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Monday, 24 January 2011

Upstairs Downstairs and Every Colour In Between

Did anyone else catch that series Upstairs Downstairs that was broadcast over Christmas? All I can say thank you iPlayer for kindly affording me the opportunity to go back to study particular scenes to, you know, get my hit of colour and my fill of design...

wouldn't that make an extraordinary print for textiles? Great colours
I don't use Photoshop because I prefer to work by eye and so, the colour will differ, slightly. I like the greener tone.

Aside from being an enthralling storyline, the cinematography is incredibly beautiful. These screen-shots do not do the film justice - I struggled to narrow down the selection and evidently just gave up, posting pretty much all of my favourites. If you happen to see the series on DVD, grab it: it is an Education.

The production designer who worked on this series is Eve Stewart has been nominated for an Oscar for her work on the 12 Oscar Nominated The Kings Speech. Although I am excited to have another opportunity to see her work (I haven't seen the film, yet), I am not in the least bit surprised - she is incredibly talented. Just look at her IMDB page to see the how many great films she's worked on. Amazing.

Where does this wallpaper comes from? Could it be an original?

I love this room - every surface area celebrates the next. The colour palette is so elegant. 
a quick selection of modern wallpaper, products & accessories

Vermeer painting? (I like the way the light catches her elbow)

a quietly dignified, steely grey palette. So fitting.

Thank you to Oliver who says: "I believe the set designer of this 6th Series was Eve Stewart who also worked on “The King’s Speech”." Well, that's certainly not one to miss... 

Other great films with incredible colour work and/or interior design are:

  • A Single Man 
  • The 39 Steps (with Rupert Henry Jones)
Please feel free to add your favourites in the comments box - I'll pop them up here.



  1. Completely gorgeous! Love the colour scheme and that first shot is is stunning!!

  2. Wow! The set design is spectacular – it is the attention to detail I find so amazing. It really looks like you have stepped back in time. There is something truly magical in the colour selection. For me, I loved the picture of the umbrellas shot from above.

    I believe the set designer of this 6th Series was Eve Stewart who also worked on “The King’s Speech”.

  3. damn blogger - ate my comment. but it was roughly about how stunning that set design is. gorgeous. xx

  4. Awesome post Heather. Great colors to go with that great imagination of yours! :-)

  5. Found you via twitter! And so glad I did! Just love this post. I'm in the States so haven't had the chance to see the new Upstairs Downstairs - we're just getting Downton Abbey, which I adore. Just love the palates you picked - lovely!

  6. Hi Heather, this is a great post. I would love to see you do this with other films and tv. Thanks.

  7. Wow, these are such great comments - I am really touched, thank you so, so much.

    I loved this film and something kinda great happened this evening. You know that the stylist on this set is Eve Stewart, right? (Oliver very kindly informed us.) Well, I was at an event this evening with the mydeco crowd and Ellie had to dash off to go and interview her! Did you know that she has been nominated for an OSCAR?! She's the talent behind the styling in The Kings Speech! What an incredible talent she is...

    Watching, seeing and observing her work is such a pleasure, I hope she wins, she absolutely deserves it.

  8. Hi Heather,
    Lovely to meet you last night, I did see Upstairs Downstairs at Christmas - have to admit I preferred the original series - the decor and the colour scheme were fab.

  9. I've not seen the series, nor visited your blog before (arrived here via A Certain Simplicity). I love this post and your eye for colours & details. I'm off to have a look around other posts now.

  10. Love the colors and wall papers, I am drawn into neutral and specially black. very nice meeting you on Tuesday.

  11. Hi Heather, I arrived here through Diana's blog A certain Simplicity, and I'm glad I found your blog :)
    I haven't seen the last Upstairs Downstairs, but I loved the old series - just went through all the episodes over Christmas!
    Beautiful set design...and I agree about A Single Man, too.

  12. great post, thank you for inspiration , have a good day!

  13. beautiful colors! gorgeous post as always! thank you... and just to let you know that my new blog is on! have a nice weeek!

  14. Heather - I absolutely adore your color palettes. Just stunning. The second to last and third to last remind me of my office, so, I can see we do share some color preferences. May I even call those blues "deep turquoise"?

    Haven't seen The King's Speech yet, but have heard great things about the film. Looks like a good one!

    Thanks for sharing such lovely images.

  15. Kelly, you know, I did the second to last palette after our mini conversation on your blog and so it was absolutely inspired by you!

    Veronika - thank you so much to popping by.
    Audrey - LOVING your new blog.

    I'm so thrilled to have all you design heavyweights, here. Thank you for your comments.

  16. I'm new to your blog...and am loving it!
    The "new" Upstairs Downstairs" is to air here in the U.S. in I heard. Can't wait to see.
    Must go look around your blog now!

  17. thank you for this heather, what a pleasure. it's like you're doing a colourists version of design*sponge's "living in", and i LOVE it. i adored the little series, i wish it were long - we've just dug out the old one (same housekeeper! same actress!) and i've been staring hard at every image. will you please look at downton abbey? and oh, my goodness, i hope you've seen the king's speech, it is one of my most favourite films. the therapist's rooms are pure joy. xx

  18. Love your blog post. My two bathrooms are being painted today as we speak! AND I watched the first episode of the show today before I found you.
    I'd love to know what the green color is in the upstairs rooms.

  19. I don't know how I missed this great post of yours, Heather. Thank you!

    I will be sure to check out this series. Of course, it's hard not for us creatives not to tune into the color story and the composition of each shot more than the plot.

  20. I just watched the first 3 episodes on PBS online and fell in love with the turquoise in the hallway. Just gorgeous!!! I was thrilled to find this blog!!


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