To the Manor Born

I am already mourning the end of Downton Abbey. Oh how is it possible that we have in such a short time exhausted each and every episode? And how is it possible that the gentlemanly Julian Fellowes could choose to leave us hanging in such a manner – I would have expected better form! So with the knowledge that I won’t be invited to my favorite Edwardian abode anytime soon, I found another charming British country house for a vicarious visits.

This charming house in Wales is owned by art dealer Guy Morrison and his interior designer wife Penny. Originally built in 1790 with an addition thirty years later, it hadn’t been touched since 1910. The renovation took 18 months with glorious results.

The gracious blue front hall is hung with hunting trophies

and home to a chicken-wire-panelled French armoire holding a collection of hats

and a bar table with their spaniel Winnie standing guard.

For the drawing room, Penny designed the claret colored ottoman. The George Spencer sofas are covered with a Jean Monro chintz and curtains, hung from gilt pelmets, are fashioned from green and beige silk taffeta sown together in stripes.

Blue and white china and lamps provide a classic touch of color.

Isn’t this breakfast room the epitome of country chic? I love the Pillement Toile with the Bowood – a combination I wouldn’t have thought would work but with the addition of the Ian Mankin check, it somehow does, with the sublime green, a mixture of three Farrow and Ball colors, anchoring it all.

The kitchen, bright and cheerful, also sports an Aga, not pictured here

and an adjoining pantry with tons of room and accessibility.

Known as the Pink Bedroom, its charm lies in its eclectic mix. The Zoffany wallpaper, needlepoint rug and antique Toile de Jouy all contribute to the timeless gracious appeal that I think any guest would appreciate.

And if Lady Crawley had had such a charming rug, she never would have slipped on that soap! I would happily spend hours in the bath here!

So while we all wonder whether the fickle Mary has lost her chance for Matthew and if Mr. Bates and Anna will ever consummate their kiss, we can linger here a while and enjoy the view! If you’re interested, here is a fun Q&A with writer Julia Fellowes on everything from Etiquette to his early influences. And a behind-the-scenes look via tartanscot.

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42 Responses to To the Manor Born

  1. How beautiful! I absolutely adore the armoire, home to that wonderful hats collection! sigh!…dream…:))

  2. So beautiful! I am swooning over that room of dishes and lusting over that bathroom!

  3. Dash says:

    Thank you for the lovely comment you left over at mine, having looked at your blog the feeling is mutual!

    I think a lot of people over here suffered from post Downton Abbey blues, when the series ended, Sunday evenings just weren’t the same! Roll on next series.

    That house is simply gorgeous, I dream of having a pantry like that.

  4. Stunning…love that drawing room in particular and the breakfast room… they need a roommate?

  5. There are so many individual pieces that I’d love in my hat – the armoire, those gorgeous tall lamps with pink lampshades, and that pantry (would definitely feel inclined to throw more parties!)

  6. What a beautiful place and Im swooning over the French armoire. Its so stunning. My mom loves collecting her hats too:)
    Happy Tuesday, sweetie

  7. Jane Schott says:

    Yes, it will be a long summer waiting for Dowton Abbey to return in the fall, so I think I will go back and watch the brilliant “Duchess of Duke Street” and re-read lots of Somerset Maugham.

    Also, for spice, Cold Comfort Farm, would make me happy. Thank goodness there are lots of BBC Masterpiece Theater Classics that can fill the void until Mr. Bates returns.

  8. I love the ethereal colors used through this home. The furnishings are beautiful, but not other-the-top; the mix of fabrics is perfect: I think that I could move right in.

  9. A beautiful, gracious home! But you really have me hunting for how I can see this Downton Abbey, I love historical dramas and this looks so divine. Hope I can find it before I massive snow day tomorrow. XO

  10. beautiful house..fine example of English style…
    and I LOVE the pantry… I want one too….

  11. Sarah says:

    Yes! These photos were a treat. My eyes couldn’t savor all of the fine details. Just the mention of Wales brings me back to the stone farmhouse where my husband’s company put us for our time in that beautifully rich countryside. My daughter is dragging me to go workout but I will be back to relish that gorgeous kitchen, look at all of those dishes in the pantry, and look carefully at that armoire with the array of hats!

  12. Vicki Archer says:

    Loved that series too… This is a gorgeous home….Thank you for the lovely tour….xv

  13. kayce hughes says:

    That might be the most beautiful house ever!

