Georgian Delight or Disaster?

Carsaig sunset Nicola here, looking forward very much to her holiday on the Isle of Mull in a house appropriately called "The Library!" It's very possible that I may not set foot outside the door for the whole fortnight, especially if it rains!

Today I'm wondering if you have ever had a decorating disaster? A few years ago I painted the whole of one room in my house with a colour called "spicy peach." It was only when I'd finished and stood back to admire my handiwork that I realised that I'd used the wrong pot of paint and that I didn't like the finished result at all. Some hasty re-painting then occurred. I was reminded of this a couple of months ago when we visited a Georgian house in Buckinghamshire called Claydon. Claydon House was one of the places where the film version of Emma was made, the one that featured Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam. It also has connections with Florence Nightingale, who spent her summers at Claydon after her sister Parthenope (wonderful name!) married Sir Henry Verney in 1858.

This is the outside of the house. It looks very restrained, doesn't it? But inside, Claydon is a riot! Claydon House Eccentric is one word that has been used to describe Claydon, flamboyant another. The word "vulgar" has even been whispered. So here I have included some photos of the interior so you can judge for yourself whether the Georgian designer went over the top or not.

Claydon House was built by the second Earl of Verney between 1757 and 1771. The Verneys were one of the families who were tragically split during the English Civil War. Sir Edmund Verney was standard-bearer to King Charles I and died at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. His eldest son, Sir Ralph, took the parliament's side. Ralph's brother Sir Edmund was a Royalist.

Visitors approach the house across a semi-circular courtyard. Originally this was the site of a wing to the house which included a lavish entrance rotunda, a ballroom and an observatory on the first floor. However the second earl ran out of money before he could complete his extravaganza and died destitute in 1791. When his niece, Lady Fermanagh, inherited Claydon, she promptly demolished this entire wing of the house!

Claydon mirrors Despite Lady Fermanagh's preferences for plainer decoration, what is left at Claydon is still staggering. The National Trust leaflet describes the North Hall as "one of the most unrestrained and ebullient examples of the rococco style in England." Here is an example of one of the fireplaces. The interior designer was a man called Luke Lightfoot, a mysterious character who was apparently carver, cabinet-maker, architect and surveyor. He was also an embezzler. The earl dismissed him in 1769 for fraud. Presumably it was Lightfoot's embezzling that helped to kill the goose that laid his golden eggs and hastened Verney's slide towards bankruptcy.

These mahogany doors in The Saloon are ten foot tall so there was never anyClaydon doorways danger of having to     stoop to get through the doorway! They are inlaid with boxwood, ebony and ivory and weigh half a ton each. From the windows here you can see three artifical lakes which were created as part of a scheme to landscape the grounds at the same time the house was being built. Taken together one can see the whole extent of Verney's Grand Plan – and why it was so ruinously expensive. It always fascinates me to visit a place where someone has got so carried away with their great schemes that they seem to have been unable to see that they are plotting their own financial ruin.

Claydon stairs The staircase was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The gilded iron balustrade with its intertwined ears of corn is beautiful, but it is the steps themselves that are extraordinary. I had never heard of a parquetry staircase. Hopefully you can see from the picture the way in which a pattern has been created using mahogany, ebony, box and ivory. It is stunning - and again, exceptionally extravagant! It is also very slippery. I wondered how practical it was on a daily basis. That's another feature of grand designs, of course. They aren't always particularly sensible.

The final word has to go to The Chinese Room, which is a complete riot. Chinese room doorway Lightfoot really allowed himself to get carried away here. At the time the room was decorated, the style called chinoiserie was extremely fashionable. Many English houses boast a "chinese room" but none are as exuberant and inventive as this. The pagoda-like alcove, which once held a bed, and the door cases and chimneypieces are all decorated with "Chinese" heads wearing "Chinese" hats and adorned with temple bells, scrolls, swirls, fretwork, rockwork, birds and plants. Lightfoot imported textiles, wallpaper, porcelain, screens and laquered furniture to complete his vision. When I first walked into the room I was so startled I couldn't speak. I spent a long time there simply trying to take it all in – and then I came back later for another look! These pictures, of the doorway and the pagoda, cannot do it justice! It wasn't that I felt that it was in bad taste, precisely (and of course one has to take into account the fashions of the day). It felt more as though the designer had tried to pack in so much to the house that he had got completely carried away.

