Secrets of a Stately Home
You don’t need to live in a stately home to enjoy the benefits of centuries of tradition. Little domestic rituals have meaning that go beyond appearance; they forge a link to the past and act as an emotional buoy in today’s rapidly changing world. Here are a few customs worth keeping alive.
Invest in a few glass decanters to use when guests visit and for a weeknight dinner. In Brideshead Revisited, small individual decanters are placed in front of each guest at dinnertime.
Have a set of house stationery printed up like the Duchess of Chevron does in The Edwardians. Use it as invitations to dinner parties, for thank-you notes and for leaving in guest’s rooms.
If hosting family over the holidays, set up a simple breakfast bar so you’re free to get on with your day and others can help themselves. Guests also find this kind of approach relaxing.
Air out sheets daily. When you get up in the morning, toss back the bedcovers and, if possible, open the windows — even 15 minutes is time enough to reinvigorate your sheets and help them last longer between washings.
Put out a handkerchief dipped in eau de cologne. This tip comes straight from the pages of The Edwardians. There’s something wonderfully stimulating about a scented room, provided it’s done with a light hand. Spritz a few drops of perfume on a pillow or favorite chair. Or try a luxury room spray formulated to not overwhelm the senses.
Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature
by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti (Potter Style, 2014)