Living Room Designs with Pictures
From Gustav Stickley, free living room design ideas in a traditional, country style, suitable for both large and small living rooms.
¶ The structural variations of the living room are endless, as they are dominated by the tastes and needs of each separate family. If the room is to be a permanently satisfying place to live in, nothing short of the exercise of individual thought and care in its design arrangement will give the result. But one thing must be kept in mind if the room is to be satisfactory as a whole, and that is, to provide a central point of interest around which the entire place is built, decorated and furnished, for it gives the keynote both as to structure and color scheme. It may be a well planned fireplace, either recessed or built in the ordinary manner, with fireside seats, bookcases, cupboards, shelves, or high casement windows so arranged as to be an integral part of the structure. The chimneypiece strikes a rich color note with its bricks or tiles and glowing copper hood, and the woodwork, wall spaces and decorative scheme are naturally brought into harmony with it. Or perhaps the dominant feature may be the staircase, with its broad landing and well designed balustrade or it may be a group of windows so placed that it makes possible just the right arrangement of the wall spaces and commands the best of the view. Or if living room and dining room are practically one, the main point of interest may be a sideboard, either built into a recess or, with its cupboards on either side and a row of casement windows above, occupying the entire end of the room.
¶ Any commanding feature in the structure of the room itself will naturally take its place as this center of interest; if there are several, the question of relative importance will be easily settled, for there can be only one dominant point in a well planned room. The English thoroughly understand the importance of this and the charm of their houses depends largely upon the skilful arrangement of interesting strnctural features around one center of attention to which everything else is subordinate. Also the English understand the charm of the recess in a large room. Their feeling regarding it is well expressed by a prominent English architect of the new school who writes:
" Many people have a feeling that there is a certain cosiness in a small room entirely unattainable in a large room ; this is a mistake altogether; quite the reverse has been my experience, which is, that such a sense of cosiness as can be got in the recesses of a large room can never be attained in a small one. But if your big room is to be comfortable, it must have recesses. There is a great charm in a room broken up in plan, where that slight feeling of mystery is given to it which arises when you cannot see the whole room from any one place in which you are likely to sit; when there is always something around the corner. "
¶ Where it is possible, the structural features that actually exist in the framework should be shown and made ornamental, for a room that is structurally interesting and in which the woodwork and color scheme are good has a satisfying quality that is not dependent upon pictures or bric a brac and needs but little in the way of furnishings. Only such furniture as is absolutely necessary should be permitted in such a room, and that should be simple in character and made to harmonize with the woodwork in color and finish. From first to last the room should be treated as a whole. Such furniture as is needed for constant use may be so placed that it leaves plenty of free space in the room and when once placed it should be left alone. Nothing so much disturbs the much desired home atmosphere as to make frequent changes in the disposition of the furniture so that the general aspect of the room is undergoing continual alteration. If the room is right in the first place, it cannot be as satisfactorily arranged in any other way. Everything in it should fall into place as if it had grown there before the room is pronounced complete.
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