...May Accomplish Wonders!
Making the most of what you have is really a lot of fun, and a source of endless satisfaction when you do it successfully. It all begins with the wish for something different-something you believe to be an improvement over what you already have. You see pretty furnishings in the shops or in your friends' houses and you want something of the same sort yourself. It may be a piece of furniture, a lamp, a color scheme, or that intangible thing-atmosphere.
"How to get it? How to get it?" You keep turning the problem over in you mind, whether it be the appearance of a table or the intangibles of color and atmosphere.
It always seems to me that in any problem of "how to do" the first step is to see what you have "to do with." Look the facts of furniture squarely in the face. What is it that you wish to accomplish-or overcome? a small dark hall; no coat closet in the hall; chairs and sofas with no "come-hither" appeal, even thought they are in good condition; shabby, old fashioned beds and tables; jumbled up rooms; too-high ceilings; too-low ceilings; dark woodwork; an ugly mantel; no space for books; no pretty knickknacks?
What an alarming array the things you don't like make!
"What to do? What to do?" You wonder-or you wail-according to your temperament. Neither gets you very far. Instead, let your imagination go soaring as to ways to make the hall lighter, where to put clothes closets, what you have that could be turned into a coffee table, and so on.
Then turn your common sense to the problem of ways and means, and you are on your way.
"A fine lot of theory, " you may be saying to yourself. No! That "necessity is the mother of invention" is proved over and over in many different and attractive ways by many women. You can be just one more to prove it!
That you wish to make the most of what you have presupposes that you must watch and save your pennies. Therefore, what you don't have in money, you must make up by imagination, ingenuity of workmanship, and what my grandmother called, "elbow grease."
excerpt from, "The American Woman's New Encyclopedia of Home Decorating, " by Helen Koues, 1964