Reproduction Victorian Wallpaper Guide

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Reproduction Victorian Wallpaper Guide

When choosing the right type of wallpaper for a Victorian house, and its different rooms, it’s important to understand how wallpaper was used in the Victorian era and to try to pay homage to that in order for the interior decoration to be in keeping with the age of the house.

A Guide to Reproduction Victorian Wallpaper

In the Victorian era, wallpapers and wallcoverings became possibly the most important element to interior decoration as they became accessible for the majority of comfortably off householders due to their wide range of designs and varying methods of production so that both the higher and cheaper end of the market could be satisfied at a reasonable cost. This was due to the introduction of mass production techniques and the repeal in 1836 of the wallpaper tax.

Reproduction Victorian Wallpaper Shrewsbury Welby

The Victorian Emporium's Shrewsbury Welby Wallpaper

William Morris was of course highly influential in Victorian wallpaper design. His first wallpaper designs were the Trellis, Daisy and Fruit patterns in 1864 but these were expensive and were products really only for the elite. The average householder would have watered down versions of the work by the prominent designers of the time.

The Victorian Emporium's Melias Wallpaper

The Victorian Emporium's Melias Wallpaper

With the introduction into rooms of the dado rails and picture rails to divide the room up, which was deemed to be the epitome of artistic taste, so wallpapers came to be produced in sets of three, one for cornice to picture rail, one for picture rail down to the dado rail and the last for the bottom portion of the wall under the dado rail. This is rarely available or used nowadays.

The Victorian Emporium's Lincrusta 1954

The Victorian Emporium's Lincrusta 1954 teamed with Triad in Edinburgh above the dado rail

Popular designs of the time included Japanese motifs either copied or imported, or relief papers that imitated stucco, embossed leather or wood panels. Relief wallcoverings, including Anaglypta, were widely used for the area below the dado particularly in hallways and stairs as they were hard wearing. The colours that the Anaglypta were painted were conventionally darker to lighter as you progressed up the wall. Anaglypta was also widely used as a ceiling paper with imitation Jacobean and Elizabethan ceilings with special designs for the frieze area to mimic fancy plasterwork at a low cost.

The Victorian Emporium's anaglypta VE648

The Victorian Emporium's anaglypta VE648

Dado rails continued to be installed in the halls and stairs of new houses up until around 1914. Towards the end of the Victorian era a simplified approach was taken with Anaglypta painted white often used as a continuation of the ceiling and as a contrast to the bold patterned Victorian wallpaper used below.

Victorian Wallpaper Collection

Wallpapers were used mainly in the most prominent rooms of the house, for the benefit of showing visitors the householders wealth and good taste, namely the living room or parlour, dining room and the most important bedrooms. Our historical collection of wallpapers features some beautiful patterns that will suit any of these rooms and make them into a special place. Victorian wallpapers come in a large variety of designs, colours and finishes to suit all tastes and houses including relief wallpapers, velvet wallcoverings, victorian wallpaper borders, floral wallpaper and damask papers with of course the wonderful William Morris as the trailblazer with his prolific collection of William Morris wallpapers.


The Victorian Emporium sells the full range of beautiful Victorian historic wallpaper patterns for every room in your house. We also sell Anaglypta relief wallpaper for hallways and reception rooms giving that genuine period look.


Categories: Décor  

Posted by Nicola - Mar 07, 2015 - 15:09

I love the idea of using wallpaper as a feature in our Victorian townhouse and always good to get ideas for the right period paper.