An Old World Feel in Your Living Space

Do you watch shows like “Downton Abbey” or travel to Europe and yearn for that Old World feel in your living space? When most people think of the Old World, they hark back to the 17th to 19th Centuries, when parlours and great rooms were quite different from the living rooms of today. Here are six tips for creating an Old World atmosphere in your home, using carefully selected antique furniture and a few key facts about days past.

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Look at getting a wooden floor

If you are opting for an olde world style, that carpet just has to go. Wooden and stone floors are far more in keeping with the style, and these can then be softened with the addition of rugs. The best, and most stylish form of flooring, and one that is highly desirable in even the modernist of homes, is parquet flooring, that stunning tongue and groove style that has an highly stylised, antique look. For an authentic feel go for a walnut oak design, or something that has been brushed and oiled and has those inimitable chevrons.

There Were No Sofas Just chairs

During the same time period discussed above, there were also no sofas like you know them today. The sofa was just being invented in various iterations, and any seating for more than one person was in the form of a love seat or chaise

Instead, groups of chairs were the primary form of seating. In trying to create an Old World style for your home, consider adding antique chairs around your hearth. They’ll add interest and flexibility to your furniture arrangement, as well as a touch of verisimilitude.

Your antique chairs don’t have to match each other (in fact, it’s more authentic if no more than two are the same); they just need to match the overall decor of your home. Whether you go for Spanish-style tooled leather with studs and wooden carved frames or more delicate brocade Louis XV seating, they’ll look more Old World than anything you find on the market today.

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Furniture Was Multifunctional

In all but the grandest of homes, tables in centuries past were not designated for just one purpose. The same table where dinner was served might have been used as a writing desk or place to prepare food, depending on which room it was in and the home’s layout.

Trunks were used for storage, but they also served as side tables, as the occasional table and coffee table as they are known today were, like the sofa, still being invented. Ottomans doubled as footstools and serving spaces for trays of tea or snacks.

When creating an Old World look to your home, try to capture that philosophy of furniture having multiple purposes. It makes it more fun to find alternative uses for your antique pieces, and it will actually help you with some of your storage needs.

There Was No Built-in Storage

Speaking of storage, historic homes had no built-in closets and had few, if any, built-in cabinets or bookshelves. These elements were all freestanding, which made for more interesting and changeable room arrangements.

If you’re looking for an Old World feel, think about using antique armoires, highboys and hutches to take the place of built-in storage or to complement the storage you already have. These pieces are a great way to tuck modern appliances like TVs and stereos out of the way and make for a more old-fashioned look.

Lighting Was Softer

Before the advent of electricity, homes used gas lamps or candlelight. For a truly Old World appearance to your living space, do away with harsh overhead lighting and bright bulbs. Replace them with table and floor lamps with soft incandescent bulbs or sconces and chandeliers that hold real candles. Your lighting will be softer and more flattering and will work better with the antique furniture in the room.

Giving your living space an Old World atmosphere can be fun and exciting as you comb antique shops and auctions for the perfect finds. Once you make over one room in this cozy, charming style, you’ll want to do your entire house!

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The final Downton Fashion feast

The curtain finally falls on Downton Abbey on Christmas Day, with millions of fans already mourning its departure. Many will miss Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, and the inimitable Maggie Smith and her acerbic one liners. But if I am brutally honest, what I will miss most is the frocks and fashion.

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Downton started just before World War One, but the most recent series have been set in the roaring twenties, when hemlines were raised, waists were dropped along with not so few inhibitions. The 1920s is a fashion era that was truly revolutionary, especially for women, and it remains both fascinating and iconic for designers, who still find themselves influenced by pieces that are both Art Deco and yet always feel young and modern, yet decadent and glamorous.

This Christmas,  Downton style is very easy to achieve, just grab yourself a beaded dress from the huge range at House of Fraser, and sling a fur stole nonchalantly over one shoulder. (fake of course from the great collection from Topshop). You can add a Matthew Goode lookalike for good measure of course, although this is not obligatory (maybe it should be come to mention it). All you need then is an all night party with cocktails and a little bit of 20s Jazz, and you will be shimmying the night away all the way to 2016.

