The Dining Room And Work Rooms

The dining room, with which we were so directly concerned in the

preceding portion of this book, offers a natural point of departure for

considering the individual rooms of the house with regard to

decoration. First, as to a dominant dining room color: The dining room

should be a room of good cheer, a bright, happy room. But it should not

be too bright. If it is on the sunny side of the house, let one of the

colors dominate--white, cream white, blues, greens, grays or violet--

if on the shady side, gain warmth by the use of yellows (save lemon),

orange, warm tans, russets, pinks, yellowish greens and reds. (This

applies to all rooms.)

Do not use restless-patterned wall papers. Leather (used with paneling

or above wainscot), modern tapestries, fabrics of all kinds are

suitable for covering dining-room walls. If low, the ceiling should

never be dark, since this makes the room appear still lower. (A

breakfast room done in lacquer is very effective, however, if not too

low.) A single large rug, harmonizing with the wall color scheme is

admirable in any room. In the dining room, however, a figured carpet is

often preferred for practical reasons: it stands wear and tear around

the table better. Well-chosen paper (See Chapter II) often improves a

badly proportioned room by optical illusion. The ideal lightings for

dining rooms are side lights. Dining-room drop lights or domes are very

trying to the eyes of those who dine, and are unbecoming. Side lights

(adding candles for grace and charm) are far pleasanter to the eyes and

look better.

In the dining room the table is the dominating furniture note. A round

table, an oblong table or a square table may be the more desirable

according to the shape of the room. But a round dining table may be

harmonized with an oblong dining room by means of an oblong rug, with

rounded medallion, by a round flower bowl, a round tray or even the

wheels of the tea table. In the dining room, as elsewhere, repetition

in color establishes the color tone of the room. In the dining room, as

elsewhere, every individual room presents an individual case, to be

worked out decoratively in accordance with the principles already

given. One more color hint regarding the dining room, drawn from a

modern authority: "When we think of the ideal dinner--the soft lights,

the hospitable warmth, the sparkle of crystal, the gleam of silver, the

quick talk and gay laughter of the guests--we think of red, for

that color is indissolubly bound in thought with the idea of richness,

hospitality and excitement." Yet red, as we will see later, is a color

to be used with great caution.