A New Store and New Freebie

Our Latest Bundle Cotton Candy Summer I have a shoppe now at www.antebellumpress.com where you can find larger kits and other scrapbook related items. I have decided to move...Continue Reading

See All Freebies

Our Button



Sites we use & recommend

Digital Scrapbooking at Pixel Scrapper free clip art and background free digital stamps The Graphics Fairy
Explore the architecture, interiors and gardens of the early 19th century, Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Most Recently Added

Gothic Cottage 1860

A Gothic cottage houseplan from the Godey's Ladies Book for the year 1860. The houseplan is "From original design of Samuel Sloan, Architect, Philadelphia"....Continue Reading

An Edwardian House plan - 1905.

Exterior of Edwardian House in Ohio. Interior View of Parlor and Reception Hall Broad View of Alcove and Reception Hall Interior View of Staircase opening into the Alcove / Reception Area "The design here shown was planned for and built by a banker in Ohio. It is somewhat on the colonial order, as carried out by both the front and side porched and the interior treatment as well, with columned openings dividing the hall and parlor. A very charming feature is the large reception hall with alcove off of same and recessed fireplace. The...Continue Reading

Painting the House Exterior in 1859

- Fawn [web equivalent #C8B08F] | Drab [web equivalent #A48D6B] | Dark Green [web equivalent #465141] The following from The House: A pocket manual of Rural Architecture 1859 - Exterior Color.-For the outside painting of country houses, quiet, neutral tints should generally be chosen. The various shades of fawn, drab, gray, and brown, are all very suitable. All the positive colors, such as red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white, should always be avoided. Nothing can be in worse taste than the very common practice of painting country houses white. This color is glaring...Continue Reading

Transplanting Trees.

As soon as the foliage has dropped, transplant ornamental, shade or fruit trees. There will be a saving of one year?s growth between those planted now and those in the spring. In taking up trees, great care should be taken not to mutilate their roots, for every fibre of the root lost, the growth of the tree will be retarded so much, and its life endangered. Whenever it is absolutely necessary to part with any of the roots, take off the top in proportion. Let the holes be larger than the roots and never bend...Continue Reading

CUT FLOWERS.

Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop The first thing to be considered in arranging cut flowers is the vase. If it is scarlet, blue, or many-colored, it must necessarily conflict with some hue in your bouquet. Choose rather pure white, green, or transparent glass, which allows the delicate stems to be seen. Brown Swiss wood, silver, bronze, or yellow straw conflict with nothing. The vase must be subordinate to what it holds. A bowl for roses. Tall-spreading vases for gladiolus, fern, white lilies, and the like. Cups for violets and tiny wood flowers....Continue Reading

Plaster Ceiling Medallions

Plaster ceiling medallions were first introduced in America in the 18th century. Some know them as rosettes and occasionally they were referred to as "Plaster Centers". These ceiling centerpieces reached a zenith of popularity in the 19th century. The bigger the room the bigger the medallion was. However, the lower the ceiling the smaller the medallion would get so as to not overwhelm its occupants. The rims of the medallions went in and out of fashion through the years. The early periods of colonial and regency times found rims quite in fashion. However, during...Continue Reading

Braided Rug

The braided rug is still ever so popular today. Even in my babyhood I sat playing on a very large braided rug at my grandmother's house. They have found their place in homes for generations now. They have indeed stood the test of time in practicality, charm, and sturdiness. I found these instructions on making a braided rug in Beautiful homes: Or, Hints in house furnishing, 1878, that may be of interest. A rug which is not only neat and even tasteful, but economical withal; as it may be made of old garments or...Continue Reading

Secret Floor Stains

WITH the spread of Anglo-mania, smooth, bare floors, in early English style, have grown more and more popular, and wealthy men pay more dollars per square foot than I care to specify, for rosewood, mahogany, West India cherry, and antique oak floors, solid, not veneered. And yet, with all this lavish expense, there are few of them more beautiful than some which might have been seen in old Virginia houses, floors of native oak or forest pine, conscientiously put together by a country carpenter, and polished, year after year, with the " dry-rubbin'-bresh," well...Continue Reading

Edwardian Bath Accessories

1908 H & H Mfg Co. Advertisement for bath accessories. "One very great convenience in a bath room is a towel bar at a suitable height, placed against the wall all around the room, except where it would interfere with other stationary furniture. Bars of heavy glass or nickel plate are easiest kept clean. Every bath tub should be provided with a large sponge-holder of wire or metal, and a soap-holder also, either of metal or india rubber. They all should hang, not stand, on the bath tub's edge. Over the face-basin, or else...Continue Reading

Building and Planning Advice

How to Plan a Convenient Dwelling.

