One of the joys of giving free service as a room or hall steward in a country house property is getting to know how each room has been decorated or refurbished in that style. As a regular visitor to national trust houses and latterly, those also of the historic houses group, I have seen so many different shapes an sizes of ‘house’. The castles are obviously a more challenging matter – trying to see what passed as internal and interior decor is often blurred with the outside being inside. Where I help out, there are books around describing one particular resident – she was very famous in her own right as a rich american, but then she bought out the owner of colefax, the major paint and decor specialists of the 1930s and still very activie in the field today. We have a chinese room with 300 hundred year old hand painted wall paper . . . . . The design really takes the breath away.
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