There is another drainage problem that concerns mosquitoes, most exasperating of all summer pests. These insects fly but short distances. Marshy land and stagnant pools are their breeding places. If the latter cannot be drained, oil spraying is the alternative and that is work for a professional. Again an old rubbish heap, replete with tin cans and other discards that will hold water, offers more encouragement to mosquitoes than is generally realized. Cart all such rubbish away or bury it; then you can drink your after-dinner coffee in peace on terrace or lawn, or enjoy the coolness of evening dew after a blistering hot day in the city.
The decorations and furnishings of a house depend largely on its style of architecture and the owner’s taste. Further, if in any doubt, it is better to do too little than too much. Under such circumstances, too, an interior decorator is helpful; but don’t dump your problem in her lap and take a trip somewhere. When you return, a beautifully decorated and furnished house, correct in every detail, may greet you. There may even be a few pieces of the furniture you brought from the city home scattered about, but it won’t be your house because you will have done nothing except foot the bill.
Homes evolve. They are not pulled, rabbit-like, out of a hat. When you build a house, the architect makes it yours by getting a word picture of your ideas and pulling them down to earth in a series of business-like blueprints. If your ideas regarding decoration are nebulous, a good interior decorator can help to make them concrete. Do not depend on her completely, however, because you are anxious that this country home should be just right and you are afraid of making mistakes. There is nothing final about them and it is better to make a few and have a place that seems like your own home, rather than attain perfection and find your family wandering around the rooms with that impersonal, slightly bored look worn by the average visitor to a “perfect home” display in a department store.
The early American was not afraid of color in his home. His fondness for it is evidenced by 17th and 18th century rooms on display in various museums throughout the country and in the growing number of house museums that have been restored to original condition. Looking at a few of these will help to crystallize your own ideas. You will notice that their furnishings are by no means limited to the year in which they were built or even the century. A good example of this is to be found in a late 17th century house museum, known as Marlpit Hall, located on Kings Highway, Middletown, New Jersey. Here two nationalities actually mingle, since the exterior with its details of roof and gable windows and two-part doors show the Dutch influence, while the woodwork within is English in feeling. It is not a very large house but every room has a different color scheme. The restorers discovered the original colors and reproduced them; now the old blue-green, light pink, apple green, yellow, tones of red, and the like form a perfect background for the furnishings which date from late in the 17th century until well into the 18th.