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The Wallpaper at Downton Abbey


I admit it. I watch Downton Abbey. These days most of the wallpaper I install comes from England so I can’t help but be a wallpaper Anglophile.


The authenticity of the set designs show the beautiful wallpaper used during the Edwardian period (100 years ago). These patterns are now available again from wallpapers manufacturers like Farrow & Ball, Cole & Son, Sanderson. Just last week I installed this Silvergate wallpaper from Farrow & Ball in a dining room in private home in Washington, DC.

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13 comments… add one
  • Matthew J. Mosca January 10, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Hello Patrick- the filming you illustrate- isn’t that in the three story Hall – I caught a program on the making of Downton Abbey- and I honed in on that wallpaper- is it indeed paper? I thought it could be leather, or a pressed paper painted and glazed to look like leather. Evidently the house was a modest Palladian mansion that Barry turned into the present English Renaissance confection in the mid-nineteenth century- wonderful! Do you know anything about that particular wall covering? thanks!

    • Patrick January 10, 2013, 8:04 pm

      Matthew,
      In this picture, I think it is leather. The architect used the same treatment in the Houses of Parliament. Here’s a link to a wikipedia article about the house, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highclere_Castle

      Thanks for reading my blog!
      Patrick

      • Eloy January 15, 2013, 7:18 am

        The wall hangings in the great hall of Highclere Castle are indeed made of embossed gilt leather. Actually, this gilt leather can be indentified very accurate: It has been made in The Netherlands in one of the Amsterdam gilt leather factories, circa 1640-1660.
        This leather wall hanging has survived in an extraordinary good condition, and belongs to the best gilt leathers that are surviving from the Dutch Golden Age. As such, it is an extremely rare and important example of the Dutch decorative arts from the same time of Rembrandt and Vermeer.

  • MaggieO January 10, 2013, 4:22 pm

    Hi Patrick, I too watch Downton and I am fixated on the wallpaper/ decor in each room. On Sunday night – series 3- I couldn’t take my eyes off the wallpaper. I am a serious wallpaper junky since my first job at age 15 years. I also love fabrics too. Your video was amazing…love it…and will play it again….trying to understand you mitre work on the borders. Not sure where this house is but I am originally from Dumbarton Scotland now living in Canada. Graduated Interior Decorating 2012 and have so many sample wallpapers (some Farrow & Ball)- love each one- some a little more than others. Highlighted William Morris work in my last project…and painted my front hall in Farrow & Ball’s French Gray last fall – love that paint. I really enjoyed your blog and of course the video. Thanks

    • Patrick January 10, 2013, 8:00 pm

      Dumbarton house is in Georgetown ,Washington DC . Today it is the headquarters of the Colonial Dames and was the house Dolly Madison fleed too when the British burned Washington durning the War of 1812.
      The paper used is by Adephi Paper hangs an American woodblock printing wallpaper manufacture from New York .
      So glad there are still people who love wallpaper!

  • Jane Stockel January 10, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Hi, I am new to the group and live and work in Bowral NSW Australia. I too am a Downton Abbey ‘ Junkie” . here are some facts about the house. Its name is Highclere Castle, located near Newbury in Berkshire southern England, not in Yorkshire as suggested in the series. It is the home of the Earls of Carnarvon and the current Earl and Countess have opened their home for the filming of the series. Like many UK stately homes, the running costs and repair bills are huge, so the series will provide a welcome income going forward. One of the current Earl’s ancestors was a very famous Egyptologist. The park for the house was set out by renowned English gardener, Capability Brown.

    • Patrick Shields January 10, 2013, 11:49 pm

      Thanks for the info. My wife love Jane Austin movies and I love to watch for the interiors!

  • MaggieO January 11, 2013, 6:27 pm

    Thanks Patrick. That was very interesting and I will look up the history on Dumbarton House further…who knew there may be a connection to Dolly Madison…always learning.

  • John Kemper Martin January 23, 2013, 6:46 pm

    Pat, I enjoyed your video and comments and info you are one of the best Artisans I have worked with over the last 30 years. Contact me anytime that you may need a hand on a project Residential,Historical,Home,Office. My Website Link http://kempermartin.com All the best and glad you are still available for such projects of experience knowledge and passion. John

  • S. Van Schaick Saint Laurent January 31, 2013, 1:19 am

    It is a delight to read that individuals still recognize great design and design elements-adorning rooms and theatrical settings. In today’s world it is becoming increasingly lost in the flurry of reverting to embellishing one’s hide-in a primitive way-namely, design being misguided by being thrown into the abyss of a tattoo craze. Keep the interest of great design going strong into this century-so it will not be forgotten-and under appreciated-Sincerely, an Olympic artist, set designer, interior designer(-Commercial and Residential), muralist, fine artist-who appreciates great design.

  • Maria Hill February 25, 2013, 10:34 pm

    Might you know the name or manufacturer of the yellow Damask(ish) pattern used in the late Lady Sybil’s room? I am a mother determined to find it for my daughter’s room. Thibault has a close one…Thanks!

    • Marie Charlotte March 13, 2013, 12:23 pm

      I am on the same quest as you Maria. I love that pattern both classic and very modern, and its tone is just perfectly smooth.
      I would love to hear if you can find it, and I will share if I do

  • Eulalie Anne Susen November 19, 2013, 4:54 am

    Hello Pat, I am looking for a mural wallpaper for my front hall, staircase, and upstairs hallway. I remember seeing fox hunt scenes that would go on forever. Have you seen these and would you know where to find them. I am sure they are from the UK and have seen one in particular in a dining room outside of Charlottesville, VA. Thank you so much. Best regards, Anne

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