So the new series of has less sex appeal than the first…so what?As I watched the premiere last Friday night, it wasn’t the gossipy love affairs that kept my eyes glued to the screen. It was the racy, riotous Regency decor.
The Regency era was an age of maximum decoration. The Prince Regent, later George IV, was the avant garde tastemaker of the day.He commissioned Pavilion with its ridiculous onion domes, extravagant hand-painted wallpapers and general sense of OTT opulence. He also remodelled .
Then there was the clothing he inspired — colour, layers and patterned silks for both sexes — and flattering portraits in big gilt frames.
The influence of Bridgerton could inspire an regency trend, revolutionising interior design according to Michelle Ogundehin
Now this style shift is set to ripple through the nation once again. I firmly believe the influence of Bridgerton, which was watched by 82 million households back in December 2020, is set to revolutionise interior design. Enough of bland, Instagram-perfect homes with not a pot plant out of place.It’s time to have some fun.
The move has already started in fashion, with bold colours, floral prints and statement headpieces flooding the catwalks. Upmarket shoe brand Malone Souliers has even done a Bridgerton collection.
Now Regency England is coming for your living room, with daring colours, heaps of embellishment, panelled walls and a dash of wisteria.No wonder Google searches for ‘regency aesthetic’ reached an all-time high this month, while craft marketplace Etsy says ‘romantic Regencycore’ is among its top spring trends.
And best of all, you can recreate the look surprisingly easily — and without spending a Viscount’s fortune.Here’s my guide to your own Regency restyle, claw feet and chaises longues optional…
The ex-editor at ELLE Decoration magazine Michelle Ogundehin (pictured) says the Regency era was an age of maximum decoration and avant garde tastemaking
CLASSIC Chinese nature emblems were huge in society drawing rooms in the 18th and 19th centuries — sprigs of cherry blossom, storks, drag-ons and even peacocks strutting across your sofa or walls, as seen in Lady Danbury’s dining room.British interior brand Harlequin makes it easy with its new wallpaper and fabric collaboration with Chinoiserie artist Diane Hill (dianehill.co.uk), or invest in Jasper Conran’s Chinoiserie Green crocker teacup and saucer, pictured, £70, wedgwood.com.
PUT IN PANELLING
NO REGENCY home would be complete without panelling — although back then, the panels were more about protecting the walls from being bashed by chairs than pure decoration. But the panels were often filled with textured wallpaper — I love the Oriental design from Anaglypta (£16.64 per roll, anaglypta.co.uk) -— or plaster relief patterns.If you don’t have dado rails, they can easily be added with a quick trip to a DIY store and some wood glue, or check out the ready-made friezes, borders and complete dado panels from Lincrusta (Gothic Dado Panel, price on application, lincrusta.com). Paint below the dado rail in a darker colour, above it in something lighter — it’s a great way to make a room feel larger.
BAN beige and introduce zingy pastels to your soft furnishings.
Lemon sherbet yellows, pretty pinks, baby blues — take inspiration from the fashion of Lady Featherington and her daughters. Start with some cushions. John Lewis has a great selection, from plain velvets to gorgeous silks (Java cushion in pink, pictured, £45, johnlewis.com) Graduate to new bedsheets and indulgent quilted bedspreads from Oliver Bonas (Moe quilted velvet bedspread, £155, oliverbonas.
com). And then there’s turquoise. Bridgerton’s new femme fatale Kate Sharma wears it a lot. Enough said. Drench whole walls in the colour, or paint your stairs or hallway in it (try Graphenstone’s Grafclean in Cerulean 1l, £23.50, graphen stone.co.uk).
Never miss an opportunity to add ornamentation: tassels, flounces, ruffles, pleats and plenty of embroidery.Even pom-poms! Release your inner Lady Danbury and give your house a look of dripping opulence. Chairs, ottomans, drapes, lampshades and cushions are crying out for some fancy frills and sexy stitchery.
A good old-fashioned haberdashery is where you’ll find what you need because this is about adding to what you already have, not buying new.Keep it looking pulled together by sticking to only one or two colours for all your trims.
This elegant climber with its graceful blooms is one of the most quintessentially British plants.Bridgerton’s production designer Will Hughes Jones said recently: ‘The [price of] fake wisteria went through the roof on auction sites and eBay when Bridgerton came out. You couldn’t buy it for love nor money.’
So go one better and plant your own. Winkworth estate agents suggest that a wisteria plant can raise your property value by 5 percent.Roses, jasmine and lavender will do the job, too, with the bonus of adding fragrance. And for those with no garden, Sanderson does a great wallpaper (Wisteria Falls, £268 per 3m panel, sanderson. sandersondesigngroup.com).
LAY THE TABLE
Picture the decadent dinners hosted by Viscountess Bridgerton and aim to recreate that sense of a crowded, though never cluttered, table.
Think of table mats, runners, chargers — the decorative plates that go under your eating plates — coloured glassware, coasters and a little vase of flowers. Why? To make the everyday more beautiful. And don’t worry about being too matchy-matchy, although a vague colour theme is a good idea.
Check out Anthropologie and Habitat for perfect colourful crocks (Monogram mug, £10, and Garden Tile salt and pepper shakers, £20, both anthropologie.com). Eleanor Bowmer’s cake plates at John Lewis are also spot on (£39.95 for a set of four, johnlewis.com).
ALL IN THE DETAILS
EVEN door handles count in the Bridgerton-inspired universe.
Extra attention to detail is what matters when the whole of polite society is watching. So consider tie-backs from John Lewis (Regency tiebacks, £4 a pair, johnlewis.com) for your curtains (did you spot the gorgeous tasselled ones in Eloise Bridgerton’s bedroom?) and upgrade your plant pots — Homesenseusually has a good selection (homesense.com).
Check out its wicker or rattan baskets, too.
Invest in an elegant skinny console table for mickey mouse background your hallway, or put one in the lounge behind the sofa. Use it to display planters, books, your photos and candles in proper candlesticks or lanterns — Next has a good selection (Mango Wood Candlestick and Jenna Candlestick, both £18, next.co.uk).
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