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قراءة كتاب The Library of Work and Play: Home Decoration

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The Library of Work and Play: Home Decoration

The Library of Work and Play: Home Decoration

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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the range, forming a shelf on which kettles and other kitchen utensils could be easily placed as they were moved back and forth from the range. It was thought that it would be very desirable, if not necessary, to have this shelf covered with zinc or some kind of sheet metal.

It will be noted as a possible fault in the plan that the range is very near the door into the passageway leading to the bedroom, the living room, and the hall. This point received due consideration; but in view of the compensating advantages the arrangement was thought allowable, inasmuch as the door into the passageway would be used only occasionally. There seemed to be no more convenient location for the passageway, which was designed to give privacy to bedroom and bath room and, in cases of sickness or any emergency requiring it, easy communication between the kitchen and the bedroom. Special Features.—The pantry was located between the kitchen and the dining-room for obvious reasons—to give easy communication in serving and to confine kitchen odours to their proper place. In place of a kitchen closet a cabinet was provided for as being on the whole the more serviceable of the two. It is always desirable to have an entry or lobby, with a convenient part of it reserved for the refrigerator; but the need of providing as much room as possible in the kitchen itself seemed to justify the omission of the lobby. Another unusual feature—this time not an omission—is to be found in the window of the bedroom closet. Such a window, although not common, was thought to be very desirable on sanitary grounds and as a possible protection against moths.

Early Plans for Decorating and Furnishing.—These were by no means all the features of design that had to be considered. As already suggested, there was much study given to the question of interior decoration and furnishing, even at this early stage. This was simply necessary forethought; for much of the attractiveness, restfulness, and homelike atmosphere of any house is created by the architect, who, in his arrangement of rooms, door-ways, and windows, disposes his wall areas so that they may be divided symmetrically and lend themselves naturally to colour toning, offering tempting spaces for a few choice pictures and opening up beautiful vistas. Such house-planning, begun with clear vision and followed with taste and delicacy in every detail, may often lead to a harmony of effects as pleasing to people of artistic temperament as a symphony is to those who enjoy a fine musical composition. In fact, the parallel between sympathetic gradations of form and colour and harmony of musical tones is a very close one, and the appreciation of it is by no means rare. Any intelligent person, on seeing a suite of rooms designed and arranged by a real artist, though he may not understand why, will be impressed by the rhythm of space divisions, the harmony of colours, the lack of any jarring or discordant notes in the decoration, the simplicity, fitness, and real beauty, not of any particular part, perhaps, but of the whole combination. We often find ourselves using the same language whether we are describing the work of an artist-architect or the work of a musical composer.

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

Adaptation to Purpose.—Our young architects discovered that there are certain fundamental principles or laws that must be observed at the very beginning, if a really good and true design is to be made. The first of these laws is the law of adaptation to purpose. The application of this law was illustrated in the location of the various rooms in the plan of the house, in the dimensions agreed upon for each, and in the details of arrangement, especially in the kitchen and other rooms connecting with it. But this law is universal in its application. It determines not only the broad features of the plan but the details as well. It does not permit anything useless or superfluous to exist, for that would mean weakness. It aims at efficiency and strength. It dictates the details of construction all along the line, from the framing of the building to its finish and its decoration. It even determines the character of the furniture and the amount of it. Adaptation to purpose is a ruling principle.

Simplicity.—Another great principle that revealed itself as the plans of the house developed may be called the law of simplicity. This is one of the elementary laws of nature transferred to the realm of craftsmanship. It is an axiom of geometry that the straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Not less evident is the fact that when Nature undertakes to do anything she goes about it in the simplest and most direct way. The natural tendency of all motion is along a straight line—so reads the first law of motion. Analyze the most complex forms and processes of nature and we shall find them due to the harmonious combination of the simplest elementary lines and movements. But the same law of simplicity which invariably marks the works of nature gives strength and beauty also to the works of man. Thus, in discussing the various problems that developed as the designing of the house progressed, it was found—as of course it should have been—that the solution which met the test of simplicity, while satisfying the law of adaptation to purpose, was the true one.

Correlation.—A third great fundamental principle that found expression in these studies of the house plans was the principle of correlation. Not only must each part of the design be adapted to its use in the simplest possible manner, but it must support all other parts and receive support in return. It is like cooperation or team-work in play or in the practical affairs of life. Every room in a house bears some natural relation to every other room, and even the objects in the same room or in adjoining rooms must assist each other, whether their purpose be utility or decoration or a combination of both. Only by due attention to the mutual relations of the various elements that must enter into the composition, can the designer produce those pleasing space effects, those blendings of colour tones, those manifest relations between the various objects, useful or decorative, that give order, unity, and sympathetic feeling to a complete design.

THE COLOUR SCHEME

The Floor the Foundation.—Almost unconsciously our young architects found themselves under the guidance of these three great fundamental principles of design. When they came to the problem of specifying the finish for the floors and other wood work of the hall, living room, and dining-room, they found that this problem was intimately associated with the larger question of the colour scheme as a whole. The mutual dependence of all the elements concerned could not be overlooked. It was evident that the floor, which is the foundation of the room, should be darker than the walls and ceiling and the general tone of the furnishings, in order to give the suggestion of sufficient weight and firmness for the support of the entire room and all it might contain. The effect of solidity could be produced by staining the floor boards or by providing a liberal supply of dark, rich-toned rugs, large ones as well as small ones. There was no question of carpets. These, of course, are not allowable in a model house. A few rugs were already available, and others could be procured by buying them or by making them. A properly toned floor, however, is desirable, even with a most generous covering of rugs. It was therefore decided to give the floor a coat of stain when it was ready to be finished.

Importance of Colour

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