A knowledge of furniture values and a strict budget are the first essentials
ANNE ELIZABETH WILSONJune11927
Furnishing the Bride’s Home
The Home Beautiful
A knowledge of furniture values and a strict budget are the first essentials
ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON
USUALLY the most important consideration in furnishing the first home is the budget, so let us consider it from the outset, $1,000 is a figure which in view of the perquisites with which almost every bride is provided by family and friends in gifts and trousseau, is ample to insure good substantial purchases, if apportioned with judgment. Whether the first dwelling is to be the small house or the apartment, it gives sufficient scope to provide a foundation for the home of the future, and comfort for the establishment of the present.
The first principle to bear in mind, is that of permanent value, and the later possibilities, for future schemes, of anything which is chosen.
The Living Room
TAKE the living room for instance. It is advisable, on a limited budget, to make this the chief item in the budgeting scheme—and in so doing, to combine with it, the requirements of the dining room as well. This will leave an amount provided for the furnishing of an extra bedroom, convertible to nursery. Let us say then, that we shall devote $500 to the combined living room and dining room. The first item may well be the Chesterfield suite, to which we may apportion $250 of the amount allotted. Another $50 goes toward a good folding table, large enough to seat six when open. $200 remains to be distributed among additional chairs, smaller tables, desk, book-shelves tea-waggon and rug or rugs. It is not necessary, in the combined dining room and living room, that six identical small chairs be present, but it is often possible to pick up such a set most reasonably, if one’s eyes are kept open. Only a short while ago, at an auction held at one of the big galleries in Toronto, a set of sixteen fine Jacques & Hayes walnut chairs were sold
to one purchaser for $2.00 apiece—and that is only one example of the many opportunities the alert purchaser may find for the picking up of reasonable and beautiful incidental pieces. Sales from old homes, auctions of furniture from storage, sales contingent on the closing of estates, all offer a rich field for the buyer who has his requirements and budget well in mind, and knowledge of values in furniture. Pieces of beautiful line and fine wood, which, when placed on sale in the antique shop, will be priced far beyond the reach of the person of moderate income, may be bid in on such occasions for less than a song. The bride and groom will find it well worth while following such possible sources. But to go back to the chairs—a few small ones, and an incidental larger one or two which fit comfortably about the table, are quite as satisfactory as a full ‘set’.
Rugs are another commodity which it is sometimes possible to pick up at very low prices—-often valuable Orientals go for little or nothing. But unless you can find good ones to suit your purse, it is far more advisable to let the floors go bare for the first year, rather than invest a penny in anything mediocre. The one-tone rugs of domestic manufacture are in excellent taste, and in particular favor with the decorative trend at present, but a new one in the budget we are considering would be an impossibility, unless the Chesterfield suite were abandoned and replaced with a wicker set. These rugs, too, however, are often found in excellent condition in shops where household effects in good condition are bought and sold. I know the dislike in the minds of those ‘just starting out’ to anything which savors of the ‘second
hand’, yet I know that some of the finest pieces I have ever bought have been come by only through constant hunting among queer shops, auction-rooms and old houses—pieces which not only add present distinction, but which will continue to grow in value through the years. And there is this aspect of the case: Have you ever gone into a new home and been repelled by its very newness? There are some things, like rugs and fine wood, which become richer the longer they are used, and when kept in good condition are an addition to any home— most particularly in that one where the ‘unused look’ is so apt to appear. New homes need a little ready-made atmosphere before they have time to acquire a real quality of their own.
Another solution of the rug problem is to be found in the Indian (Oriental) mohairs now prominent in the shops. Rugs in all colors, six by four feet, are available at from $12 to $14 , and are most effective. So also are the domestic braided mats, which look so quaint and cheery with simple furniture, and though a little more expensive for their size, are also reasonable.
A very attractive rug may be made for you at the rug weavers if you can supply him with enough old carpeting. He will even be able to supply you with good clean material himself at a not exorbitant figure. The resultant product will be a soft-toned affair that may be used in any informal room from the living room to the bath.
Let us say the living room budget is as follows:
Chesterfield set, $250 ; table, $50 ; four small chairs, $20 ; bookshelf, $15; small table, $15; high-backed, chair, wood $15; rushbottom, chair $10; tea wagon, $25; rug or rugs, $50; desk, $35; Chesterfield table, $15. Total $500.
This does not include lamps or other accessories, for which figures for supplying the whole house will be given under another head. If one desires to purchase a new
I domestic, broadloom, or fine Oriental of some size, figures may be switched to replace the Chesterfield set with three wicker pieces at $125, and devote $175 to^the rug. Or you may evolve any combination of figures which will in all come to $300, for these two items.
