Proportion, balance and beauty; why a major new movie is set in a Georgian house
PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 February 2018
It may be Daniel Day-Lewis who is up for an Oscar for his role in the stylish new film the Phantom Thread – but the real, understated star is the beautiful Georgian mews house the story is set in, which is for sale in London for offers in excess of £15 million. Property editor Caroline Culot finds a Norfolk equivelant!
I was watching the Phantom Thread, the thought-provoking creation of Paul Thomas Anderson, in which Day-Lewis plays with intensity a couturier infatuated with a young waitress. However, despite the utterly brilliant performances, I was somewhat distracted by a silent player, the house in which the central character Reynolds Woodcock lives and works.
In this elegant Georgian mansion house, the team of seamstresses arrive and every day climb the spiralling cantilevered staircase to the top floor, where they don starched white coats and begin work on the dresses.
You see the pretty fanlight over the top of the door, the hall with a black and white chequered floor. In other scenes, you see glimpses of gorgeous white painted panelling and fireplaces, as well as some pretty floral wallpaper – in vogue now but also popular in the early 19th century. There is just one scene in the movie when the characters pull up in front of the house, part of a fantastic mews with little black wrought iron railings at the front.
The film is set in the 1950s which makes the period property in Fitzroy Square in Fitzrovia, central London, stand out even more and I imagine it was chosen to underline the character traits of Woodcock, his sense of tradition and refinement. The elegance and precision of his work creating his silk and satin masterpieces are mirrored in the equally refined and beautiful house in which he lives. Yet the steep staircase, which Reynolds makes his customers and staff alike climb – is an important symbol.
Doing some research, the four-seven bedroom, five storey Grade II listed property in which the film was shot is actually for sale with Knight Frank. It comes with an adjoining mews house and offers 10,403 sq ft of living space with eight reception rooms, a roof terrace and a courtyard garden.
Louis de Soissons, head of residential at Savills in Norwich, said: “Everybody seems to love a Georgian house, there is something about the combination of innate restrained good taste, perfect proportions, elegance and lightness of touch that appeals to us all. Everything in perfect harmony and obeying the rules of classicism.”
Jonathan Weeks, partner at Jackson-Stops in Norwich, which has just put on the market a beautiful Georgian house situated on Mount Pleasant, said: “I often use the example that when you ask a child to draw a house it’s almost always a Georgian style with the door in the middle and symmetrical windows. I think people love the Georgian style, which is interestingly being recreated in many new builds, because not only is it utterly elegant – inspired by the magnificent classical buildings of ancient Greece and Rome but also because of its uniformity. Windows and doors are symmetrical, representing balance, so when you look at the front of a house, everything is uniform and in line.”
Jackson-Stops is selling the house on Mount Pleasant, Norwich for £825,000, and it also comes with a pretty cantilevered staircase, three receptions, one with an original marble fireplace, four bedrooms and outside, a terrace and garden. Just fit for the Phantom Thread sequel!