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shewhomust

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Steampunk aesthetics [Mar. 31st, 2016|09:06 pm]
shewhomust
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The drying machines are having their effect: two of them have been removed and we hope that the kitchen will be declared dry when the expert arrives tomorrow afternoon. We are working with our builder towards quoting a price for redecoration which we can pass on to the insurers. The insurers policy is that you don't redecorate part of a room, because that would look silly: a room in which work has to be done is to be recorated in full. This is simple enough in the kitchen, where all we want is to restore things to how they were before, and not too difficult in the spare bedroom, which we have decorated in the past, in colours I don't think are very successful (mostly pale blue, which is light but a bit chilly). But our bedroom has never been decorated since we moved in, and if we are going to have all the upheaval of doing it now, we might as well do it properly, and pay ourselves whatever this costs above the insurance. Time to find out what the options are: last Saturday we went out to look at wallpaper.

We had tracked down a showroom not far away who stocked paper from the William Morris archive: my logic was that I know I like Morris, someone who stocks that may well stock other things that I like. After an hour of wrangling huge volumes of samples, I was losing the will to live. It's still possible that they stock other things that I like, but they hide it among some much other stuff that I do not like at all. What a huge amount of bland, neutral wallpaper there is out there. Not to mention the downright ugly. I don't want to be someone who sticks to what I know I like, I want to be someone who discovers new amazing creative things.

On Tuesday, in Newcastle for my reading group, I tried John Lewis - and yes, they had one or two fun things. If I were looking for a nautical theme, I'd be set. But after another hour, I still hadn't found anything I liked better than Morris - and most of the things I liked almost as much were twice as expensive, which I hadn't thought possible. I complained about this to Gail-Nina over a cup of tea, and she suggested gently that there's a reason why Morris is so highly regarded. That may be it...

In between these two expeditions, we spent Sunday morning at Tees Cottage Pumping Station, constructed in 1849 to pump water up from the river Tees, and then up again to supply Darlington's water. It was powered first by steam, then by gas and finally by electricity, and on Sunday they were in steam. There really is something irresistible about Victorian engineering:

Column


More photos.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sartorias
2016-03-31 09:07 pm (UTC)
Wow, terrific photo
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-04-01 12:48 pm (UTC)
It's an amazing structure!
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2016-03-31 09:27 pm (UTC)
We are going to bump into each other IRL one day soon. I pass that pumping station on my daily commute.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-04-01 12:51 pm (UTC)
Whereas it was a special - but not TOO special - excursion for us.

Are you by any chance going to Two rivers and the sea at the Lit & Phil?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-04-01 08:52 am (UTC)
Great set of pictures.

Victorian architecture mostly leaves me cold but Victorian engineering is wonderful.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-04-01 12:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

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[User Picture]From: anef
2016-04-01 10:42 am (UTC)
I'm not really into wallpaper, being more of a Farrow and Ball addict but if I were I would probably start here:https://www.designersguild.com/us/wallpaper/designers-guild/l1119. Or of course, John Lewis (ETA which of course you have already tried).

Edited at 2016-04-01 10:44 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-04-01 01:10 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking mostly paint with wallpaper features, so it can stand being quite dramatic. I had great hopes of the Designers' Guild, but it didn't appeal.
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[User Picture]From: klwilliams
2016-04-04 11:48 pm (UTC)
Have you tried looking online for wallpaper types you might like?
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-04-05 09:14 am (UTC)
Oh, yes - I even made a Pinterest board to help keep track (but I doubt it's worth the effort of signing up for Pinterest just to see it).

Next stop, tiles...
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