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Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses

XIV: bedrooms,   pp. 162-172

Page 162

THE history of the bedroom has been incidentally touched
     upon in tracing the development of the drawing-room from
the medi~va1 hall.  It was shown that early in the middle ages
the sleeping-chamber, which had been one of the first outgrowths
of the hail, was divided into the chambre de parade, or incipient
drawing-room, and the chambre au giste, or actual sleeping-room.
 The increasing development of social life in the sixteenth cen-
tury brought about a further change; the state bedroom being set
aside for entertainments of ceremony, while the sleeping-chamber
was used as the family living-room and as the scene of suppers,
card-parties, and informal receptions - or sometimes actually as
the kitchen.   Indeed, so varied were the uses to which the
chambre au giste was put, that in France especially it can hardly
be said to have offered a refuge from the promiscuity of the hail.
 As a rule, the bedrooms of the Renaissance and of the seven-
teenth century were very richly furnished.  The fashion of raising
the bed on a dais separated from the rest of the room by columns
and a balustrade was introduced in France in the time of Louis
XIV.  This innovation gave rise to the habit of dividing the deco-
ration of the room into two parts; the walls being usually panelled
or painted, while the "alcove," as it was called, was hung in

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