Antique lamps evoke the glamor of Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle


The second season of PBS’s surprise hit Downton Abbey wrapped up in February and the cast and crew are preparing to film the third season in March on the primary set location – Highclere Castle. This residence is currently home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, friends of the show’s mastermind, Julian Fellowes (who gained international fame for writing the Oscar-winning film Gosford Park).

Lamps transitioned from gas to electricity

The producers left the majority of the home, which is heavily influenced by Victorian style, as is except for one element – the table lamps.

“We updated the lighting to show the transition from gas to electric fixtures that was taking place then,” set decorator Judy Farr told Architectural Digest.

If you’re impressed by the stateliness of this English estate, you can achieve a similar aesthetic in your home by featuring unique table lamps with elaborate tasseled shades that resemble those on the show.

The salon was the hub of activity

With this acclaimed series as your muse – the show won six Emmy awards in 2011 and secured several nominations, including one for best art decoration for a miniseries or movie – you can turn your living room into an American take on old European design.

The salon is the social center of Highclere Castle and may be the ideal focus for your redecorating efforts. The walls are lined with leather coverings from Spain that date back to 1631.

Ornate modern options

While you may not have access to furnishings with such historical value, you can look for modern versions, such as salmon leather panels. This style is sustainable thanks to a polymer resin that makes it feasible to dry-clean and wash the leather.

Keep in mind that the estate’s social center is ornate and grand, so don’t hold back as you look for the proper furnishings.

Photo Credits

  • PBS
Bill Ferris

Bill Ferris is the president of Decor Interiors and founded the company in 2007. He's been quoted on patio furniture by Living Cozy and on home improvement by When not writing posts for the website, he's a frequent guest contributor on the subject of online marketing and an interior design enthusiast.

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Bill Ferris

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