Chinese room So after my little tour I'm wondering what you think of Claydon House. Terrific or tasteless? And do you think it's possible in modern times to come up with anything as extravagant and riotous as Claydon? Have you ever had a decorating disaster on a grand – or even a minor - scale? My spicy peach walls pale into insignificance beside Claydon's chinoiserie and at least I've never had to demolish a ballroom!

55 thoughts on “Georgian Delight or Disaster?”

  1. Terrifically tasteless? I live outside Palm Beach, a mile or so from where Michael Jordan is about to put his most recent 11,000 square foot house, so I absolutely think it’s possible to match Claydon. I’ve seen some stuff, I have. Just watching the various lawsuits that arise building these things. When Celine Dion left the area (she’s back) they published pictures of her homes interior in the sale ads. (A lot of Mexican Tile died for that.) And, of course, Donald Trump and his gilt has to be seen to be believed.
    The staircase is amazing – and great place for a death scene, because I can imagine how slick those stairs are. For over the top decor, I’m partial to Burghley House in Stamford with it’s Heaven Room (http://www.burghley.co.uk/html/heaven.html) and Hell Staircase http://www.flickr.com/photos/marv/3273916968/

    Reply
  2. Terrifically tasteless? I live outside Palm Beach, a mile or so from where Michael Jordan is about to put his most recent 11,000 square foot house, so I absolutely think it’s possible to match Claydon. I’ve seen some stuff, I have. Just watching the various lawsuits that arise building these things. When Celine Dion left the area (she’s back) they published pictures of her homes interior in the sale ads. (A lot of Mexican Tile died for that.) And, of course, Donald Trump and his gilt has to be seen to be believed.
    The staircase is amazing – and great place for a death scene, because I can imagine how slick those stairs are. For over the top decor, I’m partial to Burghley House in Stamford with it’s Heaven Room (http://www.burghley.co.uk/html/heaven.html) and Hell Staircase http://www.flickr.com/photos/marv/3273916968/

    Reply
  3. Terrifically tasteless? I live outside Palm Beach, a mile or so from where Michael Jordan is about to put his most recent 11,000 square foot house, so I absolutely think it’s possible to match Claydon. I’ve seen some stuff, I have. Just watching the various lawsuits that arise building these things. When Celine Dion left the area (she’s back) they published pictures of her homes interior in the sale ads. (A lot of Mexican Tile died for that.) And, of course, Donald Trump and his gilt has to be seen to be believed.
    The staircase is amazing – and great place for a death scene, because I can imagine how slick those stairs are. For over the top decor, I’m partial to Burghley House in Stamford with it’s Heaven Room (http://www.burghley.co.uk/html/heaven.html) and Hell Staircase http://www.flickr.com/photos/marv/3273916968/

    Reply
  4. Terrifically tasteless? I live outside Palm Beach, a mile or so from where Michael Jordan is about to put his most recent 11,000 square foot house, so I absolutely think it’s possible to match Claydon. I’ve seen some stuff, I have. Just watching the various lawsuits that arise building these things. When Celine Dion left the area (she’s back) they published pictures of her homes interior in the sale ads. (A lot of Mexican Tile died for that.) And, of course, Donald Trump and his gilt has to be seen to be believed.
    The staircase is amazing – and great place for a death scene, because I can imagine how slick those stairs are. For over the top decor, I’m partial to Burghley House in Stamford with it’s Heaven Room (http://www.burghley.co.uk/html/heaven.html) and Hell Staircase http://www.flickr.com/photos/marv/3273916968/

    Reply
  5. Terrifically tasteless? I live outside Palm Beach, a mile or so from where Michael Jordan is about to put his most recent 11,000 square foot house, so I absolutely think it’s possible to match Claydon. I’ve seen some stuff, I have. Just watching the various lawsuits that arise building these things. When Celine Dion left the area (she’s back) they published pictures of her homes interior in the sale ads. (A lot of Mexican Tile died for that.) And, of course, Donald Trump and his gilt has to be seen to be believed.
    The staircase is amazing – and great place for a death scene, because I can imagine how slick those stairs are. For over the top decor, I’m partial to Burghley House in Stamford with it’s Heaven Room (http://www.burghley.co.uk/html/heaven.html) and Hell Staircase http://www.flickr.com/photos/marv/3273916968/

    Reply
  6. LOL, Liz, you are quite right. We can easily match that sort of extravagant tastelessness these days. When I read your description of Donald Trump’s gilt I was reminded of David and Victoria Beckham’s UK home, or “Beckingham Palace” as it is known!

