Diagonal Lines within Interior Decorating
Diagonal lines suggest movement and action. Because they are associated in the mind with motion of with the effort to counterbalance resistance they give animation to any composition in which they appear. Over-emphasized, they are restless and fatiguing. Used sparingly, as when a small poised figure like the Flying Mercury is placed in a quiet corner of a room, they possess an extraordinary charm.
Unless too strongly emphasized by color contrasts diagonals are often effective in rug design; partly because they are subordinated to and restrained by the straight lines of the border. They are objectionable in all-over carpets and especially objectionable in wall papers. Repetition of the same figure is a mechanical necessity in weaving or printing piece goods, and in the very large class of designs technically knows as drop patterns each motive or figure comes above and to the right and left of the same figure in each of the adjoining breadths. Unless the pattern is very skilfully drawn and colored, this arrangement is likely to create a series of diagonals, more or less marked according to the size and character of the design and vigour of the coloring. These diagonals give to any room in which they appear a quality of energetic and rhythmic movement always inartistic and tiresome and often almost intolerable. It must of course be noted that this objection does not lie against patterns formed by intersecting diagonals which result in a diaper of small diamond forms or rhombs, because the effect of movement created by the opposing lines.
In practice the decorator must also be on guard against inartistic diagonals in choosing upholstery fabrics. It is a common practice to use a boldly designed printed linen at the windows of a room and also as slip covers for some of the over-stuffed furniture. Many of the most strikingly decorative linens, especially those adapted from old Persian textiles, contain a sharply accented vine which runs obliquely from one side of the fabric to the other. This is of course unobjectionable in hangings, because the folds break the movement; but when the same pattern runs vigorously from the bottom of one side of a wide chair back to the top of the other side the effect is unpleasing, because it destroys the atmosphere of repose which it is one of the functions of such a chair to create.