( Originally Published 1922 )
WE become aware of beauty in a color composition through the easy perception of likenesses among its diverse elements. In this process the mind, following its normal method of thinking from the particular to the general, passes from perception of the variety of color stimuli to apprehension of their essential unity. In the attempt to create beauty in a color treatment, however, this process is reversed. We begin by insuring unity through the choice and distribution of a dominant hue, and then proceed to add the variety of hue and tone necessary to beauty.
In one sense this is an easy, simple, almost a mechanical process. We already know, through study of the chromatic circle, how the various hues are related. We know that the color on either side of the dominant hue is half like and half unlike it, and therefore sure to yield a measure both of unity and diversity if used with it; and that its complementary, lying directly opposite on the circle, is wholly unlike it and therefore certain to add to the effect of diversity. We know that the color values must be arranged in an ascending scale from relatively dark on the floor to relatively light on the ceiling; that the walls and ceiling must be relatively neutral, whatever their hue, while somewhat purer color may be used on the floor and in hangings and furniture coverings ; that pure or almost pure color can be used only for accent and in very small areas ; that in general the purity of a color will vary inversely with its area ; and that while contrasts of hue, intensity and tone are required to give diversity and make beauty possible, not more than two of these factors ought to appear in any given contrast, while one is sufficient for many of them. Equipped with this knowledge, we can start with any hue approved by our judgment as a fitting dominant hue and build up a color scheme free from serious dissonances, revealing unity in diversity, and therefore, in some measure, beauty.
In fact, we can, even with our present knowledge, go further than this ; for we understand the emotional values of the various hues, of pure and neutral colors, of light and dark tones, and can accordingly proceed at once to the expression of ideas, which is the only thing that gives interior decoration dignity and standing among the other creative arts. Finally, we recognize the importance of expressing these ideas through convergent effects, in which line, form, texture, proportion, balance and light supplement and confirm hue, intensity and tone, and we know a little of the technique through which these convergences are produced.
This much, and a little more, it is easy to teach and to learn. Beyond this little more the use of color can-not be taught. Instruction can lay down a few broad principles, or guides to practice, and through study of these principles the beginner in the art can learn to avoid serious mistakes and to work out pleasing though simple harmonies for any dominant hue, just as the beginner in music, through study of the principles of counterpoint and musical progression, can learn to avoid dissonances and to work out pleasing though simple harmonies for any melody. But the subtle or invigorating harmonies that soothe or stir the soul demand for their creation in either art an imaginative power and a mastery of technique not to be acquired by reading a book, or a multitude of books. The brief and tentative discussion of color harmony here included is offered as a guide to further study, and particularly to experiment and practice. We must use color in our rooms. Hence we must create color arrangements, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Accordingly any ex-position of the subject, however limited in value, seems justified if it can help toward pleasing arrangements, however simple.
When the decorator, as a result of his study of all the considerations of fitness involved, decides upon the dominant hue for a given room and sets about the production of a color harmony, his problem is four-fold. He must (a) select hues which are pleasing together; (b) distribute these hues, both as to area and position, so that the total effect is pleasing; (c) distribute all the colors, whatever their hue, with reference to their luminosity or value, in such a way that the tonality, or total effect of light and shade in the room, is pleasing; and (d) distribute the hues with reference to their purity or intensity in such a way that a balance is struck, pleasing in itself and consistent with the motive of the room, between the forcefulness and obvious quality of pure color and the passivity and subtlety of neutral color.
We find that hues which are pleasing together may be selected through variations of any one of three general methods, which result in three general classes or types of color harmonies, known as (a) harmonies of analogy; (b) harmonies of complementaries, or contrast; and (c) triads or trichromatic harmonies. These methods will perhaps appear most clear if they are described and exemplified in terms of the same dominant hue. Any hue on the warm side of the chromatic circle would do for this purpose, but we will take yellow-orange, because of its peculiar fitness for use under widely varying conditions. It is, in the first place, a color which can be used effectively in all three types of harmonies. It can in practice be used effectively in either cheap or costly schemes of furnishing. It is agreeable and becoming to most people, and it can be used fittingly in the hall, living room, drawing room, dining room, breakfast room, and even in the bedroom. The hue varies, according to the amounts of black and white in it, from dark golden brown to old ivory. It is intimately related to yellow on one side and to orange on the other, and more remotely related to green and to red. It is in strong contrast to blue and to violet, and complementary to blue-violet.