Click on image to enlarge "WHEN we do mean to build a domicil, We first survey the plot, then draw the model; And when we see the figure of the house, We then compute the cost of the erection, Which, if we find outweighs ability, What do we then but draw again the model ?" SHAKESPEARE. WHY is our country so full of large, costly, and inconvenient dwelling-houses? The answer is so obvious that every intelligent person will understand and appreciate the reason as soon as it is announced, namely, those who planned such...Continue Reading

How to Build a Brick House - PAINTING, ETC.

In districts where the color of the brick is of a sombre hue, and not too bright a red, you need not resort to painting; it certainly is not necessary for the preservation of the material, and if left in its natural state is productive of a very pleasing effect, when used in combination with an appropriate colored stone for the window dressings and ether ornamental portions. For cottage residences, and small villas, it certainly produces a fine appearance to leave the brickwork in its natural state, having the joints pointed with blue or dark...Continue Reading

Plank Walls for Cottages.

In localities where lumber is plenty and saw-mills conveniently near, the strongest, most weather-tight walls, as well as those most easy of construction, are formed of plank of any thickness, and three and four inches wide, laid alternately on their sides, every other plank to project on the inside, and all to be flush on the outside. Thus the projecting courses on the inside will serve to hold the plastering, and the expense of lathing will be saved. The object of the two breadths of plank, namely, three inches and four inches, will be easily...Continue Reading

General

Improved Window-Screen Frame.

The Stuart window-screen frame herewith illustrated, is manufactured by E. C. Stearns & Co., of Syracuse, N. Y., and has become an article in the leading wholesale and retail hardware trade. The unique appearance of this frame, and the ease with which it can be made or put together, are specially notable features. The moldings are furnished 36 inches long, and coped on one end to engage the adjoining piece, as shown in sectional view, Fig. 1. All that is necessary in making a frame, is to slide the moldings along on one another...Continue Reading

French Sash Windows.

These windows, so very elegant in appearance, and convenient in domestic architecture, have long labored under the disadvantage of not being weather-tight; and, as the same form of window properly prevails in English Gothic and Italian styles, it has been a source of much trouble to builders. The difficulty arising from shrinkage was deemed insurmountable; and architects were forced to insert casings in the walls over their windows, into which the lower sash, being one third longer than the upper one, could slide up, so as to leave an entrance to a balcony or...Continue Reading

The History of Windows.

THE origin of the word window is suggestive of the primary intention of that very essential feature in building. It is derived from the Welsh wyntdor, which means a passage for the wind; showing clearly that time first office of the window was ventilation, and not lighting, although it is used for both purposes in these latter days. Its early history is one of curious interest, now that plate-glass has assumed almost illimitable dimensions and surpassing beauty. It is beyond all doubt that these apertures in buildings were, in early times, mostly filled with paper,...Continue Reading

Designs for Brackets.

CHASTE yet neat ornaments add much to the appearance of any building, while nakedness on the one hand, and meretricious display on the other are equally displeasing. In very few of the brackets which are seen attached to houses are elegance and simplicity so combined as to produce a pleasing result, and we therefore submit, with great pleasure, the following designs which are from the hand of a well known New York architect. Fig.1. is a scroll piazza bracket, while in Figs. 2, 3, 4, are given designs for cornice brackets of great simplicity...Continue Reading

Houseplans

Gothic Cottage 1860

A Gothic cottage houseplan from the Godey's Ladies Book for the year 1860. The houseplan is "From original design of Samuel Sloan, Architect, Philadelphia"....Continue Reading

An Edwardian House plan - 1905.

Exterior of Edwardian House in Ohio. Interior View of Parlor and Reception Hall Broad View of Alcove and Reception Hall Interior View of Staircase opening into the Alcove / Reception Area "The design here shown was planned for and built by a banker in Ohio. It is somewhat on the colonial order, as carried out by both the front and side porched and the interior treatment as well, with columned openings dividing the hall and parlor. A very charming feature is the large reception hall with alcove off of same and recessed fireplace. The...Continue Reading

Interior Decoration In...

