15 February 2014

A quick visit to Geffrye Museum


I only found out about the Geffrye Museum of the Home recently (to my shame) and arranged my first trip there to coincide with a trip to the Arcola in Dalston.

Apart from the short walk from the station to the theatre, this is a part of London that I do not know at all well and I was keen to fill in some gaps in my knowledge on this trip so I did the last leg down the main street, by bus, passing through Haggerston and then arriving in Hoxton, two places I had not knowingly been in before.



The point of the Geffrye Museum is that it has a series of rooms furnished and decorated in the style of a period together with information on how houses were arranged at that time, what was driving the fashion and how some of the objects were made.

This room is in the style of a parlour in 1695.



There are eleven display rooms plus others that give information about them. I took pictures of all of the rooms (I always like museums that let you take pictures) and had a bit of a struggle to pick just a few for this post. I've gone for what I think are the prettiest, like this one of a drawing room in 1830.



One of the things I found interesting was the was that the use of the main room in the typical domestic house changed its use, formality and name over the years.  The result of this is that while parlour has fallen out of fashion that still leaves drawing, reception, living and sitting as valid room names.

This is a drawing room in 1890 which I chose for the tiles around the fireplace and the colourful pots on the mantelpiece.



My favourite room was the living room from 1965. Part of the reason for this is that some of the features are in fashion again, like the solid flooring and the light furniture, as we have moved out of the era of shag pile carpets and chunky armchairs.

I am not usually interested in furniture, carpets or curtains but the Geffrye Museum did a fine job in convincing me that domestic interiors can be fun and it also persuaded me that I ought to go back there in the Summer when the gardens are open.

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