Fine Living....Oh to be a Crawley!
I don't know how many of you have gotten yourselves locked into the new obsession that is "Downton Abbey," but I can tell you, I am one! I had heard many Facebook comments on how great the series is and how they can't wait for it to return on t.v. Well, stories that take place in the early 20th century are just not my taste, but one of my oldest clients told me that I have to watch. She brought me the DVD's back in March and after a few episodes, I was hooked. I will go ahead and admit, I have now watched every episode, some twice. The first time was to catch the story, the second, to catch the parts of the plot that I missed, but more importantly, to observe the beautiful interiors that create such a majestic castle. If you don't know this already, Downton is a real castle in England called Highclere Castle. Many of the scenes from the t.v. show are filmed in the actual castle, including that fabulous dining room. There is talk in the home furnishing industry that there will be new lines of furniture inspired by the show, and I think as a result, we will see a resurgence in Victorian styles that are influenced by this era in English history.
I think the most spectacular room in the castle is the Dining Room. Anchored by the large triple pedestal Regency dining table and Hepplewhite chairs, the Lord and his wife are able to entertain the most elite in England. But just so you know, you also see him dining with his unmarried daughters every morning for breakfast (the Lady of the house gets breakfast in bed, of course). The large painting at the end of the room is of King Charles I and was painted in 1635. Add in intricately woven linens, the finest of china and crystal, and spectacular silver candelabras and it is a fabulous room in which to dine.
My other personal favorite is the large room or space in the entry of the house also known as the Saloon. The rug in this room has to be one of the most spectacular rugs I have ever seen. I know that it must be of the highest quality Turkish rugs produced. The tufted back chairs with rolled arms are classic English style. The velvets add a luxury that this space demands.
In coming weeks, I will add more rooms to the blog. We will examine the Count and Countess's spectacular bedroom and the library. And if you haven't seen the show, I suggest you look it up on Hulu Plus or buy the DVD's!