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How To Be A Decorator:
Principles Of Decoration
Colonial Living Rooms
The English Room
Spanish-Italian Living Rooms
The Living Room Without A Mantel
Living Room Points
Dining Rooms Points
Combination Living Room - Dining Room
Living Room - Dining Room Points
Halls, Sun Rooms And Porches
Points For Halls, Sun Rooms And Porches
Colonial And Modern Bedrooms
Colorful, Comfortable Nurseries
New Fashions In Draperies
How To Make Curtains And Draperies
Slip Cover Points
How To Make Slip Covers
How To Paint Furniture
Finishes For Natural Wood Furniture
( Originally Published 1930's )
Choose, If Possible, Painted Furniture On a Small Scale
The lure of the nursery is one that cannot be denied. Not only should it be beautiful, colorful, flooded with sun and warmth, but it must also be practical and planned around the needs of the little ones to whom it essentially belongs. The largest available room should be used, with a southern exposure if possible. A good-sized closet and an adjoining bathroom are added comforts.
The furniture should be arranged so as to leave a large floor space for play, and on the floor should be washable rugs harmonizing in color with the rest of the room. Today the most attractive furniture is to be had made on a small scale and painted ivory, or the soft tones of blue or pink. That chosen by The Studio for the nursery which is sketched, is a delicate pink with little Dutch designs in blue painted on a cream ground. Our nursery is arranged for two children, one old enough to sleep in the small bed, and the younger one in the crib.
In the nursery, as in all other rooms, the background is of great importance. Durability of wall covering is a factor to be considered in most families, and when it is possible to combine it with a pleasing color, it should be done. Small sticky or smudgy fingers, or pencils in unruly little hands, will mark walls, so a surface which can be washed is the wisest choice. For this reason The Studio used a water-proof wall covering in a delightful shade of light blue. There is a frieze, at the height of a small child's eye, of the most delightful animals-bunnies, kittens, little goats-and they go right around the room. Another advantage of the washable wall covering is that cut-outs from magazines or from gay bits of paper may be pasted on this wall, and when the young artist desires a change, these cut-outs may be washed off without harming the wall underneath. The woodwork is painted to match the wall covering, but there is a nice contrast in the chintz valances and tie-backs. White glass curtains, which can be washed frequently, are practical in any nursery, these being of dotted swiss with ruffled edges and little chintz tiebacks.
Children are born with a natural liking for order which is soon discovered if one observes a child at play. Because of this, even a little toddler can be trained to put away his own toys, and the low shelves or cupboards built in any available wall space are an essential feature in a nursery today. Therefore, build in a low cupboard under one of the windows for stowing away toys. A place for everything and everything in its place is a good adage, and cannot be too early instilled into the youthful mind. What to do with toys after a hard day of play is sometimes a problem, and no nursery is complete without a spacious chest or cupboard made especially for those all-important things-toys.
When cupboards are not built in, a delightful chest for this purpose is made of white lacquer (which will wash easily) gaily decorated with an amusing little Bo-Peep and her sheep following one by one after her. A cupboard just the right size may be equally useful, and things can be arranged neatly and systematically. The one on the opposite page is divided in the center with shelves on one side, hidden behind a curtain of gay English chintz. On the other side are spacious drawers each decorated with an alert little white rabbit with very pink ears. Another cupboard, lacquered in pale blue and charmingly decorated with fruit and flowers in various bright colors, has shelves in the two compartments at the top and two long drawers below.
Two shelves placed one above the other but law enough to be reached comfortably make a satisfactory substitute. They may be curtained off with cretonne and the lower one used for a treasure house for one's toys and the upper far the many delightful little ornaments which are so appealing to the youthful taste. An inquisitive little parrot of red and green and white china or yellow duck candlesticks would please the most fastidious child. This arrangement of shelves is more successful as a decoration when used with plain paper or tinted walls than with a figured paper or a gaily colored picture frieze.
Every nursery should have a low table and chairs for play or for meals to be eaten with greater pleasure and ease. They can be folded up and put away when not in use, and the tops are covered with a water-proofed chintz which can be wiped off with a damp cloth.
The arrangement of electric lights must be carefully worked out. Side-lights are always attractive and sufficient for bedtime, and for night-use a bulb with high and low attachment is a necessity. For play on dark days an overhead indirect light is best, as it casts a general light over the entire room.
The question of the open fireplace depends somewhat on the ages of the children. With an infant a well-cared-for fire is often desirable, but as children reach the creeping age, no fire should be lit unless the child is in bed or in the play-pen, and some responsible person is in the room. A close-fitting fire-screen is a necessity if the fire is burning.
The Nursery Bathroom
If building a house, and it can be afforded, there is nothing that will be found more comfortable for both the mother and the children than a nursery bathroom which belongs exclusively to the children.
If the children are small and there are a number of them, it is well to get the small sized fixtures, as the children can use them with much greater ease. This does much to establish good habits for them, and to give them self-reliance and the ability to do for themselves. A small child is often very proud of the fact that he can lace his own shoes or wash his own hands.
Furthermore, children's medicines can be kept in their bathroom cabinet, their towels and wash cloths can be separate front those of the older members of the family. In fact, where there are a number of small children and the washing is a consideration, the roller towel on the bathroom door is a great saving, and because it is fastened to the door, it is always to be found.
Where a tile bathroom is more expensive than can be afforded, it is possible to use some of the waterproof wall coverings on the walls in the soft tints of pink, blue and yellow. Bath curtains of rubberized silk may be of a contrasting or a deeper tone of the same color. In the children's bathroom, as in others in the house, flowered chintz shades are a pretty contrast to plain walls, with the curtains of washable white material.
Tiling or linoleum makes the most satisfactory floor, but warmth should be given by the use of small rugs. Those of the rag, braided or woven variety are excellent as they may be washed.