Dainty Table Furnishings Give a Flavor to Home Cooking

This is the first article in June of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on Jun 5, 1904, and is an article on dining room furniture.

School for Housewives – Dainty Table Furnishings Give a Flavor to Home Cooking

It requires so little in the way of painstaking to produce a dainty, welled take, that there is little excuse for the slovenly board to which the average family is asked to sit down.

Does the average house mother realize how easy it is to keep the home table looking as well groomed as that of a fashionable cafe?

An occasional polishing will keep the table top bright and fresh. If centrepiece and doylies are substituted for the cloth at luncheon and any informal meal, the table linen can always be crisp and spotless without appalling increase in the laundry bill. Flowers, during a large portion of the year, may be had for the gathering, and even during the winter a flowering pot in a pretty jardiniere entails no great extravagance.

Today’s illustrations suggest a few of the little elegances hat may be applied to the breakfast, luncheon or dinner at home.

Artificial light is not considered requisite for breakfast, therefore the candlesticks, which may very correctly appear for luncheon, are not employed for this meal.

The ideal breakfast menu commences with fruit of some sort, and, as every fruit course calls for finger bowls, this little nicety should be observed at every home table. Have the bowls standing on the place plates with a doylie between when the breakfast arrives. They are lifted and placed at one side before beginning the repast, as shown in the illustrations.

The napkin is seldom now folded around a roll upon the place plate, as used to be the custom. It is laid at one side of the plate in the position indicated by the photograph.

It adds much to the daintiness of the household board to have the glass and silver prettily arranged as if for a more formal repast, with replenishments for each succeeding course.

Marion Harland

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Pretty Rooms For the Cottage Home

This is the second article in February of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on Feb 14, 1904, and follows the previous article on cottages.

School for Housewives – Pretty Rooms For the Cottage Home

The illustrations suggest a baker’s half-dozen of charming plans for the cottage home.

The little dining room shown is in Flemish or weathered oak, with wallpaper in pale buff shade.

The wall has also a deep wainscoting of carbon paper or burlap in dull green and the carpet or rugs covering the floor tone in with the general effect. Either dull green or leaf brown would make a desirable choice.

One of the bedrooms is very fresh and dainty, although exceedingly inexpensive. The furniture, which is suggestive of one of the French periods, is enameled in white. Wallpaper, carpeting, etc., are in pink, and flowered muslin draperies round out the scheme.

Everything about the living room pictured suggests the fact that it is intended for use and comfort. The sturdy chair supply is supplemented by oaken seats radiating outward from one of the corners of the room. Cushions undressed leather, the new art lamp and other minor furnishings are all selected in accordance with the fundamental colors of the scheme.

Another one of the bedrooms is distinguished by several attractive features. The high shelf encircling a portion of the room is one of these, the odd little chest of drawers another.

The broad sunny window in the hall makes this little apartment unusually bright and cheery.

A hall so furnished can take the place of a reception room or parlor for entertaining guests.

The study is that of the worker, not the dilettante. A simple and artistic desk, a few good pictures and accessible bookcases comprise its outfit.

The ideal library is, more than half of it, composed of nooks formed by bookcases of every rank and degree, pictures and other interesting art objects.

Marion Harland

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Porch Furnishings from Paris

This is the first article in February of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on Feb 7, 1904.

School for Housewives – Porch Furnishings from Paris

The new French furnishings for the porch are a thorough-going innovation this year.

We seem to have revolted utterly from the ungainly rustic patterns of former summers, and the 1904 outfits are in every way dainty enough for an indoor apartment.

Rattan is the material commonly used. It comes in delicate shades never before dreamed of for the American veranda.

Pale lavender, pinks, blues or woven effects in a number of light tints vie with the pretty reds and greens to which we are better accustomed.

Some of the styles are “shaded”; that is, three or even more shades of green or blue occur in a single piece.

Willow furniture, too, has been greatly improved. So much so, in fact, that it is a possible rival of the new imported goods. It is especially pretty in green or red, either of which is always so chiming for piazza or lawn.

It is now possible to secure a hammock in silk or cord matching the tone of furniture, and in this way, with the assistance of pretty matting screens, to arrange a completely “matched” group of belongings.

In the matter of shape and “pieces” porch furnishings are becoming more and more promising with each season.

Where a few years ago the articles were limited to a few unpicturesque chairs and a tiff-looking lounge, the set of the present often includes a pretty reading table, tea table, flower stand, as well as a wicker chest or basket for golf sticks and debris of like nature.

Many of the latest tables and chairs are fitted out with capacious pockets intended to gather in the magazines and paper which, lying about loose, disfigure many an otherwise pretty porch.

Special wicker tea tables come for the veranda. They can be had n red, green or other tints to match different pieces of the piazza set.

Marion Harland

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What is L’Art Nouveau?

This is the third article of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on Jan 17, 1904, and is a column on Art Nouveau and more specifically Art Nouveau furniture made popular by Siegfried Bing, a German art dealer who operated a gallery in Paris, la Maison de l’Art Nouveau.

School for Housewives – What is l’Art Nouveau?

What is l’Art Nouveau?

We find in every class of useful articles employed in the home of today certain graceful shapes which we are told are “art nouveau pattern.” We find the name attached to every sort of merchandise from spoons to chairs and sofas, from finger rings and tortoise shell combs to bookcases and mantels.

We are told that “the new art is now permanently established,” that it “marks an epoch in decorative art.” Yet still, surrounded on every side by it, many a woman is still asking herself, “What, oh what, is l’Art Nouveau?”

Let us, first of all, answer her question in the fewest possible words. The “new art,” examples of which are found on every side of us, is a recently developed style in decorative art, which originated in the Paris studio of a certain Monsieur Bing, and was by him christened with the name it now bears. It is a style of protest, intended to wage war against the inartistic furnishings which disfigure so many modern houses.

What is a style? The dictionary definition would be a technical one difficult to understand. Let us look for some familiar examples, outside of art.

Many women at present wear their hair brushed high up over the forehead in a manner which dates back several hundred years. In the details of the arrangement this may vary from season to season, from decade to decade – but the style is still Pompadour.

There was a pattern of coat worn in the time of the English King Charles and fashionable, too, in the days of the French Bourbons. It had large skirts and wide cuffs, embroidery and other individual features. A more important point was its dignity. This coat altered somewhat according to fashions as the years passed, but it never ceased to be the same style. We find its successor today in the Prince Albert, or frock coat, which belongs to a distinct order as contrasted with the “cut-away” or “sack” models, which are representative of other “styles.”

No one who sees a specimen of Art Nouveau manufacture can mistake it for anything else. It is invariably and infallibly recognized at a glance by its leading characteristic, which is that the leaves, stems or flowers of plants and trees form the basis of its design. These designs are sometimes simple enough, but oftener, perhaps, twisted and tortured into intricate patterns. But whether the object be useful or ornamental, and whether it be of large size or small, the fundamental idea remains the same and many be seen in all the complex evolutions of the modest rose or stately palm leaf, whose flower or left formed the skein, as it were, with which the artist wove the exquisite ideas they inspired.

The history of the “new art” is none the less interesting because it bears out the time-honored axiom concerning the lack of novelty “under the sun.”

The most prominent disciples of the movement are one and all ready to admit that anything new in decorative work must necessarily have absorbed something of preceding schools.

The term “Art Nouveau” may be said to have been invented by M. Bing, when he threw open the doors of his now world-known establishment in the Rue de Provence and invited the students of the new art to bring their efforts to his galleries for exhibition. Not the youth of France alone, but enthusiasts from all countries responded to the invitation.

Marion Harland

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