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Homes Rich people usually lived in a town house called a domus Many of them also had a country house called a villa Most people who lived in towns and cities rented an apartment called a cenaculum Some apartments were big and luxurious but others had only one room The richest Romans lived in grand comfortable houses set in beautiful gardens hidden from the rest of the city by high walls Only wealthy Romans could afford the space for courtyards and fountains in their homes in the middle of the city Many wealthy Roman houses consisted of a kitchen family bedrooms a dining room tricilinium a meeting room atrium a guest room and a study for the master They didnt have wallpaper or carpets Some had small rugs but expensive houses had patterned floors called mosaics made from tiny pieces of stone They used limestone for white and blue brick for red and purple and glass to give other colours Mosaics were made by spreading plaster over the floor and then pressing tiny squares of bright stone into the plaster to make a picture The gaps between the squares were filled in with plaster Fine houses had walls built of lumps of stone mixed with mortar a kind of cement Stone masons cut the stones to shape Most houses had windows small panes of blue-green glass set in a wooden frame while some had iron grilles for protection The wall-plasterer and painter had to work quickly The plaster was smoothed on to the walls and the painter painted his design while the plaster was still wet When it dried the wall painting had a shiny finish When the walls needed redecorating the old paint was covered with a thin layer of plaster ready for a new design The private house had large kitchens with different fires for cooking different types of food
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