Get Design Ideas by Visiting Historic Homes

Christine Matthews

Design2Share's Anonymous UK Correspondent - As the weather warms up, many families start to head off for days out in the sun at the weekends, and popular destinations are the various stately homes which open their doors to the public. In the States, you'd call them historic homes, but stately or historic, you and your family will have a great time. The gardens are amazing, with lots of things for the children to enjoy, and the houses are spectacular and full of interior design inspiration.

On a recent visit, I made a bee-line for the upstairs state rooms in order to acquire some ideas to take home and apply to my master bedroom. In particular, I wanted to look at double beds with canopies to see if I would be able to pick out certain features and replicate them without the whole thing looking ridiculous in my normal-sized house! The features that jumped out at me were the tassels holding back the fabric drapes, and I have decided to go for ornate, oversized tassels and cords at home to compliment plain fabric - plain so as not to overwhelm the room. Even though we don't have a four-poster bed, this is still possible with a ceiling-mounted canopy above the headboard and the fabric dressed against the wall at either side – a dramatic effect which looks fabulous.

I really wish I had space in the spare room for an opulent chaise longue as well, but I think the more modern, practical sofa beds will just have to do for now. I am adding a touch of the decadent and romantic, however, by layering with throws and cushions in luxury fabric so maybe I'll get the stately home feel without having to invest in all new furniture! One of these days I'll start dressing myself as if I belong in a period drama and then I'll know I have taken my obsessions a bit too far . . .

Wherever you get your inspiration, don’t be afraid to look back into history for looks and finishes of bygone days which may be just to your taste. With a modern interpretation, you'll be amazed at the smashing results you can create.