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Bridgerton: how to create a Regency look at home

As millions tune into Netflix's Bridgerton, we explore how you can create a Georgian-inspired look in your own home...

BRIDGERTON (L to R) REGÉ-JEAN PAGE as SIMON BASSET and PHOEBE DYNEVOR as DAPHNE BRIDGERTON in episode 108 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020

From Jane Austen heroines to the sweeping crescents of Bath and the landscapes of Capability Brown, the Regency era is as quintessentially British as tea and scones. And Bridgerton – the record-breaking Regency romp which hit Netflix on Christmas day 2020 – has caused quite a trend for Georgian interiors and antiques.

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Inspired by the series of novels by Julia Quinn, series one of Bridgerton follows Daphne  – the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family – as she makes her debut into Regency London’s competitive marriage market. What follows is a mêlé of romance and scandal, as Daphne’s relationship with the brooding Duke of Hastings blossoms, and the commentary of mystery society writer Lady Whistledown set tongues wagging. But, drama aside, it’s the beautiful Regency interiors that piqued our interest!

And with season two of the series now firmly on the horizon (this time focusing on the life of Daphne’s older brother, Anthony) we show you how to create a Bridgerton-inspired look in your own home…
BRIDGERTON GOLDA ROSHEUVEL as QUEEN CHARLOTTE in episode 101 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020
Golda Rosheuvel stars as Queen Charlotte Netflix’s latest Regency romp, Bridgerton. Image courtesy of Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2020.

When was the Regency period?

The last of the Georgian styles, the Regency period was named after the final King George, George IV. He was initially known as ‘Regent’ while he stood in for his father, George III, during his long bout of mental illness.

It was a prolific period for design and the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 brought a renewed vigour and investment in building programmes across the country. Regency towns such as Cheltenham, Harrogate, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and Leamington Spa were adorned with elegant, column-lined pump rooms, assembly rooms, crescents and squares, creating the signature graceful aesthetic that we all know so well today.

BRIDGERTON (L to R) NICOLA COUGHLAN as PENELOPE FEATHERINGTON and CLAUDIA JESSIE as ELOISE BRIDGERTON in episode 102 of BRIDGERTON Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX/NETFLIX © 2020
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton roam the streets of Bath in Netflix’s Bridgerton. Image courtesy of Netflix/Netflix © 2020

What does Regency style encompass?

The Regency style, in architecture as well as antiques, followed closely on from the neoclassical period in taking its core philosophy from Ancient Rome and Greece, but there was an additional lightness and grace that had not been seen before. Interiors were more extravagant and embellished, with bold striped wallpaper often used alongside classically inspired furniture and sculpture, but the lines were crisp and symmetrical, making the movement feel delicately restrained and exquisitely elegant.

The furniture of George Smith (1786-1826) exemplifies the style’s balance between the ‘old classical’ and the ‘new classical’. He was thought of highly by the aristocracy and claimed to be the Prince Regent’s ‘upholder extraordinary’. ‘Smith was a designer who reflected the whimsy of Regency design – the ultimate master of a mash up of historical styles, his work reflects the theatricality of the Regency,’ says David Macdonald.

More widely, furniture incorporated Greco-Roman embellishments, geometric shapes and inlays of different woods, but the silhouette was neat with thin, delicate legs and a light, feminine feel. Mahogany was the predominant wood of choice, with inlays often in rosewood or zebrawood, and embellishments in brass.

Regency designers often combined motifs and stylistic elements from the whole of the Georgian period, showing just how overlapping and interlinked this era was. Goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge and Rundell would often feature both classical and Egyptian imagery in their work, while clockmakers, whose trade really came to the fore during this period, would borrow motifs from all of the periods.

An illustration of the Georgian Regency period by Esther Curtis.

How to create a Bridgerton-inspired look with Georgian antiques

Use the Georgian antiques that you already own to create elegant tableaux inspired by Netflix’s brand-new Regency drama…

 

Create a display of vintage curios on a chest of drawers, sideboard or dresser

Here, a traditional bow-fronted Georgian chest of drawers has been adorned with elegant Regency-inspired curios – such as a creamware jug, a hand mirror and a cut glass scent bottle – to create a relaxed and feminine scene.