    Reply
  7. LOL, Liz, you are quite right. We can easily match that sort of extravagant tastelessness these days. When I read your description of Donald Trump’s gilt I was reminded of David and Victoria Beckham’s UK home, or “Beckingham Palace” as it is known!

    Reply
  8. LOL, Liz, you are quite right. We can easily match that sort of extravagant tastelessness these days. When I read your description of Donald Trump’s gilt I was reminded of David and Victoria Beckham’s UK home, or “Beckingham Palace” as it is known!

    Reply
  9. LOL, Liz, you are quite right. We can easily match that sort of extravagant tastelessness these days. When I read your description of Donald Trump’s gilt I was reminded of David and Victoria Beckham’s UK home, or “Beckingham Palace” as it is known!

    Reply
  10. LOL, Liz, you are quite right. We can easily match that sort of extravagant tastelessness these days. When I read your description of Donald Trump’s gilt I was reminded of David and Victoria Beckham’s UK home, or “Beckingham Palace” as it is known!

    Reply
  11. Thanks for the return journey to Claydon! Its decor is firmly imprinted on my memory–especially that staircase and the Chinese Room. We had the place to ourselves, so felt free to make all manner of commentary as we toured the rooms.
    Enjoy your time in Mull. In the unlikely event that The Library isn’t as delightful as it sounds, you can hop on the Iona ferry for a few hours’ escape.
    I hope the weather will be better than you expect. I’ve always been lucky with Mull.

    Reply
  12. Thanks for the return journey to Claydon! Its decor is firmly imprinted on my memory–especially that staircase and the Chinese Room. We had the place to ourselves, so felt free to make all manner of commentary as we toured the rooms.
    Enjoy your time in Mull. In the unlikely event that The Library isn’t as delightful as it sounds, you can hop on the Iona ferry for a few hours’ escape.
    I hope the weather will be better than you expect. I’ve always been lucky with Mull.

    Reply
  13. Thanks for the return journey to Claydon! Its decor is firmly imprinted on my memory–especially that staircase and the Chinese Room. We had the place to ourselves, so felt free to make all manner of commentary as we toured the rooms.
    Enjoy your time in Mull. In the unlikely event that The Library isn’t as delightful as it sounds, you can hop on the Iona ferry for a few hours’ escape.
    I hope the weather will be better than you expect. I’ve always been lucky with Mull.

    Reply
  14. Thanks for the return journey to Claydon! Its decor is firmly imprinted on my memory–especially that staircase and the Chinese Room. We had the place to ourselves, so felt free to make all manner of commentary as we toured the rooms.
    Enjoy your time in Mull. In the unlikely event that The Library isn’t as delightful as it sounds, you can hop on the Iona ferry for a few hours’ escape.
    I hope the weather will be better than you expect. I’ve always been lucky with Mull.

    Reply
  15. Thanks for the return journey to Claydon! Its decor is firmly imprinted on my memory–especially that staircase and the Chinese Room. We had the place to ourselves, so felt free to make all manner of commentary as we toured the rooms.
    Enjoy your time in Mull. In the unlikely event that The Library isn’t as delightful as it sounds, you can hop on the Iona ferry for a few hours’ escape.
    I hope the weather will be better than you expect. I’ve always been lucky with Mull.

    Reply
  16. Wow, Margaret, fancy having Claydon all to yourself! I would love that. It did strike me as the most marvellous place to do a book signing!
    Thank you for the holiday wishes. We’re definitely planning a trip to Iona. We haven’t been to Mull in years and only had a few days there last time so this will be fun! We’re also planning a trip to Staffa to see Fingal’s Cave. Seemed appropriate given that it is Samuel Johnson’s 300th anniversary. Monty, our dog, will not be impressed being in a little boat for an hour on the crossing!
    http://www.staffatours.com/staffa.asp
    I don’t know if anyone has ever seen the film “I Know Where I’m Going” from about 1945. That was filmed where we are staying on Mull so we are planning to recreate a few of the shots from the film!

    Reply
  17. Wow, Margaret, fancy having Claydon all to yourself! I would love that. It did strike me as the most marvellous place to do a book signing!
    Thank you for the holiday wishes. We’re definitely planning a trip to Iona. We haven’t been to Mull in years and only had a few days there last time so this will be fun! We’re also planning a trip to Staffa to see Fingal’s Cave. Seemed appropriate given that it is Samuel Johnson’s 300th anniversary. Monty, our dog, will not be impressed being in a little boat for an hour on the crossing!
    http://www.staffatours.com/staffa.asp
    I don’t know if anyone has ever seen the film “I Know Where I’m Going” from about 1945. That was filmed where we are staying on Mull so we are planning to recreate a few of the shots from the film!

