Interiors from Lillie Hamilton French, Homes and Their Decoration, Dodd, Mead, and Company, New York, 1903

Green and Yellow Parlor

Green and Yellow Parlor

Greens and yellows alone are permitted, except on the divan, where the cover takes up the colors of a Cashmere rug. The woodwork is green. The walls are covered with green burlaps, the curtains and furniture are of green corduroy. Thin yellow Verona silk curtains hang over the white muslin on the panes. The yellow of these curtains is repeated everywhere, -- in brass milk-cans, hanging lamps, andirons, and bird cages.

Drawing Room, A. T. Stewart Residence

How Wall Space May Be Used

Sarah E. Mitchell: Note the Empire-style sofa. This view also features what would now be considered excessive artwork on walls. The room is a different view of the Green and Yellow Parlor above.

Bedroom, A. T. Residence

Green and White Parlor.

One parlor has been treated in greens and whites. The walls are covered with the green cartridge paper; the wood-work, ceiling, and thin curtains are white; the over-curtains are green looped over big gild disks. Yellows are introduced in brass sconces, hanging candelabra, picture frames, andirons, and firearms.

Bedroom, A. T. Residence

A Claret Bottle May Stand on a Sideboard, but a Beer Bottle -- Never.

When whiskey is permitted, it is decanted, sometimes into glass decanters, often into small stone jugs. Now and then these jugs are marked with the owner's name.

Sarah E. Mitchell: If you look closely, you can see the camera used to take the picture reflected in the mirror!

Hall in Stewart Residence

Bathroom: The Yellow of the Brass and That of The Window Repeated Each Other

The possibility of making any bathroom both dainty and charming is not denied the very humbliest. In some apartments, where the bathroom is tiny, this has been done. The floor and dado were of the usual white tiles. The tub itself was porcelain lined. The pipes were nickel plated, exposed according to sanitary laws. The panes were of plain glass. The wise owner laid a plain green rug on the floor, and covered with walls with a varnished wall-paper showing a yellow iris with green leaves, ducks and swans paddling in the water surrounding the blossoms. For the plain glass window she substituted a leaded yellow crackle glass costing ten dollars. She made her curtains of green silkoline, cut with two straight pieces felled and hanging straight on either side, with a ruffle across the top to break the awkward space. With this crackled glass, sufficient privacy was secured the bather during the day, without the need of a curtain falling over the panes. At night a yellow shade is drawn. As the bathroom is small and without room for a basin [sink], a board painted white with enamel paint was laid across the tub and set with a large brass basin and pitcher hightly polished, so that the yellow of the brass and that of the window repeated each other and filled room as with sunshine.

Pictures from Lillie Hamilton French, Homes and Their Decoration, Dodd, Mead, and Company, New York, 1903; digital editing by Sarah E. Mitchell. Text by Lillie Hamilton French unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2003 Sarah E. Mitchell