22 JANUARY 1859, Page 10

There is no striking novelty to be remarked in the

decorative depart- ments of the general upholsterer's business. The great houses report an improvement in the selection of furniture by their customers, markedly so in curtains and carpets, which are far less bizarre or inharmonious since the exhibitions of London and Paris. Curtains for drawing-rooms are made mostly in silk reps or brocatelle' and there is no very deter- mined liking for any particular colour, unless we take the cheerful greens or crimsons in their numerous shades. Fringes are less used, and the ornamentation is generally simpler, the cornice less ostentatious in design and size. Fine broad cloth, reps or plain, with coloured border laid on, is usually preferred for dining-rooms ; and the old fashion of dividing large apartments by curtains is again adopted.

Walnut tree furniture is decidedly most in favour for the drawing- room, and there is less request for the cumbrous, showy articles a la Louis Quatorze. Plain woods for tables and chairs, instead of lacquered, painted or gilded work, are judiciously preferred.

While on the subject of tables we may notice an improvement in Betze- mann's self-acting dining-tables, in which, when required for enlargement, the table is extended by a handle at the side, working by a rack and pin- ion, as the leaves lie in the body of the article' and the addition is easily made, from an arrangement which obviates the use of the flap stand. One person can thus readily enlarge or diminish the size of the table, as the need arises.