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Drawing room, 1910

A drawing room in 1910 photographed by Chris Ridley

A drawing room in 1910 - photography Chris Ridley

This represents the drawing room of a semi-detached house in Golders’ Green, one of the new suburbs of North London. These cottage-style houses included Arts and Crafts features such as a ‘living-hall’, oak fireplaces, simple mouldings and low ceilings. The French windows, which allowed direct access to the garden, ensured the room was light. Electric power was also a new feature in these houses.

Plain, oak furniture in the Arts and Crafts style was arranged informally alongside more traditional pieces based on English designs, such as Sheraton. The Art Nouveau style, characterised by sinuous plant forms was particularly suited to objects in metal, such as centre light fittings. A variety of fabrics including cretonnes, chintzes and tapestries, were used for furnishings and upholstery. These did not necessarily match, but the scheme was unified by using similar colours and complementary patterns.

The drawing room was comfortably furnished for daily family use, rather than kept for best occasions, evidence of a more informal and relaxed domestic routine. The change in attitude was reflected in the increasing use of the terms ‘living room’ and ‘sitting room’ rather than drawing room.

Explore our 360 view of the Drawing Room, 1910 or take the Virtual Tour of the Period Rooms and Gardens.