De Wolfe, Elsie, 1865-1950 / The house in good taste
XIV: the bedroom, pp. 194- ff.
XIV THE BEDROOM IN olden times people rarely slept in their bed- rooms, which were mostly chambres de parade, where everyone was received and much business was transacted. The real bedroom was usually a smallish closet nearby. These chambres de parade were very splendid, the beds raised on a dais, and hung with fine damasks and tapestries-tapestries thick with bullion fringes. The horror of fresh air felt by our ancestors was well illustrated here. No draughts from ill-constructed windows or badly hung doors could reach the sleeper in such a bed. This was certainly different from our modern ideas of hygiene: In those days furniture that could not be hastily moved was of little importance. The bed was usually a mere frame of wood, made to be covered with valuable hangings which could easily be packed and carried away on occasions that too often arose in the troublous days of the early Middle Ages. The benches and tables one sees in many foreign palaces to-day are covered with gorgeous lengths of velvet and brocade. This is a survival of the custom when furni- ture was merely so much baggage. With the early Eighteenth Century, however, there came into being 194
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