"IDEAL HOMES" EXHIBITION AT OLYMPIA.
OF the many movements that the Daily Mail has backed, none has prospered more or more deservedly than that con- cerned with home-making, the present exhibition at Olympia being a fit and rather bewildering monument to the paper's enormous enterprise.
There can be but few things connected with the difficult business of "civilized living" that are not represented, all the exhibits aiming at showing us how it may be made easier
or pleasanter, or both. It is, of course, the material needs of man that are catered for, though the presence of pianos, flowers and a few books seems gracefully to concede that he has others. Not much attention is given to actual construction, and there is something of a gap between the engaging plans and models exhibited at the "Welwyn Garden Village " stand and the rest of the exhibits, which are mostly devoted to equipping and embellishing rather than to building, as is only natural in a popular display. There is no lack of ingenious novelties, whilst the absence of " freak " notions and the usual exhibition trumpery is refreshing.
It has occurred to someone, who I trust will make the fortune he deserves, to fit two little doors on the back of an innocent- looking bedroom chair, so that the gesture, apparently instinctive in Western Europeans, of flinging their trousers over chair- backs, can henceforth be made to ensure almost automatic pressing ! The inventor of a large flat kettle that can cook or warm plates in a kangaroo-like recess, whilst engaged in its main business of water boiling, seems to have been scarcely less happily inspired. The production of an otherwise standard wood-screw, with a square hole in its head instead of the usual slit, seems to me, however, to be a stroke of real genius that may have important results and reverberate round the world. Instead of, as formerly, laboriously first boring a hole and then adjusting and holding in a screw whilst your screwdriver slips about uncertainly in the slot, and the screw topples first this way and then that, you can now stick your square tool into the square hole and force the screw well into the wood and twist it right home all with one hand and with no fear of sideslips. To think that all the myriad screws in existence may have been rendered obsolete by this little idea—only new in its application—that might so easily have occurred to any one of us ! It's the perforated postage stamp and the rubber-tipped pencil all over again !
Interior decoration is better served than usual, and there has been a similar improvement in the furniture, whilst the glass and ceramio stalls show remarkably little that is not creditable either in form or colour. Having lately visited the British Industries Fair, where the manufacturers' uncensored products are displayed for the allurement of the retailers, I can appreciate the difficulty of thoroughly stocking a china shop without admitting a good deal of ill-designed stuff for lack of better. The firms showing chinaware at Olympia obviously employ buyers who have some sense of colour and design—a- quality apparently of great rarity in the pottery -world.
A popular feature of the show is the series of gardens that, we are told, have all been designed by the Royal ladies whose names they bear. Gay beds of tulips and daffodils are in themselves a good sight, and the " gardens " make useful