As well as providing quality entertainment and making us fall in love with the characters, the TV drama Downton Abbey has also shown us how to decorate our homes to make them look elegant and beautiful.
The program has just completed its fifth season, ending up in the early years of the 1920s. The era of the flapper has not truly begun, so the stately home is still exhibiting the elegance of the pre- and post-war years. If you want your home to have a little of the grandeur that the Abbey displays, you should be looking for luxurious fabrics and antique-style wooden furniture.
The living room
The living room or lounge is your reception area, the place where you bring your visitors, so this is the area to really pile on the opulence. Choose seating that has fabric rather than leather upholstery and do not be afraid of mixing your patterns. You can have large florals mixing with stripes, alongside plain fabrics. Hang floor-length curtains at your windows and be sure to be generous with the fabric to create a good drape. In terms of the color palette, you should aim for period colors, such as greens, reds and golds, but they should be in a muted tone rather than big and bold.
The dining room
Downton Abbey often includes scenes in the dining room and it has to be said, the family’s classic dining table does look stunning when dressed. Subdued lighting is key in the dining room, so dress the center of your table with silver or glass candelabra, the fussier in design the better. Decorate around the bases with colorful flowers and accentuate the centerpiece with greenery.
Classic dining rooms are often decorated in deep, rich colors; red is a great choice, particularly if teamed with dark wood furniture and fittings. Stop the color being oppressive by hanging a large, gold-framed mirror to reflect the light from the low-level lighting and hang an impressive glass chandelier to provide central light.
Concerning art, it is all about projecting history, so invent a background for your family by hanging portraits of people and the occasional landscape painting.
Nothing says luxury quite like a four-poster bed and they can be as simple or elaborate as you please; either leave the posts bare or hang drapes to tie around them. An alternative to a four-poster is a bedstead with a French-style headboard. Dress either side of the bed with cabinets or tables. Each table needs a small lamp, preferably with fluted silk lampshades. Create comfort and luxury by adding texture to the bed. Use quality bed linen and accessorize with scatter cushions and throws. Choose light colors, such as creams, greys and soft pinks, for the walls and fabrics and go heavy on the patterns.
Very few of us may live in a home equal to the sumptuous Downton Abbey, but we can experience a little of the glamour and the drama of the program by decorating our homes with a few design elements culled from it.