For many people watching Downton Abbey it’s not just the torrid drama of the upstairs-downstairs relationships that’s so enthralling; the early 20th century home that houses the drama is equally mesmerising.
Inspired by the interior design style of the Edwardian era, the successful television series has fuelled an appetite for period elegance all over the world. If you’ve been inspired by the stylish sophistication of the enormously popular British drama, you’re probably considering injecting some of that aristocratic glamour into your own home.
Most of us will only ever get to tour an Edwardian manor home, but regardless of whether your home is more of a suburban bungalow than a stately manor, you can enjoy the opulence of period-era interior design wherever you live.
The early part of the 20th century was time of revolutionary change in interior design. The cluttered style of the Victorian age was phased out with the introduction of electric lighting and heating. Escaping the need to mask smoke tainted walls with heavy colours, stately homes introduced pale shades that added a bright and clean atmosphere to the house.
The Downton Abbey interior design style maintains this rich colour scheme, keeping ceilings and woodwork white, and employing highly polished furniture to reflect the abundance of light. As with the simmering drama of the TV series, there’s an underlying duality to the period style. Delicate china is used to contrast with ancient oak antiques, soft rugs brighten up stone floors, while generous mirrors catch the sparkling firelight.
The Downton Abbey interior - dripping in opulence
To achieve stunning period elegance style you need to think about crystal chandeliers, gold leaf finish, velvet throws, and oodles of silk fringe. You have probably noticed that every time the extended family sits down for their evening meal in Downton Abbey, they are bathed in light of a huge amount of candles. If you want to dine in the period style, you’ll require at least one vintage candelabra at the centre of your room.
This period elegance interior design style is characterised by sumptuous furnishings made of gleaming mahogany and oak, endless yards of lace, and luxurious neutral colours. Wallpaper embossed with stylised floral patterns are a must for any home hoping to capture the elegance of this interior design style. Alternatively you can choose wallpaper with swirling Art Nouveau flowers below the dado rail, with a plain but striking paint colour above.
Highly polished wood floors decorated with a lavish oriental rug that reflects the hint of colour in your wallpaper, can add that extra sense of style. An exotic hand-stitched cushion is the kind of traditional craftsmanship that can add instant period elegance to any living room.
Choose a stately bathroom suite
For your bathroom you simply cannot go beyond a traditional style suite, such as the Winchester bathroom suite from VictoriaPlum.com. This range is true to the period elegance interior design style, combining traditional and classic elements from the Edwardian era with modern fashions that will fit right into your home. To complement the suite, you can add a traditional heated towel rail and a gorgeous Winchester single ended slipper bath.
The Winchester single ended slipper bath will certainly make you feel like a Lord or Lady
For a bedroom as grand as a stately home get a button backed bedroom chair with turned legs. When choosing suitable upholstery for a button-backed armchair, lilac velvet trimmed with pearl grey makes a striking fashion statement in any bedroom. Adding a flamboyant brass chandelier and a vintage style bed made up with sparkling white linen, will give any bedroom a dose of Edwardian glamour.
No period home is complete without a suitable kitchen, so don’t forget to create a downstairs as impressive as your upstairs. In Downton Abbey’s kitchen the drab greys are contrasted beautifully with the polished silver and ivory colours.
So before you start watching the next series of Downton Abbey, settle into your new velvet armchair with a cup of Earl Grey and wait for the design inspiration to strike.
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