Whether we’re getting a peek of true luxury in Blair Waldorf’s Gossip Girl apartment, hanging out in the bar in Cheers, or sampling the amazing view of Seattle in Frasier; TV shows transport us to beautiful and iconic destinations.
Although TV sets are often gateways to fictional narratives and locations, many are real places. As a result, there’s no reason why we can’t bring some of our favorite show’s best parts into our homes.
Take Downton Abbey, for example. Although the abbey itself is a fictional place, most of the show is filmed at Highclere Castle in Newbury, England. As a result, visitors now flock to the location to see where famous scenes took place and see the fabulous décor in real life. If you’re interested in bringing some of the landed gentry’s luxury to your own home, then here’s how:
#1 Add Ornate Paneling to Your Living Room
Although Highclere Castle’s 1840s renovation showcases the best of Victorian-era living, the set’s ornate paneling means that it also follows one of 2020s hottest design trends: wooden paneling.
According to this guide from Houzz, you can use this design technique in a way that suits your space. It can either be intricate and ornate or modern and minimalist. Either way, wooden paneling will add depth and texture to your space, which will make it appear more homely. If your living room looks ordinary and bland, paneling like the type seen in Downton’s dining room will inject personality and class into the space.
#2 Make original features a focal point
The current Lady Carnarvon (who lives at Highclere Castle) believes that her home is quite a masculine space. So, in order to stay true to the castle’s heritage, she tries to keep the original wooden floor and bold red tiling wherever she can, according to her interview with Country Living.
This is a design ethos you can take into your own property. If your home has period features such as fireplaces and wooden floors, expose them and celebrate them. By spending a few hours removing lacquer or unboxing a chimney breast, you can recover an old relic that may become your new favorite feature. Plus, it’s easy to accessorize these period features with statement patterned rugs, accent chairs, and intricate chandeliers, much like the ones in Highclere Castle’s sitting room.
#3 Extend to add Reception Space
Although you can echo many of Downton Abbey’s best design features in your humble abode, there’s one element of the castle’s design that’s difficult to replicate: space. After all, the castle covers 30,000 square feet and has a total of 300 rooms (including 61 bedrooms).
As a result, if you’re looking to add a drawing room or a library to your property as a reception space, you’ll likely need to build an extension. Although these are expensive, you have multiple funding options. As a result, you should speak to a financial adviser. An independent mortgage broker such as Trussle will be able to advise you on whether remortgaging can help you fund the project, or you could speak to a bank about the option of a home improvement loan.
Although adding a Downton-esque drawing room to your home will be costly, it’s better to think of a project like this as an investment. After all, it could significantly improve the value of your home.
Follow these three tips and you’ll have no problem converting your home into a Downton Abbey-inspired masterpiece. Although your home may not be as grand as Highclere Castle itself, incorporating the show’s best design features in your space is easy. Plus, because you’re running a smaller property, you won’t have to worry about the running costs, unlike Lord Grantham and the Crawley family.