Is anyone else as in love with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell as I am? I’ve been borderline obsessed with Susanna Clarke’s novel for years, foisting it on all my friends, relations and, on one occasion, a stranger on the Tube. So it was with a squeal of delight that I learned that the BBC was turning it into a TV series.
Two episodes in, and I’m completely hooked, and not just by Clarke’s captivating tale of 18th century magic. It turns out the Georgians really knew a thing or two about decorating. The show is packed full of sumptuous interiors to ogle at (when I’m not busy ogling Mr. Norrell’s glowering manservant, Childermass, that is).
Prompted by the show, I’ve picked out some of my favourite Georgian-tinged interiors from theROOMedit.com for design inspiration.
Heavy drapery is a hallmark of Georgian decorating – the more luxuriant the better. I love the way the deep fuchsia of this bed canopy puts a contemporary spin on a traditional style. The trellis wallpaper adds a subtle period touch, too.
Speaking of drapery, what do you say to these stunning silk curtains? The natural wood pole helps to tone the curtains down, making them look right at home in a modern bedroom.
Any self-respecting Georgian gent would embark on a Grand Tour in his youth, bringing back treasures he picked up along the way and proudly displaying them in his home. It’s a decorating trick that works just as well today, as this living room so expertly demonstrates. Shame we no longer have servants to do all the dusting, though.
Running water would have been practically unheard of in Georgian times (so would baths, for that matter), nevertheless, we think we’d feel suitably stately taking a swill in this freestanding metal tub. If you happen to have a spare column base knocking around from your Grand Tour, why not use it as a handy side table?
This Rococo-style mirror would have been far too frivolous for most 18th-century British tastes, but would certainly have appealed to interior decorators across the Channel in France.
Besides, every good magician should own a sizable mirror. You’ll have to read or watch Jonathan Strange to find out why.
(Told you I was foisting it on everybody).Read more →