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Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937; Codman, Ogden / The decoration of houses

II: Rooms in general,   pp. 17-30

Page 17

               ROOMS IN GENERAL
BEFORE beginning to decorate a room it is essential to con-
     sider for what purpose the room is to be used.  It is not
enough to ticket it with some such general designation as "ii-
brary,"  drawing-room,  or "den."     The individual tastes
habits of the people who are to occupy it must be taken into ac-
count; it must be not "a library," or "a drawing-room,"
but the
library or the drawing-room best suited to the master or mistress
of the house which is being decorated.  Individuality in house-
furnishing has seldom been more harped upon than at the present
time.  That cheap originality which finds expression in putting
things to uses for which they were not intended is often con-
founded with individuality; whereas the latter consists not in an
attempt to be different from other people at the cost of comfort,
but in the desire to be comfortable in one's own way, even
though it be the way of a monotonously large majority.    It
seems easier to most people to arrange a room like some one
else's than to analyze and express their own needs.  Men, in
these matters, are less exacting than women, because their de-
mands, besides being simpler, are uncomplicated by the feminine
tendency to want things because other people have them, rather
than to have things because they are wanted.

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