    Reply
  18. Wow, Margaret, fancy having Claydon all to yourself! I would love that. It did strike me as the most marvellous place to do a book signing!
    Thank you for the holiday wishes. We’re definitely planning a trip to Iona. We haven’t been to Mull in years and only had a few days there last time so this will be fun! We’re also planning a trip to Staffa to see Fingal’s Cave. Seemed appropriate given that it is Samuel Johnson’s 300th anniversary. Monty, our dog, will not be impressed being in a little boat for an hour on the crossing!
    http://www.staffatours.com/staffa.asp
    I don’t know if anyone has ever seen the film “I Know Where I’m Going” from about 1945. That was filmed where we are staying on Mull so we are planning to recreate a few of the shots from the film!

    Reply
  19. Wow, Margaret, fancy having Claydon all to yourself! I would love that. It did strike me as the most marvellous place to do a book signing!
    Thank you for the holiday wishes. We’re definitely planning a trip to Iona. We haven’t been to Mull in years and only had a few days there last time so this will be fun! We’re also planning a trip to Staffa to see Fingal’s Cave. Seemed appropriate given that it is Samuel Johnson’s 300th anniversary. Monty, our dog, will not be impressed being in a little boat for an hour on the crossing!
    http://www.staffatours.com/staffa.asp
    I don’t know if anyone has ever seen the film “I Know Where I’m Going” from about 1945. That was filmed where we are staying on Mull so we are planning to recreate a few of the shots from the film!

    Reply
  20. Wow, Margaret, fancy having Claydon all to yourself! I would love that. It did strike me as the most marvellous place to do a book signing!
    Thank you for the holiday wishes. We’re definitely planning a trip to Iona. We haven’t been to Mull in years and only had a few days there last time so this will be fun! We’re also planning a trip to Staffa to see Fingal’s Cave. Seemed appropriate given that it is Samuel Johnson’s 300th anniversary. Monty, our dog, will not be impressed being in a little boat for an hour on the crossing!
    http://www.staffatours.com/staffa.asp
    I don’t know if anyone has ever seen the film “I Know Where I’m Going” from about 1945. That was filmed where we are staying on Mull so we are planning to recreate a few of the shots from the film!

    Reply
  21. Hi Nicola. Fun post – I’d forgotten about Claydon which I visited about 30 years ago. One thing I remember is a room which had hundreds of naked light bulbs installed along the ceiling moulding – kind of like the lights around a theatrical dressing table mirror. IIRC the guide said some owner had gone over the top with excitement about the invention of electric light. Are the bulbs still there or were they removed in some tasteful restoration?
    When is comes to over-the-top you can’t beat Victorian taste. Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild itty-bitty French chateau in the English countryside is a great example.

    Reply
  22. Hi Nicola. Fun post – I’d forgotten about Claydon which I visited about 30 years ago. One thing I remember is a room which had hundreds of naked light bulbs installed along the ceiling moulding – kind of like the lights around a theatrical dressing table mirror. IIRC the guide said some owner had gone over the top with excitement about the invention of electric light. Are the bulbs still there or were they removed in some tasteful restoration?
    When is comes to over-the-top you can’t beat Victorian taste. Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild itty-bitty French chateau in the English countryside is a great example.

    Reply
  23. Hi Nicola. Fun post – I’d forgotten about Claydon which I visited about 30 years ago. One thing I remember is a room which had hundreds of naked light bulbs installed along the ceiling moulding – kind of like the lights around a theatrical dressing table mirror. IIRC the guide said some owner had gone over the top with excitement about the invention of electric light. Are the bulbs still there or were they removed in some tasteful restoration?
    When is comes to over-the-top you can’t beat Victorian taste. Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild itty-bitty French chateau in the English countryside is a great example.

    Reply
  24. Hi Nicola. Fun post – I’d forgotten about Claydon which I visited about 30 years ago. One thing I remember is a room which had hundreds of naked light bulbs installed along the ceiling moulding – kind of like the lights around a theatrical dressing table mirror. IIRC the guide said some owner had gone over the top with excitement about the invention of electric light. Are the bulbs still there or were they removed in some tasteful restoration?
    When is comes to over-the-top you can’t beat Victorian taste. Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild itty-bitty French chateau in the English countryside is a great example.

