This chapter traces the many contested ideologies and practices beneath Victorian practices of maintenance. The writings of Thad Logan on the Victorian parlour, of Deborah Cohen on nineteenth-century material possessions more generally, and of Margaret Ponsonby on the early nineteenth-century home, are all recent examples of scholarship that proposes sensitive strategies for understanding the material culture of domesticity. By the mid-nineteenth century the significant growth of the urban middle classes fuelled an ever-growing demand for new houses, furniture and furnishings. The chapter considers working-class experience. Even working-class women who worked as servants in other people's homes sometimes recorded the pleasure they could take in surface maintenance. Within the academic field of aesthetics, Thomas Leddy has analyzed the appeal of what he calls "everyday surface qualities" and the attractions of "sparkle and shine," surface effects that may be valued in certain contexts, yet condemned as "glitzy" or "gaudy" in others.