Members of well-to-do upper middle class and noble families had their separate suites in their homes. This one, a women’s parlour presented here, was usually the richest part of women’s suites. The purposes of parlours with feminine atmosphere were to impress their visitors and give a portrait of their owners. They were mainly used for afternoon tea parties, playing cards and having conversations. In the second part of the 19th century two prevailing styles influenced interior decoration: historic and eclectic. The former imitated all the former styles of fashion in history and the latter used elements of several ‘neo’ styles at once. This tendency reached its peak in the 1880s and this exhibition presents an image of the period atmosphere.
Unlike men’s studies, ladies’ rooms were mainly used for writing letters and diaries or for reading. There are only a few characteristic pieces of furniture in such a room, which is also much smaller than those of men: a desk with portraits of children and favourite relatives; and a bookcase with the most popular pieces of literature.
Separate suites meant separate bedrooms, too. Men and their wives retired at night to their own rooms except on special occasions.
In contrast with the openness of parlours a bedroom exhibits some signs of intimacy. Probably due to functional reasons, four-poster beds were hardly used by the second part of the 19th century.