    Reply
  25. Hi Nicola. Fun post – I’d forgotten about Claydon which I visited about 30 years ago. One thing I remember is a room which had hundreds of naked light bulbs installed along the ceiling moulding – kind of like the lights around a theatrical dressing table mirror. IIRC the guide said some owner had gone over the top with excitement about the invention of electric light. Are the bulbs still there or were they removed in some tasteful restoration?
    When is comes to over-the-top you can’t beat Victorian taste. Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild itty-bitty French chateau in the English countryside is a great example.

    Reply
  26. Decorating mistakes? I’ve made them…
    Last year I thought I would do a tasteful repainting of our front porch. I was going to do the pedastels in burgundy, the spindles in light grey and the columns in dark grey. I finished painting it, stepped back and immediately went out and got more light grey paint. The dark grey had given the porch a dark, foreboding, extremely ugly look. The columns I repainted the next day in the light grey and I think it much improved….at least over the initial redo if not over the original colour.
    There is a house on the road near us that painted their front porch and window black, dark grey and burgundy. For some reason they don’t seem to realize that they have the ugliest paint job in the city.

    Reply
  27. Decorating mistakes? I’ve made them…
    Last year I thought I would do a tasteful repainting of our front porch. I was going to do the pedastels in burgundy, the spindles in light grey and the columns in dark grey. I finished painting it, stepped back and immediately went out and got more light grey paint. The dark grey had given the porch a dark, foreboding, extremely ugly look. The columns I repainted the next day in the light grey and I think it much improved….at least over the initial redo if not over the original colour.
    There is a house on the road near us that painted their front porch and window black, dark grey and burgundy. For some reason they don’t seem to realize that they have the ugliest paint job in the city.

    Reply
  28. Decorating mistakes? I’ve made them…
    Last year I thought I would do a tasteful repainting of our front porch. I was going to do the pedastels in burgundy, the spindles in light grey and the columns in dark grey. I finished painting it, stepped back and immediately went out and got more light grey paint. The dark grey had given the porch a dark, foreboding, extremely ugly look. The columns I repainted the next day in the light grey and I think it much improved….at least over the initial redo if not over the original colour.
    There is a house on the road near us that painted their front porch and window black, dark grey and burgundy. For some reason they don’t seem to realize that they have the ugliest paint job in the city.

    Reply
  29. Decorating mistakes? I’ve made them…
    Last year I thought I would do a tasteful repainting of our front porch. I was going to do the pedastels in burgundy, the spindles in light grey and the columns in dark grey. I finished painting it, stepped back and immediately went out and got more light grey paint. The dark grey had given the porch a dark, foreboding, extremely ugly look. The columns I repainted the next day in the light grey and I think it much improved….at least over the initial redo if not over the original colour.
    There is a house on the road near us that painted their front porch and window black, dark grey and burgundy. For some reason they don’t seem to realize that they have the ugliest paint job in the city.

    Reply
  30. Decorating mistakes? I’ve made them…
    Last year I thought I would do a tasteful repainting of our front porch. I was going to do the pedastels in burgundy, the spindles in light grey and the columns in dark grey. I finished painting it, stepped back and immediately went out and got more light grey paint. The dark grey had given the porch a dark, foreboding, extremely ugly look. The columns I repainted the next day in the light grey and I think it much improved….at least over the initial redo if not over the original colour.
    There is a house on the road near us that painted their front porch and window black, dark grey and burgundy. For some reason they don’t seem to realize that they have the ugliest paint job in the city.

    Reply
  31. LOL, Piper! I think we must all have had experiences like that. When we moved in here our entire house was painted battleship grey. My dh almost didn’t turn up to view because he thought it looked so ugly. And then we would really have missed out.
    Gosh, Miranda, Claydon would have looked quite something with all those lightbulbs! They’ve taken them away now. Maybe the owner at the time was carried away by his ancestor’s over the top decoration and thought he’d do something similar!

    Reply
  32. LOL, Piper! I think we must all have had experiences like that. When we moved in here our entire house was painted battleship grey. My dh almost didn’t turn up to view because he thought it looked so ugly. And then we would really have missed out.
    Gosh, Miranda, Claydon would have looked quite something with all those lightbulbs! They’ve taken them away now. Maybe the owner at the time was carried away by his ancestor’s over the top decoration and thought he’d do something similar!

    Reply
  33. LOL, Piper! I think we must all have had experiences like that. When we moved in here our entire house was painted battleship grey. My dh almost didn’t turn up to view because he thought it looked so ugly. And then we would really have missed out.
    Gosh, Miranda, Claydon would have looked quite something with all those lightbulbs! They’ve taken them away now. Maybe the owner at the time was carried away by his ancestor’s over the top decoration and thought he’d do something similar!