The Bathroom

Edwardian Bath Accessories

1908 H & H Mfg Co. Advertisement for bath accessories. "One very great convenience in a bath room is a towel bar at a suitable height, placed against the wall all around the room, except where it would interfere with other stationary furniture. Bars of heavy glass or nickel plate are easiest kept clean. Every bath tub should be provided with a large sponge-holder of wire or metal, and a soap-holder also, either of metal or india rubber. They all should hang, not stand, on the bath tub's edge. Over the face-basin, or else...Continue Reading

Improved Porcelain Bath Closets.

For a number of years past there has been a steadily growing demand among the well-to-do class for a higher grade of sanitary appliances for the household, and the demand has extended not merely to the comparatively unimportant features of greater elegance of form or better taste in decoration, but also to the quality of the appliances and their adaptation for their intended uses. As a consequence of this, there has been a vast improvement in this direction in the fitting up of dwellings of the better class, and to a great extent the crude...Continue Reading

Toilet Roll Holder

This Victorian toilet roll holder dates around 1891. It was originally in a blackened finish and it measures around 8" x 6 1/2"....Continue Reading

Bathroom Decor - Soap Dish & Faucet

Examples of Soap Dish and Bathroom Sink Faucet - Taken from Manufacturer and Builder Nov 1880...Continue Reading

Plumbing Improvements.

Every one will agree that the ordinary arrangement of wash-basins and bath-tubs, consisting of a stopper and chain attached, is objectionable; the chain is often in the way, it will pull the stopper out when this is not desired, and soon look dirty and unsightly, and no doubt it would be far better if they could be dispensed with. This now may be accomplished by Foley's patent valve, of which Fig. 1 gives an exterior view, and Fig. 2 a section, with its application to a wash-basin. Its top comes flush with the marble slab,...Continue Reading

Plumbers' Cabinet Wood-Work. [Sink Cabinets]

ONE of the signs of industrial progress is the continually increasing formation of specialties in trades. Thus we have piano-makers' hardware, barrel-makers' tools, etc. At present we call attention to a branch of business established by Messrs. Win. S. Carr & Co., of 106, 108, and 110 Center street, New York, of plumbers' cabinet wood-work. As might be expected, if progressive and intelligent parties undertake a new specialty, two important results are gained; first, cheapness, as they produce everything as far as possible by the aid of machinery especially constructed for the purpose; and...Continue Reading

Improved Sanitary Appliances. (Water-Closet)

We exhibit in the accompanying illustration one of the recent improvements in water-closets manufactured by the J. L. Mott Iron Works, of 88 and 90 Beekman street, New York, one of the leading houses in this country in this branch of manufacture. The closet shown is of the wash-out pattern, with back outlet, and is provided with simple and effective water-seal, and patented improvements for providing sewer and seat ventilation of the most positive and reliable kind. The present form and construction of this closet?which the makers call the Inodoro?is claimed to be the...Continue Reading

The Modern Bath-Room. (1885)

Click Image for a Larger View We have pleasure in being able to lay before our readers, from advance sheets of a new catalogue about to be issued by the J. L. Mott Iron Works, of 88 and 90 Beckman street, New York, the accompanying beautiful illustration representing the appointments of a modern?and, we might add, model -bath-room, the whole making a most harmonious and effective combination. The immediate purpose of or which the illustration was prepared, was to show the manner in which certain articles, which figure in the pages of the catalogue,...Continue Reading

A Modern Bath-Room Interior. (1884)

Click Image for a Larger View The accompanying illustration, which represents a bath-room interior fitted with the latest and most approved modern conveniences and sanitary appliances, forces directly upon the mind a realization of the great progress that has been made in all that relates to household sanitation during the past ten years. The revolution that has been made within this brief period is simply astonishing. Such subjects as the piping, plumbing, bath-room, water-closet and other household conveniences but a few years ago were not esteemed worthy the attention of the architect or house...Continue Reading

Bath-Room Interior, with Approved Modern (1883)

Click Image for a Larger View The attention that of late years has been bestowed upon all matters relating to public and domestic sanitation, has given us not only healtheir towns and dwellings, but has had the incidental advantage of educating the public up to a better appreciation of the character and importance of sanitary measures and appliances. The result is that public buildings and private dwellings to-day are supplied with improvements and conveniences of this character that a few years ago were quite unknown. The public have come to know and understand their...Continue Reading

