When looking at old paintings and photographs, I often find myself looking past the person or subject in the photo, and into the background with hopes of getting a glimpse of what life was like during the time the picture was taken. More specifically, what people’s homes looked like.


I love how in old impressionistic paintings, interiors reminiscent of times past can be seen. I love looking through old black and white Victorian photographs that are candid and not staged. From old paintings to photos, our interiors leave lasting impressions, whether they are intentionally captured or not.

Here Are My Top 5 Authentic Interior Captures from the Past:

1. Jean Alaux.  ”Louis Vincent Palliere in His Room at the Villa Medici.” This painting is of the artist’s room, while staying at a hotel in the early 1800′s. In looking at this painting, you can see that there are many interior trends from that era that are still popular today. What a great example of timeless design.


2. Old Dormroom Photo, 1915. I found this old photograph of a dorm room to be fascinating. These three women figured out a way to capture their image in the mirror, while still being able to showcase their proudly decorated gem at Brown University.


3. 1930′s Kitchen. This beautiful photograph of Lucille Ball is reminiscent of the fully-tiled, frilly curtained kitchens of its time. Even this famous actress knew her gender-stereotyped place in the home during this era!

lucille ball.jpg

4. 1950′s Tupperware Party. Party on, ladies! This photo shows what the classic tupperware get-together looked like in action. In the background, you can see the lovely wall sconces that were oh-so-fashionable, and the natural stone fireplace look that had taken the nation by design storm.


5. 1980′s Family Dinner. This image may not mean anything to you, but when you look into the background, it most likely would if you lived in the 80′s. No, that is not a flat screen t.v. above the fireplace. Back in the “olden days,” framed art went above your mantle. The beautiful vertical plastic blinds paired with the brass chandelier screamed 80′s decor, if you ask me.