Now here is a hig problem. It is a case of it depends. ? Can you afford to do a real job or must you patch? Floors are a hobby of mine. I want shiny, beautifully waxed floors, and mine are all old because I live in a pre-Revolutionary house. Thats the reason I understand problems about floors, as I have had to work out so many. Once I was a city dweller, living in a fine, modem Park Avenue apartmentso both old and new floors have come within my own living experiences. If you like polished floors, there are two kinds: simple oak parquet blocks laid in mastic over a subfloor, without a border, and oak floors. Fine old oak floors9 no matter how battered, no matter how wide the cracks between the wide (sometimes narrow) boards, should be retained. These are frequently made of planks of random widths. Sometimes a part of the floor must be relaid to close up cracks, and a new board (get old lumber if possible) be used to fill out. If badly marred, the floor may be replaned, stained, and then waxed once a month with an electric waxer, and polished every day. For an antique finish it must be given a coat of stain that is wiped off.
Waxing once a month will give you the kind of floors people exclaim about. Soft wood floors, often found in old homes or in poorly-built new ones, may be treated the same way with good resultsbut they need more care. It is frequently better to treat them as painted floors, which suit old Colonial or cottage-type houses. Colors used in old houses are dark green, maroon, brown, blue, and sometimes black. If you are painting or staining old wood for the first time, wash with soap and water and a cloth moistened with benzine to remove grease. In redoing old stained or painted floors, remove old finish with paint remover. Wax can be removed with gasoline or steel wool. Denatured alcohol cuts shellac, and turpentine cuts paint and varnish. Be careful in using these materials. Spluttered-dashed floors were also used in old houses. They have a salt-and-pepper effect, produced by painting the floor green, brown, or black and then splattering the floor, while it is still damp, with red, green, and white, using a stiff whiskbroom attached to a long handle. The illustration on the preceding page shows a floor of this type. Today the effect can be almost gained with linoleum flooring. Which it is well to lay as a foundation for scatter rugs when floors are beyond repair. Although linoleum as a flooring may be used in any room in the house with rugs over it, it is especially good in halls, bathrooms, game rooms, and kitchens. It is well worth the extra cost to have lining felt cemented to the floor. Carpeting our old floors is an easy way out. Make sure that the floor is even, however, and that all the squeaky boards are nailed in place and the squeaks eliminated. Use a lining to protect the carpet. There is a definite style tendency today to carpet the entire floor of a house or apartment in the same neutral beige or gray-brown, the lighter shades being more perishable but also more stylish. It is wise to get good, moderate-priced carpetingthe too-cheap doesnt wear and the too-expensive is wasteful if you change a color scheme. Rugs mug be Mised over old floorsroom-sized for living, dining, and bedroom. Small hooked and the lovely, colorful, shaggy rugs of today may be used as accent. Or sew a number of small, shaggy rugs together for a main rug. Use large hooked rugs with American Provincial furnishings.
When you are making a combination living room-bedroom, all the evident bedroom furnishings should be either eliminated or well disguised. There is no halfway. The illustration below is a case in point. Here is a delightful living room. The walls are papered in a small conventional design of green and yellow. The ceiling is painted deep green to lower a rather high one, the carpet is beige, the daybed really looks like a sofathere are many such to be bought almost anywhereand the fine mahogany chest of drawers below a large wall mirror is suitable for a living room and is commodious as a bureau. The stool in front of it is the extension of a chaise longue and may be pushed around at will. To be sure, a dressing mirror is set on the chest, with candlesticksthey could be lampsflanking it. If lamps are used, be sure that they are a living-room type and perhaps only one would be best. Bookcases anil a ilesli. As above, where space permits, do a lot more to give a living-room feeling and, of course, add to the comfort of living. For a single person the love seat illustrated above, which opens into a comfortable bed, is an excellent choice.