It is clear that the easiest way to give variety in color to a room done in yellow-orange is to keep the hue constant and vary the tones in a close harmony, as in the use of a rich golden brown carpet and hangings, light golden brown walls, tan ceiling, nut-brown wood-work and furniture, and écru curtains. Such a room will possess the virtues of unity and repose, but it will also reveal the fatal vice of monotony. Even if its monotony be relieved by small color accents in pictures, pottery, lamps, books and cushions, the room will still be likely to have three serious faults. First, its background surfaces, being all alike except for variations; in tone, constantly employ the same color nerves, giving them no opportunity for the intervals of rest that we have seen to be essential to clear and pleasurable color perception. Secondly, the contrasts between adjacent surfaces will cause the lower and richer tones of the carpet to take the life out of the wall color. Finally, there is in fact too little diversity in the treatment to be pleasant to normal people throughout a long period of time.
The next step in increasing the diversity and interest of the color treatment is to add the extreme red and yellow hues of orange, and to bring in sharper accents of color, as in the substitution of old gold, burnt orange or henna for some of the brown areas in hangings, lamp shades, cushions, or upholstery fabrics.
The third step is to include both red and yellow, colors which lie on either side of the dominant hue and share in its composition. Thus we could do a library in walnut or fumed oak woodwork and furniture, golden-yellow grasscloth walls, old ivory ceiling, orange-red Khiva or chenille rug, brocade hangings of old gold and orange red, porcelain lamps in old Chinese yellow, with maize silk shades, and sunny or ruddy-hued pictures framed in antique gold; or a dining room in paneled walls of Italian walnut, modeled plaster ceiling in antique ivory, carved walnut furniture, henna or Venetian red carpet, dull orange taffeta under-curtains, and hangings and furniture coverings of old red and gold damask.
Thus olive, a tawny, yellowish-brownish green, may be substituted for the golden brown of the carpet in the room first described, as olive edged with old gold, olive and gold, or old gold edged with olive, may be substituted for the hangings. This would give us a room in which the principal areas were as far apart as yellow-orange and yellow-green, while the gamut of related colors may be further extended in either direction in the accents and small masses. A little blue-green, for example, combined with olive and mode, could be used in tapestry furniture coverings, while old red could be introduced in pictures, potteries, or book bindings.
These harmonies differ in diversity and animation, but all are alike in that they are related by ties of common blood. Similar analogous harmonies may in theory be built upon tones of any hue or gamut of related hues, but in practice they are restricted to gamuts in which the warm hues play a large if not a preponderant part. Thus we may have analogous harmonies built up of hues lying between red and blue-green on the warm side of the circle. Between red and blue-green on the other side of the circle the colors are too cold to be agreeable in harmonies of analogy; so far, at least, as the larger areas of interior decoration are concerned.
Harmonies of this character are the easiest to pro-duce, since their creation does not necessitate the possession of a flair for color or a highly cultivated taste, but only common sense and freedom from color blindness. Harmonies of analogy are also quiet, restful and subtle. Through the absence of that sense of activity which results from strong color contrasts, these harmonies not only make a room more reposeful but more spacious, and are therefore in general to be chosen for rooms which seem small or overcrowded with furniture, as well as for those wherein repose is the first consideration. Moreover, since the colors employed are markedly alike in emotional effect, harmonies of analogy must always be employed in rooms which are to be invested in the maximum degree with a particular emotional quality—that is, in rooms in which what is known in the studios as the temperamental idea is to be expressed. The highest beauty of analogous harmonies depends upon perfect keying, or infusion of the dominant hue into all the subordinate hues in such a way as to give an effect of atmospheric coloring, as if the room were seen through a delicately tinted glass. It is, of course, clear that the atmospheric effects characteristic of perfect coloring are difficult for the beginner to manage. They can in fact be produced only when broken and grayish tones of the hues employed are used skillfully. Thus in the room last described the old red and the olive appear much as vermilion and emerald would appear if seen through a haze of grayish yellow, and even the blue-green of the tapestry must be sufficiently broken with gray to make it look like a dull blue seen through this same gray-yellow haze.
