The Details

As you may know I live in England and we have a wonderful thing called the National Trust. They basically look after our beautiful old buildings, preserving them for future generations, our coastline too. What it means is, nosey people like me can immerse themselves in amazing architecture, and imagine, what if… Near where I live in Cornwall we have Lanhydrock House, a gorgeous Victorian home that has a perfectly preserved upstairs-downstairs lifestyle.

You can get overwhelmed  by the amount of embellishment and grandeur, but I like looking at the details. We actually have a company locally, Bromleighs, who specialise in period fixtures and fittings. The door handles, light switches, letterboxes etc. that fit a specific period. They have even supplied the National Trust. I mean imagine a Downton Abbey parlour with white glaringly plastic light switches!! The shock.

In praise of period details, here a few elements that shouldn’t be missed, the unsung heroes that make a space authentic.

The real-life Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle

The Master in Downton Abby

Period details from Downton abby

Rich dark wood of the library in Downton Abby

Dramatic scene from Downton Abby

When you are restoring a period house some people strip everything away but the bones of the place, and then fill the interior in contrast with the ultra modern. Sometimes though I think the soul can be lost. I am zoning in today on the overlooked details that can preserve the integrity of a building.

Here we have a dove grey door with a silvered handle, complementing it perfectly.

Antique style door handles

As you may well know, I am a fan of mix and match. There is quite a lot going on in this bathroom, but I think it works. What I really like is the mirror and light fittings in this dark, brassy metal.

Old brass fittings in a contemporary space

I love these old radiators, especially in sunshine yellow!

Blue walls and yellow radiator

Beautifully finished, this kind of handle would look at home on a ruggedly knotted and aged door.

Brass ribbed door handle

The handles here, in my humble opinion, make this kitchen. Lovely rich dark blue units, marble counter tops and a touch of brass.

Kitchen units in navy blue with brass metal handles

I love this light, so solid, so certain. Bolted onto the wall like it really belongs there!

Wall light in brass and white glass

Back to blue again, it just works so well! And what a lovely leathery colour.

Bathroom door in dark blue with antique style handle and lock in brass

Of course it is important to look up too. Georgian houses especially had beautiful freezes of intricate plaster. This is actually taken from another National Trust property, Llanerchaeron in Ceredigion.

Plaster work detail from a National Trust house

Another great mix. I included this bathroom because of the peg hooks, a lovely detail, and because of the sage green and zesty orange combo!

Roll top bath, peg hooks and black wire storage in a contemporary twist on a modern bathroom

My final thought goes to lighting. You can’t go wrong with a chandelier, no really. Even this rustic space is made complete with an antique-style pendant.

Brown interior with dark wood and an antique style chandelier

Down to the Wire

I love the impact simple lines can have. Bringing a form down to its bare basic is something I appreciate in art, and in an interior I think it can work too. Wire in lighting design is everywhere at the moment, be that spindly strands of LEDs or striking strong black metal or geometric bronze.  These are a few that have caught my eye.

Cubist in shape, this shade hovers over its three hanging light bulbs. Designed by Anastasia Vishnevskaya, I love the boldness.

Black wire series of squares pendant shade

Perfect for a teenagers bedroom, this cloud has a golden lining .

Cloud wire light

You cannot underestimate the power of a simple black line! This stark and vast reception has elegant black wire pendant lights, rigid and beautiful.

Comerical space with black hanging wire lights

In a similar vein, these pendant lights cut striking shapes in geometric forms. The black casing dangling with glowing bulbs below.

Pendant lights hanging in black outlined shapes

Spider-like this, little light uses thick black lines in cartoon angles.

Black little pendant wire lamp

How is it that inanimate objects can project such personality? These wire table lamps to me look huddle, hunched, perhaps the lighting version of the Liverpudlian vultures in Disney’s cartoon Jungle Book!

2d looking black wire table lamps

This pair have borrow from tradition for their shape. Flared at the edge like a lady’s dress or a flower. Uniform wire spokes cage the light bulbs perfectly.

White and brown wire lamp shades for pendant lights

This string of lights uses presents the wire in the shape of a light bulb, simple but effective.

Light bulbed shaped metal shades on a string of lights

The close together wire here almost becomes a woven mesh. I am mesmerised by the silhouettes created by the bulbous shapes.

Black lamp shades made from wire in pendent shapes

Could it get anymore simple – the clear black lines perfectly suspend the cone shaped shades.

elegant black wire suspended lights

This trio are diamond-like, hanging in strong geometric frames. They look heavy, substantial, maybe even bat-like and gothic.

Three diamond shaped pendant light shades as wire cages

Perfectly minimal, skewed pyramids look hand drawn mid air!

Metal cage frame for pendent lights in angular triangle shapes

Conjuring the feel of bygone times, these skeletal lamps have feminine flair.

Traditional shaped wire haging lamps

For my final wirey inspiration, a substantial piece of lighting design which hangs like a full fisherman’s catch. The netting of lights glows with warmth in an industrial space.

Fisherman's net style light, bulbous wire creation with light discs

Fuel for any much needed ‘light bulb’ moments.

The Top 10 Chandeliers I Would Love to Own

A chandelier is defined as a decorative, sometimes ornate, light fixture suspended from a ceiling, and usually having branched supports for a number of lights. These lighting statements date back to medieval times and have by no means lost their lustre. The classic incarnation we are all familiar with is draped in crystal with little candle like bulbs and shiny metal and is quite at home in grand surroundings, but the modern interpretation is often equally as elegant or bold.

Even a little kitsch I think is acceptable! Here are a few I found that get me thinking any room could benefit from this grand but delicate statement light.       

1) Now this is a statement piece – you would have to have a high ceiling but what an amazing addition to a room this tropical palm chandelier would make!

Amazing Palm chandelier

2) I love this ring shaped chandelier, paired with a tufted purple coach and antique mirror this room is a treat.

Vintage ring chandelier

3) Bear with me, yes this is a very blue glass chandelier – but suspended in a blush pink room with the right eclectic mix of keep-sakes this light would look right at home.

ornate and delicate blue glass chandelier

4) This epic light is modern to a T, interpreting the usual crystals on a chandelier in an raw, edgy way. This ring of light I would place in a drawing room, maybe over a card table with deep green velvet sofas and plenty of polished brass.

Crystal ring of light

5) This is most definitely the Marie Antoinette offering to our collection. This would be perfectly paired in a playful interior or for a very pampered princess.

feminine pink and blue chandelier

6) I love this light with its golden globes and black lines. I can’t think of a space that this wouldn’t enhance.

Modern chandelier with bulb lights

7) This cascading chandelier is like a magical waterfall. Perfectly placed within the spiral of the staircase this light fitting doubles as a piece of art.

Chandelier like a waterfall

8) You would half expect a little bird to fly in a window and land on this centre piece. I like the strong black silhouette and cluster nature of the leaves.

Black modern chandelier

9) For a more rustic approach try this simple metal and candle chandelier which fits perfectly in this fresh beachy home.

Rustic metal chandelier

10) What a beautiful divider this droplet chandelier makes, the shape perfectly resembles water in a really relaxing display.

Droplet chandelier

Please click on the images to find the source.