The Front Room: Wallpaper Through the Ages

Stripping wallpaper in an old house reveal past tastes. Layer after layer, and we have many layers at Pig Row, takes us back through time until we strike that wonderful blue that the Victorians loved to paint their walls. Blue was a big thing in the nineteenth century, we take colour for granted nowadays, we arrive with our colour charts and decorate. We design our lives around colour but blue was one of the most vibrant mass produced colours of the Victorian era. After the blue we slowly slip into 1920s and 30s designs. We have a corridor upstairs that is green with a brown fake wood paneling effect, long before Changing Rooms and 60 Minute Makeover, design was rearing its bad taste head. 

Wallpaper, stripping back through time #lifeonpigrow


There is wallpaper from the 60s and 70s that we recognise from the kitchens of our childhood and our parents attempts to modernise. Never has there been a more dangerous word in home design. A passing fad is a thing to avoid. The roof coming down has revealed other things too. A lovely old beam that runs the length of the room that had been covered in plywood sometime in the 70s - they were mad about covering over original features in the age of flares. See what we mean about fads?

Old beams, new life for them #lifeonpigrow

This gives us a chance to insulate between the floors and we have had a stud built for the external wall to hide the new gas pipe and to insulate the external wall. We can't do cavity filling, we simply don't have cavities. We'll have to skip over that fad. We have been asking on our Facebook Page what is the best insulation and if you have any suggestions do comment below. We'd be grateful for any help in this as we will be doing it all ourselves. There is a good chance we may end up boarding it too to save on costs. We have a tight budget and we're not afraid to get our hands dirty. Which can be seen in our chipping away bag after bag of plaster in the kitchen.


Even after taking away that 70s design classic, plywood, there are still echoes of the Victorian blue on the beam, now flaking and the walls on this side of the room turn from 50s wallpaper to a layer of foil - an early attempt to keep out the cold. Hopefully our attempts to insulate will be better.