The Duties of the Mistress are not finished when the routine of the household work is set agoing and cleanliness and order have been established.
The little finishing touches, the small elegances, the tasteful arrangement, the special provision made for individual comfort must come from her or be wanting altogether. She must endeavour to make the rooms as pretty as possible and give them an air of repose and restfulness.
Who does not know the difference between a room that is merely kept in order by a servant and one in which the lady of the house takes an interest as well. It is perhaps attention to the small things of the house that has the most to do with the comfort of it, and it is just these minor details that require the most thought as they are outside the ordinary routine. If they are neglected or forgotten all the cosiness, all the home feeling and soothing influence will be gone and bare utility alone will remain.
The true homemaker is also one who has the intuitive power of divining the tastes and feelings of others and who is ever ready to minister to their needs. With a ready tact she will put herself in the place of those around her, will be able to perceive their unspoken worries and disappointments and sympathise with them without remark. She will even be able when occasion arises, to shield them from unkindly notice or ungenerous remark. Tact of this kind is perhaps innate, and yet much of it may be acquired by observation and kindly feeling.
Women are the real homemakers, and it rests with them to make the four walls in which they live something more than a mere dwelling.
Happy is the woman who can so surround her own fireside with the true spirit of home, as to make it the spot where the brightest and most desirable of everything is to be found, a harbour from all outside cares and worries; she will find that not alone to herself, but to those around her as well, it has become the best place in the world.
Florence Jack, 1911