Historic wallpaper – a guide to dating

You may be lucky enough to find old remnants of historic wallpaper in your period house. But how old is it? Historic wallpaper is difficult to date. Fashions go round in circles and styles had many revivals over the centuries. What comes around goes around Dainty floral and striped designs of the early 19th century…… Continue reading Historic wallpaper – a guide to dating

The Victorian brass and iron bed – a history and a restoration

I’ve recently bought a ‘new’ Victorian brass and iron bed and the experience has been a real eye-opener. These are not rare objects. However, I found sourcing the right antique bed one of the most difficult purchases I’ve ever made! So many old beds are either in poor condition, messed about with or are so…… Continue reading The Victorian brass and iron bed – a history and a restoration

Modern conveniences in the period home

Many people assume I live like a Victorian with no modern conveniences like a TV, central heating or a fridge freezer. I couldn’t think of anything worse! It’s cold enough living in a Victorian house with central heating, so I’d hate to survive without it! Beside, life is too short not to make the best…… Continue reading Modern conveniences in the period home

Cast iron range – all fired up and ready to cook

Forget the pandemic – 2020 was the year of the Victorian cast iron range for me. I tend to be quite faddish with home restoration projects. On a mission, I decided to pull out both ranges that I installed in 2004/05 in early 2020. Little did I know I would spend the next six months…… Continue reading Cast iron range – all fired up and ready to cook

Design hierarchy – the golden rule of period interiors

It’s all about the design hierarchy in a period house. So if you’ve ever been tempted to install the same doors and handles throughout your period house – naughty naughty! Ultimately, this is a very modern approach and will reduce the character and authenticity of your period home. A hierarchy of design should be evident…… Continue reading Design hierarchy – the golden rule of period interiors

Mr Straw’s House – A step back in time

Stepping into the National Trust-managed Mr Straw’s House in Worksop is like stepping back to 1923. As previously outlined in my blog post on Victorian and Edwardian houses to visit, this is my favourite such place and I have drawn so much inspiration from its internal features and décor in my own restoration. The house…… Continue reading Mr Straw’s House – A step back in time

Antique lighting for your period home

Struggle to find the right antique lighting for your old house? You’re not alone! If you’re like me, you want lighting that’s practical yet faithful to your house’s history. I’ve discussed the lengths you can go to restoring your home in a previous blog post. I developed a passion for antique lighting when I moved…… Continue reading Antique lighting for your period home

Victorian blue – the use of blue in 1900 interior decor

When most of us think of ‘Victorian colours’ browns, darks reds and greens spring to mind, but not blue. Even The Victorian Society’s book on ‘The Victorian House’ (usually very spot on!) said: ‘Very few blues are evident in the Victorian colour cards that survive, which suggests that blue was not extensively used in the…… Continue reading Victorian blue – the use of blue in 1900 interior decor

Victorian kitchen – bring the best bits into your period home

What comes to mind when you think of a Victorian kitchen? Knick-knicks, dark colours and fussy details? Not something you want in your kitchen, eh? However, whilst this was the case in Victorian living spaces, in domestic areas such as the kitchen this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it was often the…… Continue reading Victorian kitchen – bring the best bits into your period home

The Victorian love of marbling, wood graining and linoleum

‘If you can’t afford, fake it’ was certainly the mantra of many Victorian homeowners with their love of wood graining and marbling around their home. It’s a design concept that continues to this day. Take a look at the vinyl and laminate flooring available today which are facsimiles of real wood or tiles. This post…… Continue reading The Victorian love of marbling, wood graining and linoleum

Restoring an iron fireplace – to strip or to paint?

A painted finish is more practical for my bathroom fireplace(left) compared to my bedroom versions

Restoring an iron fireplace can be a joy. However, there’s the dilemma of whether to freshen the fireplace up or strip and black lead it if it’s painted. What is black lead I hear you ask? It’s basically a black liquid stove polish that protects the iron against rust and gives the fireplace an even…… Continue reading Restoring an iron fireplace – to strip or to paint?

Period house restoration – four ways to do it

Have you ever regretted a room makeover as soon as you’ve put the paint tins away as I have during my period house restoration? Yes, we’ve all been there. Sometimes the colour just isn’t what you imagined or it doesn’t suit your room. Over time we also want a change or a different look. I’m…… Continue reading Period house restoration – four ways to do it

Linoleum – the Victorian wonder product!

Victorian 1880s linoleum

Linoleum was the wonder invention of the Victorian period and led the way for the vinyl flooring we know today. Unlike vinyl flooring today, homeowners up until the 1960s didn’t just use linoleum in kitchens and bathrooms. The middle and working classes also fitted the product in bedrooms as it had antibacterial qualities. This was…… Continue reading Linoleum – the Victorian wonder product!