Arrowsmith, Henry William / The house decorator and painter's guide; containing a series of designs for decorating apartments, suited to the various styles of architecture
[Interior decoration, continued], pp. 97-99
99 the hall, where he dined, and dressed his meat." As soon as the comfort of flues was known, the building of them became a custom in all good houses, but in the reign of Elizabeth all the houses of the nobility had not been provided with them, so that we frequently meet with the complaint, that the rooms appropriated for the queen's ladies during her progress, had no chimneys. Harrison, who seems, like many persons in the present day, to have been devoted to old customs, complains of the introduction of chimneys as an unnecessary luxury, and defends the old plan of lighting fires in the centre of the room, because the smoke tended to preserve the wood of which the houses were constructed, and men were less afflicted with rheums and other pains, to which the pampered body is subject. In spite, however, of every objection, the custom gained upon the people, and as though proud of the improvement which had been made, the chimney shafts became important decorations of the exterior, and the chimney-piece of the interior of every dwelling. Some of the massive chimney-pieces of this period, richly carved in marble, are still in existence, and afford convincing evidence of the gorgeous and princely decoration of the English mansion in the days of Elizabeth. In this work several designs in the Elizabethan style have been given, from which, in connection with what has now been stated, the decorator may gather such an acquaintance with the principles of the style, that he will have no difficulty in applying its leading features in his own designs. For libraries it is admirably suited, as we have attempted to show in the design given in Plate XIII. Rich oak carvings may be considered one of the pecu- liarities of the period, and in a library they are introduced with much advantage, as a great variety of colour is to be avoided, not only because the decorator should endeavour to obtain a quiet and repose essentially necessary for places devoted to study, but also because a sufficient amount of colour is obtained from the books with which the apartment is furnished. For other apartments the style is also well suited, but the judgment of the architect will be required in its application.
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