Interior Worlds

Explore how Chippendale helped create bespoke interiors for Nostell and immerse yourself in a world of fashion, luxury, innovation and the roller-coaster life of a top-end designer.

The first floor at Nostell was designed for formal entertainment and to impress Rowland Winn’s visitors. These grand ‘State Rooms’ are where the most expense was spent on internal decoration, which meant employing the best and most fashionable architects and designers of the day – men like Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale.

The Library at Nostell was commissioned to showcase Rowland Winn's education and social status
The Library at Nostell, West Yorkshire
The Library at Nostell was commissioned to showcase Rowland Winn's education and social status

Between 1766 and 1785 much of the greatest decorative work on the State Rooms was carried out by the firm of Thomas Chippendale. From Saturday 14 July 2018, to celebrate the tercentenary of his baptism, you’ll be able to unravel the secrets of individual items that Chippendale designed, created and supplied for these grand spaces, through new ways of storytelling and interpretation.

From intricate drawers and compartments normally hidden from view to the materials, tools and techniques used to craft masterpieces that have stood the test of time, each Chippendale piece has its own interior world, waiting to be discovered.

You'll find numerous examples of the japanning technique in Nostell's Chippendale collection
Japanned cabinet by Thomas Chippendale at Nostell, West Yorkshire
You'll find numerous examples of the japanning technique in Nostell's Chippendale collection

Much of what you see today is just as Chippendale left it, with stars of the show including a full suite of rooms in the Chinese style, the iconic library desk, beautifully japanned furniture, the most expensive mirror in the collection and a mahogany clothes press with a rich history. 

Detail of parcel-gilt pier glass with carved foliage at Nostell, one of the finest Chippendale mirrors to survive / NT 959753
chippendale detail
Detail of parcel-gilt pier glass with carved foliage at Nostell, one of the finest Chippendale mirrors to survive / NT 959753

By shining a light on this world-class collection like never before, you’ll explore the vibrant 18th century world of ruthless social ambition, dynamic entrepreneurship and global trade in which Chippendale lived and worked.