Improved Domestic Sanitary Appliances. (Tub)

We illustrate and describe herewith some representative specimens of a very superior class of domestic sanitary appliances and conveniences, which are manufactured exclusively for the J. L. Mott Iron Works, of this city, by Messrs. Joseph Cliff & Sons, England. We have repeatedly had occasion to invite the attention of our readers to the high rank occupied by this well-known house as manufacturers of highly artistic iron work of every description for domestic uses, and the appliances we are about to describe, which are the latest additions to their already large and comprehensive sanitary...Continue Reading

The Bedroom

Sweet Dreams - A Look at the Bed and Bedroom of the 1850's

This being a cold and snowy afternoon has me drowsy and looking over at my feather pillows and covers wishing to slip off into slumber. So with that said and the fact that we have had some recent articles on bedroom cottage furniture, we are going to go over some advice from the book The Practical Housekeeper, about this topic. We have mentioned before how iron bedsteads were becoming more popular because of their cheapness and lovely designs. A few years before the civil war iron and brass bedsteads were made in nearly every size...Continue Reading

Cottage Furniture - Bedroom Set

Still on the topic of an early Victorian bedroom, it was suggested in the book The Architecture of Country Houses good furniture could be purchased from Edward Hennessey of Boston. It described a small bedroom set like this: "This furniture is remarkable for its combination of lightness and strength, and its essentially cottage-like character. It is very highly finished and is usually painted drab, white, gray, a delicate lilac, or a fine blue - the surface polished and hard, like enamel. Some of the better sets have groups of flowers or other designs painted upon...Continue Reading

Cottage Furniture - Wardrobe

When most of us think of the early Victorian era, we think of highly ornamental furniture and decor. However the book 'The Architecture of Country Houses' published in 1859, suggests that the highly gilded, ornate furnishings and details should be left to city dwellings. The mindset of cottage homes was to have a more subdued and peaceful surrounding. The book goes as far as to say that decoration is uncalled for in small cottage homes. The book suggests the decor should include a simple and classic design when furnishing the country cottage home. Included in...Continue Reading

Home Decoration - The Chambers

"Chambers" The walls of bedrooms should be decorated in light tints and shadings, with a narrow rail and deep frieze. Most housekeepers prefer rugs and oiled floors to carpets, but this is a matter of individual taste. Rugs are as fashionable as they are wholesome and tidy. These floor coverings should be darker than the furniture, yet blending in shade. If carpets are chosen they should be the lightest shades and in bright field-flower patterns. Avoid anything dark and somber for the sleeping room. Pink and ceil-blue combined are very pretty, scarlet and gray,...Continue Reading

The Dining Room

Decoration of a Dining-Room.

The following suggestions applied to a breakfast or dining-room may be of service: The flat of ceiling a vellum tint, cornice of the same, but deeper in tone, in pleasing contrast with the ceiling. The prominent members of the cornice may be picked out in color to harmonize with the wall - paper. Ornamental cornices, with breaks and connecting-lines in color, may be put upon a flat ceiling. The aspect of the room should be considered in the choice of the wall-paper; if northerly, warmth of color is advisable. As a background for pictures, the...Continue Reading

Home Decoration - Dining Room

"Dining Room" The dining-room should be furnished with a view to convenience, richness, and comfort. Choose deep rich grounds for the walls-bronze-maroon, black, Pompeiian red, and deep olive-and the designs and traceries in old gold, olive or moss green, with dado and frieze to correspond. Or, the walls may be wainscoted with oak, walnut, maple, ect. Some are finished in plain panels, with different kinds of wood; others, again, are elaborately carved, with fruit, flowers, and emblems of the chase. The floor is the next point of consideration. It may be of tile or laid...Continue Reading

The Kitchen

A Look Around the Early Country Kitchen

"IN the primitive days of our grandfathers' time, When the fire-place, genial and bright, Its cavernous recesses glowing with flame, Filled the old-fashioned kitchen with light;" - Taken from a poem by Lizzie Clark Hardy 1877 Kitchens have changed dramatically since the early days of the 19th century. They were simple and often very plainly furnished. This simple mentality is reiterated in the statement 'A fat kitchen maketh a lean will'. So simplicity was the key to kitchens in the early days, even in food selection. This is how the kitchen was summed up...Continue Reading

