IN THE planning of homes there has always been a tendency to provide for breakfast in some special way.
In the older, and now in the larger houses, the break-fast room was an institution. Now in the smaller housekeeping dwellings, the breakfast alcove
in a sunny window of the kitchen, is as much a fixture. The answer is that breakfast plays an important part in the life of the day. It is a meal that does more to send the family cheerily on its way (or vice versa) than any other. So the provision for its atmosphere is important from a practical as well as an aesthetic point of view. -*
A breakfast room is, in many senses', a form of sun-room. In fact, it may be so arranged and furnished that it serves a dual purpose throughout the day. A dropleaf table which can be folded against the wall at one end, chairs to match and a tea-wagon, are all that are necessary to its essentially dining requirements. In addition it may be furnished with the always suitable wicker, and effective small rugs. The woven, crochetted and hooked rugs are the best choices for this room, which may be made more individual and original than any other in the house. It is amazing what can be done with any kind of old furniture and a pot of gay paint.
What Paint Will Do
PAINTED furniture is of course the choice for such a room, and you can create a set out of almost any sort of wood or bits of wicker you possess. A most
interesting new process is just coming in, which you can make use of in this respect. . The lacquering of motor cars has been a ' well-established service for a number of years. The lacquer is applied with a spray gun either by the local garage having the service or the local paint dealer. A set of furniture so sprayed will dry in the same day, and will have a finish of the utmost durability—almost like celluloid. AnY information regarding this new process will gladly be given if enquiries are addressed to this department.
Of course, you can purchase very reasonably the charming little sets already painted or lacquered, or stained in natural colors with a dull finish in brown, green and gray. And as to your sun-room or breakfast-room windows, have they ever been a problem to you? The art of curtaining a sun-room is to filter but not exclude the light, and it may be done in a variety of pretty ways without much cost. You will remember my mentioning tarletan as a curtain material, in my article on
“Color in the Home” last month. Tarletan, marquisette, and other large-meshed but crisp materials of no particular classification are among your best choices for this purpose. You will find them in all the pastel shades, some with delightful flower figurings in a sort of darned pattern. Such materials may be stretched on top and bottom rods on your casements.
If you wish still more reduction or control of the light, there are still two very good supplementary treatments. The first and simplest is the introduction of raw silk over-curtains, which may be drawn on a rod over and extending the length of the casements. This, too, maybe secured in varying soft shades, or gotten in the original raw color and dipped. As your purpose in using the over-curtains is to soften the light, cool colors are recommended. But be sure that you create a combination between these and your tight-drawn, little under-curtains. Don’t be afraid of mixing and blending of color.
Lavender, rose and blue are happy together ; 1 aven der a n d ' yellow or orange; lavender and apple green; buff and blue; rose and blue; gold an d touches of black. And you can find dozens of different shades within each color for experiment in combination.
Your second solving of thé light reduction problem is in the making of chintz shades. -Glazed chintz may be bought for this purpose and cut and made in the manner of an ordinary window blind on small rollers for each casement of sash-. Shades .must be bound with strong tape, and may or may not contain a stick in the bottom hem. Small tassels may be pro cured, at any hóusefurnishing store or in similar departments in the larger stores. Any design which blends or pleasingly contrasts with your curtaining or upholstery is suitable, but care should be taken that the background is not too dark, nor the design too thick to exclude more than the glaring light. The whole purpose of your curtaining in. this room, remember, is to soften but not diminish your natural sunlight illumination.
Making Breakfast Attractive
VARIETY, new ideas, new sensations.
to greet the eye as well as the palate, are the prime tools in the hands of thé housewife who wishes to make her breakfast table the charm that takes the curse off Blue Monday, the inspiration that wakes up the family on sleepy Sunday, and the pleasing memory that sends her household out to office or school, cheery and well fortified. There is something
irresistible in the aroma of morning coffee, pan-cakes and waffles, to say nothing of bacon! But when you reach a table exquisitely set and so arranged that comfort is gathered to itself complete, with interesting little touches and piquant variations, what an added delight it can be!
For instance, consider the electrical conveniences which present themselves for use at breakfast as at no other time. The electric percolater, the toaster, and more complete and doubly useful, the combined grill and toaster, on which bacon and toast can be prepared at the same time. Consider the electric waffle iron, and the electric pan-cake plate, which, sitting on a little, low table at the housewife’s hand, may be manipulated with as little effort as pouring the coffee. Indeed, batter poured from the jug is as little effort as that. Think of the quaint salt and pepper stands that are to be had in the gayest of colors and most amusing forms. The large-beaked bird pattern is wonderfully colorful and funny. His expressions seem to be changed whichever way you turn him. The little egg-like stands, usually in two or more colors, are another quaint touch.
Breakfast should be the meal for attractive fruit. Whatever fruit is in season should be placed on the table especially for this meal. Whereas it is an afterthought for dinner, it is the chief zest of the morning repast. When fruit is to be cut, fruit knives should be provided. Finger bowls will save linen,’too, when fruit is served in this way. In short, the daintier, the more interesting and amusing you can make breakfast, the more you will have contributed to the success of your day and your family’s day!
Breakfast as a Guest Meal
INCREASINGLY, it has 'become a I popular custom to entertain for breakfast. Especially before any sport event, where a group of friends will be attending, it is a delightful idea. On these occasions, breakfast may take on the proportions of the informal luncheon, or buffet meal. Of course such gatherings are always in the dining-room proper, when any number of guests are expected. In many country homes, it is customary to serve a buffet
type of breakfast to week-end güests, but less in the luncheon manner of course. Huge bowls of fresh fruit, such as berries or peaches, will be placed on the sideboard. The guests serve themselves,seatingthem selves at table in any order which pleases them. A servant will enter only to bring in the hot dishes, or will be present perhaps only to serve tea or coffee, if there are so many guests that this might become a burden for the hostess.
In Canada, a winter-time venison breakfast is appropriate, followed by an outing on skis or snow-shoes, bobs or toboggans. Invariably the menu is heavier than the ordinary home meal. At the general guest breakfast, flowers and candle decorations, broiled meats or fish, creamed or hashed dishes, and delicious hot breads are in order, with coffee, tea or chocolate. Cold meats are also appropriate for a sport breakfast. The setting for such a meal is of necessity informal, even though a proper sit-down-at-table meal. Doilies or stretchers in heavy linen, cream-colored, embroidered in various shades or in all-over tints, are appropriate. Many hostesses still prefer the all-over cloth, which is, of course, always good. The silver required is usually only the two knives (three if fruit is to-be cut at table) large and small, a tea spoon and berry or fruit spoon if such fruit is served, and one fork of medium size. Butter knives may be used instead of the small knife if preferred. Butter, in small round pats or squares in iced water should be on the table as well as butter plates. Chutney or conserve may appear on the table or buffet to enhance the meat course. The usual condiments, salt, pepper and mustard, are also provided. Serviettes are informai—in color and material which matches the table linen, or in the small tea-napkin, embroidered or in fringe.
The hostess who appreciates the value of the unusual, will soon realize the possibilities of breakfast not only as a delightful family meal, but as a medium for the jolliest type of informal entertainment. It is just such resource as is indicated by her choice of the unstudied and unhackneyed that will make her invitations sought after by friend and acquaintance.
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