Understanding Georgian & Regency London Houses

Design of the House

Here we see how the house and its details were designed in Georgian and Regency London.

We will look at the house of a famous actor, David Garrick, built in the Adelphi, one of the most fashionable developments in London.

We see a design for a chimneypiece by William Chambers, an architect of the generation before Soane; and another design by Adam, for an ornamental wall at the rear of a yard in a grand London house. 

Collections | Georgian & Regency | Design of the House
Ceiling Design for a House in Adelphi

Ceiling Design for a House in Adelphi


Adam Vol.13/7

This is a ceiling design for a house on the east side of Adam Street in the Adelphi. Adam liked to use colour in his ceiling designs which, like this one, could be very elaborate and beautiful. In fact he claimed to have introduced coloured ceilings to England where they had until then usually been plain white.

The design was inspired by painted ceilings found in Roman houses and palaces, particularly the Emperor Nero’s palace in Rome known as the Golden House. This had been buried and later structures built above it, so when it was re-discovered it seemed to be underground like a grotto; these kinds of decorations were therefore called grotesques. In the best houses the carpet would echo the ceiling design, and the walls and furnishings would often have the same colour scheme.