The greater part of our population are waiting till they can afford to have pleasant homes, forgetting that they can at no time afford to have any other. We take the color of our daily surroundings, and are happier, more amiable, stronger to labor and firmer to endure, when those surroundings are pleasing and in good taste. To possess these important qualities they need not be expensive. True beauty is cheaper than we think.
The first charm of a home, within and without, is thorough neatness, and this is the result of habit, not outlay. It is oftener cheaper than filth. Paint the house if you can; if not, whitewash: but in any case let it be in thorough repair.
Let there be no loose shingles or dangling clapboards, or gates hanging by a broken hinge. These hints favor thrift as well as taste.
Let the house be sufficiently shaded. This will pay in comfort, wear of furniture, and lack of flies. If you cannot afford green blinds, you can always afford a green tree or two, that costs nothing but labor and patience, and will shelter you from the sun in summer and the wind in winter.
Let your turf be smooth and firm as velvet, and enforce the death penalty upon weeds with an unsparing hand. No man, rich or poor, can afford to raise weeds. They choose the richest spots, where flowers, or fruit, or vegetables might grow, and send abroad their seeds as missionaries of evil into every nook and corner.