297. Carpets.--In buying carpets, as in everything else, those of the best quality are cheapest in the end. As it is extremely desirable that they should look as clean as possible, avoid buying carpeting that has any white in it. Even a very small portion of white interspersed through the pattern will in a short time give a dirty appearance to the whole.
298. A Carpet in which all the Colours are Light never has a clean, bright effect, from the want of dark tints to contrast and set off the light ones.
299. For a Similar Reason, carpets whose colours are all of what artists call middle tint (neither dark nor light) cannot fail to look dull and dingy, even when quite new.
300. For a Carpet to be really Beautiful and in good taste, there should be, as in a picture, a judicious disposal of light and shadow, with a gradation of very bright and of very dark tints; some almost white, and others almost or quite black.
301. The most truly chaste, rich, and elegant carpets are those which are of one colour only, the pattern, if pattern it may be called, being formed by a judicious arrangement of every variety and shade of this colour. For instance, a Brussels carpet entirely red; the pattern formed by shades or tints varying from the deepest crimson (almost a black) to the palest pink (almost a white). Also one of green only, shaded from the darkest bottle-green, in some parts of the pattern, to the lightest pea-green in others. Or one in which there is no colour but brown, in all its various gradations, some of the shades being nearly black, others of a light buff.
302. The Curtains, Sofas, &c., must be of corresponding colours, that the effect of the whole may be satisfactory to the eye.
303. Carpets of many gaudy colours are much less in demand than formerly. Two or three colours only, with the dark and light shades of each, make a very handsome carpet.
304. If you cannot obtain a Hearth-rug that exactly corresponds with the carpet, get one entirely different; for a decided contrast looks better than a bad match. The hearth-rug, however, should reflect the colour or colours of the carpet if possible.
305. Large Rugs of Sheepskin, in white, crimson, or black, form comfortable and effective hearth-rugs for a drawing-room or dining-room. In the winter these may be removed and an ordinary woollen rug laid down for as long as fires are kept up.