Question: What do these 11 famous designers have in common: Chanel, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Badgley Mischka, Dries van Noten, Peter Soren, Doo-Ri Chung and Burberry?
Answer: Their 2012/2013 fashion collections were inspired by Downton Abbey.
If you are as addicted to Downton Abbey as I am, you will agree that a good part of it’s enjoyment comes from vicariously luxuriating in the life style of the castle’s inhabitants. The pleasure of looking at the authentic period interiors is more subtle but no less captivating. Take out the fashions and gorgeous interiors and Downton’s story line in Season 3 may not be enough to keep me coming back.
We should not be surprised to hear that the Downton Style has begun to penetrate the world of interior design. Last Friday’s WSJ ran a story one how all of a sudden trendy young interior designers are making New Years resolutions to use more Chintz in 2013!
The 12 interiors in today’s post show how to use the Downton Abbey aesthetic in a modern way. Each of these 12 interiors is designed around a beautiful needlepoint rug, because needlepoint rugs are the heart and soul of English stately homes.
Lady Edith gets married in Season 3. Image courtesy The Huffington Post.
1. Interior designer Elissa Cullman introduced color and pattern to this elegant master bedroom with a cream needlepoint rug with blue, green and coral floral vines. Large expanses of pale yellow-green walls and fabrics feel calming. The tall ceiling arches are trimmed in white to reflect the light from the cut glass chandelier. Image courtesy Pinterest Welcome Home.
Lady Edith, Lady Mary and Lady Sybil in yellow green and sea blue. Image courtesy Pinterest Downton Abbey.
2. Justine Sancho interior design anchored adjoining seating and dining areas around two Mid Summer Night needlepoint rugs by Asmara in a large family room in Potomac, Maryland. For more details see:14 Gorgeous Rooms: How to Decorate with Needlepoint Rugs and Red Rugs.
The flowering trees in the needlepoint rug echo the gardens visible from French windows that run the length of the great room. The living area’s sofa fabrics play off the yellows and greens in the needlepoint rug while the dining area fabrics resonate with the red flowers in the needlepoint rug. Green walls unify both areas into a coherent whole.
Lady Sybil and Lady Mary. Image courtesy Pinterest If Only…..
3. “This sun room by Cindy Rinfret doesn’t have any of the clichés of a traditional sun room but still perfectly captures the relaxed mood that should define any sun room space” wrote designer Elizabeth McGann. Image courtesy Elizabeth McGann and Rinfret, Ltd.
The brown and pale beige color scheme of the Ascot needlepoint rug is continued in the drapes, sofa fabrics, pillows and walls. The brown woods of the coffee table and sofa add contrast. A silver and pale blue French chair and pale blue pillows complement the browns and beiges.
Lord Grantham in Season 3 of Downton Abbey. Image courtesy marieclaire.co.uk
4. Eric Guenther of Whim Home did not have to change any of the fabrics, furniture and wall covering when he placed the Asmara Canterbury Bessarabian pile rug in his guest bedroom in Southern California. The jewel tone colors of the Canterbury rug (also available as a needlepoint rug) adds life to the faded fabrics, weathered wall covering and antique furniture. This room has a lived in European look reminiscent of the Stately homes in London’s World of Interiors. To learn more see 7 Decorating Tips: Bessarabian Rugs with Blue, Gold, Red and Green. Image © Asmara, Inc.
Lady Mary. Image courtesy Downton Abbey: Season 3.
5. Charles Faudree unified two seating areas in this beautiful living room with a large needlepoint rug in cream, taupe, sea blue, aqua and gold. The cool colors in the needlepoint rug balance the large expanses of warm yellows and golds on the walls and sofa and tie in the aqua table, commode and pillows. Image courtesy Pinterest Needlepoint Rugs Style.
Lady Mary and Lady Sybil in somber reflection in a drawing room scene from Season 3 of Downton Abbey. Image courtesy The Huffington Post.
