As a museum of the applied arts; the MKG boasts a great number of complete period rooms. They range from a Renaissance-guildhall parlour to a Rococo salon and music room to a contemporary model kitchen and the legendary Spiegel canteen. These “walk-in monuments” to cultural history offer insight into a fascinating variety of historic interior design and different modes of living during the past five centuries.
These period rooms enable the MKG to pursue one of its chief ambitions: making the European culture of living tangible rather than simply displaying a single object. This idea came to be realized around 1900, when at the Parisian World Exhibition several furniture ensembles, among them a glazed bay window, a wall fountain, sculptures, textiles and articles of daily use, first were acquired for the museum. These acquisitions were then arranged in an exhibition gallery to give the impression of a room furnished in the taste of the time. This so-called “Parisian Room” is the centrepiece of the famous Art Nouveau display on the first floor of the museum today. After World War II, the museum was able to integrate the Milde-Speckter-rooms, which include the Milde-room, Abendroth´s room and ship´s cabin, into its collection.
These rooms offer a preeminent example of the Northern German culture in regard to interior design and furnishings with exquisite boiserie and wall decorations. In 2011, these rooms were carefully restored and made accessible to the public. The latest addition to the Period Room Collection is that of the famous canteen from the former headquarters of the publishing house "Spiegel", which was installed in October 2012. The Pop Art cafeteria, designed by Verner Panton in 1969, is on display in the vicinity of the Design Collection. This gives the museum the ability to display and link particular objects with the colourful ensemble.