Story: Home décor and furnishings

Wallpaper fashions

Wallpaper samples taken from a villa in Taft Street, in Brooklyn, Wellington, show changing fashions for wallpaper designs. The oldest, dating from around 1890, is a simulated oak-grain pattern  – often woodwork, too, was painted to represent oak or walnut. The next two, from around 1910, follow the trend for rich, earthy colours and elaborate patterns. One is predominantly brown with vertical patterned stripes and occasional fruit motifs; the other is red with a shadowy floral design and background squiggles. The last, dating from the 1920s, is a stylised fruit-and-foliage design on a black background in soothing shades of blue, grey, green, brown, orange and cream. At this time wood panelling was often used in combination with or instead of wallpaper.

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Heritage New Zealand – Pouhere Taonga
Reference: GH.495.1; GH509.1; GH.526; GH.576

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Home décor and furnishings - Higher aspirations, 1860s to 1900s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/40709/wallpaper-fashions (accessed 27 September 2021)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 5 Sep 2013