Bye-bye, grey: how we fell back in love with opulent period interiors

When the Netflix series Bridgerton returns for a second series later this month, it will no doubt bring with it a fresh resurgence of interest in historic interiors. And it seems that the popularity of big-budget period dramas, also including The Crown, The Great and The Gilded Age, where the sumptuous sets almost take precedence over the cast, are not only acting as interiors eye candy but have started to influence the way we decorate our homes.

Bye-bye, grey: how we fell back in love with opulent period interiors

A study by Uswitch, analysing Google search data, puts both Downton Abbey and Bridgerton in the top 10 television programmes that have the most influence on British interiors, despite both depicting the sorts of grand houses and lavish rooms in which few of us actually reside.

When the first series of Bridgerton aired on Christmas Day 2020, it spawned a whole new fashion and interiors micro-trend labelled “Regencycore” – online searches for which have increased by over 1,000 per cent since then – and reportedly sparked a 300 per cent increase in sales of four-poster beds.

The upmarket estate agency Inigo (inigo.com), which specialises in historic properties, was launched last year by Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill, founders of cult agency the Modern House, specifically to meet the demand for period houses, and what Gibberd described at the time as “a wider thirst for a colourful, decorative and effusive way of living”. According to India Alexander, the agency’s head of appraisals, “The appeal of Georgian houses in particular comes from the nature of the spaces – they are characterised by high ceilings and beautiful, huge sash windows. They are often light, and so have a feeling of calm. In many ways, the principles of Georgian design foreshadowed modernism – with a desire for open spaces that feel good to be in.”