living in

living in: downton abbey

by amym

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

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  • Best. Living In. Ever. I’m completely besotted with all things Downton.
    The set design is amazing, and I love looking at the fabrics and linens.
    Lady Sybil’s clothes always catch my eye, too.

  • YES! Oh, how I wish I WAS living in Downton Abbey. How about some of their dresses? Can you imagine wearing some of those “frocks”? Amazing.

  • I can’t wait to watch season 1 and 2… saw the Christmas special, and then received both for Christmas… Downton Abbey Marathon.

  • TV shows would make a wonderful addition to “Living In”! I vote for Twin Peaks and Carnivale!

  • Ohmygoodness this made me so happy! Both the premiere and this post! Great job capturing the feel of the show!

  • I loved the premiere! I wasn’t expecting the 2 year time lapse, but I think it works with the story. It’s so interesting to me how much weight people put on words and letters, when nowadays we require very obvious physical contact and declarations before allowing ourselves to fall for someone. Back then, women saw the men they liked a few times per year and exchanged letters. I love how this show brings that back in perspective. Mary and Matthew hadn’t been in touch in 2 years, and yet still had all kinds of feelings built up. Crazy!

  • You guys will LOVE it! Just finished watching this in NZ and gosh, it is great. Plus there is a Christmas special too…

  • OH!!! I’ve been thinking about Downton all day, you must’ve read my mind! Gorgeous Living In you’ve put together – one of my favorites!

  • Having just wallowed in the Christmas episode here in the UK (I recorded it and have watched it 3 times so far) I can tell you it definitely gets better and better! Can’t wait for series 3 in the autumn!

  • I shrieked with glee when I saw this Living In. I love how all of the objects are so expensive–they should be! Even the shirt and shoes that Daisy would likely wear are pretty pricey.

    I can’t wait for this Sunday and another episode. I’m really hopeful that things work out for Sybil and Branson, and more Maggie Smith is always welcome!

  • Yay! I just discovered Downton Abbey last week & quickly became obsessed. Now here it is on my favorite blog :) Thanks!

  • There’s nothing wrong with featuring television shows…I second the suggestions by the other commenter: Twin Peaks and Carnivale would be great. Mad Men is an obvious and excellent choice.

  • You can also watch it on tubeplus.me.com
    And catch up with the current series that’s playing in uk. Theres 9 episodes with lots of surprises!

  • Oh… swoon. Thank you for this “Living In”. The room you feature is so pretty, and I am completely smitten with the Crawley library. Not a thing in the world wrong with featuring a TV show here. More, please!

  • I feel like a psychic. Just the other day I was thinking how great it would be if the next Living in post was on Downton Abbey and here it is! Thank you, this made my day.

  • Oh, what a wonderful living in…I am so in love with Downton Abbey. I first got into it a the end of the last season and hooked so thoroughly! I think adding more miniseries-es (what is the plural of miniseries? hm.) would be great. So many have beautiful sets!

  • I didn’t realise Downton was such a big hit across The Pond. We are suffering withdrawal symptoms after the Christmas special here in Britain – can’t wait for series three! My lips are sealed on what happens in series two…

  • I just wanted to tell you that I got your book for Christmas and I LOVE it!! It was even better than I thought it would be. It’s so beautiful, charming and inspirational!!! YAY YOU! Happy blogging for 2012 :D

  • I think that is a coffee mill in the picture, not a pepper mill! I have a red one…

  • I slightly gasped when I saw this post. My husband and I watched it the other night and I can’t stop thinking about it! Great Living In!

  • While Downton Abbey is a TV show, the production values are top drawer. It is a feast for the eyes. I want to join those asking for other TV shows to get the Living In treatment by requesting you feature Pushing Daisies. While it is no longer on the air, many who like design will find it to be fabulous eye candy both in set decoration and costuming. I miss that show!

  • I could watch Downton Abbey on mute and be completely happy just ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the gorgeous colors and textures of it all. (And I wholeheartedly second Connie’s request for a Pushing Daisies “Living In”—that show is insanely colorful and fun!)

  • Quite agree Barchbo, this is the best living in ever. I’ve been in love with the show for so long and just completed watching season two online even though I live in the US I had to find out what happened!!! SO GREAT!

  • I swoon every time they show the giant painting over the sideboard where they eat breakfast. Breakfast! Their breakfast nook is bigger than my entire house and so beautifully appointed.

  • You’re right, Polly! It is a coffee mill. The Peugeot company makes coffee mills as well as pepper mills. But the company that sells the one pictured seems to think that it is a pepper mill. Seriously who would want such large quantities of pepper! :-D
    We’ve just watched DA via Swedish TV – I must say I was rather disappointed with season 2. It gets way too predictable and really rather silly. Which is a shame since it started out much more interesting, I think. But aside from that it’s still a pleasure watching the setting and so on.

  • Being part of the Commonwealth clearly has some advantages – like getting Season Two of Downton before the States!

  • I am currently in a design compeition and my space is inspired by Downton Abby. This information could not be more perfect for what I am working on. I have been searching for an English inspired table lamp for my space and now I have found it!

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

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