Soapstone, Wash-Tubs and Sinks

AMONG the mineral productions the usefulness of which has for centuries remained unknown, and only recently has become to be appreciated, is undoubtedly soapstone, by mineralogists called steatite, and by chemists hydrated silicate of magnesia. The pure material is white, translucent, and looks like soap, while all the varieties have a. greasy feeling, whence the name soapstone. The ordinary variety has a bluish or greenish-gray appearance, which is caused by slight traces of foreign ingredients, and as these vary with the locality, so does the color of the soapstone. A beautiful variety is now...Continue Reading

Kitchen Furniture

NEVER have dark furniture for a kitchen. It shows the dust much more than light and requires double the care. Never have extra shelves or mantels painted dark if you can help it. If it is your misfortune to have dark painted furniture, wipe it once in a few days with a damp cloth, and have it varnished often. Have your sink in a convenient place, but never under a window if you can avoid it, as much work is caused by greasy dish-water spattering upon the windows as it necessarily must. Back of your...Continue Reading

Improved Kitchen Sink.

We represent on this page an important improvement in one of the most essential contrivances necessary in housekeeping, namely, a kitchen sink, which can also be used as a wash-basin, dish-pan, laundry wash-tub, and drainer. It possesses a valve, which is opened by raising the pull P; 0 is an overflow, and Q an adjustable partition, while S is the outlet and valve seat. If it is used as a sink, the water is let out entirely; by raising the handle or knob P, and turning the valve half way round, the valve S...Continue Reading

Kitchen Sinks.

THE sink is without doubt one of the most essential features in a modern kitchen, but at the same time it has, unfortunately, thus far been a neglected piece of manufacture, being made after a certain accepted form, without any attempt at improvement to overcome the inherent defects of that form. Let us see what these defects are. First, the grate over the waste pipe gets very easily choked up, when at once the whole sink is changed into a puddle of dirty water, and anything placed in it to drain is inundated. Second,...Continue Reading

A Woman's Idea of what a Kitchen should be.

To begin with, I would have a kitchen well lighted; yes a great deal of the broad, expansive sunlight shining in boldly, as if it had a perfect right to be there. That would, of course, necessitate large windows. And then I would give as much attention to the ventilation of a kitchen as I would to a sleeping-room. I would have a large circular device suspended over the cooking stove, with a hole In the centre, and a tube leading to the top of the house, to carry off the savory smells which the...Continue Reading

Improved Sanitary Appliances. (Kitchen Sink)

We have had occasion in former articles to describe some of the admirable novelties in sanitary appliances for the household made by the J. L. Mott Iron Works, of this city. Of the several improved appliances of this nature which received favorable notice at our hands, the Imperial porcelain bath tubs will doubtless be recalled by our readers; and we have the pleasure now of calling attention to another said sanitary appliance, the cleanliness of which is perhaps of even more importance than that of the bath tubs, and which possesses the same advantages...Continue Reading

Home Decoration - The Kitchen

"The Kitchen" It is a remark too often made that this or that "is good enough for a servant." If all knew that unpleasant surroundings made unpleasant servants and ill-prepared meals, we think more pains would be taken to have pleasant and comfortable kitchens. There should be a pleasant window or two through which fresh air and floods of sunlight may come, a few plants on the window sill, a small stand for a workbasket, an easy chair that the servant may "drop into" when an opportunity offers, the walls painted or calcimined with some...Continue Reading

General

Plaster Ceiling Medallions

Plaster ceiling medallions were first introduced in America in the 18th century. Some know them as rosettes and occasionally they were referred to as "Plaster Centers". These ceiling centerpieces reached a zenith of popularity in the 19th century. The bigger the room the bigger the medallion was. However, the lower the ceiling the smaller the medallion would get so as to not overwhelm its occupants. The rims of the medallions went in and out of fashion through the years. The early periods of colonial and regency times found rims quite in fashion. However, during...Continue Reading

Braided Rug

The braided rug is still ever so popular today. Even in my babyhood I sat playing on a very large braided rug at my grandmother's house. They have found their place in homes for generations now. They have indeed stood the test of time in practicality, charm, and sturdiness. I found these instructions on making a braided rug in Beautiful homes: Or, Hints in house furnishing, 1878, that may be of interest. A rug which is not only neat and even tasteful, but economical withal; as it may be made of old garments or...Continue Reading

Interior Decoration - Management of Colors.

