Loving Poldark's 18th-century interiors almost as much as you're loving Aidan Turner in his britches? Check out these eight design tricks that take their lead from the Cornish coast
Everyone’s been swooning over Aidan Turner in Poldark but some of us have been swooning over the show’s 18th-century Cornish interiors as well. We’ve picked out a few ways you can work the look into your home, whether you live in the city or by the sea.
1. Embrace rustic details
Ok, so not everyone is lucky enough to have original beams and exposed stone walls in their living room, but you can still create a period cottage feel in a modern building. Wicker baskets – ideally woven from driftwood – add instant rustic charm, while a vintage bucket makes a handy magazine rack. An open fire is a must if space and planning restrictions allow. Choose a traditional fire basket to complete the 18th-century look.
2. Deck out your home with antiques
Every dashing hero needs a place to kick off his riding boots. Placing an antique bench in a hallway comes in just as handy for removing 21st-century footwear, too. For a more coastal feel, hang a classic maritime print on the wall above the bench. Remember, when it comes to antique furniture or art, the more, the better…
3. Paint it white
Eighteenth-century kitchens tended to be dark and cramped, which just won’t do by today’s standards. Instead, go for a pale or white scheme incorporating a handful of key traditional pieces. This range cooker and ship-style pendant are just the thing. The whitewashed cupboards add a soft, coastal touch.
4. Add nautical accessories
After months at sea living off stale biscuits and cabbage, 18th-century sailors liked to live it up when they got back to Cornwall’s fair shores. The nautical detail in this sumptuous dining room would make them feel right at home. Recreate the look with anchor-printed fabrics and table-top storm lanterns that will cast a cosy glow over the evening’s entertainment.
5. Embrace the traditional ladder shelf
If you do happen to live in a coastal cottage, make the most of the period features you’ve got. Painting this loft ladder white has helped it to sing out in a light-limited hallway space. If your home’s short on built-in period charm, add it yourself with a rustic ladder shelf, like this one from Limehouse Furniture.
6. Upcycle an old trunk
The wooden trunk and trunk-style chest of drawers in this nautical bedroom hark back to an era of wind-powered ships and high-seas adventures. Second-hand trunks are easy to pick up at flea markets or on the web and can be very affordable, too. You don’t have to go the whole hog with the nautical look – this bedroom would still exude seafaring charm without the ship-themed wallpaper thanks to the bedside lanterns and porthole-like mirrors.
7. Choose traditional office furniture and accessories
Bureaus may have their origins in the 17th century but they are just as practical in a modern home office. Pigeon-hole shelves mean that everything has its right place and, best of all, you can shut all your papers away once your work is done. Try JustGlobes for a similar antique-style globe.
8. Go for a roll top bath
Bathrooms would have been a luxury in Poldark’s time. So would baths, for that matter. However, when the 18th-century gentry did deign to bathe, it was certain to be in a roll-top. This distressed number manages to look both antique and ultra-contemporary thanks to the sleek freestanding tap. Roll-tops are often a good choice in awkwardly-shaped bathrooms as they can be tucked into spaces where a fitted bath couldn’t go.