Tag Archives: downton abbey

Oh la la Inspiration – Grandeur Meets Casual

I seem to be on a bit of a gilded kick.

First, last week I read The American Heiress, a novel about a wealthy debutante from Newport, RI who travels to England in search of a “title”. The novel is full of rich imagery about the lush estate homes in both Newport and English countryside.

The Breakers, a Vanderbilt Home in Newport, RI

Second, we were fortunate enough to score tickets to attend a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra last week. The symphony hall, built in 1900, is covered in interior detailed woodwork that Wikipedia refers to as “modest decoration”. (Hah!)

Boston Symphony Hall

Last, but not least, I recently saw the season two finale of Downton Abbey, most of which was filmed at the Highclere Castle in Hampshire. The sets are sumptuous. As is the future heir of Downton.


Now, I’m the opposite of a glamazon. And, while our house decor is pretty casual, I think there is a lot of architectural and detail inspiration in these fancy-pants houses.

I started to wonder how I could take this gilded inspiration and turn it into something I may actually put in my house:

Inspiration: Tufted chairs from Downton Abbey:

via and via

Inspiration: Detailed woodwork from Boston Symphony Hall. Sans gold everything.

via and via

Inspiration: Upholstered dining chairs from the Breakers mansion

via and via

Inspiration: Candelabra Chandeliers from Downton Abbey (if only this weren’t a major fire hazard)

via and via

I suppose we aren’t that different after all!

Do you watch Downton Abbey?

Who is your favorite character? I love Maggie Smith!