PAINTERS, as a general rule, acknowledge but three primary colors--blue, red, and yellow; and whatever exception ninny be taken to such a statement on scientific grounds, there is no question that such a view of the subject does afford certain practical advantages. It is further assumed, that all other tints are mere mixtures of these three colors. For instance, green is made up of blue and yellow; violet, of blue and red; and orange, of red and yellow. If one has no taste and no power of discrimination between colors, it is a useless...Continue Reading

Wall Papers

If a paneled effect is desired for a room that is intended to be particularly dainty, .such as a boudoir, nothing would be prettier than to use a plain paper at the top and bottom of the wall, and to separate the panels. This should be delicate in tone, buff, cream or pale blue, and used in strips from fifteen to eighteen inches wide. The panels themselves should be large, not less than four or five feet across, if possible, and hung with paper in a Dresden design, one of those dainty floral patterns, such...Continue Reading

Sanitary Science and Domestic Architecture.

By John Crowell, M.D., in the Popular Science News. NO. IV. Nearly every well-appointed dwelling has a room called the library, and it is quite apt to be located in some obscure and dark coiner or angle of the house, shut out from the light and air of street or courtyard. Many city libraries are so dark that it is difficult to read or write on a cloudy day without the aid of artificial light. To people of literary tastes the library is an important room. It is a convenient place for quiet work, and...Continue Reading

Stencil Designs for Ceilings, etc.

Click Image for a Larger View 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...Continue Reading

Household Conveniences.

WE have received from our various correspondents quite a number of requests for us to publish something about the minor household conveniences. In compliance therewith we present the following details with explanatory illustrations, for which we are indebted to the American Agriculturist, for the particular benefit of those residing remote from cities, who are desirous of learning how such commodities are arranged. Fig. 1 gives a general view of a 2 1/2 story house with the main apparatus in the first story. Though this is usually placed in the basement, we can easily imagine the...Continue Reading

The Rochester Lamp

Click Image for a Larger View The attention devoted to the construction of lamps, electroliers and chandeliers for gas and electric lighting, has had the effect of greatly improving the artistic merits of these fixtures, which afford so inviting a field for the exercise of the skill and good taste of the designer. The same improvement may be remarked in the production of artistic lamps and fixtures for oil-burning. The fact should be kept in mind, that, in spite of the enormous strides in electric lighting, the oil lamp must remain for years to...Continue Reading

Furnishing a House.

A newly-married young couple, just about taking and furnishing a house, anticipate a great deal of pleasure in the choice and selection of their furniture, carpets, paper-hangings, etc. Both being persons of good taste, they never for one moment imagine that anything but the most complete success will crown their choice; but it very often happens that the carpet which looked very handsome in the shop is of much too large a pattern for a small room, and the paper which seemed very bright when exposed to view in the rear room, lighted from the...Continue Reading

Interior Decorations.

IT is a singular fact that amid all that is being constantly written upon matters of art but little is said in reference to the interior decoration of ordinary country or city dwellings. By ordinary we mean dwellings that cost 4000 dollars or there-abouts. The art of internal decoration has received very little attention at the hands of men calling themselves practical decorators, intending thereby that their ideas may be so used, practically, as to produce beautiful effects, whether the ornamentation or mouldings are executed in color or plaster, and at the same time afforded...Continue Reading

Old and New Fire Grates.

THERE is a constant tendency toward the revival of old fashions, old styles, and old methods. These are improved, it is true, just as the crinoline of modern belle is a very different affair from the hoops which encased the fair ones of the court of Queen Anne. When our forefathers landed on these shores, they found that the grates and fire-places of Britain were utterly inadequate to maintain a proper degree of warmth during our cold winters. So the grate and the fire-place were abandoned, and stoves for burning wood and coal took...Continue Reading

The Selection of Wall-Paper.

ONE of the most important features in the decoration of the interior of dwelling-houses is undoubtedly the adorning of rooms by means of wall-paper. In this respect people do not always exhibit good taste. It is therefore proposed to make some suggestions in regard to the proper selection of colors. In the first place, it ought to be remembered that here can never be an opportunity for too much light in a room ; for if at any moment a moderate amount is desired, a ready means to effect that object is always at hand....Continue Reading

Portable Wainscoting.

