Newspaper Page Text
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The Omaha Sunday Bee Magazine Page
Copyright, 1911. by the Star Company. Qrft nrltaln r.lRhts nrvA.
H B m Fa
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J Bachelor Girl Tells
How She Furnished
Artistically the Principal
Room of Her Long
Island Bungalow for Jine
Dollars and Forty 'five Cents
"Imagination waved it wand and I conjured the ,oap bo
Into window cat.
'Having tacked the cotton to the tides and bottom of the
box I lined it with cretonne."
This completed window box sea! cost me 94 cents."
By Marie Morgan
WHEN tho builder handed rue the koyB
of my bungalow on I.ong Island an
unexpected emergency confronted van.
I owned tho land on which I had built tho,
house. Tho house Itself had been paid for,
henco thoso keys. But tho house was empty
and I was without tho wherewith to pay for
Decorators had called on mo and I had,
with smiling flrmncsB, docllned their services.
Though I sent them away empty handed I wbb
In u worse plight, for my purso was empty.
My bungalow, precious but treacherous, aB
are some of my sex, had cost me twice as
much as I had originally planned.
Tho neat little sum I had planned to out
lay In blrdsoyo maplo for my Bleeping
chambers and oak for my dining room had
njelted Into tho sum paid out for cement
walks and a sun -parlor. As I sat on tho
veranda of my now home looking ruofully at
tho yard, not yet cleared of Its clutter of de
bris, my oyes fell upon a soap box on which
ono of the workmen, thoughtful of his "rhou
matlz," had sat while eating his dlnnor-pall
I picked my way through the building refuse
and examined 'tho box. It was clean and
strong and fresh. The lid lay near It.
Imagination waved Its wand and I conjured
tho soap box into a window seat. Fortunate
ly, I am an American and havo determination.
Still fortunately, I am a New England
woman, and so possess "faculty." My hands
wero always deft at fashioning things,
and I am not ono of "those who scream
at a mouse or shy at a hammer. In a mo
ment I had dragged tho box into tho hoUBe
and fitted It Into the bay window. It looked
as though it bad been built there. The next
day I brought with me from town a packago
of brass tacks, a roll of dark green denim,
four yards of rose colored cretonne. It re
quired loss than an hour for me to place tho
cotton about tho Inside of tho box, to tuck
the cretonno securely within it and the green
denim outside; to screw Into it tho glittering
pair of handles I had bought at a ten-cont
store, and there my living room was in part
furnished. The window seat was neat. Fur
thermore it had cost mo 94 cent's. The tacks
cost 10 cents. The denim and cretonne I had
gotten at a remnant counter for 60 cents, and
tho cotton wadding cost 14 cents.
With this triumph of economy over need, I
became Imbued with a gentle insanity on the
subject of furnishing my living room with
boxes, and my friends aided me In the pleasant
A friend' who had a country .home In the
neighborhood, where ho dabbled In his car
penter shop for play, sent his work bench
over, and my living room became my work
room. Every hour or two that I 'could spare
from town I came out to and worked at my
housefurnishlng. I bribed tbo vegetable man
io bring me his empty onion boxes for tlftoen
cents a box. Tho alternate slats of these I
loosened, interlaced tho slats In tho form of
an "X" or sawbuck, and nailed tbo ends to
gether, covering the top and bottom with
more slats, and had a firm, ornamental set
of backless dining chairs. These chairs now
awaited a dining table. .
That required moro than tho feminine handl-
nesa with which I had lined and covered the
soap box and tho turns of the hand with
which I had rolaced tho slats of tho onion
boxos and twisted thorn Into wooden stools.
To mako a dining room table demanded
workbench training na well as talent. For
tunately I had this, for I bad been "father's
best boy" and ho had taught me the expert
use of saw and mttro and braco and bit.
My knowlcdgo of and skill with these -were
called Into play In making my table, which I
designed for my meal service, and between
meals for a work and rending tnblo. Also I
wished It to serve If I wished for a settle, for
I anticipated evenings when In tho big liv
ing room of my bungalow I would glvo artist
dances. For theso dances the tables would,
of course, be In the way and settles would be
I ordered from my grocer's the largest
packing box I could got. Having held bulky
cereals, it was as largo as a St. Bernard's
kennel, approximately five feot square My
grocer sold me this for sixty cents. The two
firmest sides I UBcd for sldos of tho table,
steadying them by oxtra pIoceB, "flat feet," I
called thorn, like snowshoes, at the bottom.
Tho lid of the box I used for a top of tho
tablo. Tho strongest parts of tho remaining
sides I placed between the two ends, to Btoady
and securo them. On oithcr sldo of this lower
shelf, bo to speak, of tho table, I nailed a
board sawed from tho sldo. To my delight
the table stood firm and steady as a rock. Lot
me tell you of tho dovlco by which 1 gave the
table its sottle possibilities. Instead of nail
ing the top to the legs of tho table, I attachod
It by pegs. I bored holes In tho edge of tho
doubly secured corners of what had boen the
packing box. Whop I wished tho table to
masquerade as a sottle, I had meroly to
loosen tho pegs, whisk tho top of tho tablo off.
fasten tho back of tho supports, and behold a
Bottle, chaste of outline as any that over stood
besldo grandmother's flroplace. 1 had care
fully planed tho edges to prevent intruding
splinters, and I covered It with a linen scarf
cloth, with drawn work edges, set my dlshoB,
brought from town, upon It. and placad a
serving cloth on the lowor sholf, placed tho
bread tray on it, sat on one of my onion stools,
and drew up to my own tablo beneath my own
roof, much happier than any troublod queen
of a more Europoan kingdom.
