All that glitters is not bling…

If designer fabric and bespoke furnishings are the haute-couture of interiors, then lighting is definitely the jewellery. When well thought-through and correctly placed, the use of statement pieces will give a room the wow factor and never more so than at Christmas…

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The best example of stunning historical interior lighting I’ve seen in a long while was on a recent visit to the National Trust property, Basildon Park. The house, built in the 18th century near Pangbourne in Berkshire, is a Georgian ‘Nabob’ mansion surrounded by parkland, which was lovingly rescued by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid-1950s. They scoured the country salvaging 18th-century architectural fixtures and fittings to restore the elegant interior, much of which had been ripped out and sold to the Americans by a former owner.

 

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The house is currently decorated for a traditional Christmas country house celebration, with live Christmas music and cookery demonstrations in the kitchen.

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The Adams panelling, as well as the more subtle than usual choice of Georgian colour schemes, is enhanced by the use of table lamps and recessed cornice lighting.

 

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I’m not a huge fan of Downton Abbey (not least because of the highly irritating Lady Mary/Michelle Dockery), but there’s no question it’s worth watching for the interiors…Basildon Park featured in the season five finale in November 2014 and in the London Season episode on Christmas Day in 2013

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Basildon Park facade, and parkland in winter…

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