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Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia/Painted Rooms/About the Painted Rooms Database

The house was decorated by popular local painter George Lyons of Falmouth. His style was characterized by rich colours such as deep green, and opulent designs, including stucco work scrolls, morning glories and roses along the tops of walls. On the second-floor in the Sam Slick Room (right front bedroom) George Lyons painted a free-hand wall frieze depicting scenes of the countryside in brown tones. In another second-floor bedroom, The Windsor Room, he created a raised stuccowork border depicting ribbons and bows.

About the Painted Rooms of Nova Scotia

Interior decorative painting flourished throughout Nova Scotia, particularly during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century. The forms of decoration included painted wall murals, painted borders, stencil work, and decoratively painted ceilings and floors. Such decoration also extended, at times, to other surfaces, such as furniture and fireplace mantels. In addition to pictorial elements, decoration often featured marbleisation, faux wood grain, and other faux finishes. The mostly anonymous creators were often painters without formal training.

About the Database

The database presents documentation (photos, maps, letters, deeds) of 131 painted rooms and related decorative artifacts found in more than 75 Nova Scotian communities. Each entry in the database contains a descriptive record as well as location, ownership, building information such as plans, and a description of each property and its painted interior. Most have a series of photos that can be enlarged by clicking on one photo then viewing the photos as a slide show.

Users can choose to view all the descriptive records in order, or opt to browse the database by COUNTY or PROPERTY TYPE. Provision is also made for keyword searches.



The kitchen, the lady's parlour, the office and the entire second floor were skilfully restored and renovated. To date they maintain the structural and historical integrity of the late Victorian period. The colour palettes are appropriate to the era and the wallpaper and stencil designs are all based on Victorian motifs. In 2001, Mrs. Coolen and her daughter received an honourable mention (second place) in the Historical Restoration category of the Nova Scotia Home Awards competition.

Contribute Records to the Database

By collecting and sharing this information about Nova-Scotia's decorative-painting heritage, HTNS encourages the identification of hitherto unknown examples of the art form. To submit information about undocumented decorative painted surfaces of historical significance contact paintedrooms@htns.ca. The more we can collectively learn about the extraordinary painted rooms of Nova Scotia, the better we can ensure that they are appreciated - and preserved.