Interior Decorating in the Shtetl

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    Weird question… but were people painting their interior walls different color paints in the shtetl?

    Based on photographs from Google Images, it looks like the houses were made from bricks and/or wood logs.

    Isn’t it interesting that now we have the profession of interior decorating?

    I wonder if someone in the shtetl could have imagined his or her great great great grandchild working as an interior decorator in a home with a bedroom for each child.

    The end – Thank you 🙂



    Today we’re spoiled brats.



    And when the Jews had money a few hundred years before that what did they say then



    I’ve been told that even those that had money worked hard back in the day. There was enough work to go around even with full time maids. And “doing nothing” wasn’t an acceptable pastime. I’m sure there were exceptions, but as a general rule we are a more spoiled generation, and our kids more so…

    To clarify, colored walls are not what makes us spoiled, it’s just a symptom of being catered to our whims, which for most wasn’t the case in days gone by.

    And to answer one of your questions LB, as far as I know the walls were whitewashed (with lime) for the general populace, while the rich had decorative tapestries and mirrors etc. covering their walls. (And since you made me consult Wikipedia, I now know that wallpaper was a thing a few hundred years ago for Europeans not quite as rich or aristocratic to afford large tapestries. I don’t think it included the average shtetl dweller…)

    I’d assume the craftsmen for each trade helped with design, but for all I know there were professionals/specialists that could be hired or consulted to be the design mavens.



    Mammele, so interesting!!! 🙂🙂🙂

    Thank you for your research!



    People have ALWAYS and in every country tried as best they can to make their homes “nice”. In America (and much of the modern worlds) we have more “specialists” since we have a larger supply of labor and the affluence to develop specialties. In pre-modern Eastern Europe the standard of living was much lower, and the supply of labor such that few people could specialize in interior decorating (something to do with most women being tied down with house work due to the low level of technology).

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