Shondaland’s latest show, Bridgerton - a beautiful and indulgent period drama - has taken the UK by storm. And it’s not just Julia Quinn’s detailed and witty characters that have enchanted the nation, it’s the incredible settings too.
Bridgerton was filmed in 15 locations, including: Ranger’s House in Greenwich, RAF Halton, Hatfield House, Wilton House, Badminton House, Holburne Museum of Art, Castle Howard, and North Mymms Park.
You might recognise some of the homes as the backdrops of other iconic period films such as Rebecca, and The Favourite (Hatfield House), Pride and Prejudice (Wilton House), and The Crown (Somerley House).
These grand filming locations were carefully transformed to provide the perfect Regency-era settings. But, it wasn’t as simple as just copying early 19th Century interior styling. The production team aimed to create a ‘heightened reimagining of the period.’
Will Hughes-Jones, the production designer said: ‘It was all about creating a clean, fresh, colourful world modern audiences could relate to.’
The result is a sumptuous, modern, blend of luxurious fabrics, bright colours, and clever styling - with lots of pleasing hidden details.
Inspired, and ready to take on a new 2021 decor challenge, we took a look at how we could introduce some Bridgerton beauty into our own homes…
If there’s one, very clear, interior design lesson to be learned from the set of Bridgerton, it’s: don’t be afraid of colour.
The sumptuous interiors of these grand houses manage to balance rich, bright hues, whilst also maintaining the sophistication we might traditionally associate with Regency-era design. But, how can you replicate it?
First pick your principal colour, and work from there.
You’ll notice that each of the homes on Bridgerton are designed around one or two colours. Variation is then brought in through the use of different shades of this colour.
For the Bridgerton family, the theme is blue and cream. Then in each room you’ll see layering of different shades of blues and creams, from powder blue, to deeper tones, and whites to creamy champagnes. Although bright and colourful, all the decor remains carefully restrained within the parameters of these colours.
Production designer Will Hughes-Jones said: ‘The Bridgerton house for me is like being inside a piece of Wedgwood ceramic. It’s that beautiful, beautiful soft blue and lots of creams.’
You can achieve the same result with different colours too. For example variations on reds and pinks - or for a more modern take: blacks and greys.
The important thing to remember is that if you’re bold with your colours, you’ll need to tone down other elements of the room. Architectural historian, Oliver Gerrish, notes: ‘Later Georgian interiors, otherwise known as Regency, can be daring and colourful or simple and light…. This approach works well today with Art Deco pieces and well-proportioned, plain furniture.’
Colour isn’t the only thing that makes the homes in Bridgerton so enchanting. Each of the rooms and places has been carefully designed to take into consideration the unique characteristics of the families and individuals using them.
For example: just as the families each have a colour scheme, they also have their own motifs. These are scattered throughout their homes - and occasionally on their clothing too.
The Featherington family motif is the butterfly, and if you look closely you’ll start to see butterflies popping up all over their home - including around 600 metal butterflies, carefully interwoven into their bannisters. These repeated motifs bring a sense of individuality and cohesion to the design of the house.
Think about integrating a motif or other decorative elements that reflect your personality throughout your home. Not only will this add a subtle nod to your personal style, it’ll also give a sense of continuity throughout your home.
Top Tip: for that extra dose of Regency style, consider a motif inspired by nature.
It’s hard not to be just as blown away by the exterior of the grand homes in Bridgerton as their interiors. From the wisteria draped doorway of the Bridgerton residence, to the arches of Lady Danbury’s house, to the landscaped gardens of the Duke of Hasting’s London home, we were enthralled.
Not only did the gardens play an important role in the hosting of lavish balls, shots of the fronts of the houses demonstrated the importance of paying attention to the front of your property too.
In fact one of the filming locations - No. 1 Royal Crescent, in Bath - was used solely for the Featherington family home’s front door.
This is an important lesson. The exterior of your home is both your chance to make a stand out first impression, and a place you can use as an additional living space.
Nowadays, most people - particularly those living in modern London - don’t have access to the sort of grand grounds that would allow you to host a ball. But, that doesn’t mean your outdoor space is worth ignoring. In fact, having a well-kept garden can increase the value of your property by up to 20%
Trailing plants like wisteria or ivy, will happily grow along and up walls in most areas of the UK, and don’t need much space to get started. Wisteria (the purple plant you’ll see adorning the Bridgerton family home) is best planted in autumn or spring. Ivy is less fussy and can be planted at any time of the year.
If you have enough outdoor space for some furniture or plants, think about how you could make the space more inviting for entertaining. Consider tables and chairs for leisurely evenings. Lighting, from lamps or fairy lights, can also make the space more practical for regular use.
Did you know: The wisteria on the Bridgerton family home was added just for the show, in order to increase the ‘enchanting appearance’ of the property. It actually had to be carefully planted and taken apart three times.
If you’re not ready to make any big changes to the design of your home - can still get your Bridgerton interiors-fix by introducing some small Regency-style elements to your current decor.
Brass door or cabinet handles
Marble (or faux marble) table tops
Wooden furniture with ‘sabre’ or ‘reeded’ legs
The key when selecting or editing furniture is finding a balance between the details, and elegance. According to houzz, ‘Regency furniture is elegant, often made of woods like mahogany and rosewood. Veneers were popular, often with decorative inlays and ornamental details in brass.’ But, too much intricacy, can look too fussy and ruin the overall look.
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