Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses
XVI: bric-á-brac, pp. 184-195
Bric-~- Brac '95 by being more valuable than the space it occupie& - more valu- able, that is, to the general scheme of decoration. Those who call this view arbitrary or pedantic should consider, first, the importance of plain surfaces in decoration, and secondly the tendency of overcrowding to minimize the effect of each sep- arate object, however striking in itself. Eye and mind are limited in their receptivity to a certain number of simultaneous impres- sions, and the Oriental habit of displaying only one or two objects of art at a time shows a more delicate sense of these limitations than the Western passion for multiplying effects. To sum up, then, a room should depend for its adornment on general harmony of parts, and on the artistic quality of such ne- cessities as lamps, screens, bindings, and furniture. Whoever goes beyond these essentials should limit himself in the choice of ornaments to the "labors of the master-artist's hand."
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