Skip to content
Open today 10am-5pm

Rooms Through Time

Travel through time as you discover homes, personal stories and objects reflecting the lived experiences of our East London community—past, present and future.

Our Rooms Through Time explore how ways of living, furniture, textiles and decor have adapted through the ages, from the wooden interiors of the 1630s and Victorian floral motifs to mid-twentieth-century geometric designs and speculative visions of a future home. 

Dive into four centuries of home life and the evolution of real London dwellings from 1630 to 2049, encountering fragments of the stories that constitute our shared history.

Why do the galleries look different?

The last major development to our Rooms Through Time was in 1998, with the creation of original period rooms from 1830 to 1998, housed in a new building extension known as the Branson Coates Wing.

These latter rooms closed in January 2024 for refurbishment as part of the Real Rooms Project. Opening July 2024, the newest rooms now span from 1878 through to 2049 - illustrating how homes have changed and will continue to alongside societal and technological advancements.

 

What to expect

The galleries are housed along our Grade I-listed Almshouses and the curved Branson Coates Wing.

They present a variety of spaces and families in the home, initially focusing on the main living area for owners who would have had enough money to decorate and live comfortably. From the Townhouse in 1878 onwards, these evolve into bedrooms, bathrooms, gardens and kitchens, co-curated with our community partners and centring lived experiences. 

In response to audience feedback, visitors will now have the opportunity to step inside the spaces and immerse themselves in each.

Learn more about accessibility at Museum of the Home

Plan your visit

The Rooms

These rooms are restyled throughout the year by our curators, with the most significant changes taking place during the colder months for our annual Winter Festival.

 

Large wooden table with stools and one large chair, in wood panelled room

A Hall in 1630

All of the household, including servants, sit down to eat together.

Find out more
A wooden table set with a white and blue cup, small plates of nuts, a candle in a brass candlestick

A Parlour in 1695

The family are proud to host their guests in their smart new room.

Find out more
Tools for cleaning on a wooden fire in front of a fire place

A Parlour in 1745

The mistress is expecting guests round for tea and she wants the parlour to be sparkling clean.

Find out more
A table surface with playing cards, stemmed drinking glasses and the gold base of a lamp

A Parlour in 1790

Everyone is full from dinner, and they have settled down to play cards.

Find out more
A wooden table with a pile of books in the background and in the foreground a half-written letter and an ink pot

A Drawing Room in 1830

It is mid-afternoon and a mother and her daughters are gathered in the drawing room.

Find out more
A open box full of fabric and letters on a colourful print carpet

A Townhouse in 1878

An Ayah, Bunoo, is packing up her things in this terraced house on Oakfield Street in Chelsea.

Coming soon
A table with a picture frame, scissors, and other items.

A Tenement Flat in 1913

On Friday nights the Delinsky family welcome in Shabbos marking the Jewish day of rest, which begins at sundown in a few hours’ time.

Coming soon
A bedside table with a rosary, clock and other personal items

A Room Upstairs in 1956

Newlyweds Kathleen and Jack are getting ready for a big night out at the Galtymore dancehall in Cricklewood.

Coming soon
 Interior of a room with a lamp, pictures, and a dresser.

A Terraced House in 1978

The family have all gathered around the television for the premiere of Empire Road.

Coming soon
White dresser with TV on top, with videos and CDs next to it

A High-rise Flat in 2005

Nadia, Ashley and Alex have grabbed a paintbrush and are personalising their shared home.

Coming soon
Plate of food with lime and herbs, a colorful and flavorful dish.

A Terraced House in 2024

It is Sunday afternoon and the Nguyễn family are spending quality time together, having lunch and singing karaoke.

Coming soon
Architectural model featuring two windows on a building facade.

A Converted Flat in 2049

The Innovo Room of the Future explores home amid technological and societal changes.

Coming soon

Online only

These rooms have been refurbished and are now available to learn about exclusively online. Co-curated to be more representative of our local communities in Hackney, the Rooms Through Time explore the innumerable ways in which we make our lives in our homes. Our beloved Parlour in 1870 and Front Room in 1976 remain, expanded in size and scope.

 

Room with wooden floor, blue sofa and mustard coloured armchair and glass coffee table

A Loft-style apartment 1998

The couple who own this apartment have friends over for drinks after work.

Find out more
Close up of a living room dressed in a 1970s style. There is yellow and brown patterned wallpaper, plastic flowers and a model of a dog next to a television set

A Front Room in 1976

There's 'Saturday Soup' for dinner as everyone has been doing their chores to clean up the front room.

Find out more
A recently abandoned breakfast table. Two blue plates, one has half eaten toast on it and the other has the remains of a fry up. There are crumbs on the table as well as a pepper shaker

A Flat in 1937

A maid is coming to collect the resident's half-eaten meal and dust the room.

Find out more
A wooden table set with a glass, a postcard and a black and white photo of a person in military dress

A Drawing Room in 1915

Mother and daughter are knitting socks to send to soldiers at the Front to keep them warm.

Find out more
An open piano with a book of music set up. On top of the piano are various ornament and it is next to floral curtains and an armchair upholstered in red

A Parlour in 1870

Anne and Daniel have invited a professional medium to hold a séance for their close friends.

Find out more

Domestic Game Changers

In an introduction to the Rooms Through Time, examine this display of everyday objects that might not look very special but have had a huge impact on our home lives.

Real Rooms Project

Years in the making, we are working with our visitors and communities to understand what the Rooms could look like if we were to rethink who they are about, introducing narratives deeply intertwined with London's complex history of migration and identity.