Downton Abbey DIY Decor
Ah, Downton Abbey. Are you already hearing the theme song your head? I find it can get stuck in my mind like an endless loop after I see PBS commercials go by.
Have you been watching? Do you have a favorite character or story line? I find the show so beautifully designed that I hardly know where to look when I should be watching the characters. Although, nothing gets my attention more that Maggie Smith’s entrance in a scene. I believe she has the best one-liners I have heard in a long time. And I love that her character seems to know it.
Downton Abbey is in reruns on PBS here in Maryland. Mr. CARO and I have been catching the last season’s episodes again on Friday nights. We tend to have our TVs on as we go from room to room doing our end-of-the-week Friday evening household chores. Because so much of the drama involves the servants, you can almost trick yourself into believe you are part of them if you find yourself dusting or vacuuming while they are also doing housework.
We are big fans of this show, as is practically every other person I know. There has been so much written (and photographed) about the costumes and casting (and setting) for this show that I almost dismissed the concept of this post because I thought it might be overdone.
However, as we were talking on Sunday night, I made a joke with my husband about the imminent arrival a new line of (fictional, yet) extremely large furniture at Macy’s called “The Grantham Collection”. Since PBS was able to successfully sell reproductions of Lady Mary’s jewelry for a while, it seems like the obvious next step.
So, I decided to build a DIY Downton Abbey room on Pinterest, just for a lark.
I built the room from my own instinct and memory of the show’s design, without looking at production stills or watching the reruns while I worked. When I was done, I asked Mr. CARO to review my selection and give me his opinion of how I did. From the other room, I could hear him laughing and saying, “Yes!” as he scrolled through my choices.
The room I decided to recreate (à la Downton Abbey) was the library. I think a library is one of the truly defining things about an English country house. It reflects the personal style of the current resident, but also tends to much some of the family history in the home. It is a primarily masculine room, historically. (Girls do get up to all sorts of thing when they are taught to read!) However, I wanted to make sure I included that warm feeling that sometimes brought the ladies of the household into the room.
I scoured the internet for all of my sources for this mood board. Some of them may seem to come from very random places, but that was the exact place I found the image of the item I was needing for the library. I like putting the mood board on Pinterest because it automatically gives credit and a link back to its original source. In most cases, you can also use the links to find out who makes and how to buy the chosen item. (If you happen to buy yourself one of those gorgeous decanters, I’d be happy to help you christen it!)
I’ve included notes on all of my room choices, to explain why you would want or need each item in our little dream room. Now all you have to do is supply yourself with a very old large room, with large windows and a serious fireplace. Simple, right? Here’s a little sneak peek of my Downton Abbey library:
Want to jump directly to the mood board? Just click on the picture above or use the Pinterest link on the page’s sidebar to see all of my boards.
Now I want to hear from you about Downton Abbey. How did I do on this mood board? Was I close? Can you think of anything I missed? Do you have a favorite room that we’ve seen on the show? What about the “smaller” homes we see, like cousin Isobel’s house or the Dowager House Maggie Smith’s Violet lives in? Share with me like you’re reporting on a social scandal from London!
If you like this Downton Abbey post, you might also enjoy related posts from the blog’s archives, including these:
- A trivia quiz about antique household tools that Mrs. Hughes would ace
- A historical explanation of the mail exactly as Carson receives it
- Popular additions to British homes from Granny Violet’s time
- Lawn furnishings for picnics on Downtown Park’s grounds
- A tour of (son of an American heiress) Winston Churchill’s country home
See you tomorrow!