Downton Design: Colors

Tonight is the premiere of Downton Abbey’s 4th Season!

Although I wish that I could say I was on the Downton bandwagon since the beginning, I only began tuning in a year ago. My mother-in-law and I began watching it last January and proceeded to watch all of seasons 1, 2 and 3 as quickly as possible.

I am so excited to see what is to come in season 4, but have decided to wait patiently for my husband to watch seasons 1-3 with me before getting wrapped up in the 4th. (I think he likes it so far)

While re-watching episodes over the past few days, I have become inspired once again by the colors and design of Downton Abbey.

Highclere Castle is the on site location for Downton Abbey and what a grand place…

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle

Many of the upstairs common areas displayed in the show are actual rooms within the castle. For instance, the Saloon Gallery shown below.

The Saloon entrance hall, Highclere Castle, home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon, Newbury, Berkshire, England, UK. Photo:Jeff Gilbert

The grandeur and detail of this and every other room depicted is not to be taken lightly. Yet the colors in each room grasp our attention and have a reaching effect on both the atmosphere of the room and the characters within it. Similarly, color can personify a character; drawing viewers in by way of the character’s surroundings. With all of that in mind, I decided to try to find paint colors similar to those in my favorite Downton rooms.

First, is the drawing room. This is usually where we see the family retire after their dinner and where we occasionally see Cora and the girls working on needlepoint or greeting guests during the day.

Drawing Room

Drawing Room

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Drawing Room

My initial thought for a paint color to emulate this wallpaper was Sherwin-Williams Dupioni (SW8057); however, I was unable to find it on their site. Perhaps it was discontinued?! Nonetheless, I think that Quietude (SW6212) is an apt substitute. This color would truly be gorgeous in any space:

SW6212 Quietude

SW6212 Quietude

Next, we turn our attention to the Library and Dining room.

Dining Room

Dining Room

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Library

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Library

Both rooms have fantastic amounts of ornate woodwork, paintings, and furnishings in rich hues. Even so, a buttery yet luminous pale yellow brings a bit of cheer and light to the spaces. For this reason, I think Lantern Light (SW6687) is a perfect fit in these rooms.

SW6687 Lantern Light

SW6687 Lantern Light

Though this next room is not set in Downton Abbey itself, Isabelle’s Drawing Room of Crawley House has seen its fair share of animated conversation, so to speak. Most often between Violet, the Dowager Countess, and Isabelle Crawley herself.

Isabelle's Drawing Room - Crawley House

Isabelle’s Drawing Room – Crawley House

This room always seems to sing in the sunlight. With its gold accents and beautiful blue walls, this space never disappoints.  Dockside Blue (SW7601) is a dead ringer.

SW7601 Dockside Blue

SW7601 Dockside Blue

The room of Her Ladyship, Cora, has also been a cool toned favorite of mine.

Cora's Room

Cora’s Room

Cora's Room

Cora’s Room

While Cora’s room shares a similar color to that of Isabelle’s drawing room, her room incorporates blush pinks and touches of gold for a graceful and elegant touch. Sherwin-Williams Stream (SW6499) is my choice for this stylish space.

SW6499 Stream

SW6499 Stream

Almost on the other end of the spectrum, we have Mary’s rooms. Much like her personal life, Mary tends to lean towards the dramatic. First, her vivid room as a young, single woman; eagerly searching for a husband.

Mary's Room - Single

Mary’s Room – Single

I think we can all agree that the wallcovering here is striking, but Antique Red (SW7587) could be a close alternative.

SW7587 Antique Red

SW7587 Antique Red

Then, there is her room as a married woman. I don’t think bold Lady Mary is afraid of color, do you?

Mary's Room - Married

Mary’s Room – Married

When I pulled out the paint chip for this color I nearly gasped; its name is so alike the life of Mary. Sherwin Williams Raging Sea (SW6474)

SW6474 Raging Sea

SW6474 Raging Sea

This look through the chambers of Downton Abbey has made me even more eager for Season 4 and a return to this regal estate and its inhabitants!

To those of you at the edge of your seats along with me, Happy Viewing!

And to all those who have not taken the Downton leap… This is one of the instances where if everyone is jumping off the bridge… you should join them!

Catching Up

Hello! I have been out of pocket as of late and want to catch up with you on what has been going on over the past couple of weeks.

First, we have two huge new houses that we are designing for clients in Cabo (hopefully I can go for the install!). The best part of Mexico/vacation homes is that clients are more willing to get out of their comfort zones. Bright colors, bold patterns and fun! It has been a blast, but a ton of work as well designing and quoting furnishings, bedding, drapery, etc for two homes. Here is a sneak peak at some of the fabrics selected for one of the homes:

From Left to Right: Master, Living/Dining, Guest #1, Guest #2, and Guest #3

From Left to Right: Master, Living/Dining, Guest #1, Guest #2, and Guest #3

Next, I discovered Downton Abbey a few weeks ago! I watched the first season through Netflix, watched the second season with my sweet MIL through their On Demand, and just finished season three online at pbs.org. All I can say is, “OH MY GOODNESS! Best show on television.” I am totally bummed that there are only 7 episodes per season and now I have to wait till NEXT YEAR for season 4! Hurry up January 2014!

Last, I have been on the hunt for a great piece of art to go above our sofa. This search has been going on for months and I FINALLY found something in the style I wanted, appropriate size, fabulous style, and reasonable price range that I so desired. (Now you know why it has been a several month search!) However, I finally found THE piece. I will plan to show it to you in a post tomorrow with info on the artist, etc!

That’s all for now. Check back tomorrow to see my pretty new friend!