Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses
III: walls, pp. 31-47
III WALLS PROPORTION is the good breeding of architecture. It is that something, indefinable to the unprofessional eye, which gives repose and distinction to a room: in its origin a matter of nice mathematical calculation, of scientific adjustment of voids and masses, but in its effects as intangible as that all-pervading essence which the ancients called the soul. It is not proposed to enter here into a technical discussion of the delicate problem of proportion. The decorator, with whom this book is chiefly concerned, is generally not consulted until the house that he is to decorate has been built-and built, in all probability, quite without reference to the interior treatment it is destined to receive. All he can hope to do is, by slight modifica- tions here and there in the dimensions or position of the open- ings, to re-establish that harmony of parts so frequently disre- garded in modern house-planning. It often happens, however, that the decorator's desire to make these slight changes, upon which the success of his whole scheme depends, is a source of perplexity and distress to his bewildered client, who sees in it merely the inclination to find fault with another's work. Nothing can be more natural than this attitude on the part of the client. How is he to decide between the architect, who has possibly dis- 3'
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