From archeologist to desecrator: modern style in old buildings

Those poor blokes are still painting!  I am so grateful that we don’t have to do it as there is a tremendous amount of work there.  Every day I return to the house to check progress and love what I see, but I’ve been thinking, am I respecting its past?  Reading the Victorian Society’s pamphlets on caring for a Victorian home I’m not too sure.

Victorian Society pamphlets: you too can live in a museum*

We’re in the process of having it painted pure brilliant white from top to bottom.   We will end up with a blank canvas as opposed to the tired, multicoloured place we started with.  The Victorians didn’t have access to bright whites: 19th century chemistry didn’t provide the pigments.   I don’t want to live in a museum, and I strongly believe that homes must be adaptable as times change (outside toilet anyone?)  The dingy reds, browns and greens of the 1800s did a great job at concealing soot stains but I’m not sure I could live with them (nor the cluttered, ostentatious styling).  But is painting the house white and filling it with brightly coloured modern textures and images as wrong as the artex and swirly carpets of which I am so critical?  I guess it’s more reversible.  Here are some examples of that epitomise the white-and-bright-and-grey look I love…

Laeticia Lazerges' home via Design*Sponge - that tablecloth fabric is discontinued and I was green with envy when I saw it!

Luke White for Living Etc

EST Magazine via Design*Sponge

Let’s see what I can conjure with 60 litres of trade matt emulsion, two legendary tradesmen and a bit of imagination…

*I love the Victorian Society but feel like a naughty schoolchild for using ‘modern’ paints, fitted carpets and lusting after a side return extension: all no-nos to them!


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