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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

After many years of delay we've finally got round to doing a real proper job on our hall and stairs. We've started by stripping the much hated wallpaper we inherited, only to find three further layers below. 

There's what I think is fifties paper, there's a twenties or thirties paper and at the very bottom what I'm assuming is the paper that was put up shortly afer the house was completed in 1896.

At that point the hallway had no dado rail but the wallpaper was split between a floral design on the upper part of the wall, below which was a paper border, and on the lower part of the walls was a charming paper with repeated panels of a kingfisher and what I think is a godwit (but I'm guessing there). Each panel is about 12 inches in height.

Both papers seem to have been given a brown colour wash and then varnished. It's the very devil to get off. There are no satisfying big strips that tear away to ease the chore. This paper comes off in baby nail sized pieces - even when scored and Diffed.

I felt like a real vandal stripping it all off. Most of it was past saving, but we're probably going to leave one segment up with the two panels above, cover it with a protective screen and frame it. (If the plasterers can work round it next week). I painstakingly and very gently scraped off enough of the brown wash to reveal what you see above. 

I've got a photographic record of the other papers but this was my favourite.

I'm now wondering what other gems Harringay locals may have uncovered during their renovations

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We also discovered Victorian wallpaper. Not in quite as good nick as yours mind. . It was a nightmare to get off as well!
Beautiful. Did you keep any?
Unfortunate not. I'm not quite sure what was put over it but it could only be chipped off and we were getting the hallway replastered so had to chip it off bit by bit
Maybe someone else will refidover it in years to come.
For anyone else who encounters varnished wallpaper, I found that using a wallpaper scoring tool along with a steam machine did the trick. Not a fast operation still, but you get there.
My word, we had the exact same wallpaper in our hall! It was als a nightmare to remove - used the same method Hugh described.
If you want to see a house decorated in the high Victorian style I would recommend visiting 18 Stafford Terrace. It's fanscinating if overwhelming. The houses on The Ladder wouldn't have had the same amount of money spent on them but it was the type of decoration and furnishing our forebears would have aspired to.

Nice mix of eras there by the looks of it, Tris.

That's lovely wallpaper, i'm glad you're preserving some of it.

the one on the right's a kingfisher obviously, the one on the left's a bit more tricky, it's some kind of wader, perhaps a sandpiper

The most we've done is reopen the old fireplace in the front room, it was just brickwork, but they're nice old bricks at least, and when we put in some new ones at the sides we used the dust from the base of the fireplace to make them look more like the old ones!



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