living in: downton abbey


It seems as though the whole internet (or at least my very small but special corner) couldn’t stop shrieking about this week’s Season 2 premiere of Downton Abbey in the States. A TV show on Living In? Gasp. But it’s OKAY because no TV is required, thanks to streaming from the PBS website. The British soap opera is just as deliciously addictive as any daytime drama, but since it ratchets up the style quotient to dizzying heights, it gets a pass otherwise withheld from its less elegant alternatives. — Amy Merrick

1. Eugenia Kim Catherine Hat, $379; 2. Edwardian Haircomb, $150; 3. Schonbeck Chandelier, $998; 4. Kate Spade Bracelet, $148; 5. Antique Velvet Sofa, $4800; 6. Brass Andirons, $950; 7. French Gilded Mirror, $299; 8. Kristan Crystal Earrings, $27; 9. Mayfair Alabaster Lamp; 10. Antique Carpet Pillow, $229

*To find out more about the history of English country houses, check out Amy’s Past & Present post about them here!

The second set of stills and another product roundup continue after the jump . . .

Penned by Julian Fellowes of my beloved Gosford Park fame, the upstairs/downstairs English manor house ploy is in full effect. Both the servants and the presiding Crawley family have more than their share of romance and eye-popping scandal; so much, in fact, that your eyes may roll at the absurdity. But don’t let it distract you from the real gem here: the unspeakably beautiful sets and costumes. Keep your eye on them, and you’ll have daydream material for weeks.

1. Canning Jars, $4.50+; 2. Yelloware Mixing Bowl, $85; 3. Vanessa Bruno Silk Striped Top, $400; 4. Farm Table, $1495; 5. Beeswax Candles, $15; 6. Rolling Pin, $85; 7. Red Striped Napkin, $12; 8. Frye Lois Oxfords, $248; 9. Pepper Mill, $325; 10. Matfer Copper Cookware Set, $1200; 11. Cutting Board Oil, $38

  1. lua says:

    This is the first I’ve seen of DA, although my roomie quite likes it. I’ve read about it though. Thank you for the visuals. What a delight. I do enjoy the TV inclusion. I’d like to see some very old ones, Duchess of Duke St, Disraeli, and Lilly from old PBS. I saw all of those w/my dad when I was little yet remember how beautiful they were, like Brideshead Revisited. That would be to your liking as well, I think. Leanne, i hope you share your design project here.

  2. Eddie G says:

    Finished watching season 2. Wow! What a cliffhanger, what writing, what acting, what direction. Between this and Sherlock, it is blatantly obvious that as I have always felt, British television is light years beyond anything that has ever been produced by American network television. Bring on Season three is all I can say!

  3. Cate says:

    Downton Abbey + Design Sponge Living In = Perfect Match – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!

  4. Lara says:

    Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks that there should be a Living In post on Friends? :) That would be amazing.

  5. Ashley says:

    Oh YES. SO good. This has definitely been one of the best Living In’s yet!! My perfect home would be this mixed with your Pride and Prejudice, and Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe Living In’s!

  6. Maya says:

    A Living In for Downton Abbey! You just made my week. (giddy…)

  7. Kat from Jersey says:

    Thanks for this! The series is great, and I think this era is in my top 3 fashion eras of the last 100 years (the 20’s and 30’s are the other two), but I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with a corset! Anyway, the silhouette is soooo flattering on everyone! And the shoes were all to die for, and the hats! I still lament the fact that hats aren’t in style.

  8. Herringbone says:

    Funniest Maggie Smith quip:

    A couple of nice images from the Christmas special:

    Amazing objects chosen for this post Amy!

  9. Ms Veronicas says:

    Oh, I just can’t get enough of Downton Abbey.

    Also, Mary and Edit make me really appreciate my sister:-)

  10. Madeleine says:

    I just started to watch this series but was instantly hooked. Amazing enviroment and the clothes are just wonderful Coudl def see myself live in that world :)

  11. Kat from Jersey says:

    Love Downton! The clothes, the hats, the gorgeous castle/mansion, Thomas the footman beautifully but evilly smirking and plotting downstairs? Yes, please!

  12. I think it is time for another Living In Downton Abbey post… You should update it for the weddings!!! Did you see the serveware and flowers?

  13. Chloe says:

    I love Downton. I got so into it that I made a Downton Abbey gingerbread castle for Christmas. Here is the link to the DIY of the house. I even hunted down a floor plan of the castle and added scenes from the series in the windows!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.