Saving Space And Making Light
The " best room " of Victorian days has, happily, disappeared. No longer does the housewife keep the sitting-room as a holy of holies, to be used only on great occasions, such as when visitors called for a family reunion, or some similar purpose.
Yet in many homes the dining-room is still the real living room, and the cosy sitting room or lounge is not used nearly so much as the family would like.
" But," Mother complains, "I can't light an extra fire every day in there. It makes too much work,"
Yd E what an advantage it is to keep the dining room just for dining, to leave it, and all thoughts of food, behind one as soon as the meal is over.
Warmth and Comfort
It is the heating problem which prevents this in many homes. But this is not in superable. Central heating, of course, makes the use of any room possible at any time. In houses where this is installed there is no question of extra work being involved in making a room warm enough to be comfortable. And though central heating is a luxury in the sense that it makes for a delicious feeling of comfort, it is not expensive. It is in fact one of the cheapest means of heating a house throughout.
Another alternative is to have a fire in the lounge and some form of stove in the dining room which will warm it sufficiently for meal times. In this case it must be remembered that the stove must be lit or turned on some time before the room is to be used, or the change from a warm cosy
sitting room to a chilly dining room is likely to induce colds.
In many modern flats, where a dining room is not provided, the hall is transformed into a dining-hall, which sounds palatial, but is extremely useful!
The dual purpose hall must, of course, be furnished especially with a view to its two uses. Obviously it is no good trying to put a full-size dining room suite into the miniature halls of most modern flats.
Firstly, a large clothes cupboard is needed to hide away hats and coats during that part of the day when the dining aspect of the room is the most important. It can be painted to match the walls of the hal and if a plain one is chosen will be quite inconspicuous.
If the furniture (what little there is of it) is painted too, either in a toning or contrasting shade, it will help to achieve a modern effect.
How To Save Space
It will be necessary to keep the furniture down to the bare essentials. Folding chairs save space, and very attractive and comfortable ones can be bought cheaply in white wood and painted to the requisite colour.
The table, too, can be one of the folding variety. If the family is small, a large flap which hinges on the wall will suffice. For more people, there are tables with swivel tops which will seat six people when opened out, or two when closed up. They are fitted with a baize-lined drawer for cutlery, and another drawer at the other side would be useful for napkins.
One advantage of this type of dininghall is that it is usually very near to the kitchen and so saves a great deal of labour in carrying food and crockery to and fro.
Colours That Reflect Light
It is advisable to choose a fight colour for the walls, as halls do not usually have a great deal of window space. Cream or yellow, off-white, or any pastel shades reflect what light there is, and if a paint with a glazed finish is used, it will make the place seem lighter. The walls will then be washable, too. and a quick wash down will ensure the dining-halt remains fresh and clean looking for a long time.
As the kitchen is so conveniently near, a sideboard is not absolutely necessary. if, however, there is room for one, choose one of those new white wood sideboards which look rather like a pirate's chest on tiny legs. They are quite small and, coated with paint to match the furniture, would not look out of place in the hall. In fact, a card tray and clothes brushes could be placed on the top of it, with a mirror above it, to emphasise the hall part of this room's dual personality.
Light coloured linoleum on the floor helps to lighten the room. (By the way, the newest colour for floor coverings is white.) A dainty little dining-room can be made out of any hall that is big enough to take table and chairs, and a little ingenuity expended on it will save labour and make for more comfort by having one room which is free from the upsetting business of pupaling and clearing away meals.