The living room was originally known as the parlour and was used for ‘best’ but doubled up as a bedroom for children if there was insufficient space in the rest of the house. First floor flats had a larger living room than the ground floor, as well as an extra window, as they included the area over the stairs. Being a formal room, it had more decorative detail including cornicing and a more ornate fireplace, and was furnished with dark green wooden venetian blinds (rear facing windows were fitted with green roller blinds). Residents also hung their own net curtains and if these were not kept spotless they were asked to rectify the situation. Floors were plain wax-polished pine and tenants were required to provide their own floor coverings. They often chose linoleum, for its durability, water resistance and cost effectiveness, in designs sometimes imitating carpets and tiles.
Text © Kirstin Sibley, 2014