18th & 19th Century Wares

410 Queen’s Pde, Clifton Hill

Victoria, 3068 Australia

Tel: +61 3 9489 8467


Wednesday – Friday: 10am – 6pm

Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Closed Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays & Public Holidays

Budget Edwardian DIY Downton Abbey or Gosford Park


This splendid and comfortable interior successfully evokes the elegance and comfort of the Edwardian Age, much popularised by Downton Abbey, and to a lesser extent other recent “Bonnet Dramas”. This 1980s recreation demonstrates how a few, well chosen trophy antiques provide elegance and richness, while the abundant soft furnishing (which could be anything under the throws or loose covers) provide the lush comfort of the Edwardian period. The use of dairy colours: butter and cream, provides the golden warmth.

This opulent and luxurious room could be imitated surprisingly inexpensively. Chandelier perhaps $1500. Vintage Louis XV or Chippendale style chairs say $1000 each. A bigger budget could accommodate earlier chairs in this style. Gilt mirror, if mid 20th century Italian carved wood, about $1500. Old electric wall sconces, the wires pulled out $600 pr. Instant ancestors could be genuine Georgian oils from about $2000 each upward. Victorian or 20th century oils in the style from, maybe $400 upwards. After this any addition of bronzes, paintings, porcelains etc enriches the scene. Then, as one’s fortune grows, one can gradually replace things with better and better things, and following Country House tradition, move the displaced items to the next important room. In this way the great stately houses over generations ended up with the whole house filled with good quality, durable furnishings. The bedroom chairs were often those bought at great expense for the Drawing Room three generations before.


Photograph from “traditional Style: How to Recreate the Traditional Period Home” by Stephen Calloway and Stephen Jones, Pyramid, 1990.

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