All harmonies of this class, as described above, reveal a characteristic lack of snap, and none would be accepted by the mind as wholly satisfying. This defect is due to the total absence of the complementary of the dominant hue, which ought to be made to appear in some form, however unimportant, in every color scheme. Physiologically the color nerves require to be refreshed, while psychologically the mind requires to be relieved and stimulated by a note of strongly-contrasting color, as by an occasional high or explosive note in an even melody, or a patch of shadow on a sunlit field of grain. Thus in the dining room de-scribed above, wherein warm browns, old ivory, orange, old gold and Venetian reds were used together, the decorator would also introduce a note of blue in Venetian glass or majolica, and would probably echo this note in the border of the rug, in some detail of the cornice boards that support the hangings, and in some part of the design of the parchment masks or shades of the lighting fixtures.
The amount of the complementary introduced into a room may vary anywhere from slight accents up to a third or even more of all the colored surfaces of the room. When there is only a little of it the harmony remains one of analogy, set off by touches of its complementary; when there is a lot of it: the harmony becomes one of complementaries, or contrast. In harmonies of this kind, two important colors only are employed, although small accents of other hues will of course be introduced into the room. Complementary harmonies are relatively easy to produce, and may be varied easily and safely from simplicity to relative complexity to accord with personal feeling and the decorative or emotional requirements of the room. They are less subtle and less restful than harmonies of analogy, but more animated and more brilliant. More-over, since a pair of complementary colors are necessarily unlike emotionally—if one is warm and exhilarating the other is cool and tranquillizing—harmonies of this type are incapable of expressing the temperamental idea.
The real difficulty in the creation of these harmonies is to fix upon the complementary of the dominant hue.
In the chapter on color it was pointed out that there is a difference between the scientific facts of color and the working explanation of color phenomena formulated by Chevreul and generally adopted by artists and color workers, and, for the sake of simplicity and help fulness in practice, adopted also in this study. At this point, however, even at the risk of some confusion in thought, it seems desirable to introduce the color chart, published in Von Bezold's Theory of Color, in which the true scientific complementaries are indicated by straight lines drawn from any point on its circumference through the center of the circle. The opposing pairs of colors thus obtained are true complementaries because each pair, when mixed as colored lights, yields white light. Nevertheless, color workers have found that in practice true complementaries for the most part make disagreeable contrasts, and that these contrasts are far more agreeable estheti cally when the opposing colors are placed a little nearer together on the warm side of the scale. Thus vermilion red is more pleasant with green than with cyan, or blue-green ; orange is more agreeable with ultra-marine than with turquoise or greenish-blue; and yellow is more pleasant with violet than with blue. For this reason we are warranted in accepting as complementaries the pairs opposed to each other in Figure 45.
It appears from the study of Von Bezold's chart, how-ever, that between violet, purple and red there are differences far greater than those between their scientific complementaries — a circumstance that makes the use of green in complementary harmonies very difficult. Neither painters nor decorators have used this harmony to any great extent, probably because of this difficulty, and it is a safe rule of practice to confine the use of green to harmonies of analogy or to the triads. Contrasting harmonies of yellow-green and purple, yellow and violet, yellow-orange and violet-blue, and orange and blue are much easier to manage.
The triads or trichromatic harmonies are based upon arrangements of any three hues that are equidistant and therefore lie at the points of an equilateral triangle inscribed within the chromatic circle; as, for example, red, blue and yellow. If one member of a triad is changed in hue to right or left each of the other two members will normally be changed equally in the same direction. Thus we may have triads in red, blue and yellow; red-orange, yellow-green and blue-violet ; orange, green and violet; or yellow-orange, blue-green and red-violet. In addition to these triads others may be devised by skilled colorists by slightly altering one or two of the hues. as in the case of purple-red, yellow and cyan-blue, or vermilion, dark greenish-yellow (olive) and violet-blue—a triad much used in several of the Italian schools of painting. White or gray can be used effectively with most of the triads, and particularly with orange, green and violet, and purple-red, yellow and cyan-blue; while in all of the triads small-interval changes of hue and the introduction of small accents of additional hues are permissible.
Triads are difficult to use effectively in decoration.
The delicate balance of colors in area, tone and intensity, perplexing enough when only two important hues are employed, becomes very much more perplexing in the case of three important hues. Certain color theorists of the last century worked out formulas designed to guide the decorator in the quantitative distribution of color areas; but these formulas are so clumsy and inadequate, and so subject in practice to a thousand modifications and derogations, that it is far safer to ignore them altogether. Indeed, it is far safer for the beginner to let the triads alone until through study and experience he has acquired the sure feeling for color which makes all rules for dealing with it merely a hindrance.
