Victorian London - Houses and Housing - Housing of the Middle Classes - decor, advice on

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    MERCI. - For your own room Knowles's, 166, King's Road, Chelsea, Clarence in two shades of pink, 1s, 9d. the piece, with Dahlia frieze and yellow Agra ceiling paper. Paint of the darkest shade of paper, rich gold panelling. I would have Shoolbred's charming Mignon Brussels carpet, 4s. 1d. The yard (Mr. Myatt knows the colouring I approve), and bed furniture of Graham and Biddle's, Graham House, Oxford Street, pretty Dahlia cretonne, 1s, 11d, the yard; the one with the celadon ground, please. As to furniture I would choose Wallace's, 151, Curtain road, E.C., quaint Olivia, in two coloured woods, price 34, or, if too expensive (it is such a help when people limit me to price!), the Pamela, 15 10s., is delightfully quaint in shape, and beautifully made, have walnut if you choose this suite. I think the corner between the fire and "window with balcony" would be the best for the corner bookshelf and writing table I illustrated in Myra, Emmerson, 223, Regent Street would carry it out well and reasonably. The wood should be stained walnut, and the little curtain grey green plush. You would never get Japanese screens the colour for this bedroom, and, indeed, the regular "Skeleton" bedroom screens (Shoolbred keeps them), about 18s. 6d. each, I think, are more suitable. I would have fine terra-cotta cambric. (Liberty has lovely shades at 7d. the yard, write to the Chesham House shop), gathered from the top rail to the bottom, it looks far better than with cretonne. As to your niece's room, light ash furniture to me always demands a very decided blue paper, I therefore prescribe Essex's, 116 Victoria Street, Turquoise Picotee, 1s. 6d. the piece, paint the same shade, with gold leather paper panelling, yellow and white picotee ceiling; carpet, my favourite golden brown daisy, Shoolbred, about 3s. 11d. the yard (Mr. Wyatt knows the shade; I dislike the dark one). Gold serge curtains, Holroyd Barker, 488 Oxford Street, 25s. the pair, thin ones; Shoolbred's bordered yellow marigold, 7d. per yard (tear off both borders to make the frill). Light ash varies so in colour that I am not sure if this will be a real harmony; with most shades of ash, however, it would be. For the bathroom have Essex's grey-blue Medlar (washable paper), 1s. 9d. the  piece, over a pure white Anaglypta dado; all paint of course white. Corticine (which I fancy any good local upholsterer would procure for you) looks nicer than linoleum, and is far warmer to the feet, price, I think, about as 2s. 6d. the square yard. Curtains of Holroyd Barker's blue and green Iris cretonne, 1s. 6 1/2d. the yard. I should paper the "water recess" to match bathroom, but no dado. I am afraid I cannot give you space for the smoking-room, passage, landing, etc., till next week.
    MAFFEO. - I do hope I am in time to prevent you buying light oak furniture for your smoking-room; it never looks well for the "cosy semi-oriental room" you want. If you, however, wish to keep to it, have a dado of Knowles's lovely brown and gold Japan Lily, about 3s. the yard, 36 inches wide, with wooden dado rail a few pence per foot, all paint the same tone as the ground of the leather paper. Cover the rest of wall with Knowles's blue Boston, 2s. the piece; have greeny-blue plushette curtains from Holroyd Barker, 42s. the pair (488, Oxford Street), and Liberty's lovely golden Sundew frilled muslin ones, at 15s. the pair. I ought to have said have yellow and white Agra ceiling paper, 1s. 6d. the piece. Stain one foot all round the floor with Chambers's Crown Varnish Stain - walnut - Kensington Works, Oxford Street, Hull, and have a square of Shoolbred's Aristo pile carpet, 6s. the yard (the one with red ground). You need not have a border for such a room as it adds much to the expense. I consider a gilt-framed mirror would spoil this room. From the Cavendish House Company, Cheltenham, you can get a quaint, irregular, long-shaped mushrabeyah bracket, price about 28s.; fix this 3 feet above the mantelpiece, with a board (same width) covered with Liberty's Medici velvet, in dull blue, wide width, 6s. the yard; this should reach the mantelpiece, and will make a capital place for the display of the daggers, amulets, and other curios. Do not have any material on the mantelpiece (I know it will be crowded with pipes, fly-books, "reels," and other horrors, so refrain from advising any ornaments but the clock and Japanese bronzes), merely have a five-inch frill of the blue velvet nailed along the edge of the shelf. . . . . .

Hearth and Home, May 28, 1891