Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Hall

A recent visitor to this 1890 house remarked on the width of the upstairs hall. In the Fifties, halls were regarded as wasted space. When the house was new and not yet wired for electricity, the hall was a key element in heating and maintenance. Before central heating was installed, the lofty hall accumulated and distributed heat that rose from the fireplace and kitchen range during the cool months. The system of doors function as valves.

The hall also supported low-tech house cleaning. When a room was selected for a thorough going over by hand, the furniture would be moved out so the floors and windows could be wiped, polished, dusted, and swept. These days, I find it convenient to hang duvets over the staircase railing to give them a good airing. The long drop makes it easy to shake out and fold bedding. A textile that is folded after being shaken out along its full length has a bonny nap and looks distinctly more beautiful than one that is wrestled into a folded square at arms' length. A piece handled carefully over its full life span remains beautiful no matter what the state of wear -30-


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