English country house
Lets leave the continent and travel to
in England, outside of London, courtesy of my Australian penpal yet again.
You may recognize the Palladian house as it has been featured in many recent movies and tv shows: Downton Abbey, Marie Antoinette, Dorian Gray, and Pride & Prejudice to name a few.
The couple who donated the house and collection to the National Trust in 1978 after restoring it, Lord and Lady Iliffe, retired to the wing seen above to the left. Not a bad retirement, no?
One of my favorite parts of any English Country house are the staircases: here you can see the stone delicately cantilevering out of the walls.
The house is actually a rather recent building as it was basically a shell when the Iliffes acquired it.
The couple spent decades collecting pieces of 18th century houses which were being demolished at an astonishing rate to restore the houses' neoclassical interiors.
Much like other country houses decoration from many centuries are shown side by side.
I love this pair of knife boxes in the shape of urns shown flanking the fireplace in the dining room above.
The decoration encompasses all manner of furnishings and art that one expects to see in a house which has been constantly occupied for centuries: all gathered in the span of 3 decades.
This Adamesque painted ceiling is stunning.
And I know many of you will love these formal pelmets.
Recognize any of the interiors yet from your favorite tv shows or movies?
I especially love the library, particularly the mid century fabric on the couch and easy chairs.
Many great mirrors are to be found in all of the rooms.
The plasterwork in the hall above is stunning.
While none of the artwork is particularly important it is highly decorative. Each piece was chosen for its scale and to add to each room's ambiance.
Although with ceilings like this do you even need artwork on the walls?
And of course it wouldn't be an English country house without beautiful bedrooms.
I'll leave you with this image of Lady Illife's very 1950s bathtub (I hear the kitchens also were the height of 50s high style!) - don't miss those fabulous faucets!
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