Until lately, it was the prevailing fashion, in all houses of any pretension to elegance of interior finish, to introduce more or less elaborate ornamentation of the ceilings with the aid of stucco, which was then finished in colors, giving a florid, but, for apartments of good size, a general attractive appearance.
This fashion has to some extent been supplanted by others, but still retains much of its popularity. The taste for decoration, however, is so strongly on the increase, that, to gratify it, a number of appropriate methods have been devised. We exhibit an illustration of the capabilities of one of these in the accompanying sketch.
It needs no argument to prove, that, for good and sufficient reasons, artistic and sanitary, painted walls and ceilings are preferable to those covered with paper, and the plan here proposed is based upon this view of the case. The sketch is a design for a ceiling, possessing, as a glance will show, excellent artistic effect, and which is transferred to the ceiling wall by means of stencils of the design. These stencils, it is apparent, may be made simple or elaborate, to please the taste, or the purchaser?s views of appropriateness, and are cut in paper, and in cloth-faced paper, and the painter and decorator may select from the great variety of these designs in the specimen book of the manufacturer, a sufficient variety to suit every taste. The use of these stencils requires no special skill, and any painter of ordinary intelligence will be able to reproduce such a design as that shown in our picture with comparative ease. The circles in the corners and center are intended to be filled out with stenciled rosettes, or with hand-painted medallions. A pleasing effect will be produced by tinting the whole ceiling in cream color; while the frieze, garlands, pearls, etc., would be stenciled with bronze or bronze color; the ribbons and streamers delicate pink, which may be shaded with carmine; the cornice, different shades of cream, with prominent members gilt, or bronzed, or cove pink. In small rooms, it will be best to leave off the frieze and use it as a wall frieze. Instead of stencils, pounces may be used when a better and more artistic execution in colors is demanded.
All the stencils necessary to reproduce the ceiling shown in our sketch, as well as a great number of other attractive designs, are prepared ready for shipment by the manufacturers. In addition to these, house painters and decorators may obtain from the same source ? the Stencil Company, of 215 East Fifty-ninth street, New York ? a great variety of hand-painted and lithographed medallions, flowers; cupids, fruits, etc., for attaching to ceilings in appropriate places. The company import bronze powders, leather filigran, and other novelties, and sell them at very low prices, so that it is in the interest of painters and decorators to consult their price-list.