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Drawing room, 1870

A drawing room in 1870 at the Geffrye Museum

A drawing room in 1870 - photography John Hammond

Unlike the previous century, when the workplace and home were often in the same building, the pattern in the nineteeth century was for homes to be built further away from the centre of town, and for people to travel into work by hackney carriage or by the omnibus, tram or railway.

This room represents a ground-floor drawing room at the front of a terraced house in one of London’s expanding suburbs. It would be used especially by the lady of the house, who would receive visitors here. As a room in which guests were made welcome, it would be carefully furnished with an eye to current fashion. Different patterns and styles might be used for walls, floor and curtains, creating a ‘busy’ impression. Commercially-made furnishing would be complemented by home-made items such as cushion-covers or screen panels in decorative needlework or crochet.


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