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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 )
Wood wainscot was used for finishing the interior walls of the earliest houses in the American Colonies before the use of plaster became common. Although few of these houses remain today in their original condition, the manner in which this wainscot was used is preserved for us in many examples along the Atlantic Coast. In this early work the wainscot was never applied to ceilings but only to walls, and the earliest type consisted merely of matched boards running from floor to ceiling.
Later, during the middle of the 18th century, or Revolutionary period, plaster began to come in as a wall covering and the wainscot became a low dado around the room, finally being reduced to our present day use of a base board only. The use of paneling at the fireplace end of the room persisted as a decoration, however, even after the rest of the room was plastered.
In many old houses the wood paneling was left in its natural color and the mellow tones produced by age and constant rubbing with wax and oil are very beautiful.
In the preceding elevations we have shown how the beautiful effect of these early rooms can be obtained by the simplest modern means. In the Revolutionary period such a completely paneled room would probably have been constructed of rather heavy boarding laid off in decorative panels formed by stiles and rails. In those days, however, labor and material were cheap. The reproduction of such a room in a truly archeological manner would, today, involve a cost far beyond the means of the ordinary house owner. But fortunately, today, the use of machinery has put upon the market stock moldings and veneered panels which may 6e procured easily and cheaply at any mill. It is by the use of these materials that the room illustrated was produced.
The walls were first lined with stock birch veneered panels of a beautiful grain and the paneling was laid off with simple flat boards and quarter round moldings. The whole wall surface was then treated with a clear wax to leave the natural color of the wood untouched, and the effect of the whole room is such that, for a relatively small amount, anyone who wants the appearance of an old paneled room can procure it without going to the expense of complicated joinery.