If you're a "Downton Abbey" fan, like I am, you'll love this: The Emmy- and Golden Globe-award-winning PBS series is the inspiration for the next big trendy wave in home design. So coming to retail stores soon expect to see bedding and bath, home furnishings, home décor, housewares, kitchenware, and lots of other stuff, including clothes, with an Edwardian Age twist. But anyone can evoke the look with a few clever DIY design twists.
Think wallpaper instead of paint. Wallpaper was big in Edwardian times, the period following the Victorian Age, around World War I. Pick traditional patterns and for an old time-y look, says television host and designer, Nate Berkus, give it a coat of lacquer which will make it look aged. Great sources for wallpaper include cavernhome.com, grahambrown.com, and walnutwallpaper.com.
Consider an Oriental rug. It's a classic go-with-everything look—even mod furniture looks great grounded by an Oriental. We're not talking an investment rug; you can find Oriental style rugs in every price point. Good places to look: ballarddesigns.com, macys.com, overstock.com.
Hang some portraits. You can start your own ancestral gallery by hanging blown up black and white photos of family members. Gang them up on one wall or stagger them along a stairway wall for greater impact.
Hit the flea markets. For furniture that looks like it's been passed down in the family look for mahogany pieces and those veneered in fruit wood which have lots of swirly wood graining. Also look for accessories that look like Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess might have passed it on to you: pretty linens, candelabras, even painted portraits of someone else's ancestors.
Invest in a chandelier. Those light-catching crystals dripping from the fixture add jewelrylike sparkle to a room. Try one over a dining table or in an entryway.
Pot a plant. A pretty planter with a big plant is a great room accessory, bringing a touch of nature and color into your décor. The Edwardians knew that, and it's a decorative flourish that goes with any style furniture—even if you're not a "Downton Abbey" fan and are set in your "modern" ways.