A Ge­or­gian gem

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS -

With their high ceil­ings and im­pres­sive in­te­ri­ors, Ge­or­gian homes of­ten take a star­ring role in film and TV dra­mas. In­spired by the clas­si­cal build­ings of an­cient Greece and

Rome, these houses were built in the pe­riod broadly span­ning the years be­tween Ge­orge I’s reign from 1714 to the death of Ge­orge IV in 1830. The style of prop­er­ties ranges from grand coun­try man­sions to grace­ful town­houses.

‘The Ge­or­gian pe­riod is one of the most pop­u­lar for home­buy­ers thanks to the build­ings’ sym­met­ri­cal fa­cades, high ceil­ings and grand pro­por­tions,’ says es­tate agent Luke Mor­gan from Strutt & Parker. ‘It looks amaz­ing when you see a beau­ti­ful Ge­or­gian manor house sur­rounded by trees in blos­som and flow­ers in bloom.’

By the 1770s, the ex­te­rior and lay­out of Ge­or­gian homes had be­come fairly stan­dard­ised. Town­houses were flat-fronted, with the most im­por­tant rooms given large sash win­dows. Semi-cir­cu­lar fan­lights ap­peared over the front door, which now had steps lead­ing up it, and rail­ings ran at the front of the prop­erty. The kitchen was in the base­ment, with the scullery at the back.

There might be a place for coal stor­age, with a cel­lar un­der the pave­ment. The first floor was called the ‘pi­ano noble’, lit­er­ally ‘noble floor’, where the most im­por­tant guests were re­ceived.

Less-favoured callers would be shown straight into the morn­ing room on the ground floor, where the din­ing room was usu­ally si­t­u­ated too. This might also be known as the study or, in larger houses, the li­brary. It would be on this floor that the whole fam­ily would gather in­for­mally.

‘Ge­or­gian homes have great char­ac­ter and orig­i­nal­ity and are so ver­sa­tile,’ says Ju­lia Ship­ston, who is sell­ing her twobed­room Ge­or­gian ter­race in Brighton, East Sus­sex. ‘I’ve turned my base­ment kitchen into a nice, big so­cial space. But mod­ern features, such as un­der­floor heat­ing, have been cru­cial to cre­ate a warm, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient home.’

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