    Reply
  34. LOL, Piper! I think we must all have had experiences like that. When we moved in here our entire house was painted battleship grey. My dh almost didn’t turn up to view because he thought it looked so ugly. And then we would really have missed out.
    Gosh, Miranda, Claydon would have looked quite something with all those lightbulbs! They’ve taken them away now. Maybe the owner at the time was carried away by his ancestor’s over the top decoration and thought he’d do something similar!

    Reply
  35. LOL, Piper! I think we must all have had experiences like that. When we moved in here our entire house was painted battleship grey. My dh almost didn’t turn up to view because he thought it looked so ugly. And then we would really have missed out.
    Gosh, Miranda, Claydon would have looked quite something with all those lightbulbs! They’ve taken them away now. Maybe the owner at the time was carried away by his ancestor’s over the top decoration and thought he’d do something similar!

    Reply
  36. I love Claydon; what a fabulous place to visit and live. My taste is definitely on the tacky and tastless side. My husband always says I go for the hint of overkill! When we bought our 1870 stucco clad home, we painted the door and shutters royal blue a la Greece. It looked quite good but a Dr. friend said he was inspired by our boldness and painted his (huge) clapboard colonial home peach! It was the talk of the town for years. The new owners have gone back to white clapboard and black trim which does look lovely. Meanwhile our house now has green shutters and a cream door. However in the English style, all the walls are wallpapered, I cannot abide painting.

    Reply
  37. I love Claydon; what a fabulous place to visit and live. My taste is definitely on the tacky and tastless side. My husband always says I go for the hint of overkill! When we bought our 1870 stucco clad home, we painted the door and shutters royal blue a la Greece. It looked quite good but a Dr. friend said he was inspired by our boldness and painted his (huge) clapboard colonial home peach! It was the talk of the town for years. The new owners have gone back to white clapboard and black trim which does look lovely. Meanwhile our house now has green shutters and a cream door. However in the English style, all the walls are wallpapered, I cannot abide painting.

    Reply
  38. I love Claydon; what a fabulous place to visit and live. My taste is definitely on the tacky and tastless side. My husband always says I go for the hint of overkill! When we bought our 1870 stucco clad home, we painted the door and shutters royal blue a la Greece. It looked quite good but a Dr. friend said he was inspired by our boldness and painted his (huge) clapboard colonial home peach! It was the talk of the town for years. The new owners have gone back to white clapboard and black trim which does look lovely. Meanwhile our house now has green shutters and a cream door. However in the English style, all the walls are wallpapered, I cannot abide painting.

    Reply
  39. I love Claydon; what a fabulous place to visit and live. My taste is definitely on the tacky and tastless side. My husband always says I go for the hint of overkill! When we bought our 1870 stucco clad home, we painted the door and shutters royal blue a la Greece. It looked quite good but a Dr. friend said he was inspired by our boldness and painted his (huge) clapboard colonial home peach! It was the talk of the town for years. The new owners have gone back to white clapboard and black trim which does look lovely. Meanwhile our house now has green shutters and a cream door. However in the English style, all the walls are wallpapered, I cannot abide painting.

    Reply
  40. I love Claydon; what a fabulous place to visit and live. My taste is definitely on the tacky and tastless side. My husband always says I go for the hint of overkill! When we bought our 1870 stucco clad home, we painted the door and shutters royal blue a la Greece. It looked quite good but a Dr. friend said he was inspired by our boldness and painted his (huge) clapboard colonial home peach! It was the talk of the town for years. The new owners have gone back to white clapboard and black trim which does look lovely. Meanwhile our house now has green shutters and a cream door. However in the English style, all the walls are wallpapered, I cannot abide painting.

    Reply
  41. Sherrie, here. Good heavens. Claydon House is certainly . . . extravagant. I saw some stuff I actually liked, but there was just too much of it. Sometimes having money doesn’t always equate to having good taste.
    I have a dear friend who is extremely wealthy, and she has a lovely home. She chose exquisite colors for the interior, and furnished it with gorgeous artwork and furniture and Turkish carpets. Lots of rich wood and earthtones.
    And then her husband bought a chandelier made out of deer antlers for the dining room. It is shockingly ugly. Next, he bought some black and white Holstein cow hides–one used as a rug in front of the bed, and the other draped artistically at the foot of the bed. Can you imagine cow hides in a home with intricately patterned Turkish carpets? The antlers and cow hides belong in a cowboy’s bunkhouse, not an elegant home with modern furnishings. I’m something of an amateur interior designer, and I can’t tell you what it does to my sensibilities every time I look at that freaky cowboy chandelier hanging over their exquisite imported dining room table. *shudder*
    I once painted my laundry room in 4 shades of raspberry after reading a magazine article about using bold colors to make a small room look larger. Big mistake! It made me stagger in shock every time I walked into the room. The next day I painted it beige.

