When once there was the Montagues and the Capulets, now we have the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons. If you’ve seen Bridgerton, Netflix’s latest hit series that’s not only a salacious drama but a colorful feast for the eyes, you’ll know that although it’s not exactly like the deadly drama of a Shakespearean play, something it does have that Shakespeare would approve of is a contrast represented by two families. And what better way to illustrate this juxtaposition than through the Bridgerton and Featherington households—specifically, using the homes’ interior design as a medium to display these families’ differences in both taste and social class.
The style of the Bridgerton residence revolves around a muted color palette of pastels and neutrals, including a pale blue, a flat cream, and a subdued gold—appropriate representations of the family's (at least outwardly) genteel, respectable status. As for the Featheringtons, their home decor—much like their outfits—is as flamboyant as their surname. A regal take on lime green in the form of damask wallpaper and a gilded French-style mirror make the case for a more maximalist way of decorating in the Regency era—and if Instagram existed then, we’re sure that anyone who visited the Featheringtons would absolutely relish in the opportunity to post countless photos of their exuberant dwelling.
Personally, I confess I prefer the more vibrant and visually stimulating aesthetic of the Featherington household. The Bridgertons and the Featheringtons are practically symbols for the old-as-time debate of minimalism vs. maximalism, and I would much rather be over-the-top than safe, especially when it comes to interior design.
As it turns out, these two "residences" were created with just this visual divide in mind. “When designing a show like this, it is important to create identities for the spaces so the audience is in no doubt where they are," Bridgerton production designer Will Hughes-Jones tells House Beautiful. This resulted in the production team purposely creating a “very strong contrasting look between the two” homes.
To create the world of the Bridgerton home, Hughes-Jones says “we wanted to show they were from ‘old’ money, and so giving them a classic designed and decorated house fit the bill.” On the contrary, the Featheringtons are ‘new’ money, so they—and their house—are depicted as “much more ostentatious,” and their furniture is “in the style of Thomas Hope, who was a popular interior designer and furniture maker of the time.” Hughes-Jones adds, “With the Featheringtons, it is all about show.”
Fans of the show will of course notice that these same aesthetic treatments extend to the residents' wardrobes, too. This was no accident—Hughes-Jones reveals that the colors of both homes' interiors “were steered by what [the characters] were wearing in the scenes.” This was done as a way to put the costumes at the forefront, all the while complementing the dreamy backdrops of each immaculately decorated room.
As someone who loves both fashion and interior design, I can’t deny the satisfaction that comes from wearing an ensemble that happens to match the style and colors of the space I’m in. Embodying a very specific aesthetic doesn’t have to be something that exists only on Instagram—you can make like Barbie and live in a pink Dreamhouse and primarily wear bright blush-colored clothing. Or, live like American Girl doll Samantha Parkington in an Italianate-style Victorian house, and sleep in a bed that boasts an antique gold brass frame. Come morning, put a bow in your hair and rock a puff sleeve dress. Why not?
Ultimately, whether your interior decorating style (or even your go-to outfit) more closely aligns with the Bridgertons or the Featheringtons, it’s a matter of personal preference.
An honorary Featherington.
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