6. A view of Jackie Onassis’ dining room from her living room. An edge of the living room’s dark green needlepoint rug with a vine and grape pattern is just visible. Jackie moved to this 1040 Fifth Avenue apartment in 1964 and lived there until her death in 1994. Interior designer Keith Irvine, a former associate of John Fowler and Keith Richard Langham a protege of Irvine worked on this apartment over the years. Image courtesy Pinterest Decorating with Red Rugs.
6A. Another view of the living room in Jackie Onassis’1040 Fifth Avenue apartment with the dark green needlepoint rug. This view appears in two portraits of Jackie by Aaron Shikler, see below. Image courtesy Sotheby’s via Pink Pill Box.
6B. Jackie in a painting by Aaron Shikler. Image from the Pink Pill Box.
6C. Another painting of Jackie by Aaron Shikler in the same living room. This one is the official White House Painting of Jackie. Image from the Pink Pill Box.
6D. Jackie’s library at 1040 Fifth Avenue had an English needlepoint rug with alternating red and cream medallions with red, black and gold. This Victorian needlepoint rug was originally in the second-floor Oval Room of the White House which was designed by Sister Parish. This rug was sold by Sotheby’s for $43,125 as part of the 1996 auction of Jackie’s estate. Image courtesy House Beautiful Magazine via the Pink Pill Box.
Lady Mary Crawley. Image courtesy Pinterest Downton Abbey.
7. Bunny Williams designed this Federal style dining room with Asmara’s Directoire Needlepoint rug (also available as a Directoire oriental rug) to complement the Federal dining table and chairs. The green and pomegranate red accents in the needlepoint rug are picked up by the dining chairs and the hunting scene wall mural. Image courtesy House and Garden Magazine.
Lady Sybil, Lady Edith and Lady Mary at Lady Edith’s wedding in Season 3. Image courtesy telegraph.co.uk.
8. Cream, aqua, sea green, blue and taupe accents in the Madeira needlepoint rug pull together the sea green table, aqua cabinets, taupe bench and cream French chais in this vignette in Whim Home designed by Eric Guenther. Image © Asmara, Inc.
9. A black English needlepoint rug in a Victorian design of red, gold and white cabbage roses intertwined with blue morning glories defines the foyer of Iris Apfel’s New York apartment. A painted blue and gold curved cabinet picks up the blue flowers in the rug and the three French chairs upholstered in a multicolor geometric pattern add a contemporary touch. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
Joanne Froggatt as Anna the ladies maid gives one of the better performances in Downton Abbey. Image courtesy mylusciouslife.com.
10. Interior designer Cindy Rinfret, author of the book Greenwich Style designed this romantic living room with pale pink walls, a white marble fireplace, pink ottoman and French chairs with cream, pink and green floral fabric all pulled together by a cream needlepoint rug with floral vines in pink, gold and greens. Image courtesy Pinterest Needlepoint Rugs Style.
Martha Levinson: “Oh dear, I’m afraid the war has made old women of us both.”
Countess Violet: “I wouldn’t say that, but then I always keep out of the sun.” Image courtesy The Huffington Post.
A cream, dark brown, black, green and red Bessarabian flat weave rug provides a strong anchor for the black screen, rose sofa, black Chinoiserie coffee table and floral fabrics in this traditional living room. Image courtesy Pinterest Beautiful Living Spaces
Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley overcome their latest quarrel and get married in the very first episode of Season 3. Image courtesy fanpop.com
12. One can imagine Anna the ladies maid has just set the tea tray for Lady Mary to enjoy on the regal Neoclassical canopied day bed after tossing of her golden slippers on the the beautiful floral needlepoint rug. The gold, coral green and pale blues in the needlepoint rug provide most of the color and pattern in the room while a coral and black armchair adds pop. Grey and white striped edges on the daybed canopy and drapes adds the needed geometric touch. Image courtesy courtesy Pinterest French Interiors.