longlongwaytogo (longlongwaytogo) wrote in little_details,

1890s Houses for the Upper Middle Class

I'm decorating a  very large dollhouse that I've set in 1895, in England in the countryside. They're upper middle class. The father is in imports/exports, and has become more wealthy more recently. I need help figuring out how to decorate the walls. I've tried googling 1890s rooms (for example 1890s bedroom.) and only come up with modern hotels, or examples of beds, not wall dressings and colour combinations. I've got a few books about Victorian Style, but that covers pretty much the whole era and it's really hard to tell what's from when. I've also asked on dollhouse miniatures forums.

The layout is not perfectly historically accurate, but there's only so much I can represent/do with a dollhouse when it's already 4 storeys tall. I've justified a lot of it, in my 'story' for the house, such as "The attic used to just have servant's rooms and attic space, and the servants would eat in the kitchen. More recently the lady of the house decided that this would not do for  her growing numbers of staff, and created a servant's hall in the attic for their meals" And the kitchen is on the first floor because I stuffed up and based it on Australian and American houses rather than English. :( So yeah, can't really do much about certain things, hopefully that won't be a problem when explaining what I'm after!

I need help figuring out how to decorate the walls.

Here are the rooms:

Ground floor:
Conservatory, large drawing room, dining room, main hallway, kitchen, scullery, pantry.

First floor: Main bedroom, hallway, study, bathroom (converted from a dressing room!), linen press, guest bedroom, family parlour.

Second Floor: Nursery playroom/dining area/study area, nurse maid's room (would often have baby in it too but right now there's only three children in the house), baby's room (a girl, if decor would change), the older girl's room (would decor be neutral, or girly?) (They're 12 and 8 years old if it matters), and nursery bathroom.

Attic: Maid's bedroom (For three maids), small bedrooms for cook and housekeeper, store room, and a very small room that I originally had for the scullery maid but I'm considering making it another store room that can be converted to a bedroom for a visiting servant. The male servants sleep in the imaginary basement and above the imaginary stables. And there's the servant's hall.

I have some ideas for colours. I'd like the drawing room to be in a shade of pale blue of some sort, and the dining room to be a quite bold green. I'd like the main bedroom to be a paler green, (not pastel) and the study to be a darkish blue. Would that be appropriate?
But I don't know about patterns of wallpaper, if they'd have had picture rails, chair rails,panelling, painted plaster or wallpaper,  how the wall would have been 'divided', cornice and skirting  board types, and so forth. Would they have had ceiling roses, any decorative painting on the walls or ceiling? I'm feeling really stuck, I've been wanting to get started on this forever.

Then I'm of course limited by what dollhouse wallpaper is available, but don't worry about that, I just need as many examples for as many of these rooms as possible!
Tags: 1890-1899, uk: history: victorian era, ~architecture, ~home renovation, ~victorian era

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