Besides their theoretical complexity, triad schemes are in practice hard to execute by reason of the difficulty of finding decorative materials in which the colors are properly distributed. In fact this is often impossible unless the time and money available permit having things specially designed and made to order. In the case of our chosen dominant hue, for example, a triad scheme would employ yellow-orange, blue-green and red-violet. Since two of these hues are cold, the triad would probably be disagreeable in low tones. Therefore, in doing a room—say a sitting room or boudoir—the decorator, in order to make the cold colors light enough to be agreeable, would break all the colors with light gray, which would give him a light grayish tan, sage green, and lavender. Executed in the best things to be found ready-made in the shops, these colors would be likely to result in a somewhat stiff and unsympathetic arrangement of grayish tan walls, sage green plain carpet, lavender on some of the furniture, repeated in pictures, ceramics, cushions, or lamps, and a mixture of lavender, green and grayish tan in printed linen hangings and slip covers for some of the furniture. To achieve anything like a subtle harmony he would have to wait several months and pay roundly for a special rug containing the three colors properly distributed, while fringes and gimps would have to be specially made, lamp bases and picture frames specially toned, and a screen or a decorative panel for the over-mantle specially painted.
Red, blue and yellow do not present the same difficulties, because of the great range of rugs and drapery stuffs containing those hues in the lower values, as well as the range of fabrics containing rose, cream and azure in the high values. Even here, however, the difficulties are considerable. Both analogous and complementary harmonies may under suitable conditions be widened by accents to include a wide gamut of col-ors, and therefore to meet practically every color requirement.
Having chosen the hues to be used in a given room, the decorator must determine the areas upon which each hue is to appear. It is clear that no formulas of constant value can be adduced to cover these distributions, since the effect of a color will depend far more upon its purity than upon the superficial area it covers. Indeed, there is but one rule which can never be disregarded, namely, that the mind must not be left in any perplexity as to the dominant hue. For example, in a room with light golden brown walls, tan ceiling, brown furniture, and olive rug, hangings and furniture coverings, there is a chance for perplexity as to which color is dominant, and such perplexity would mean a lack of unity and therefore of beauty in the room. Here the decorator will first of all see to it that the yellow element in both hues is clearly apparent. If this seems insufficient, olive and brown furniture coverings, or olive and gold hangings, or both, may be substituted for the plain olive. In other words, by some method or other the dominant hue must be made clearly apparent to the mind.
In triad schemes the two secondary hues may be distributed pretty much according to personal fancy. These two colors should, however, be so distributed that the total effect of one, as determined both by area and intensity, is perceptibly greater than that of the other.
In complementary harmonies the general rule of practice is to increase the relative area of the dominant hue as the purity of the wall color is increased. In a yellow and violet room, for example, when the walls are of an almost neutral yellowish-gray the quantities of yellow and violet used in the other surfaces of the room would be as nearly as practicable equal ; assuming, for the purposes of this illustration, that these colors were employed in equal intensity. With yellow walls of one-fourth intensity the other areas would contain about twice as much yellow as violet, and with yellow walls of one-half intensity about three times as much yellow as violet. With yellow and violet of unequal intensity the relative areas would be altered to allow for the differences. The method, of course, applies, roughly, to all pairs of complementaries. It is illustrated graphically in Figure 48, in which the upper section of each oblong represents the wall area and the lower sections all the other colored areas.
The distribution of colors as to their luminosity, apart from the nature of the hues, is of the greatest importance in color practice, being, indeed, fundamental to all good `work. The subject has however been discussed at such length as is permitted by the limitations of this study in the chapters on contrast and light and shade. It is reintroduced here merely in order to fix it in its proper position in the general subject of color harmony.
In intensity colors may vary from spectral purity to neutral gray. Spectrum colors are, as we have repeatedly noted, bold, aggressive, obvious and of pronounced individuality. In direct proportion to the degree in which their own positive qualities are over-come, or neutralized, by the equally positive antithetical qualities of their complementaries they become progressively quiet, subtle and refined. It is manifest that all background surfaces must be relatively neutral, both because the eye could not stand constant exposure to large areas of positive color, and because it is the proper function of a background to stay back—to pro-vide an effective foil for the clearer outlines and brighter colors of the objects or the persons who appear against it. A delicate picture or complexion against a pure red or green or yellow background would be like a lullaby sung to the accompaniment of a calliope.
