What Color Dominated Victorian Kitchens?

Victorian kitchens were a sight to behold, with their ornate details and charming accessories. But, what about the color of these historic kitchens? According to historical records, the walls of Victorian kitchens were made of simple plaster that was often whitewashed or tempered. However, there was a unique addition to the paint mixture that gave an ethereal blue hue to the walls. A laundry blue bag was placed inside the paint bucket, and as a result, the walls were painted in a blueish-white shade. Here are some interesting bullet points about this fascinating practice:
  • Ethel blue hue was created by adding a laundry blue bag to the paint bucket.
  • It was believed to deter flies and insects from the kitchen.
  • The blueish hue also gave an air of coolness to the space, which was a pleasant addition to the hot summers back then.
  • Interestingly, this paint technique was often used in other parts of the house, such as bedrooms and even the exterior walls!
  • Whitewashing or tempering the plaster before painting the walls was a common practice, which allowed the paint to adhere better and last longer.
  • Looking back, we can see that there was a thoughtful process behind every aspect of Victorian kitchens, from the design to the color of the walls. This unique practice of adding a laundry blue bag to the paint bucket is just one of the many fascinating traditions that make Victorian homes so special.
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    The Basics of Victorian Kitchen Colors

    The Victorian era (1837-1901) was known for its ornate and lavish design style, but when it came to kitchen colors, simplicity reigned supreme. The walls of Victorian kitchens were typically made of simple plaster that was often whitewashed or tempered. While many people might assume that Victorian kitchens were drab and colorless, this was not necessarily the case. In fact, the use of laundry blue bags in paint buckets gave an ethereal blue hue to the walls, which was believed to deter flies and create an air of coolness in the space.

    Whitewashing Techniques for Victorian Kitchen Walls

    Whitewashing was a popular technique for painting walls in Victorian kitchens. This involved mixing lime, water, and salt to create a paste that was applied to the walls. Once the paste dried, it left a powdery white coating on the surface of the wall. This technique was not only inexpensive but also allowed for better lighting in the kitchen.

    The Use of Laundry Blue Bags in Victorian Kitchens

    Laundry blue bags were a common sight in Victorian kitchens. These small, sheer mesh bags were filled with cobalt blue squares of fabric and were added to buckets of whitewash or paint. The blue-tinted liquid not only gave the walls a unique color but also served a functional purpose. It was believed that the blue hue would deter flies from entering the kitchen and create a cool atmosphere in the space.

    Why Victorian Kitchens Often Had Blue-Tempered Walls

    In addition to the functional benefits of using laundry blue bags in Victorian kitchens, there were also aesthetic reasons for this trend. The blue-tinted walls created a calm, soothing ambiance in the kitchen, which was an important factor in a time when kitchens were often bustling with activity. The blue hue also complemented the warm tones of wood furniture and copper or brass cookware that were commonly used in Victorian kitchens.
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    Victorian Kitchen Design Elements and Colors

    Victorian kitchen design was characterized by a mix of materials and colors. Natural materials like wood, stone, and brick were often used alongside man-made materials like metal and ceramics. The color palette for Victorian kitchens was typically muted, with shades of white, cream, beige, and brown dominating. However, pops of color were still present, particularly in decorative elements like tiles or wallpaper.

    Exploring Victorian Era Kitchen Color Palettes

    While whites and beiges were the most common colors for Victorian kitchens, other colors were also used. For example, pale yellow, sage green, soft blue, and rose pink were popular shades for wallpaper or tiles. Darker colors like navy blue or forest green were sometimes used for accent pieces like rugs or curtains.

    Understanding Historical Context for Victorian Kitchen Colors

    The use of laundry blue bags in Victorian kitchens may seem like a strange and outdated practice to us today. However, it is important to understand the historical context for this trend. In a time when flies and other insects were a constant presence in the kitchen, finding natural and effective ways to deter them was essential. Additionally, the blue hue created a cool and calming atmosphere in a space that was often hot, noisy, and chaotic. By understanding the reason behind the color choices in Victorian kitchens, we can gain a greater appreciation for the ingenuity and practicality of the people who lived during this era.

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