Click Image for a Larger View IT is always a peculiarity of all valuable inventions that no sooner are they once explained than every body wonders why nobody ever thought of a thing so very simple before; and to this law very few exceptions are ever presented in its application to the common matters of every-day life. An invention has been recently brought before the public, which illustrates this principle, in the portable wainscoting and wood floor covering, specimens of which have lately been put on exhibition, manufactured after Furscheim?s idea. The invention consists...Continue Reading

A Cabinet Refrigerator.

A FEW days ago, while passing up Sixth avenue, we saw at the store of Mr. Lesley?No. 605?a very neat and useful little article with which the readers of our home department can hardly fail to be pleased. It is nothing more or less than a small, portable refrigerator, which can be carried from room to room as circumstances may require. It has a reservoir for ice at the top, with a silver-plated faucet for drawing off the water. Below the ice is the cooling apartment, which is chilled to a low degree by...Continue Reading

Shall our Houses be Painted or Plastered?

Of course, says the American Builder, everybody knows, or ought to? know, that walls and ceilings are finished with plaster. But everybody may not be aware that plaster has the property of absorbing moisture. This, perhaps, will not take place in rooms where a fire is kept steadily; but in rooms left, as is often the case, for weeks without a fire, the walls will take up a considerable quantity of damp. The effect will be injurious to the health of the inmates. There are few persons who have not suffered from a mysterious cold,...Continue Reading

Color in House Interiors.

The principles of the proper use of color in house interiors are not difficult to master. It is unthinking, unreflective action which makes so many un-restful interiors of homes. The creator of a home should consider, in the first place, that it is matter as important as climate, and as difficult to get away from, and that the first shades of color used in the house, on walls or ceiling, must govern everything else that enters in the way of furnishing?that the color of walls prescribes that which must be used in floors, curtains and...Continue Reading

Home Decoration - Overview

Taken from Useful Information for Ladies 1897 "Overview" The chief features to be observed in house furnishing are color, form, and proportion. All stiffness of design in furniture should be avoided. Do not attempt to match articles, but rather carry out the same idea as to color and form in the whole. It is not en regle to have decorations in sets or pairs ; the arrangements should all be done with odd pieces. Every room in the house should be arranged for occupancy, having nothing too good for use, and the judicious housewife will...Continue Reading

On Colors...

Taken from Miss Beecher's Housekeeper and Healthkeeper 1873 Much of the beauty of furniture is secured by the tasteful combination of colors. There usually should only be two colors in addition to the white of the ceiling. Blue unites well with buff or corn color, or a yellow brown. Green combines well with drab, or white, or yellow. Scarlet or crimson unites well with gray or drab....Continue Reading

On Curtains...

Taken from Miss Beecher's Housekeeper and Healthkeeper 1873 The cornices to your windows can be simply strips of wood covered with paper to match the bordering of your room, and the lambrequins, made of chintz like the lounge, could be trimmed with fringe of gimp of the same color. The patterns of these can be varied according to fancy but simple designs are usually the prettiest. A tassel at the lowest point greatly improves the appearance of the entire curtain. The curtains can be made of plain white muslin, of some of the many styles...Continue Reading

Walls and their Coverings

Taken from Scribner's Monthly May 1872 In the old days of wainscots, when every room of any pretensions to elegance was banded with light or dark wood to height of three or four feet from the base, it was far easier to effectively ornament the portion of wall left uncovered, than it is when an unbroken surface sweeps, as now, from floor to ceiling. If the pattern which covers this surface be large and positive, the effect is to lessen the apparent size of the room, and confuse with vulgar repetition. If, on the contrary,...Continue Reading

Floors

Taken from Scribner's Monthly September 1871 WHEN Mr. Ruskin chronicled the "Ethics of Dust," he should have devoted a large portion of his space to the modern floor. The popular theory of a floor, reduced to practice, amounts to this: it is the principal dust-trap of the room. Being of soft and porous wood, its cracks open easily for the admission of dust, from furnace, cellar, or whatever is underneath. This dust insinuates itself into the carpet from the under side, while from above the chimney, windows, and doors pour a fine insensible stream into...Continue Reading

The Hallway

Remodelled Hallway

We offer the accompanying illustration as an example of remodelling. In the original house the stairway was narrow and enclosed. This has been removed, and a new staircase in hard wood introduced, with fireplace and settle at the foot of the same, and at the end of the settle the old hall clock. The upper portion of this fire-place has the brick-work exposed, the lower portion being encased for mirror, etc., and above the mirror a small sconce mirror. As will be noticed, the doorways into time principal rooms from this hall are without...Continue Reading

