A bedroom is like a mirror, and reflects us as we really are. A neat and tasteful bedroom indicates that the owner possesses the same virtues, while an untidy and cluttered one means a hasty, if not untidy, inhabitant.
Of first importance, of course, are light and air. These must be had, and the sun also, if possible. With these given, the best start toward the rest of the room is made, and upon its exposure and size depends largely what we shall do to the room in the way of decorations and furniture.
A warm, sunny exposure invites the use of blue — light blues, grays, greens and creams — while the glow of delicate pinks and yellows helps to make sunshine in tbe shadows of a northern light. East and west lights adapt themselves to the use of almost any color, except, perhaps, red, which has a rather irritating effect upon the nerves of some individuals. If red is used, it must be well distributed and tempered with white.
Starting at the base, as is usual in all construction, floor coverings which only partially cover the floor are preferable to those which extend from wall to wall. Hardwood floors are certainly to be recommended, but only one blessed with a long purse can afford them. However, those of pine, stained and varnished or oiled, will often answer the purpose very well. In the majority of cases, it is the rug which receives the most attention, and if it is attractive and of good size, any defects in the floor will escape notice.
Whatever the size of a rug, large figures and strong colors should be avoided, somewhat small and indistinct patterns woven in the deeper shades of the other decorations of the room being chosen in preference. This will, at the same time, supply a foundation which, without calling attention to itself, will become a good support for the general decorative plan.
From an artistic and sanitary standpoint, the Colonial cotton rag rugs are quite the most desirable for bedroom use. They are woven to produce charming effects, the usual combination being two colors — white with blue, green or pink, black with red, different shades of the same color, etc. Sometimes three colors are used, but a greater number than this is apt to destroy the dainty simplicity which is the distinctive charm of rugs of this sort. They are woven like any other rag rug, and are made in almost every size. Mattings are preferred to the bare floor, and they come in a variety of patterns and colors, and always have a neat, fresh appearance. There is little choice between Chinese and Japanese, except, perhaps, the Chinese wears a little better. Matting is readily broken, and should not be used where the bed must be drawn away from the wall to be made or heavy furniture moved about.
Going from the floor to the wall, we reach that part of the room which gives it its real atmosphere and provides a setting for all that it holds. The general plan is to shade the color up from floor to celling, and this is brought about in so many equally attractive ways that it is beyond the writer’s power to do more than to offer suggestions which may be elaborated to suit the individual taste and condition. Calcimine is the simplest and cheapest style of decoration, and can be renewed at a slight expense. The only difficulty lies in getting just the right tint. The same difficulty is encountered in painted walls and ceilings.
In selecting bedroom draperies, these two things are offensive to the taste: The use of flowered drapery with a flowered wall, and of heavy unwashable hangings of woolen, damask or brocade, which not only are out of harmony with the whole idea of bedroom simplicity, but exclude the air and sunlight, make the room seem stuffy and collect and hold dust and odors. The patterns of chintzes, cretonnes and silkolines are made to follow closely the designs of the papers, and where flowered celling and frieze are used with the plain wall, the same color and design may be carried out in the bed and window draperies, and in couch and chair coverings. With a flowered or much-figured wall, snowy curtains of Swiss, muslin or net with ruffles of lace or of the same material are prettier than anything else. At the same time, they are appropriate with any style of decoration, and can always be kept fresh and dainty.
The furniture of the bedroom should be chosen rather with a view to fitness than to fashion. Two styles of woodwork are suitable in the modern bedroom — the rich dark, mellow mahogany, which is rather costly for the average pocketbook, and the white enamel. The all-white furniture gives the room an air of chaste purity, besides combining tastefully with any supplementary color scheme, and is also inexpensive. The trend of modern taste is to the metal bed, with the accompanying furniture in plain or bird’s eye maple, mahogany, dark oak, curly birch or mahogany and birch.
Like friends, furniture cannot be acquired promiscuously without unpleasant consequences. The good piece is exactly what it claims to be, without pretense or artificiality. Simplicity should be the keynote of all bedroom furnishings, and the upholstered sort is out of place here.
Chair cushions corresponding to wall paper or rug colorings give a touch of cozy comfort. When two persons occupy the same room, twin beds furnished exactly alike are preferable to the double bed.