from How to Build Furnish and Decorate, 1897
The staining of wood is oftentimes necessary when we use whitewood or pine trim to relieve the monotonous or commonplace look which so much woodwork of one color is apt to produce. For a dining-room mahogany makes a rich color. Cherry for parlor and bedrooms is appropriate and harmonizes with most any furniture. Oak stain looks well if the wood has a well marked grain; when this is not the case, or if the woodwork has been painted, we will find it necessary to call the grainer to our assistance. Cherry was a very popular color for interior finish in the line of graining some years ago, and is still imitated to quite an extent in the rural districts. A combination of cherry and oak is a very harmonious and rich finish and relieves the monotony of a continuous color. Walnut has kept pace, side by side, with cherry and oak for the past quarter of a century. The kitchens are generally done in oak or maple. The halls and front doors in walnut, the parlor in white. It is impossible for us to give any set rules in regard to colors for the painting of interior woodwork. You must use your individual judgment, and most of us possess sufficient knowledge, obtained by experience, to choose wisely with a few suggestions from the architect and painter.