The Regency era was characterised by an understated elegance that evolved over the latter part of the Georgian period (1800 – 1830), but is more specifically pinpointed to the period between 1811 and 1820 when the Prince of Wales, son of King George III, ruled as proxy Regent.
The Prince took the title of George IV upon his father’s death and he had a taste for the finer things in life which permeated throughout early 19th century society. His patronage of new movements in painting, sculpture, decoration, literature, music, technology and science all had a bearing on the architecture of the period.
Here is a whistle-stop guide to ‘the era of elegance’:
The Regency colour palette was more muted than the bolder colours of the Georgian period, which included burgundy and sage green. Tones such as rich cream, soft grey, stone white and duck egg blue as well as delicate pastels were popular during this period.
Subtle Rococo prints and bold stripes were the patterns of choice for wallpaper or hand-painted silks. Oriental rugs would also be thrown over polished walnut and oak floors to add a touch of finesse.
Regency properties were typically built in brick with a white painted stucco or plaster facade, with Doric, Ionian or Corinthian columns and Grecian porticos being a key feature. Tall, thin sash windows also had pride of place, while a series of steps led up to imposing front doorways (with doors painted black).
Regency Style by Steven Parissien and The Regency Country House: From the Archives of “Country Life” by John Martin Robinson are both said to provide a detailed insight into Regency architecture and interior design.
The Regency period is also known as Jane Austen’s period. The celebrated author’s first public work, Sense and Sensibility, appeared in 1811 and Austen’s novels could help to shed light on the Regency interiors.