My living room would not havo deserved
its namo had It not had midway of Its side and
opposite the door a large flreplaci. At either
end of this I placed a settle, duplicate of the
table and costing meroly the Hlxty contB
apleco, plus labor. Tho pogs 1 mado. In front
of the flreplaco I stretched a bench, to bo used
as a work tablo if I choso to paint or write
mis was mado of a ten cent
or sow there.
With fpur onion box chairs', two cereal box
settles, a cereal box settle table, and the win
dow soat mado of a soap box, mv living room
began to look habitable. Tho (sa,entIalB wcro
there, but my woman soul oogan to feel Its
craving for "places to put things." True, I
kept my shoos and my household brushes in
the window soat, but 1 needed a placo to keep
my shirtwaists. Thoro was no wardrobo-in
my bedroom, nor did I wish to spend tho
money for one, for tho best of reas
ons. I didn't havo it. Besldos, my
living room, charming In all other
respects, seemed a bit dark in the
corner farthest from tho largo win
dow at tho other end of tho room.
jn mea struck mo as to how to In
troduce a bit of color and bright
ness Into that dark spot and at the
samo time provldo for mysolf some
thing I greatly needed.
I went to a furnituro store for a
largo packing box. Thoy sold mo
for a dollar and soventy-flvo ceuts
a box In which an old-fashioned
cottage organ bad that day arrived.
1 sawed out Its sldos, leaving four
cross strips at either sldo and ends.
Across theso 1 fitted shelves of tho
strips from the box sides. Care
fully measuring thoso spaces, I
bought on my next trip to tho
town four largo boxes to flit thorn.
"I bribed the vegetable man to bring me empty onion boxes at fifteen centsaplece. "The
and interlaced. I covered the top and bottom with more slats, and had four"l
ornamental backless dining chairs."
Thor boxes, paper though they were, wero the
largest single Item of oxponse In my now
home Hut they woro necessary and they
furnished tho color relief I needed, especially
on cloudy days." Thoy wero heavy paste
board boxes, with pink roses seemingly
tumbling over a wall of creamy tinted stono.
Tho effoot was charming. Besides, while tho
bit of color pleased my oyo of an nrtlst, tho
ingeniously contrived piece of furnituro com
forted my soul of a woman. For had I not
hero a light, graceful substltuto for tho cum
bersome but now going out burcauT In these
boxoB I placed my shirtwaists, my linen sklrtB,
my flat hats, my lingerie. In thoBo boxes I
kept most of my wearing apparel. Since it
stood at tho foot of the staircase, it was no
hardship for mo to run down of a morning,
clad in my dressing gown, to tnko from ono
of tho rose covered boxes my garmeifU for
the day'n wear. Tho boxoB wero wortly th
dollar apiece I paid for them at a wholesalo
house, and lator, when at less oxponse I ro
placo thorn by wooden frames covored with
cretonne, thoy will be no moro satisfactory,
I am sure. '
Ono of my neighbor's acts in tossing away a
largo cigar box set mo thinking. I thought
so actively that In a few minutes I had ap
propriated the rejected box, removed some of
its partitions and was refitting It with new
partitions, to form six compartments. Along
tho long edgo of ono I partitioned off a space
for gloves. Tho others, raying out from tho
sldo as from a fan, I dedicated in my mind to
collars, ribbons and laces. 1 deodorized it by
airing and scenting It, after which 1 covered
It with roso cretonne and placed It on ton
of my cretonne bureau.
Small stools mado of odds and ends of
boards left from my fashioning of tho other
articles, I placed at cosy Intervals about tho
room. Throo of them added to foot comfort
and could occasionally be pressed Into ser
vice as seats.
A plant stand I mado of a box In which n
friend had shlppwl o mo some apples from
Canada. This cost mo nothing. Tho nails
cost mo twenty-alx cents. Tho paint with
which 1 gavo my home-made furnituro two
coats of ollvo groen. with tho brush, cost on
dollar and soventy-flve conts. My living room
Is sufficiently, comfortably and taatofully fur
nished at a cast of $9.45,
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"This settee table I made from a cereal box I got at the grocer's.
By using pegs instead of nails, to fasten the top, I could place
the top at the back, and form a settee."
"The spaces in the frame 1 filled with strong paper boxes
'daintily covered with a design of pink roses that
seemed to be tumbling over a
creamy stone wall."
"The paint with which I gave my furnature two roats of
green cost one dollar and seventy-five cents,"
"To replace these with box frames over which cretonne has been stretched
would be an easy task."
"I bought at a furnature store a box in which a cottage organ had
that day arrived. I sawed out its sides leaving four cross strips
on either side. This was the skeleton of my box buroau."