As I was visiting Mount Stewart last week, I was struck by the distinctive colours used throughout the house.
I was told this is the result of redecoration carried out by Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry (1878-1959), during the last ten years of her life following the death of her husband, the 7th Marquess.
It seems that, having already revived and embellished the garden, she could now express her own taste inside as well.
Some may well be shocked by these bold colours, but I find them rather appealing. They help to make the house feel simultaneously grand – in an ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks’ sort of way – and jolly.
Lady Londonderry also clearly loved textiles, lacquer and japanning, and other objects with interesting textures and shapes – a taste perhaps also reflected in the variety of plants she introduced to the garden.
Some of these colours and textures in the house have inevitably faded somewhat over time, and it is one of the aims of the current conservation project to bring back more of Lady Londonderry’s original sense of style.