Over the last four weeks, I've been riveted to the tv set watching Downton Abbey on PBS. I wrote more about it on ::Silver Screen Surroundings::, but wanted to share some detail shots and shopping ideas for getting the look of the incredibly gorgeous drawing room.
The series is set in post Edwardian (1901-1910) England and begins in 1912. The series was shot at Highclere Castle in Newbury, which is part of Hampshire, England. Highclere, like many stately homes in England, is open to the public for events like weddings and for movie filming. It was previously used for the Hallmark Hall of Fame's The Secret Garden, the movie Eyes Wide Shut and reportedly Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In those movies, the castle is used as a dark and foreboding place. However, in Downton Abbey, it's depicted as a warm and inviting family home. As a matter of fact, the series took full advantage of the existing decor, much of which is appropriate to 100 years ago. The images above are from Highclere Castle's website and shows a room that is substantially the same as the room shown in the movie. There are a few differences, such as the rug and lamps. Even the window treatments are the same. As would have been in the case 100 years ago as it is today, homes of this type would feature beautiful furnishings from many different eras and nationalities. There is a mix of English, French and Italian furnishings which pulls together for an incredibly beautiful and feminine room.
In the scene above, Elizabeth McGovern (Cora, Countess of Grantham) and Hugh Bonneville (Robert, the Earl of Grantham) carry on a conversation. The set decorators have clevery incorporated some post Victorian era touches such as the fringed piano shawl and lampshades.
19th c. Louis XV gilded armchairs at 1st Dibs
Dame Maggie Smith (The Dowager Countess of Grantham) paying a call.
French 19th C Louis XV style commode at Jans Antiques
French Mahogany side table circa 1830 at Trianon Antiques
Antique 19th C French Aubusson at 1st Dibs
19th Century French needlepoint pillow at 1st Dibs
English Regency side table at 1st Dibs
The two Countesses have a meeting of the minds in the drawing room
The Dowager Countess feels blinded by the electrified chandelier.
French 20th century chandelier by Maison Bagues via Trianon Antiques
The youngest sister and budding feminist , Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay) models her new harem style outfit, much to the shock/surprise/amusement of her family.
Reaction montage courtesy of Vic of Jane Austen's World - an amazing resource for Janeites and fans of historical drama.
English Regency Tea table at 1st Dibs
Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham) looking dapper by the fireplace (btw - he played the sad/silly banker friend of Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, amazing transformation!)
French Cassolette's circa 19th century via Trianon Antiques
Of course, the architecture, gilded millwork and silk damask wallpaper really is the icing on the top of this fantasy room.
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