The wall color may be anything from half-intensity to a gray just tinged with the hue. Other things being equal, purity of the wall color will vary inversely with the number and purity of the other hues in the room. No washed-out, characterless, colorless room is pleasant to live in. Every room requires a certain amount of color interest and of positive color quality, although the amount will vary according to the purpose and size of the room and the tastes of its occupants. When there are few hues in the rugs, hangings, furniture and decorative objects employed in a given room, and these few hues relatively neutral in character, the walls ought normally to approach the maximum of one-half intensity in order to invest the room, as a unit, with the necessary color interest. For example, yellow used on the walls of a Craftsman living room furnished in dull colors and having only a few low-toned pictures, vases and books for accents could be anywhere from one-fourth to one-half intensity; whereas in a drawing room furnished with a Kermanshah rug, bright-colored paintings, rich porcelains, lacquered cabinets, and satinwood chairs and settees upholstered in brocades or damasks the hue would be neutralized to a point where it would just appear in the warm grayish-cream walls.
When the purity of the dominant hue is constant, the number and purity of the subordinate hues will be increased directly with the area of the dominant hue. A room done in blue and tan, with tan walls, écru curtains, blue and fawn rug, blue and tan hangings and blue furniture coverings would need few accents of other colors, and those of low intensity. But if hangings and furniture coverings of tan and fawn were also used, so that all the background surfaces were in broken tones of orange, strong accents, not only of the complementary blue but also of old red, green and yellow, would be required in order to give sufficient color character to the room.
Up to this point we have discussed complementary harmonies as if both colors could be used pleasantly on plain surfaces, and the whole problem of their harmonious distribution were one of area, purity and tone. As a matter of good practice, however, large plain surfaces can rarely be placed together happily, and large plain complementary surfaces almost never. It is not only that the eye demands a judicious balance of plain and ornamented surfaces, but also, and chiefly, that complementary colors on plain juxtaposed surfaces are intolerably abrupt. Cultivated people do not like abruptness in any of the relations of life. Suave curves and blended colors please in the same way that suave manners and carefully modulated voices please, and for the same reason. Obviously complementary colors can be blended only when both are very near the point of complete neutralization; but under proper conditions complementaries of one-half and three-fourths intensity can be so united that they seem to belong together, and so that they can be seen with a sense of pleasing stimulation but with no sense of shock. The principle, which was mentioned in the chapter on contrast as rhythmic contrast, is called, according to the method of its application, interchange or counterchange.
Contrast, as a principle of composition, emphasizes unlikenesses. Interchange, on the other hand, establishes the likeness or harmony of unlike elements by giving to each a part of the other. Interchanged col-ors were very commonly employed in heraldry. For example, if a shield, divided longitudinally, were half red and half white, a bar or heraldic figure placed at the middle of the shield would be colored red on the white side and white on the red side. The principle is employed continually in all periods of good design. It is one of the most important, and perhaps quite the most consistently ignored, in the whole field of interior decoration.
A room with plain yellow-orange (tan) walls of one-fourth intensity and a plain blue rug of one-half intensity would be unpleasant. It would be improved slightly by the use of plain blue hangings to harmonize with the rug and plain tan, mode or beaver furniture coverings to harmonize with the walls, since the interchange, though crudely managed, would soften the contrast. The improvement would be much more marked if a blue and tan damask, or a linen or cretonne having these colors clearly emphasized in its design, were substituted for the hangings, and used, in conjunction with a plain or self-tone mode or beaver on some of the furniture; and it would be still more marked if the plain rug were displaced by one in which beaver or walnut appeared in the design of border or field, or both.
Applications and variations of the method of inter-change are innumerable. No attempt to exemplify them further need be made here, since the principle is so simple that any one can apply it. The aims to be kept in mind are two : first, to soften the relationship of contiguous colors which would otherwise be harsh; and secondly to effect an artistic and carefully balanced division of the two principal colors. Thus the room just discussed, having walls of one-fourth intensity, will be most pleasing if the other colored surfaces reveal approximately twice as much of the dominant hue as of its complementary. If, therefore, a considerable quantity of blue is used in furniture coverings, cushions, table runner, pottery and so forth, the amount available for rugs and hangings will be correspondingly reduced.