    Reply
  42. Sherrie, here. Good heavens. Claydon House is certainly . . . extravagant. I saw some stuff I actually liked, but there was just too much of it. Sometimes having money doesn’t always equate to having good taste.
    I have a dear friend who is extremely wealthy, and she has a lovely home. She chose exquisite colors for the interior, and furnished it with gorgeous artwork and furniture and Turkish carpets. Lots of rich wood and earthtones.
    And then her husband bought a chandelier made out of deer antlers for the dining room. It is shockingly ugly. Next, he bought some black and white Holstein cow hides–one used as a rug in front of the bed, and the other draped artistically at the foot of the bed. Can you imagine cow hides in a home with intricately patterned Turkish carpets? The antlers and cow hides belong in a cowboy’s bunkhouse, not an elegant home with modern furnishings. I’m something of an amateur interior designer, and I can’t tell you what it does to my sensibilities every time I look at that freaky cowboy chandelier hanging over their exquisite imported dining room table. *shudder*
    I once painted my laundry room in 4 shades of raspberry after reading a magazine article about using bold colors to make a small room look larger. Big mistake! It made me stagger in shock every time I walked into the room. The next day I painted it beige.

    Reply
  43. Sherrie, here. Good heavens. Claydon House is certainly . . . extravagant. I saw some stuff I actually liked, but there was just too much of it. Sometimes having money doesn’t always equate to having good taste.
    I have a dear friend who is extremely wealthy, and she has a lovely home. She chose exquisite colors for the interior, and furnished it with gorgeous artwork and furniture and Turkish carpets. Lots of rich wood and earthtones.
    And then her husband bought a chandelier made out of deer antlers for the dining room. It is shockingly ugly. Next, he bought some black and white Holstein cow hides–one used as a rug in front of the bed, and the other draped artistically at the foot of the bed. Can you imagine cow hides in a home with intricately patterned Turkish carpets? The antlers and cow hides belong in a cowboy’s bunkhouse, not an elegant home with modern furnishings. I’m something of an amateur interior designer, and I can’t tell you what it does to my sensibilities every time I look at that freaky cowboy chandelier hanging over their exquisite imported dining room table. *shudder*
    I once painted my laundry room in 4 shades of raspberry after reading a magazine article about using bold colors to make a small room look larger. Big mistake! It made me stagger in shock every time I walked into the room. The next day I painted it beige.

    Reply
  44. Sherrie, here. Good heavens. Claydon House is certainly . . . extravagant. I saw some stuff I actually liked, but there was just too much of it. Sometimes having money doesn’t always equate to having good taste.
    I have a dear friend who is extremely wealthy, and she has a lovely home. She chose exquisite colors for the interior, and furnished it with gorgeous artwork and furniture and Turkish carpets. Lots of rich wood and earthtones.
    And then her husband bought a chandelier made out of deer antlers for the dining room. It is shockingly ugly. Next, he bought some black and white Holstein cow hides–one used as a rug in front of the bed, and the other draped artistically at the foot of the bed. Can you imagine cow hides in a home with intricately patterned Turkish carpets? The antlers and cow hides belong in a cowboy’s bunkhouse, not an elegant home with modern furnishings. I’m something of an amateur interior designer, and I can’t tell you what it does to my sensibilities every time I look at that freaky cowboy chandelier hanging over their exquisite imported dining room table. *shudder*
    I once painted my laundry room in 4 shades of raspberry after reading a magazine article about using bold colors to make a small room look larger. Big mistake! It made me stagger in shock every time I walked into the room. The next day I painted it beige.

