Book Notes

J.R. Burrows & Company:
Book Notes

"Doubtless there will be some, in these days at least, who will say, 'Tis most helpful to me to let the bare walls alone.' So also there would be some who, when asked with what manner of books they will furnish their room, would answer, 'With none.' But I think you will agree with me in thinking that both these sets of people would be in an unhealthy state of mind, and probably of body also; in which case we need not trouble ourselves about their whims, since it is with healthy & sane people only that art has dealings."

William Morris, "Some Hints on Pattern Designing," 1881.

On the subject of wallpapers: "And firstly, you must remember that it is a cheap art, somewhat easily done; elaborate patterns are easy in it; so be careful not to over do either the elaboration in your paper or the amount of pattern-work in your rooms. I mean, by all means have the prettiest paper you can get, but don't fall in love so much with the cheapness of its prettiness as to have several patterns in one room, or even two, if you will be advised by me."

William Morris, "Some Hints on Pattern Designing," 1881.

Echoed in America: "As a rule it is well not to overload the wall or ceiling of a private house with ornaments, but to keep to broad fields of color artistically mottled, shaded or textured. Ornaments, indeed, may and should be used in the frieze and upon the ceiling, but sparingly and with great care as to harmony of color and design. Elaborate ornamentation may be admissible in theatres and other public buildings, but in the decoration of a house everything should be of a restful nature."

George Halm, Art & Decoration, 1885.

Other Articles of Interest

Wall and Ceiling Decoration

What Shall We Do With Our Walls? by Clarence Cook, 1880.

Bibliography of Victorian and Arts & Crafts Movement Interior Design edited by John Burrows.

Theory and Practice: Late Victorian Wallpaper by John Burrows, M.A.H.

Building an Old-Fashioned House in the Early 1880's
An excerpt from "The Rise of Silas Lapham, by William Dean Howells

Lace Curtains: Practical Advice by F.A. Moreland

The Art of The House: All A-Blowing And A-Growing; Waifs And Strays; Ghosts. by Rosamund Marriott Watson, 1897

The Art of The House: The Floor. by Rosamund Marriott Watson, 1897

The Art of The House: Tea And Its Service. by Rosamund Marriott Watson, 1897

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Last updated June 26, 2002