The drawing room is central to an estate home. After all, where would the family duke out their battles in private and barely hold it together for guests?
Gilded finishes, intricate furnishings, and antiques define drawing rooms of the day. The more ways to (tastefully) display one's wealth and noble lineage, the better. But today's manor-inspired spaces mix in a little less formality and a lot more nods to modern design.
In this modern take on the drawing room, a few clean-lined pieces slip in, as do hints of electric blue, which we imagine would be embraced by the junior Crawleys. But the estate is no stranger to the unexpected. (See: Sybil's harem outfit, Mary's bob, or anything Lady Rose does.)
And if the junior Crawleys (we're talking to you, Mary) were to get their hands on the redecorating keys, we imagine it would go something like this: still grand, airy, elegant, and a display of fine breeding, but with a much more modern take. (Do we see an emphasis on electric lights?)
The manor of the Dowager Countess imbues the softer side of the period's decor, as does this charming parlor and dining room. Airy hues, curvaceous furniture, and delicate prints set the stage for afternoon tea. And gossip, of course. And perhaps a few barbs between Violet and the Dowager.
While none can rival the dramatic entrance hall and staircase in the Grantham home, this wood-paneled one comes pretty close. Hang some ancestral oil portraits and, if you squint, you may envision one of the Downton characters gracefully ascending or descending the stairs.
The dining room is a place to impress guests, and it's where the upstairs and downstairs worlds collide. Horrors if the substitute first footman were to serve guests canapes on the wrong side.
We're pretty sure Lord Grantham would approve of such manly art.
While airy colors were a hallmark of Edwardian style, you'd still find plenty of rooms with dark wood finishes and heavy furnishings as melodramatic as the story lines that played out for the inhabitants, especially those of the gentlemen's set. Just tell us where to put the gambling table.
What a perfect stage for Lady Mary and Tom to have it out with Lord Grantham over one of their newfangled ideas for the estate.
Dramatic beds were a focal point in manor house bedrooms. This handsome four-poster sheds the ubiquitous layers of fabric in its present day setting. But layers of pillows and a flouncy bed skirt in a chintz pattern evoke historical tones.
Couldn't you see a present-day Sybbie coming of age in a bedroom as decadent as this? (And, spoiler alert, let's face it, Edith probably dreams of a bedroom as grand for her tucked-away secret child.) Bed canopies with matching drapes and bed skirts and ornately carved beds capture the formal tone of the era's style, but pink accents provide a youthful punch.
Light but decadently appointed, this boudoir is the perfect retreat for a lady of the house to soothe her ruffled feathers and plot her next move.
Such a handsome bedroom would be fitting for the Lord's "arguing with the lady"...err...dressing room.
Although Downton Abbey gains electricity and a phone line along the way, the running water situation is a little unclear. (To discuss such topics, especially in the presence of the Dowager, would be gauche.)
For the sake of our 21st century expectations, we hope a present day manor would include a luxurious bathroom with all the modern amenities, but still awash (pun intended) in the decadent details found elsewhere in the home.
And lest we forget the downstairs folks...if we were the modern-day lords and ladies of the estate, we'd lobby for a major kitchen upgrade.
Plus a colorful makeover for Mrs. Hughes's parlor.