Monday, 3 February 2014


The English Stately home look is all the rage and particularly in the USA where 1stdibs have just  run an article on "Getting the Look". I thought that we could add to their selections

The entrances or halls of large English house can be magnificent indeed, often with soaring ceilings and the use of marble as here at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, where until recently the magnificent exhibition of pictures bought by Catherine the Great was on show loaned by the Russians.

Halls aren't always this big! but if you have the space a centre table with a wonderful bunch of flowers always gives a grand impression on entering a house
library table

William IV mahogany centre table with a 4ft 6" diameter is a good size for a large display of flowers from the garden……

William IV Giltwood Chairs from Julia Boston Antiques
and somewhere to sit down and get your breath after a long drive a pair of gilt wood William IV arm chairs add a sense of theatrical grandeur.
From the entrance advance into the house to the drawing room or sitting room

Here the stately homes of England display their finest furniture and pictures, often bought abroad during the 'Grand Tour' in the late 18th century or just acumulated over the generations. English country houses are known for their freezing cold bathrooms and dogs on the furniture……….

pomona painting from Julia Boston
Here are some further ideas for that look, 
Here in England we may no longer hunt foxes with hounds but they are still part of country life.
Louis XV commode
The dining room where politics, flirtation and gossip can abound, where certain subjects are taboo and where almost anything can become part of the conversation as long as it not too vulgar ……..dogs and horses rather than children, shooting parties and fishing in Scotland, plans are discussed and history can be made.
English William IV Sideboard 

Every house would have had a wine cellar but for everyday convenience the cellaret is a small elegant piece of furniture where a 20 bottles of wine can be kept at close hand
English Cellaret
With dinner by candlelight mirrors on the wall add to atmosphere
gilt regence mirror
Above the dining table chandeliers glitter in the light from the candles on the table
A Pair Of Six Arm 19th Century French Chandeliers From Julia Boston
All large English houses had libraries, somewhere to go and read in peace
Comfortable chairs, book lined walls and luxurious tapestries tables to sit at when reading and desks to write those long letters
George III tallboy showing iternal secretaire
An 18th century English tallboy opens to reveal an escritoire 
The top of this architects table lifts and slopes or can remain flat

A large desk is a luxury and this one is large with loads of storage space 

French Composition Mirror from Julia Boston

and so that you can check that you are looking your best before going down for dinner a full length cheval mirror
and for the walls….
You don't need a stately home to get the Downton look, it always helps! But the look is more than achievable in a more normal sized house and it doesn't need to be in England it can be anywhere…..

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