Downton Abbey Reimagined

Downton Abbey Reimagined: How Could The 1920’S Country Manor Look


The highly anticipated Downton Abbey sequel has been officially delayed from Christmas this year to March 2022.

Production on the movie is expected to finish next month, while the cast have been sharing some behind the scenes looks at what to expect. And filming crews were recently spotted at both the Grade II listed building Sudbury Hall in Suffolk and the Essex coastal town of Harwick.

The incredibly successful period drama first found fame on ITV 1 where it ran for six seasons before earning a feature-film adaptation that served as a continuation of the series.

The first film was released back in 2019 and now the sequel looks set to hit theatres next Spring.

Fan favourites Hugh Bonneville. Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leech and Maggie Smith are all believed to be returning for the new film.

And it’s not just actors that are returning.

Grade I listed building Highclere Castle, which stood in for the titular Downton Abbey in the series and first film, recently confirmed the house would be closed to the public as the sequel began filming there.

The success of the popular drama has subsequently helped fund the renovations of Highclere Castle, the family seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

In fact Lady Carnarvon, who has overseen the renovations over the past 20 years, is believed to have been the architect behind the distinct style and decor of each of the rooms that make up the house today.

But what if the renovations of this iconic home had been completed by someone else, how different could the Downton Abbey we’ve all come to know and love look?

This led Age Co to imagine what could have been and reveal how Downton Abbey might look if different celebrities were in charge of redecorating.

For example would Graham Norton prefer bright and bold colours or would he prefer something a little more earthy in tone?

In order to determine how each celebrity would decorate the palace, Age Co used photos from their homes to identify their individual interior style; from contemporary and mid-century modern to the Scandinavian style favoured by Joe Wicks.

As Digital Optimisation Marketing Manager at Age Co, Tracey Heap, explains; “Everyone has their own unique style and personal taste, and often one of the ways we most express this is through how we decorate our homes. And celebrities are no different. Everything from our choice in colours to how we arrange the furniture helps paint a picture of who we are as a person.

“Buildings like Highclere Castle are so iconic and are instantly recognisable, but as their ongoing renovations prove every now and then they need to be updated and that presents an opportunity to better reflect its residents. Everyone’s home is their castle but what’s considered to be the ‘in’ style in interior design changes every year and sometimes doesn’t match with our own personal taste.”

The celebrities featured in Age Co’s redesigning of the White Drawing Room include popular food writer and chef Mary Berry,  comedian Graham Norton, TV presenter Ruth Langsford, sport’s personality Joe Wicks and TV icon Gloria Hunniford.

Mary Berry – Country Farmhouse

Mary’s style is probably the closest to how the iconic location currently looks, however slightly updated for modern tastes. Farmhouse decor is often referred to as a style that introduces rusticness and is considered warm, traditional and chic. And while it does traditionally have that vintage feel it can, and often is, paired with a modern touch.

One of the most noticeable characteristics of this particular design is its clean lines, coupled with simple, functional and rustic furniture. This particular style prioritises neutral colours, and basic materials. Farmhouse decor prioritises practicality; decorativeness comes second.

Graham Norton – Contemporary Style

Graham’s style is based on the here and now as opposed to a specific time period. Contemporary is often compared to modern and sometimes even used interchangeably, however what sets the two apart is contemporary’s ability to be more fluid.

For example, contemporary may feature curved lines and organic silhouettes and often borrows heavily from other styles. Key elements to look out for are neutral palettes, minimalism and natural textures.

Ruth Langsford – Modern Style

On the other side of the coin is a modern style, mainly based in the 20th Century as its name suggests. The design employs a sense of simplicity in every element, including furniture. At its core, modern style is sleek, with minimal clutter or accessories involved.

Think earthy palettes, natural materials like wood, leather, stone, and streamlined silhouettes.

Joe Wicks – Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian design pays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in Nordic countries. Key elements that define this style are spacious, natural lighting, less accessories and functional furniture often with sculptural influence.

Other common characteristics include all-white colour palettes and the use of natural elements like form-pressed wood, bright plastics and steel. Where colour is injected, it often comes from art work, natural throws or a statement piece of furniture.

Gloria Hunniford – Mid-Century Modern Style

Lastly Gloria’s style of mid-century modern, which as you may have guessed takes its inspiration from the style of the 50s and 60s. There’s a retro nostalgia present as well as elements of minimalism functionality or ‘fuss free’.

The design places emphasis on pared-down forms, natural or organic shapes such as ‘egg-shaped’ chairs, easy-to-use contemporary designs and simple fabrications.

Article Contributed by AgeCo

Age Co provides a range of services aimed at helping older people enjoy later life, continue to live independently and ensure financial security. Products sold under Age Co help to raise income for Age UK, the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most out of later life.

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