The sitting or everyday room should be the brightest and most attractive room in the house. Its beauty of decoration should not be so much in the richness and variety of material as in its comfort, simplicity, and the harmony of its tints—the main features being the fitness of each article to the needs of the room. In these days of so many advantages much can be done in adornment by simple means.
The wall papers mostly used come in grounds of cream, amber, rose, pale
olive, fawn, ceil blue and light gray, with designs and traceries of contrasting hues.
The carpet, if in tapestry, looks more effective if in grounds of pale canary or light gray, with designs in bright-colored woodland flowers and borders to match. The new ingrain carpets, with their pretty designs and bright colors, are very fashionable for rooms that are much used.
Whatever may be the prevailing tint of the carpet, the window curtains should follow it up in lighter tones or contrast with it. The curtains may correspond with the coverings of the chairs, sofa, mantel and table draperies in color and fabric. If the furniture is of wicker, bamboo or rattan, the curtains should be of Japanese or any kind of Oriental goods. Curtains of muslin (either white or tinted), gay-colored chintzes, lace or dotted Swiss muslin, looped back with bright-toned ribbons, look very pretty and are appropriate for the sitting-room at almost any season. That clumsy structure called the cornice, for putting up curtains on, has happily given place to the more light and graceful curtain pole.
One large table, covered with a pretty embroidered cloth, should be placed in some central location for a catch-all. A low divan, with a pair of square, soft pillows, may stand in some quiet nook; a rocker, handsomely upholstered, with a pretty tidy pinned to its back; a large, soft easy-chair; a small sewing-chair placed near a table; and a bamboo chair, trimmed with ribbons, will be tastefully arranged in the room. Window stands and gypsy tables may be draped with some rich fabric, the surrounding valance being caught up in small festoons and fastened with bows or tassels, finished around the edge of the table with cord or quilted ribbon.
If the furniture is old or in sets it can be covered with different patterns in cretonne or chintz, which not only protects the furniture but breaks up the monotony and lends a pleasing variety to the room. A Turkish chair is a grand accessory to the family room. This may be made by buying the frame and having it upholstered in white cotton cloth and covering it with a rich shade of cretonne, finishing it with cord and fringe.
A foot-rest frame can be made in the same way and covered with a piece of homemade embroidery, finishing it off with a cord or narrow gimp around the edge. Homemade easels, screens, and pedestals may be made out of black walnut, and when stained and draped look exceedingly pretty. An old second-hand cabinet may be bought at a trifle, and when polished up may be set in a corner on which to display some pieces of bric-a-brac.
If the house has no library, the sitting-room is just the place for the bookcase.
With house plants in the windows, a room of this character, with floods of sunshine, makes a most attractive and comfortable living-room.