Making A Beautiful Home 1870

MANUFACTURER AND BUILDER showed this window display in its May, 1870 issue. the article stated that any room could be improved by cutting the window larger, to make a low sill, then fill in the window with large panes of clear glass, training flowers and vines to grow about it.

A Ward Case stands in front of the window. Today we might refer to it as a terrarium. Here's an example from the April issue.

The April issue also included the following instructions for making the rustic frames that had recently become so popular.

"All that is necessary to construct one of these, or any similar frame, is to get the foundation, a thin board, of proper size and shape, with the inner oval or rectangular form to suit the picture. The edges are ornamented by nailing on branches of hard, seasoned wood, or gluing on pine cones. The corners may receive some device, both to cover the rude joint and to enhance the general effect.
One of the frames illustrated is made of either light or dark wood, neat, thin, and not very wide, with the ends simply broken off; or cut so as to resemble a rough break. The other is white-pine, sawn into simple form, well smoothed, and traced with delicate black lines.
This should be also varnished, when it will take a rich yellow tinge, which harmonizes admirably with chromos, and lights up engravings finely."

Another home beautification project was a fern basket...

"To make this fern-basket, take a flat piece of board, sawed out to something like a shield, with a hole at the top for hanging it up. Upon the board nail a nice pocket, made of an ox-muzzle, flattened on one side, or make a sort of basket out of stiff wire. Line this with a sheet of close moss, which appears green behind the wire net-work. Then fill it with loose, spongy moss, such as is found in swamps, and plant in it plumes of fern, and various swamp-grasses. They will continue to grow there, and hang gracefully over. It is only necessary to keep the moss damp, and sprinkle the ferns occasionally with a small broom."
And finally..."a flower-stand made of roots scraped and varnished."

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