Furnishing for Efficient Small Homes
ONE of the details of requirements in connection with the competition which has resulted in the series of designs presented in this book, is that the proposed dwelling should be for an American family of moderate means but desiring home surroundings in cultivated taste and comfort. It is plainly evident that a definite problem in connection with the development of such a home is involved in the question of furniture.
While there are only limited facilities for entertaining in dwellings of this size it is interesting to note that it is possible through the medium of carefully selected furniture to greatly increase the efficiency of accommodation. As an example, there has been indicated in the living room of many of these designs a proper location for a bed davenport which is in effect an attractive davenport by day and through the means of a simple mechanical device is converted into a comfortable bed at night, thus providing a room which may serve the double purpose of living room by day and guest room by night. This feature, of course, applies not only to the increased possibility of entertaining but has its more practical application in providing comfortable living quarters for families where, under the ordinary method of furnishing, the space provided might be too restricted.
It may be noted in the four-room type of house that the living room often serves as dining room also. This is accomplished in various interesting ways, by the use of a folding table or by the use of a table of the gate-leg or refectory type which serves the double purpose of dining table at meal times and as living room or library table, fitting attractively into the furnishing scheme of the room at other times.
It is evident, therefore, that in dwellings where a dining room is not provided, the living room effectively takes the place of three rooms, when the bed davenport and an attractive table constitute the main pieces of furniture.
The present problems involved in building due to increased costs indicate the reduction of floor space as the only practical means of making a house come within a small appropriation. The fact that furniture design has kept pace with modern building developments is most important in enabling this solution to be carried out without any sacrifice of convenience or comfort to the occupants. By the use of furniture which serves two or more purposes it is possible to make a more intensive use of floor space, and instead of the old type of house with an individual room for each individual use we now have the modern arrangement where the same conveniences and accommodations are supplied in half the space and at a lower cost.
In the field of home furnishing, the last few years have shown development of many unusual and efficient furniture types. The general standards of living on the part of the American public have been definitely elevated with the result that there is an increased demand for attractive and comfortable furniture. This demand has in turn been met successfully by furniture manufacturers and dealers with the result that the prospective home builder may learn much of interest in connection with the furnishing of a home by careful study of furnishing plans and ideas which are offered as a service by good dealers everywhere.
Source: FURNISHING THE SMALL HOME: By Hettie Rhoda Meade