Dresses from House of Fraser

 Adrianna Papell Sleeveless beaded flapper style dress £161 Click to visit House of Fraser


Adrianna Papell Sleeveless beaded flapper style dress
£161 Click to visit House of Fraser

 Adrianna Papell Cap sleeve V neck gown with sequin pattern £119 Click to visit House of Fraser


Adrianna Papell Cap sleeve V neck gown with sequin pattern
£119 Click to visit House of Fraser

 Adrianna Papell All over beaded cap sleeve dress £133 Click to visit House of Fraser


Adrianna Papell All over beaded cap sleeve dress
£133 Click to visit House of Fraser

 Adrianna Papell Art deco beaded dress £240 Click to visit House of Fraser


Adrianna Papell Art deco beaded dress
£240 Click to visit House of Fraser

 Biba Tassel detail fully embellished flapper £132.30 Click to visit House of Fraser


Biba Tassel detail fully embellished flapper
£132.30 Click to visit House of Fraser

 Lace and Beads Sleeveless Embellished Flapper Maxi Dress £95 Click to visit House of Fraser


Lace and Beads Sleeveless Embellished Flapper Maxi Dress
£95 Click to visit House of Fraser

Faux Fur stoles from Topshop

Faux Fur Stole Scarf     Price: £28.00 Click to visit Topshop

Faux Fur Stole Scarf
Price: £28.00
Click to visit Topshop

Faux Fur Tonal Stole     Price: £28.00 Click to visit Topshop

Faux Fur Tonal Stole
Price: £28.00
Click to visit Topshop

Mixed Buckle Cape     Price: £60.00 Click to visit Topshop

Mixed Buckle Cape
Price: £60.00
Click to visit Topshop

Oversized Faux Fox Stole     Price: £55.00 Click to visit Topshop

Oversized Faux Fox Stole
Price: £55.00
Click to visit Topshop

 

Downton and Strictly herald the return of the fringe

It’s that time of year again. The night’s may be drawing in and the days getting shorter and darker, but they are also filled with sparkle, shimmer and…fringes. Autumn sees the return of two of the most glamorous programmes on television, Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing, and with the return of these programmes we also see the welcome re-emergence of the flapper dress, and those fabulous fringes.

Flapper dresses, the standout piece of 1920s style, is a perennial party favourite, with those long fringes perfect for those who love to standout on the dance floor. This is highlighted no better than on Strictly Come Dancing, where Alison Hammond, Caroline Flack, Pixie Lott and Frankie Bridge have already shown of their 1920s style in the first few episodes of the series.

Where the celebrities lead, the High Street is sure to follow, and this is certainly true this year. As we head closer to the festive party season, Phase Eight, M&Co, Biba at House of Fraser and Miss Selfridge have all unveiled dresses and skirts which have definite fringe appeal.

Will you be unveiling your inner 20s It Girl come Christmas party season?

Downton and Strictly inspiration

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1920s elegance

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Caroline Flack

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Alison Hammond struts her stuff.

The Flapper – High Street Style

Renata Fringe Dress £160.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Renata Fringe Dress
£160.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Charleston Fringe Dress £79.00 Was £160.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Charleston Fringe Dress
£79.00 Was £160.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Tallulah Fringed Full Length Dress £275.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Tallulah Fringed Full Length Dress
£275.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Noleen Fringed Maxi Dress £169.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Noleen Fringed Maxi Dress
£169.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Fringed flapper dress £89 click to visit M&Co

Fringed flapper dress £89 click to visit M&Co

Plus sequin flapper dress £89 click to visit M&Co

Plus sequin flapper dress £89 click to visit M&Co

Viola Blue Flapper Dress     Was £160.00     Now £80.00 click to visit Miss Selfridge

Viola Blue Flapper Dress
Was £160.00
Now £80.00 click to visit Miss Selfridge

 Biba Fringed beaded shoulder dress £149 click to visit House of Fraser


Biba Fringed beaded shoulder dress
£149 click to visit House of Fraser

Black Beaded Fringe Gown Item No. 010036023 £499.00 click to visit Jacques Vert

Black Beaded Fringe Gown
Item No. 010036023
£499.00
click to visit Jacques Vert

ASOS Mini Skirt with Fringe £35.00 click to visit ASOS

ASOS Mini Skirt with Fringe
£35.00 click to visit ASOS