A Georgian chest of drawers layered with Regency curios
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

 

Use antique Georgian furniture to make a statement in an entrance hall

A Georgian occasional table makes a perfect addition to an entrance hall or landing. Not only does it provide a platform for displays of antiques or curios, but also offers a handy space for keys or an address book.

A Georgian fall-front bureau in an elegant hallway
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

 

Create a whimsical tableau using vintage books and feather quills

This stack of antique books, topped with a feather quill, is pure Lady Whistledown! A nonchalant display like this atop a Georgian fall-front bureau would be the talk of the ton…

A stack of vintage books is topped with a writing quill
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

 

Opt for Regency-style floral wallpapers

Floral wallpaper designs, in muted pastel hues, ooze Regency charm. Find similar heritage designs at Sanderson, Little Greene or Hamilton Weston. You could paper an entire room, create a statement wall or paper the backs of cupboards and drawers.

A Georgian floral wallpaper design
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

 

Choose an antique-style fireplace or fire surround

Along with ornate plasterwork, an elaborate fire surround is the heart of a Regency living space. And this example, with its classical Grecian fan design, shouts Georgian glamour! Find similar pieces at your local salvage yard, or via dealers such as Westland London or Renaissance London.

An upholstered French armchair in front of a reclaimed antique fireplace
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

 

Arrange old-fashioned British flowers in antique vases and vessels

Nothing says Regency glamour like houses shrouded in tumbling wisteria and ballrooms filled with seasonal flowers. These natural displays are perhaps more modest than those in Bridgerton, but the blooms are just as beautiful…

An antique vase filled with traditional British flowers
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.
A display of love-lies-bleeding lends dramatic edge to a Regency landing.
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

 

Host a Regency-inspired tea party for friends and family

What could be more sophisticated than a Regency afternoon tea served on antique china? Hunt-down a complete tea set for a neat feel, or keep things eclectic with mix-matched cups, saucers and serve ware. Gentle Rattle of China has some excellent antique examples, or find new versions of heritage designs via Spode or Wedgwood.

An elegant tea party scene in a Georgian living room
Photography by Darren Chung, styling by Katie Sellers.

Bridgerton-inspired pieces for your home

From furniture to wallpaper, these contemporary Regency-inspired pieces will help you to embrace the covetable Bridgerton aesthetic in your own home…

Wisteria BP 2217 wallpaper, from £131 per roll, Farrow & Ball

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Wisteria BP 2217 wallpaper, from £131 per roll, Farrow & Ball

Lille wooden bed frame, from £1,105, Barker & Stonehouse

Buy it now

Lille wooden bed frame, from £1,105, Barker & Stonehouse

Monogram wildflower writing set, from £24.99, Papier

Buy it now

Monogram wildflower writing set, from £24.99, Papier

Gothica 8-way ceiling light in gold, £90, Iconic lights

Buy it now

Gothica 8-way ceiling light in gold, £90, Iconic lights

BC Designs Elmstead freestanding bath, from £694.35, UK Bathrooms

Buy it now

BC Designs Elmstead freestanding bath, from £694.35, UK Bathrooms

Magnolia Blossom Jasper bud vase, £85, Wedgwood

Buy it now

Magnolia Blossom Jasper bud vase, £85, Wedgwood

Everything you didn’t know about Wedgwood Jasperware

Discover why this Neoclassical stoneware is still as collectable now as it was in 1774

Detail of Wedgewood Jasperware vase at Osterley Park & House, Middlesex

The Piper letterbox bouquet, £32, Bloom & Wild

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The Piper letterbox bouquet, £32, Bloom & Wild

Botticelli round side table, £345, Perch & Parrow

Buy it now

Botticelli round side table, £345, Perch & Parrow

Decorative overmantel mirror, £375, John Lewis & Partners

Buy it now

Decorative overmantel mirror, £375, John Lewis & Partners
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Words: Sophie Hannam and Kate Macdougall