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Drawing room, 1830

A drawing room in 1830 photographed by Chris Ridley

A drawing room in 1830 - photography Chris Ridley

This room represents a first-floor drawing room overlooking the street. It has tall windows which extend down to the floor, with elaborate curtains and ornamental balconies. The drawing room was a multi-purpose space where female members of the family in particular might spend their leisure time reading, painting or playing music. The large circular table usually stood in the centre of the room. Other pieces of furniture, often small and adaptable, would be moved around for convenience. By this date colour schemes tended to be more unified, with matching curtains and upholstery, often in the same fabric.

The term ‘withdrawing room’ had been in use since the seventeenth century by the upper classes to describe the room to which people withdrew after dining. The custom was spreading to the middle classes by the end of the eighteenth century and the term was shortened to ‘drawing room’. The museum’s drawing room is based on a terraced house in Clapham, south London.

Explore our 360 view of the Drawing room, 1830 or take the Virtual Tour of the Period Rooms and Gardens.