Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1946 Decorating Advice

I ran across this decorating book in an antique store in Steven's Point, WI. It is from the Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Co., Yonkers, NY. It is dated 1946. A brief search on the internet uncovers the business was started in the mid 1800's and that part of the mill is still standing. It is considered the largest intact mill site in the Hudson valley. Another interesting tidbit, Alexander Smith ran for congress at the age of 60 and died suddenly on the evening he was elected.

This brochure is titled Clara Dudley's Color Idea Book. Clara's title is Color Scheme Consultant for Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Co.

What makes it unique is that they take one type of carpet and show you three different room variations by having a cutout in each picture. The rug is fully on the 3rd page of three pages and the two preceding pages have cutouts in them so you can see through to the rug on the third page.

The color, furniture and stylings are just beautiful.

Here is an excerpt from the first page:

Each year thousands of women write to me about their decorating problems and ask my advice on color schemes and arrangements. Now, the wonderful new B.H.F (Basic Home Furnishings) Color Coordination Plan gives us all an easy, practical answer to almost every color problem. This plan, launched by the Home Furnishings Style Council and supported by Alexander Smith and Sons is a heavenly idea that will make it easier for you to find colors that really do go together in your home because the different manufacturers planned it that way. Here, in actual room settings you will see these colors used in effective, different color schemes.

There are nine B.H.F. colors and their group names. Each comes in a wide range of values from very light to very dark intensities:
Tan - Alamo Group
Rose - Grand Canyon Group
Burgundy - Adirondack Group
Mauve - Prairie Group
Green - Shenandoah Group
Beige - Cape Cod Group
Blue - Great Lakes Group
Cedar - Santa Fe Group
Grey - Great Smokey Group

This is the "Colorcade of America"
Follow the guide posts of these color names on the labels of everything you buy and you will always be sure your room colors are harmonious.

The picture below is titled "Color Contrast for a Family Room"
Text is:
In this room burgundy (B.H.F. Adirondack) is used in sharp contrast to the distinctive cool Shenandoah green of Alexander Smith's Floor Plan Rug. Green is the predominant color of this room; burgundy is second in importance; and Alamo tan and sharp white are used for accent. Much better than using each color in equal quantity. Now look at the next two pictures and see how the same Shenandoah green rug can form the basis of a new color scheme for two entirely different rooms. These might easily be adjoining rooms in your home, with the rug setting the theme for a coordinated color scheme throughout the house.

The picture below is titled "One Color for a Formal Look"
Text is:
This room shows you how you can use a whole symphony of the light and dark values of any one of the B.H.F. colors to create a room of quiet dignity and elegance. The effect is the exact opposite of that obtained with the contrasting colors used on the previous room. Furnishings now seem to blend into the walls, expanding the size of the room and creating a restful harmony. Sparkling mirrors and the interesting shadow box add to the spacious effect and give the room a jewel-like quality.

The picture below is titled "Blending Colors for the Modern Trend"
Text is:
On the walls of the room serene Great Lakes blue blends with the Shenandoah green from the same leaf-patterned rug shown in the preceding rooms. Draperies almost one with the wall color, highlight the window grouping - the room's most interesting feature. Blending colors are another way of making a small room appear more spacious and they can make a large furniture piece seem to melt right into the wall. If you are planning color schemes for adjoining rooms, do consider combining your colors in this way: one room in contrast, one in a single color and a third in blending tones. Thus your entire home will be in pleasant harmony

The picture below is titled "Prairie Mauve for an Intimate Air"
Text is:
The delicate roses of the patterned wallpaper in this room reflect the feeling and motif of the carpet design, with the fragile, full length white ruffled curtains are hung straight to break the movement of the rose pattern. These and the crystal lamps and dressing table mirror all add to the room's charm.

The picture below is titled "Striking Effects for Drama"
Text is:
Every color in the carpet has been used in this room. The convenient conversational grouping of the furniture creates a friendly air, while the boldly striped wallpaper, the solid color of the fireplace panel,and the important window treatment, all contribute to the dramatic effect.

The picture below is titled "Coordination for Harmony"
Text is:
This might be an adjoining room to the previous room. The wall to wall carpet which stretches right out into the hall and up the stairs in a luxurious expression of color. Often, a solid color carpet repeating one of the colors of your patterned carpet may be used in an adjoining room . . . thus making your home a veritable symphony of coordinated colors.


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