Monday, November 3, 2014

Call On The Hall


Photo courtesy Flickr user Jimforest

After the Second World War, when the suburb as we know it was being invented, the hall fell out of fashion. It was regarded as “wasted space”. My house dates from 1890. The upstairs hall is generous enough to support what was common practice at the time. Once a week a room was chosen for thorough cleaning. The process involved emptying a space, vacuuming (or brushing) everything that could be vacuumed included window coverings, washing the windows, dusting all, and returning the furnishings to their original setting. The process was primitive, inefficient, and the key to protecting the health of the family.

Help was cheaper at the time, and help was sorely needed. Cities were heated with coal, the smuts of which would smear carbon black onto textiles and into lungs. I have new, improved problems, but that generous hall is still useful to support the work flow of daily life. I realized that placing only essential furnishings in the rooms and parking shared portable amenities like a comfortable old boom box and HEPA air filter in the central hall simplifies cleaning and saves money on inventory. 

Even a narrow hall becomes more useful when fitted with a six inch wide shelf on brackets. Something hinged or removable will not inhibit moving furniture.

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