Home Decoration - The Hall

"The Hall" 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 of...Continue Reading

The Library

Home Decoration - The Library

"The Library" The walls of the library should be hung with rich, dark colors, the latest style in wall paper being a black ground with old gold and olive-green designs. The carpet comes in Pompeiian red, with moss-green and peacock-blue patterns. Statuary and the best pictures should find a place in the library. The library table should be massive and the top laid with crimson baize. There should be a few high-backed chairs, upholstered in leather, a reading-chair, soft rugs, foot-rests, a mantel mirror, a few mantel ornaments, and the piece de resistance-the bookcase....Continue Reading

The Living Room

Home Decoration - The Sitting Room

"The Sitting Room" The sitting or everyday room should be the brightest and most attractive room in the house. Its beauty of decoration should not be so much in the richness and variety of material as in its comfort, simplicity, and the harmony in its tints-the main features being the fitness of each article to the needs of the room. In these days of so many advantages much can be done in adornment by simple means. The wall papers mostly used come in grounds of cream, amber, rose, pale olive, fawn, ceil blue, and...Continue Reading

The Parlor

Home Decoration - The Parlor

"The Parlor" The furnishing of the parlor should be subject to its architectural finish. The first things to be considered are the walls and floor. The former may be decorated in fresco or papered, according to the individual taste and means. The prettiest styles of parlor paper are light tints of gray, olive, pearl, and lavender grounds, and in small scroll patterns, panels, birds, and vines, finished in heavy gold traceries, with dado and frieze to correspond. The styles of carpet mostly used are Brussels, Wilton, tapestry, and Axminister. A tapestry carpet in light...Continue Reading

Painting

Painting the House Exterior in 1859

- Fawn [web equivalent #C8B08F] | Drab [web equivalent #A48D6B] | Dark Green [web equivalent #465141] The following from The House: A pocket manual of Rural Architecture 1859 - Exterior Color.-For the outside painting of country houses, quiet, neutral tints should generally be chosen. The various shades of fawn, drab, gray, and brown, are all very suitable. All the positive colors, such as red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white, should always be avoided. Nothing can be in worse taste than the very common practice of painting country houses white. This color is glaring...Continue Reading

How to Build a Brick House - PAINTING, ETC.

In districts where the color of the brick is of a sombre hue, and not too bright a red, you need not resort to painting; it certainly is not necessary for the preservation of the material, and if left in its natural state is productive of a very pleasing effect, when used in combination with an appropriate colored stone for the window dressings and ether ornamental portions. For cottage residences, and small villas, it certainly produces a fine appearance to leave the brickwork in its natural state, having the joints pointed with blue or dark...Continue Reading

Hints on the Color of Country Houses.

The choice of color for country houses requires the exercise of taste, judgment, and an eye for harmonious combinations. Keeping always in view the general effect, when the fancy begins to range beyond the safe line of the neutral tints, the field for error is so large disastrous that the house may be?as we have known certain houses to be?of all the colors of the rainbow before the decorative portions of it are finished. Before the building is finished, the whole subject of color should be carefully considered. Afterward, as the eye becomes accustomed to...Continue Reading

Lawn and Garden Planning Advice

Plant and Planting Advice

Transplanting Trees.

As soon as the foliage has dropped, transplant ornamental, shade or fruit trees. There will be a saving of one year?s growth between those planted now and those in the spring. In taking up trees, great care should be taken not to mutilate their roots, for every fibre of the root lost, the growth of the tree will be retarded so much, and its life endangered. Whenever it is absolutely necessary to part with any of the roots, take off the top in proportion. Let the holes be larger than the roots and never bend...Continue Reading

CUT FLOWERS.

Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop The first thing to be considered in arranging cut flowers is the vase. If it is scarlet, blue, or many-colored, it must necessarily conflict with some hue in your bouquet. Choose rather pure white, green, or transparent glass, which allows the delicate stems to be seen. Brown Swiss wood, silver, bronze, or yellow straw conflict with nothing. The vase must be subordinate to what it holds. A bowl for roses. Tall-spreading vases for gladiolus, fern, white lilies, and the like. Cups for violets and tiny wood flowers....Continue Reading

Lawn and Garden Plans