    Reply
  45. Sherrie, here. Good heavens. Claydon House is certainly . . . extravagant. I saw some stuff I actually liked, but there was just too much of it. Sometimes having money doesn’t always equate to having good taste.
    I have a dear friend who is extremely wealthy, and she has a lovely home. She chose exquisite colors for the interior, and furnished it with gorgeous artwork and furniture and Turkish carpets. Lots of rich wood and earthtones.
    And then her husband bought a chandelier made out of deer antlers for the dining room. It is shockingly ugly. Next, he bought some black and white Holstein cow hides–one used as a rug in front of the bed, and the other draped artistically at the foot of the bed. Can you imagine cow hides in a home with intricately patterned Turkish carpets? The antlers and cow hides belong in a cowboy’s bunkhouse, not an elegant home with modern furnishings. I’m something of an amateur interior designer, and I can’t tell you what it does to my sensibilities every time I look at that freaky cowboy chandelier hanging over their exquisite imported dining room table. *shudder*
    I once painted my laundry room in 4 shades of raspberry after reading a magazine article about using bold colors to make a small room look larger. Big mistake! It made me stagger in shock every time I walked into the room. The next day I painted it beige.

    Reply
  46. Fun post Nicola. I think I’ve seen much more OTT houses than this one, though perhaps it’s because the modern owners have worked to keep furniture and contents on the simple side, which helps. Some of those decorations I think are fun, but I suspect after a while one would get tired of their busy-ness — it’s just too much.
    And then there’s the Brighton Pavilion, beside which even this looks tasteful. LOL.
    Enjoy your break.

    Reply
  47. Fun post Nicola. I think I’ve seen much more OTT houses than this one, though perhaps it’s because the modern owners have worked to keep furniture and contents on the simple side, which helps. Some of those decorations I think are fun, but I suspect after a while one would get tired of their busy-ness — it’s just too much.
    And then there’s the Brighton Pavilion, beside which even this looks tasteful. LOL.
    Enjoy your break.

    Reply
  48. Fun post Nicola. I think I’ve seen much more OTT houses than this one, though perhaps it’s because the modern owners have worked to keep furniture and contents on the simple side, which helps. Some of those decorations I think are fun, but I suspect after a while one would get tired of their busy-ness — it’s just too much.
    And then there’s the Brighton Pavilion, beside which even this looks tasteful. LOL.
    Enjoy your break.

    Reply
  49. Fun post Nicola. I think I’ve seen much more OTT houses than this one, though perhaps it’s because the modern owners have worked to keep furniture and contents on the simple side, which helps. Some of those decorations I think are fun, but I suspect after a while one would get tired of their busy-ness — it’s just too much.
    And then there’s the Brighton Pavilion, beside which even this looks tasteful. LOL.
    Enjoy your break.

    Reply
  50. Fun post Nicola. I think I’ve seen much more OTT houses than this one, though perhaps it’s because the modern owners have worked to keep furniture and contents on the simple side, which helps. Some of those decorations I think are fun, but I suspect after a while one would get tired of their busy-ness — it’s just too much.
    And then there’s the Brighton Pavilion, beside which even this looks tasteful. LOL.
    Enjoy your break.

    Reply
  51. I adore the exquisite details of stately homes that kept artisans employed for years, but I must say that my personal tastes are for details a little less…extravagant than those you’re picturing.
    Sorry about the peach paint incident! Some colors are notoriously difficult to work with, and paint companies don’t like giving out cheap samples so we can experiment. Prevents playing as much as I’d like!

    Reply
  52. I adore the exquisite details of stately homes that kept artisans employed for years, but I must say that my personal tastes are for details a little less…extravagant than those you’re picturing.
    Sorry about the peach paint incident! Some colors are notoriously difficult to work with, and paint companies don’t like giving out cheap samples so we can experiment. Prevents playing as much as I’d like!

    Reply
  53. I adore the exquisite details of stately homes that kept artisans employed for years, but I must say that my personal tastes are for details a little less…extravagant than those you’re picturing.
    Sorry about the peach paint incident! Some colors are notoriously difficult to work with, and paint companies don’t like giving out cheap samples so we can experiment. Prevents playing as much as I’d like!

    Reply
  54. I adore the exquisite details of stately homes that kept artisans employed for years, but I must say that my personal tastes are for details a little less…extravagant than those you’re picturing.
    Sorry about the peach paint incident! Some colors are notoriously difficult to work with, and paint companies don’t like giving out cheap samples so we can experiment. Prevents playing as much as I’d like!

    Reply
  55. I adore the exquisite details of stately homes that kept artisans employed for years, but I must say that my personal tastes are for details a little less…extravagant than those you’re picturing.
    Sorry about the peach paint incident! Some colors are notoriously difficult to work with, and paint companies don’t like giving out cheap samples so we can experiment. Prevents playing as much as I’d like!

    Reply

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