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قراءة كتاب The Library of Work and Play: Home Decoration

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‏اللغة: English
The Library of Work and Play: Home Decoration

The Library of Work and Play: Home Decoration

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5

Schemes.—But what was the colour to be? The designers were thus brought face to face with that difficult but important problem which all who plan houses have to solve before they can hope to bring their work into harmonious adjustment with the various natural and human conditions that must be satisfied in the final product, if it be made a good example of the designer's art. The problem of the colour scheme is fundamental. Upon this depends not only the tone of the floors, the walls, and the ceilings, but also, to a certain extent, as has already been suggested, the kind of woods to be used in the interior finishing, and whether they are to be painted, stained, or left in their natural colours. It will determine the material and the colours of the portières, curtains, cushions, lamp shades, picture frames, vases; in fact, it will largely settle the decorative character of every article placed in the rooms. The consideration of movable objects, however, may be deferred till the more substantial and fixed elements are decided upon.

Southern Exposures and Cool Colours.—In settling the all-important question of the colour scheme the first point to be considered was the location of the rooms with reference to light and to external surroundings. Rooms that have a southern exposure and nothing to interfere with their being flooded with sunlight need to be protected against the glare of too much light. For such rooms dull tones of colour are the best—dull browns, soft gray-greens, certain blue tones, and the medium grays—light, cool colours that counteract the overbrilliancy of direct sunlight and give a positively tempered feeling to the atmosphere of a room. Incidentally, too, perhaps because they are the tints associated with distant views, the cool colours make a room seem larger than it really is.

Northern Exposures and Warm Colours.—Northern rooms, on the other hand, do not generally suffer from excess of sunlight and heat. Warm colours are needed in such rooms. Deep reds, rich yellows, and golden browns will seem to bring sunlight into a sunless room. Our designers noted the fact that many of the rooms in the house they were planning must be comparatively dark. The house was to face the high brick walls of the neighbouring school building, not more than twenty-five feet distant, and its principal rooms had a northern exposure. A warm colour treatment, therefore, was unquestionably needed. Should red, brown, or yellow be the prevailing tone? The deciding point was the location of the hall and its relations to the other rooms. It was, first of all, the hall, the place of welcome for the guest; but it was dark. Its walls must have the sunniest of all colours—a rich golden yellow. The same would serve the needs of the living room, or perhaps a brown with yellow enough in it to be well in tune. The dining-room could safely be darker and more luminous, in pleasing contrast with the golden yellow of the hall; but it must not be decidedly red. The ceilings of these three rooms, whether beamed or not, since they must be lighter than the walls, could have the same or nearly the same tint. This might well be a light corn yellow.

The colouring of the walls of the bedroom, bath room, and kitchen was not so important a question as the decoration of the three front rooms. Utility and sanitary conditions were important things to be considered. Light tints were decided upon, which in the bedroom might be relieved, in the finishing touches, by delicate stenciled figures in some warm tone.

Interior Woodwork.—With the colour scheme settled it was a comparatively easy matter to decide what should be the general tone and character of the interior woodwork. The floors of the three front rooms, since they were to be closely associated, required the same solid colour, which could well be a walnut brown, darker than any of the walls. Fumed oak trimmings were thought desirable for the dining-room and gum wood for the living room, either of which could be extended to the hall; but ivory white for the living room and the hall, leaving the oak for the dining-room, found much favour. It was finally decided, however, to adopt for the three front rooms the combination of natural woods first suggested. The bedroom and bath room, where suggestions of cleanliness are peculiarly appropriate, were specified to be finished in white. Yellow southern pine was decided upon for the kitchen and its accessory rooms.


As soon as the chief features of design were decided upon, preparations were made for carrying them out in the actual work of building; for the house was not to be a "castle in air." The first step was to put these ideas on paper and work out the details of construction in clearly executed and accurately dimensioned drawings. These included, as the first to be used, the working drawings for the framing and other rough woodwork, blue print copies of which were to be put into the hands of the boys of the elementary vocational school, who were to carry out this part of the building plans.

Front or north elevation of the model house

The Working Drawings.—A considerable number of detailed drawings had to be made before the work of construction could be wisely begun. This furnished an interesting set of problems for the mechanical drawing groups of the technical high school. The material for this work consisted of rough sketches in pencil, but with the correct dimensions as determined in the plan accepted as the result of the competition in design. These preliminary sketches required much study on the part of both boys and girls, under proper guidance, in order to find out what the elements of construction should be, what dimensions were required, and how the various parts should be put together. It was an experience of great value to all, but especially to those boys who were looking forward to architectural draughting as a possible vocation. They got an inside view of the importance, on the one hand, of accurate working drawings as a basis for good construction and, on the other hand, a practical illustration of the necessity of a thorough knowledge of constructive principles, in order to make correct working drawings. They saw that the efficient architect must be a builder, acquainted with all the detailed processes employed by the carpenter or mason, informed upon all the conditions to be met, and knowing the best ways of meeting them. They gained impressions which should help them, in studying the work of great architects, to look beyond the exterior, however pleasing it may be, for those elements of strength and beauty that characterize all good workmanship.

All the Rough Carpentry Was Assigned to Boys of the Woodworking Section of the Vocational School
[Plate I]

How the Work Was Distributed.—It will be recalled that boys and girls were to be coworkers in the designing, planning, and building of the house. The boys were to be held responsible for the drawings, the decorating after designs made by the girls, and the higher grades of woodwork, including the finishing of the rooms and the making of the furniture. They were to do the wiring for the electric lights, the bells, and the interior telephones; and they were to install all