Understanding Georgian & Regency London Houses

Living in the House

Here we see how Georgian and Regency house was lived in. The South Drawing Room at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields is shown, with its striking yellow walls and furnishings. We also see the Breakfast Room at number 12, Soane’s first house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. This was decorated with a pattern of trellis and honeysuckle on the vaulted ceiling.

Soane’s bedroom and bathroom in number 13 show the intimate aspect of his life and we see how water was brought into the house. Dining is shown in an elegant, Soane-designed dining room and we see a Georgian kitchen designed by a contemporary of Soane’s - James Playfair.

Collections | Georgian & Regency | Living in the House
The South Drawing Room, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

The South Drawing Room, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Vol. 82/29

This is the South Drawing Room in Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Although the Museum is a very special house, unlike any other in London, this room is in some ways similar to the drawing rooms in many Regency London houses. Note the strong yellow colour of the walls and upholstery. In the Regency period strong, bright colours were very popular. The furniture is mostly pushed back against the walls apart from the sofa and sofa table in front of it. In the Regency period furniture was just starting to be placed in the centre of rooms as we tend to have it today. Note that the carpet is not fitted but is a little smaller than the room which allows the floorboards to show around the edges.

The room is lit by a glass chandelier, which held wax candles, and oil lamps which would have stood on the tables and stands called torchères which you can see in the corners of the room. Compared to today’s interiors rooms would be rather dark in the evening. Either side of the fireplace are two firescreens which ladies used to keep the heat from the coal fire from their faces. This room would be used to withdraw to after dinner, hence the name withdrawing or drawing room. Soane, his wife and guests would come upstairs from the library dining room and take tea here.