A GOOD bedroom set, may be pur1chased for $150. The painted or lacquered sets are charming and for the most part, the most reasonable. Moreover, for the small price one can get the maximum amount of variety and originality in these finishes, where plain wood sets at the same low figure look ordinary. This price can hardly cover a good mattress. The investment in a really comfortable and serviceable mattress is an essential, so that we may allot $50 for this purpose out of hand. Allowing $10 more for a small bedroom rug, a budget of $210 for the ‘master bedroom’ is completed, omitting curtains which come under a later heading.
This, according to the budget planned, leaves $165 for the guest room, which with good shopping can be satisfactorily and prettily furnished on that amount. A single bed is in order for this room or even a day bed, attractively covered and cushion-bedecked. This room may serve many purposes in the scheme, when not in actual requisition as a bedchamber. It becomes the sewing room, general workroom and utility corner. In view of this, the purchase of a comfortable wicker chair would be advisable, and a single chest of drawers rather than the bedroom ‘set.’ A not too small table would be convenient, and if funds still hold, a small sewing table, to serve as a taboret when not in use. One bride I know made a very charming petticoated dressing table in her guest room at ridiculously low cost out of the half of a medium-sized round deal table. The other half was painted and oilclothed and used in the kitchen, an important saving considering the innumerable things needed for the kitchen, and the cost of them. Placed flat side against the wall, the table was draped with a flowered chintz skirt tacked about its edge, and the top covered with the same material. The dressing table was of sufficient height not to require a chair. A little rug, and the guest room is complete. Very pretty and resaonable bedroom rugs are the washable chenilles.
Fixings And Sundries
T TN DER the heading of sundries, I have ^ classified such items as curtain material and rods, lamps, electric light bulbs, cushions, bathroom fixtures, pillow and cushions. Knowing the way such items mount up, however carefully regulated, I have allotted $90 to this classification, and still that will be a small enough allowance for what is needed. I should apportion the money something in this fashion:
Curtains and rods, $40; cushion covers, etc., pillows, three at $5, $15; cushions five at $1, $5; lamps, $15; furniture insurance, $8; bathroom fixtures, and rug, $7. Total $90.
Forty dollars is not a very opulent outlay for curtaining and other material, but it is possible to manage on it with good selection. For the living room eschew the under and over-draped idea, and get some heavy net in color, to serve as the be-all-
and-end-all of the scheme. For the bedrooms, you can buy very reasonable little organdie or voile curtains, ruffle:! in color, or in all-over tints. The use of these, too, avoids the necessity of two pairs of hangings, as they provide both sash curtain and color note in one. For kitchen and bathroom use gingham and reasonable remnants—and the remnant counter will also be a splendid source for pieces for cushion-covering and other odd touches.
nPHIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS for kitchen -*■ utensils is really a very small amount, and does not include half the cost of the deal table, half of which appears in the spare bedroom, and full cost of which, if used, is charged to that group of expenditures. It also does not include linoleum, which may be supplied with the establishment, or if not, will have to wait for future purchase as being in the luxury class. It is amazing how many things are actual necessities in a kitchen, from bread-box to garbage can. Invest in the basic necessities first—do not be lured by the fascination of new devices and fancies, before you have insured yourself :
One large stock pot, one broiling pan (medium size), one frying pan, one double boiler, one vegetable pot, one percolator, one tea kettle, one glass baking dish, one pie pan, one cake pan, one perforated spoon, one wooden mixing spoon, one potato masher, one combined can opener and corkscrew, one pancake turner, one vegetable knife, one bread knife, one dishpan, one soapshaker, one sink brush, one sink basket, one dish mop, one soap dish, one match holder, one bread box, one flour jar, one tea strainer, one strainer, one flour handshaker, one sugar tin, one garbage can, one clothes boiler, one wringer, one washboard. Also, clothespins, dry mop, wet mop, scrubbing brush, broom, electric iron.
Additional Equipment and Luxuries
UERE in this budget, you have the "*■ fundamentals—there is not a scrap of superfluous investment. You have still to acquire several important items which, though not in the category of necessities, very nearly approach it in the balance of living. For the laundry there is the washing machine; the linoleum if none is already provided. For the cupboard, the carpet sweeper or the vacuum cleaner; for the sewing room, the machine, and for the living room, a choice of the piano, the radio or the cabinet phonograph—whichever way one’s taste leans. The financing of these purchases may be managed on monthly payments out of savings— according to the income budget. It is better not to undertake all together, but to decide which more nearly approaches the real necessity. In my opinion this would automatically indicate the washing machine, and next in order the carpetsweeper—which last is, of course, a small outright purchase.
Bridal Gifts and Allowances
UPHIS budget, of course, does not take into consideration silver, glassware, linen or china, or any small accessories about the house. These items so generally come under the heading of bridal gifts that it is safe to say that they need not be included in the first home-furnishing budget.
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