Be Inspired: Downton Abbey Style

Are you as addicted to Downton Abbey as I am? Season 3 premiered last weekend, and I can’t wait for the next episode. Filmed at Highclere Castle and set at the end of the Edwardian Era, Downton’s interiors encompass the eclectic range of styles and influences from the late Victorian to late Edwardian era. While I adore the story, it’s the interiors, furniture, luscious fabrics and gorgeous clothing that keeps me waiting with great anticipation each week.

Obviously as enamored with soft, pastel colors as we are, the rooms are filled with antique furniture pieces upholstered in rich brocades, floral patterns, gilt mirrors, and chandeliers to reflect and catch the light. Then there are the pillows, the antique books, the silver tea services, and all things that make our heart beat faster. The beautiful feminine style is balanced with just a few darker wooden pieces to make the interiors classic, and not too overdone.  And let me just point out those stunning chandeliers again!

A close up of the chandelier in the drawing room room, above, literally dripping with cut crystal prisms, to reflect the light a thousand times around the room.  The Grantham family loves gilt details, the moldings in this room are grandly embellished with gilt, the French style chairs, the frames, all subtle but elegantly done. Since electric lighting was just beginning to be introduced in these grand homes, most chandeliers were converted at the time.

In the Edwardian era Downton Gothic inspired salon, the color palette is slightly darker.  This was the center of most of the family’s social gatherings.  Unusual wall coverings in this room are made of leather, note the huge fireplace, and the japanned chests so beloved by the Victorians.  Such a beautiful space to entertain guests!

The Music Room features beautifully  polished wood floors layered with rich oriental rugs, the baroque ceiling was painted by Francis Hayman in the 1730’s.  On the walls, Italian 16th century Italian embroideries, beautifully ornate.  The love of gilt abounds, from the frames of the chairs to the details all around, set off perfectly by the simple English Tea Table. {notice the French Toleware flower container too!}

One of the many guest bedrooms on the south side of the home.  Again, gilt touches bring grace an elegance to this room, with the Bergeres Chairs, and the ornate French Mirror.  Another fireplace for warmth, and sumptious Lace hangings on the bed make this a wonderful room for a guest. {maid included!}

Downton Abbey has brought back our love for the charming Edwardian era. There is no reason why you can’t adopt a little of the Granthams’ inimitable elegant style  into your own home!   There are opportunities grande and small….start with a silver  teapot & a collection of delicate porcelain teacups, or go grand scale with a pair of elegant French Bergeres, then add chandeliers, antique vanities, a lovely oil painting or two.  Don’t neglect your boudoir, either, with vanities, dressing sets, even gloves and jewelry.  Below are our top choices for getting that charming Downton look:

Downton Style:

1.Vintage Gilt Rococo Louis XV Armchairs.
2. Antique Crystal Chandelier 8 Arm.
3. Antique French Limoges Pot.
4. Vintage Enameled Floral Filigree Bracelet.
5. Antique Cased Cranberry GlassPowder Jar.
6. Antique Silverplate Tea Service, Antique Bridal Basket with Hummingbirds.
7. Antique Fine Rose Oil Painting.
8. Vintage Louis XVI Gilt Vanity.
images; Highclere Castle; Masterpiece Theatre

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10 Comments

  1. Gail
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Lidy, How did you get these pictures of the abbey? great marketing!
    Love it!

  2. Lidy
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Gail, they are mostly from the Highclere Castle website, and the dowager is from Masterpiece. I love Downton Abby, and the show has truly brought forth a love for the Edwardian and Victorian antiques I sell! xo

  3. Diana
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    OH.. I am in AWE of the layers upon layers of the Edwardian Style.. I just am
    so enamoured with all the lovely interiors- look forward to seeing them each
    week. The Salon with it’s oranges and corals is simply breathtaking.. and
    the of course the chandeliers are equally as beautiful ! Thanks so much for sharing
    these wonderful photos- the entire post is wonderful.

  4. Lidy
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    DIana, me too! I love every room, although they are quite HUGE…would need lots and lots of servants to clean and polish. Thank you for your visit.

  5. Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh my! I missing out! I haven’t watched this show (yet) and with all of talk of it, I better get catching up! Everything is gorgeous Lidy! I love perusing FGH. xo

  6. Elsie
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I love Downton! My new silver tea set arrived last Friday, LOVE it, thank you for always having the best of the best pieces for sale. Other websites may come and go, none are a match to yours. I will remain your loyal shopper, so glad I found your ad in Victoria magazine long ago. Elsie

  7. Lucille
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I just started season 1. Looking forward to the rest. Please email me regarding the vanity mirrors you have for sale right now. I am looking for sterling, to match the powder box we bought from FrenchGardenHouse. Happy New Year Lidy to you, and all who work with you. hugs, Lucille

  8. Posted January 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    One of the best things to hit TV in years. I wish it could be a soap and last for the rest of my life. The house is amazing. Will they loose it? Where will the money come from? A friend says the railroad will come through at the last minute.Another wedding tonight? Lovely post/ Richard from My Old Historic House.

  9. Posted January 13, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Such a feast for the eyes! Lovely photos. I don’t think I’d want to live in such splendor, but visiting weekly is just perfect. I love the fashions the best of all, though! The late Edwardian and the 20′s are just my favorite.

  10. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh I love this post. I’m a recent devotee, and the interiors are just amazing!!

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