  14. Gorgeous! Love all the blue and white and the toile, so pretty. I still have one disc of DA left, so don’t tell me what happens ;-) XO

  15. hamptontoes says:

    It would be a dream come to true to renovate and revive life into a country chateau! How I would love an armoire just for hats and handbags!

  16. Good morning, Q!

    Simply beautiful!!! I’m in love with the 2nd picture and the dining room. Lovely.
    Have a great day, sweetie!


    Luciane at

    Post of the day: An Elegant House by Canadian Interior Designer Scott Yetman.

  17. YES, I was ticked off at the cliffhanger. Not just any cliffhanger to get you to watch a next season, but no resolution of any story line AND the start of war! SERIOUSLY?! And how long will we have to wait for series 2? RUDE (but fabulous, he has my attention).

  18. Beth says:

    What an interesting entry. I have simply Loved Downton Abbey and I agree with you; I hated to see it end. What a sumptuous use of detail and great stories, all perfectly realized by this extraordinary cast. Your entry was perfection. Well-done.

  19. I’m on pins and needles waiting to see the outcome!! Wasn’t it amazing?!?! And I love the home you chose. Stately but not too grand, and so elegant. Just right!

  20. I’ve been holding off watching the last two episodes since I want to relish them… with the boys in and out of the room, a quiet time is almost impossible! Love the images of this country estate – so charming and liveable.

  21. I was trying to keep up with my favorite, but I lost track! The armoire is hte most beautiful I have seem!
    Thank you for sharing, q.

  22. How charming and lovely! I love every single thing about it :)

  23. Well gosh darn I still haven’t seen it but just watched that clip and got completely sucked in.

  24. Love it, love it, love it. You can’t beat a bit of English country style. I’m off to watch Julian’s Q&A. I can’t wait for the next series of Downton. My favourite British period drama ever is The Duchess of Duke Street – you must get it if you haven’t seen it xx

  25. I need to get into a good series! I love having something like that to look forward too (and the hour on the couch!)

    What an incredible house — I envy the butlers pantry. The shade of green in the dining room is so nice. Thanks for the tour!

  26. jule at BV says:

    Stunning interiors. I love that french armoire and that butllers pantry.

  27. I just learned I can download Downton Abbey to my ipad. I so want to see this series!

    And, I would love to escape today to the English countryside to a manor like this!! Perhaps it comes with a snow butler, so that when you need to scrape the snow off your roof….you’re covered! I know I could use one here!!

  28. So fantastic! The breakfast room is my favorite I think, such a pretty shade and so cozy, perfect for long mornings of tea and scones. Love it!

  29. The Zhush says:

    I am only up to episode 4 of DA…enjoying it thoroughly on my ipad! So of course this English manor is completely and utterly my cup of tea!

  30. I loved the series and was also sad to have it come to an end. Love the post! xx

  31. I didn’t want it to end! Thank goodness there will be another season. What a great episode on Sunday night. Thanks for providing all those gorgeous photos, they help prolong the English country manor ambiance that I was steeped in for all four episodes.

  32. Martini says:

    What a wonderful home! It has so much history. I unfortunately haven’t had a chance to watch Downton Abbey, though everyone has been raving about it. I’ll be sure to check it out. I love anything PBS.

  33. q,
    Wanted to let you know that I have awarded you with the Super Comment Award!

  34. p gaye tapp says:

    such charm. I wonder if the large painting in the drawing room-2nd picture is attributed to anyone?

  35. This is a fabulous post. I have never been on your blog before. It is great! You should guest blog for us!

  36. No worrries- The new season starts filming next month. A little suspense in life a story is good. In life not so much.

  37. […] To the Manor BornQuintessence | Quintessence and home to a chicken-wire-panelled French armoire holding a collection of hats. and a bar table with their spaniel Winnie standing guard. For the drawing room, Penny designed the claret colored ottoman. The George Spencer sofas are covered Thank goodness there will be another season. What a great episode on Sunday night. Thanks for providing all those gorgeous photos, they help prolong the English country manor ambiance that I was steeped in for all four episodes. […]

  38. If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, you’ll LOVE the remake of The Forsyte Saga.

  39. […] What a lovely way to storage Your favourites: hats, shoes etc. Chicken-wire-panelled white French armoire. […]

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