Interior design: Georgian

The Georgian period covered the years from 1714 to 1830 when there were four consecutive King Georges on the throne. Georgian architecture and interiors were known for their elegance and lightness of touch. Among the most enduring styles was Neo-classical, based on Roman and Greek architecture and championed by architects such as Robert Adam. Here are some of the places in our care where you can see Georgian style:

Georgian features to look out for...

Georgian style at a glance incorporated: Roman-inspired elements such as niches and alcoves; use of the three Classical columns – Corinthian, Ionic and Doric; stonework, ironwork and marble with shield and urn motifs and carved statuary depicting Roman gods and goddesses; classical figures, shown in profile, and used on plasterwork, vases and urns; motifs such as swags, ribbons, garlands, husks and the Greek key pattern; real and imaginary animal figures such as dolphins, sphinxes, griffins and satyrs, often forming bases or handles of objects; and pastel colour schemes, especially pea-green, mauve and pink.

The Library at Basildon Park

Basildon Park, Berkshire

A Palladian villa built by John Carr of York, Basildon’s Neo-classical interiors are in the fashionable Adam style. The rooms include spectacular plasterwork ceilings and classically-inspired furnishings such as pier-glasses, candle-stands and tables.

A volunteer and children in the Laundry at Berrington Hall, Herefordshire

Berrington Hall, Herefordshire

The work of architect Henry Holland, set in parkland designed by his father-in-law, ‘Capability’ Brown, Berrington shows a mastery of the French Neo-classical style. The Hall contains some of Holland’s most beautiful decorated ceilings and a spectacular staircase and domed skylight.

A man and woman on the staircase at Castle Coole, County Fermanagh

Castle Coole, Northern Ireland

This is the finest Neo-classical country house in Ireland, built by James Wyatt, a rival to Robert Adam. It contains superb plasterwork by Joseph Rose, scagliola by Domenico Bartoli, and carved chimney pieces by Richard Westmacott. The mahogany hall chairs, by Wyatt, are among the best examples of Irish Neo-classical furniture.

Mother and daughter in State Bedchamber at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

For many, this is architect Robert Adam’s greatest masterpiece, designed for Nathaniel Curzon to celebrate his fascination with classical Rome. The most complete and least-altered sequence of Adam’s interiors in England, they include the spectacular Marble Hall, inspired by the open courtyard of an Italian villa, and the Saloon, which pays homage to the Pantheon in Rome.

The Tapestry Room at Osterley Park, Middlesex

Osterley Park Middlesex

This is one of the great showpieces of Robert Adam who transformed it in 1761 into a fashionable villa for the Child family. It retains Adam’s Neo-classical interiors, his Etruscan style dressing room, and the furniture he designed including the magnificent State Bed based on the Temple of Venus.

Plasterwork detail in the Drawing Room at Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion

Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion

This is a rare example of an 18th century self-sufficient gentleman's estate, with elegant rooms and plasterwork. It was designed in 1790 by John Nash and is one of the most complete examples of his work.

The Dining Room at Peckover House, Cambridgeshire

Peckover House, Cambridgeshire

A classic Georgian house, owned by a Quaker merchant and his family, Peckover's style is simple yet elegant. The rooms include original Rococo plasterwork, Sheraton furniture and fine Georgian fireplaces. The house is surrounded by a charming garden complete with orangery and summerhouses.

Ornate plasterwork in the Top Hall at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire

Nostell Priory, Yorkshire

Another showcase to the decorative genius of Robert Adam, this property also includes some of the finest furniture by Britain’s greatest cabinetmaker, Thomas Chippendale. The house contains some of the largest paintings undertaken by Antonio Zucchi who worked with Adam on many of his commissions.

Two young girls in matching dresses looking around Saltram, Devon

Saltram, Devon

Saltram was designed in Palladian style in the 1740s, and Robert Adam was later called in to produce a suite of Neo-classical rooms. He designed everything from huge plasterwork ceilings to ornate door handles and, with no expense spared. The results are spectacular, especially the Saloon with its 46-foot-long Axminster carpet and four great pier glasses.

The kitchen table at Wordsworth House, Cumbria

Wordsworth House, Cumbria

Step back to the 1770s and experience life as William and his sister Dorothy might have lived. Explore hands-on rooms with books and children’s toys, see the maid at work in the Georgian kitchen and listen to music from the harpsichord.

Design in other eras