The taste for heavy balloon typefurniture may have been a
reaction to the earlier lighter Regency furniture.
framed sofas were magnificent. Beautiful carving highlighted
the vast mahogany curves. French polished
rooms were liked and sometimes
rosewood was used as darker woods were fashionable.
Right - Typical Victorian balloon back chair.
of scale in home furniture was essential because from 1840 from the waist down, women looked
like bells. They needed big generous seats to spread their wide expanding
backs were rounded forms. The
balloon back chair born in the 1830s remained popular until 1860s.In the 1850s the bentwood chair
became popular.The pretty decorative papier-mâché
chair inlaid with mother-of-pearl,cane seated, scrolled and gilded
also reached its
peak in these days.
By the mid 1850sstaircases
also became wider and they helped accommodate crinoline skirts. Ladies swept
down stairs in a flurry of petticoats.
double seat called the tête a tête enabled women to spread their skirts to
help prevent crushing and flirt with a man at the same time without being
compromised by sitting too closely. The separating backrest prevented bodies
touching and were ideal for couples getting to know each other in a restrained
interiors were quite
dark with busily patterned wallpaper. From a picture rail hung oil paintings,
etchings, engravings, silhouettes, water colours, stitched needlework samplers
and hand embroidered reproductions of famous paintings.
Sunlight was kept out
of the already dark room by layers of blinds, lace curtains, velvet drapes, and side curtains in dark
colours.The brass ringed curtains hung
on great poles, but often remained drawn on bright days.
Above Left - Eclectic interior showing a reflecting
mirror, tête a tête chair and bric a brac.
of furniture and ornaments was reflected in the huge looking glasses.
Furniture and shelves were covered with fringed, beaded cloths and
The more a home could be over filled with china, domed wax flowers,
stuffed birds, trinket boxes, the more homelife could be reflected in mirrors,
the more it showed its owner had arrived to the full Victorian lifestyle.
was reflected in the purchase of items for the home. Status was reflected in the
size of a home. Status meant having home servants. Status meant house parties
where prosperity in homelife could be shown off to others. Status was so
important that home lifestyle was truly invented by wealthy Victorians.
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