The Chatsworth estate is the freakishly perfect home of English aristocrats that own half of England. Not only do they own the magnificent house shown in the photos below, but they also seem to own the nearby village, all the buildings there and half the surrounding countryside.
Morally I don’t believe in any one person owning all that land, but I must admit they do a blooming good job of looking after it and keeping it pristine for future generations to enjoy.
Anyway – I’m now going to get off my high horse and show you around.
This is their front hall. Ya! I know! Wow! I’m not normally taken in by this type of architecture – I appreciate it but rarely love it. But man, it actually felt homely – it’s the first time that I’ve been to a house like this and it has felt properly homely. I wonder does it have something to do with the people that live there? Does their warmth and happiness transfer to the building?
I especially loved this ‘little snug’. Even though it is obviously opulent it still oozes with homeliness and cosiness. I love the warm lighting and arrangement of sofas and chairs. I love the 2 tall lamps by the sofa and the tables holding books . I could imagine snuggling up here with a wee sherry and a good book on a long winters evening with a couple of dogs curled up by my side.
Each of the bedrooms had its own personality. And again for some strange reason they felt loved and lived in and basically happy places. I rarely get this feeling in big old houses like this.
Green is one of my favourite colours – I love the oriental feel to the wallpaper, the stunning sleigh bed and chest of drawers and I especially love the hint of green velvet with the chairs. Again the lighting is so warm and cosy and inviting. Not so sure about sleeping under one of those huge canopies though!
Again I love the oriental feel to the wallpaper (hand painted of course). The high backs on the bed give it such a feeling of privacy and snugness in such a giant space – again they have made the room feel so warm and inviting with the various lamplights. I love the writing desks in each room in these old houses. People must have spent so much time corresponding with friends and family. I imagine them spending late afternoons getting ready for dinner and writing letters before heading down to dinner – full of vip and vigour and wit. Fabulous!
This is the grand library – again full of opulence and over the top decor but still it retains that warmth and love. I think it’s the use of lamps and having books laid out on all the side tables that help give it that feeling of being lived in.
In this room I imagine JFK the US president sitting here, relaxed against the arm of one of the sofas reading and talking and being his charming self. His sister Kathleen or Kick as she was known, was married to the heir of the estate during World War II. Tragically he was killed only a few weeks later on the battlefield in France. Her good friend Deborah Mitford was married to his brother who was next in line. They inherited the estate. Again, even though I am not a fan of the english class system at all, she seemed to have been a lovely warm lady and perhaps this is reflected in this home.
Sadly Katleen Kennedy was also killed tragically in a plane crash in France after the war. She is buried in the nearby cemetery in the village of Edensor. I read an excellent book about her life called ‘Kick: The True Story of JFK’s Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth’ by Paula Byrne. Well worth a read.
And now back to the main hall – from the other side this time.
More bedrooms with oriental style decorations, canopied beds and beautiful writing desks at the foot of the bed.
For some strange reason I love the fanned fabric design about the head of the bed. I think it reminds me of the dawn or the setting sun. Appropriate for bedtime.
The art was spectacular. I especially loved these pieces below. I also loved the gold frames against the turquoise fabric on the walls. Spectacular.
Again, this wallpaper!!! Look at the gorgeous green flower pattern against the gold picture frames. This lady in the image looks so ethereal and also kind of natural. It must be from around the 1920’s. I love the loose hair and pink cheeks and lips and pale skin. I also love the pose – from the side and back. Fabulous!
The grounds were stunning as well but I didn’t take the perfect photo which would have been the view on the way in – but I will leave that to you to see for yourself. I would recommend parking in the little village of Edensor, near the gate to the house and walk from there. Edensor is the most perfectly designed and preserved village and we had the most delicious breakfast in a little coffee shop near the church.
The back of the house was covered in scaffolding for refurbishment work when we were there in August.
This little champagne van caught me eye. Isn’t she gorgeous!! I love the shade of peach and the old van. Gorgeous!!
Next up: My solo adventure in Copenhagen!