Aesthetic Movement Wallpaper and Paint

The Aesthetic Movement of the 1860s and 1870s saw simpler wallpaper designs and colour schemes than were found in Gothic homes. The late 1870s saw the revival of the dado/field/frieze layout for Aesthetic homes. The proportions varied greatly, sometimes removing the dado. Typically the lower area would be decorated in stronger, darker colours and textures.

For example, in the 1870s, a hall and staircase might be in yellowish drab with a red dado, and highlights in white. A dining room could have had walls in a dark drab, a dado of mauve and drab, curtains in a dark bluish green, pale yellow and black, with a design of peacock motifs. The drawing room might have dark green walls, a ceiling decorated with a paper of leaves and pomegranates, with woodwork in black and dark red velvet curtains. A bedroom could have been in pale blue and sage green with woodwork in ebonised oak. The wallpaper could have had a design of apple leaves and birds and ceiling painted in lemon yellow,


Paint colour schemes were simple with greys, greens and golds. Graining and marbling were used. Stencilling was popular until the appearance of patterned papers around 1900.


Wallpapers were in greys, yellows, greens and golds. There was less pattern; for example, a neutral background with areas of colour was typical. Printed wallpapers had designs of leaves, fruit or birds. Flock papers in dark reds and rusts were still used in dining rooms.