Monday, October 17, 2011

Victorian Wallpaper Aplenty

When the boys tore down the central partition of the living room the weekend before last, they discovered not one, not two, but three different Victorian wallpaper patterns. Honestly, there could have been more, but it's hard to separate really old, crumbly wallpaper from the previous wallpapers. All I know is that there were lots of layers and, at present, on the very top of those layers of wallpaper is textured plaster.

The living room used to be divided into two rooms by this arch:

Really. Old. Picture. 2009.

It was a really nice arch. I really liked it. (Is it an arch? There's got to be a better word.)

It made arranging furniture a HUGE. PAIN. IN. THE. BUTT.

The first thing the guys did in their quest to destroy the arch was remove the molding. Under it, on both sides, they found wallpaper. Two different kinds of wallpaper. The fact that the wallpaper went all the way under the molding and the multiple entrances to the living room lead me to speculate that maybe these two rooms used to be completely separate and that the arch was cut into the wall sometime after the house was built. That or the owners decided to wallpaper the walls before putting up the molding. Not a bad plan, but who knows.

Unfortunately, I had the nice camera with me that weekend, and so all of these pictures were taken with Stephen's phone... I apologize for the poor quality and I'm really sad that I don't have any detail shots for you... Sorry! Or maybe... You're welcome? Depends on how much you like to gaze adoringly at old wallpaper! ;)

The first wallpaper (and my favorite) was a green/gold/grey leafy number with a nice border around the ceiling. I think it was put up after the arch was put in since it didn't continue under the molding.

Underneath that wallpaper was the lovely burgandy/green/gold checkered damask that we found by the old walled up chimney.

A lot of the damask wallpaper survived the demolition. :) It also appears to have an altered pattern near the ceiling.

And, oddly, it matches my couches...

I do have a nicer detail shot of this wallpaper, so you can see the flower in the center of the design. 

The third wallpaper that the boys uncovered was on the opposite side of the partition (the back half of the living room). It is a light green with widely spaced red damask prints.

I apologize. I know it's hard to see. These are the best pictures I have of it. My history loving soul is weeping a little on the inside, but I know I can probably see it for myself if I ever get the sudden urge to tear down the rest of plaster on that side of the room... you know... when I lose my mind. Or decide to replace it with drywall and board and batten... in twenty years.

And yes... There is a hole in my living room ceiling, but the boys aren't responsible. Thanks to gravity and age, the plaster in that spot came tumbling down a year ago. I finally have plans to fix it. Along with the rest of the ceiling where the wall used to be...

So, what do you think of the Victorians' taste in wallpaper? Pretty grand, eh? I think I might like to duplicate it all over the living room walls! Wait! Make that the whole house! I'll bring it back to life! Give it some vim and vigor!




  1. YOU BLOGGED!!!! :)
    I actually totally dig the green/gold/grey leafy number and would fully approve if you decided to resurrect it. :)

  2. that's fun to uncover the past of the house through the wallpaper. maybe it would be best to add your own modern layer to it :)

  3. I randomly like the wallpaper, esp. the greenish grey one. But I'm wierd like that. Is any of it salvagable? Could you frame it? That'd be kind of neat.

  4. @Kim @ NewlyWoodwards

    Kim - I have been collecting wallpaper from all over the house to frame and include in my house history shelf/wall. Unfortunately, the boys didn't save any scraps of the wallpaper that got torn down, so I currently only have access to the red/green/gold damask. But I hope to one day uncover more of the living room wallpaper to add to my collection.


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