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The craftsman
Volume XXX, Number 2 (May 1916)

The new ideal of home-making in America: illustrated with pictures of one woman's work,   pp. 179-187 PDF (2.9 MB)


Page 185


THE NEW IDEAL IN HOME MAKING
whenever we have the opportunity the work and the success of such
romen as we have in mind in this article.
  Quite recently in calling on a woman whom I had thought of
imply as a very happy woman, interested in life, I permitted myself
o ask something about the very unusual and beautiful decorations
m the various rooms in her house, screens with beauty of outline and
lecoration, sets of tables of Chinese inspiration and decoration,
modern but Chinese in tone, bedroom furniture with such exquisite
olor and decoration, of fire screens and of panels. To my delight
wd great interest Mrs. Truesdale told me that the work was all her
iwn. I should not have been astonished, because I remembered Mrs.
rruesdale's garden as one of rare beauty, of unusual design and of
,xtremely sensitive feeling for color and the relation of color. Also
[ remembered that I had never seen Mrs. Truesdale in any dress that
was not especially suited to her-something not too remote from
modern fashion, not imitating any period, but of established and dis-
inguished interest in material and color, and always in harmony
with herself, her surroundings and the occasion.
  And so I realized that the quality in her home that had so defi-
aitely impressed me was the same interest in and power to create
beauty that I had felt always in her dress and manner. Perhaps
iome of this beauty had been gleaned from her gardens, some from
ier children, some from the beautiful things which life had made
possible for her. Whatever the source of her inspiration, her power
o give back beauty to the world could not be doubted, after even a
Dursory study of the kinds of furniture that she has designed, and of
the rich, glowing, permanently beautiful decoration she has lavished
apon these pieces.
  There is in some of her work the suggestion of the Chinese influ-
ence, in others the realization of the beauty of the French artists,
n others the wealth of the loveliness of her own garden has poured
across her palette on to her canvas. Each piece of furniture that
Mrs. Truesdale has designed and decorated has been for some special
purpose, a screen for her dining room, beautiful panels over the mir-
rors in her bedroom, a screen in the reception room, sets of lacquered
tables, the furniture for her bedroom in her country home and lovely
smaller pieces of furniture for her city home. She has used various
materials, various backgrounds for this work, whatever has interested
her for the particular creation she had in mind. Sometimes the
screens are painted with rich detail on dark ground and framed in
gold, sometimes the entire background is of gold and the color is
massed up in radiant bunches of gorgeous flowers and fruit, again a
ovely Fragonard scene is portrayed with a hint of Boucher in the
185


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