Monday, November 06, 2006

Getting a Feel for Home Decorating

A photo here from shows the use of fabrics in home decorating. In an old homemaking book written in the 1800's, there was a description of a young married woman's first home, in which the author told how cleverly she used pieces of fabric to cover boxes that had her possessions stored in them, until the couple could afford to buy their own furniture. Fabrics are one of the elements that make a house feel like a real home.

You can see more toile patterns and read about the history of toile fabrics (fabrics with scenes on them) here


Even if you do not sew, fabrics can be draped or folded and used to brighten up a room, as well as to protect the surface of wood furniture.


Susan said...

This is so true! I love using fabric, it's so versatile and pretty!

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Susan your sight is really nice!

Isabella in the 21st Century said...

I so agree with what you and Susan said. My dad is an upholsterer and furniture maker it is so nice to make new form old with the hellp of a little hard work and some pretty fabric...and it's not as difficulat as people think.

Is the book you described by Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe?

Kelley said...

How true...makes me want to learn to sew!
Meanwhile I might make a trip to the fabric store!

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Yes I believe it was from Catherine Beecher's homemaking book of the 1800's.

Mrs. Wayne Hunter said...

Hi! Thanks for the pretty and encouraging picture in this post. Sewing a simple tablerunner for the top of a not-so-new dresser or a tableclothe for an older dining table can add such a feeling of love and beauty to rooms. If new furniture can't be bought at the time, just doing these simple things can take the stress out of looking at older furniture and put the focus on the beauty of the runner or clothe instead of the furniture.

Jammy said...

I long for my home to look like this! I have it pretty simple and unlcuttered.....not too much around other than a few things on the wall. Wild little boys and *dog* tend to demolish everything in I go the little is best route.....but I crave the comfort in the picture....I know I should just start small, with a tablecloth or something and train train train. Did you all have your homes decorated like this when your children were little, or were they a little older with the tablecloths, cute dainty things on deco tables, long drapes etc...came out? Not sure if I am being hard on myself or just lazy, or a combo..... *sigh>>>

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Tablecloths like this are not a good idea when little children are present in a home. They are tempted to pull it down and can hurt themselves. When my children were little, I had nothing on the tables, and my decorating went up on the walls--shelves, pictures, mirrors and candle sconces. This made the home pretty without having to worry about the children getting ahold of the wrong thing. However, I did have some 'token" centerpieces on a few tables, of fake flowers in baskets, so that they could be taught not to touch, and if they did knock something over, it wouldn't break and they wouldn't get hurt.

Jammy said...

Thanks so much, Lydia. I have to remember that not everyone has young children. I'm glad to know I'm not depriving them of beauty and my things on the walls are OK. Hard not to compare myself at times....... though I don't most of the time. Thanks again!

Mrs. Wayne Hunter said...

Hi, Jammy -
We have small children and I still put tableclothes on the dining room table. I just sew them to not hang down drastically or even very long and keep a good eye on the little ones to make sure that they don't pull them off. Our older little ones (ages three and five) find it beautiful (as do our older children) when I put a tableclothe on and or fresh flowers or a decoration on the table and don't bother them.
By the way, a very encouraging book about raising children, if you are interested, is titled "All About Raising Children" by Mrs. Helen Andelin. She speaks of decorating the home for your family while raising children in it and the importance that these womanly touches have in our family members lives. The book is available at, but actually, I have a few extra copies and I would be glad to send you one for free. Just e-mail me at if you'd like a copy, as we bought them to give away.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Wayne Hunter

Mrs. U said...

Lady Lydia, I am quick to tell someone that I cannot decorate to save my life. Clean a home? Sure, but decorate? Oh my!! The mere words scare me! LOL!!

But... I think I can actually put these ideas into practice!! These seem simple enough for even me!!! Just draping fabric? How clever!!

Hopefully I can drape it correctly!! LOL!!!

Mrs. U

oratiomom said...

Lady Lydia,
Thank you for your encouraging blog. I always have a nice tablecloth on our dining room table and table scarves on all the end tables and coffee tables. We keep our home 'cool' (62 degrees) because of high heating costs, so there are always beautiful shawls or quilts draped over a rocking chair and easy chair in our living room. Not only are they practical for visitors and us-but they are homey!

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
I did something a little out of the ordinary, but, it surprised me at how pleased it made me feel. Reading about the home and feeding our family well, stirred some of my sentimental feelings. All my married life, I have always missed my own Mother's cookbook. It wasn't a partciularly grand cookbook, but some type of comfort in using it, being the cookbook that I knew for all my growing up years. I used to love to look through the pages and I used it quite often. I had looked for several years for a copy of it. Finally, came across one. It was a bit pricey, but, my husband encouraged me to buy it anyway. It really has been a pleasure to have here in my own home, after all these years. And now, this cookbook, that was such a simple part of our life, is actually considered an antique!
Hope you don't mind me sharing this little thing.

Poiema said...

A fond memory I hold in my heart is of a young married couple who extended a dinner invitation to us. They had, as yet, acquired no furniture.
They draped a large cardboard box with fabric and served us a fantastic meal. What pleased me most was the fact that they did not apologize or seem at all embarrassed by the setting. How many times I have not invited someone in to a meal because things were not perfect. This humble couple truly had the spirit of hospitality~~focused on welcoming guests rather than on the peripherals.
Your mention of box furniture brought back the memory. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The reason there are no new articles is that the blogger system will not let me post and will not take my name and password. The blogger will not answer my emails or my complaints.Hopefully it will be straightened out soon.


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