The trim or woodwork of a room outlines its structure and helps to steady and support its decorative treatment, as was set forth in the chapter on proportion. So far as the effect of color is concerned, the strength and importance of the woodwork depends in part upon darkness of tone and purity of hue, but chiefly upon the contrast between the colors of trim and wall. This contrast may be in hue or tone or intensity, or in any two or all three of these constants. Thus it may range from a trim painted to match the walls, and therefore offering no contrast whatever except in texture, up—for example—to dark oak or walnut woodwork with light clear blue walls, which would afford a striking contrast in hue, intensity and tone. It is unnecessary to state that the latter contrast would be exceedingly bad. A contrast of two constants is all that can be permitted, and in many rooms a contrast of one constant is sufficient for structural emphasis. Thus a bedroom with pale cream walls and trim to match would reveal a maximum effect of spaciousness and a minimum of snap and strength; while it would lose in spaciousness and gain in structural emphasis with a trim of white, deep cream, café au lait or pale apple-green.
In most houses the trim is a fixed architectural factor, which cannot be changed to suit the preferences of the decorator. Where this is the case the color harmony must be adjusted to take account of the trim. This adjustment will ordinarily involve no modification of the hues to be employed; but it usually involves some modification of the factors of luminosity and intensity in the wall colors. Where an unwelcome hue must appear in the woodwork its appearance should be minimized as far as possible by doing away with all contrast in intensity and reducing the contrast in tone to the minimum. In cases where the woodwork occupies a relatively large area, as in a dining room with walls paneled to within a few feet of the cornice, it will usually determine, or at least limit, the choice of hues. Black walls, for example, or walls of very dark brown, necessitate the use of two or more warm colors, while white paneling ordinarily requires the use of at least one warm and one cool color.
Connecting rooms must always be united by harmonious coloring, and by definite bonds of common color. The degree of likeness in color will depend in part upon personal taste, in part upon the similarity or dissimilarity in purpose and motive among the rooms, and chiefly upon their size. Where either or both—or, in the case of more than two—all of the connecting rooms are small, very little difference in coloring is permissible in floor or walls, because likeness gives an effect of unity and spaciousness, while unlikeness makes for abruptness and tends to diminish the apparent size of the rooms. Where the rooms are of good size, and there is reason to emphasize rather than to minimize the individuality of each, it is usually enough to repeat the dominant hue of the most important room in some form, either obvious or subtle, in each of the connecting rooms. Thus a suite of very small apartments—say a living room, hall and dining room—could be done throughout with warm gray walls and a dull reseda all-over carpet. This would yield the maximum effect of unity and spaciousness, while the variety essential to beauty could be added in hangings, furniture coverings, pictures, flowers, and similar small accents. With rooms a little larger varying tones of the dominant hue could be used on the walls, with considerable variation in pattern. With large rooms different rugs, walls and hangings could be used throughout ; provided only that the rooms were tied together by a clearly apparent bond of common color. Plain rugs of markedly different hues are un-pleasing in adjoining rooms, however large, unless each is relatively neutral, and even then the effect is more convincing if the rugs have simple border de-signs in interchanged colors. Abruptness must be permitted to appear in a color scheme only as a deliberate device for adding interest, and it is permissible only when so limited in area or in intensity that it cannot disturb the whole treatment. Violently contrasting colors, as we have seen, are intolerable except when used in very small areas. When bright, aggressively colored linens or chintzes are used they must be limited in quantity and displayed against neutral backgrounds.
The layman is disposed to think of color harmony as almost wholly a matter of hue. It is in fact largely a matter of tone. Skill as a colorist in interior decoration is as unfailingly revealed by the ability to use grayish tones skillfully on the larger areas as it is by the ability to create the accents of brighter and purer color that give vitality and color charm. Too exclusive use of grayish tones will inevitably rob a room of every-thing but quietness, but a free use of relatively neutral color is absolutely essential to beauty and comfort. Gray is a peacemaker among colors, and a potent source of spaciousness and repose. The charm of great houses is largely due to their effect of broad spaces ; and while we cannot have broad spaces in small houses, we can at least make the most of what space we do have by the wise use of atmospheric coloring.