A parlour in 1790 - photography John Hammond
The use of the parlour remained much the same as earlier in the century; it was the room where the family would have gathered, received guests and taken meals. However, the way it was decorated and furnished had changed considerably.
In diaries, journals and letters of the time people often referred to rooms and furnishings that they liked as ‘neat’, which meant bright and stylish as well as clean and tidy. This taste required lighter colours and more delicate decoration. Wallpapered walls were particularly useful for achieving this effect, replacing heavily moulded panelling.
In the museum’s room the wallpaper is a modern replica copied from a fragment dating to around 1780. The plaster frieze is copied from a house in Cross Street, Islington. Interest in classical design and decoration was increasingly widespread towards the end of the century.
Explore our 360 view of the Parlour, 1790 or take the Virtual Tour of the Period Rooms and Gardens.