools as well as pillows give the color touches that will make a room pleasing. Plain colors and brilliant floral patterns on light or dark grounds are among the varieties offered.
Cricket Stools: Quaint cricket stools with flat tops and odd, sturdy legs finished in highly polished maple are appropriate. Needlepoint, or a braided or hooked rug, may be used for a decorative cover. It should be the same shape as the top of the stool.
Leather Stools: Leather-upholstered stools that have flat bottoms and no legs and that are a foot or more taller than the ten-inch hassock and more elegant in appearance are preferred by many. The seams are finished with delicate cording of the leather, and the top is patterned in tooled or painted designs. Theses stools are obtainable in rich reds and blues and greens and fit particularly well in a sun parlor or in a living-room where the furnishings are not elaborate and are informal enough to harmonize with them. A small stool may be used in a bedroom as well as in a living-room. A guest room, where it is courteous to provide a place for daytime rest and reading, is an ideal place for a small stool.
Benches: Radio benches are convenient and attractive pieces of furniture. They should be the correct height for a person to sit in front of the radio and turn the dials without shutting off a view of the cabinet. Fireside Benches require spacious living-rooms. They are the height of an ordinary chair and from four to six feet long. Their upholstering are rich and colorful, and where a living-room is large enough to permit their being placed near an open fireplace – they are very attractive.
“Livable” Means Just That!