MIND ON DESIGN: Great Expectations

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Photo courtesy of Amy Vermillion Interiors.

Great Expectations, the beloved Charles Dickens novel, has found its latest theatrical counterpart in the upcoming film starring Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. A coming-of-age story following an orphan named Pip, the tale tackles class, wealth and love, and ranks highly as one of Dickens’ greatest works.

We’re taking inspiration from the period love story and capturing Georgian designs that reflect early 19th century England, while also showing how they be can be used in contemporary designs.


Grand, indulgent and incredibly romantic, Georgian architecture and design, which reigned from 1720-1840, came right after the opulent Baroque period, but retained many of the Baroque qualities, such as the rich color palette and high-quality furniture and accents. Ceilings would frequently have intricate moldings and wood floors would often be covered with Oriental rugs. Photo courtesy of 3DM3.


Georgian designs did not shy away from color, as seen in this scene from the film and this feminine, refined bedroom. Photo courtesy of Made In China.


Also known as Neo-Classical because of a strong Greek and Roman influence, furniture from this era—much like this couch and window bench—feature dramatically carved sides and delicate cushions. Photos courtesy of Archi Expo and Ruby Lane.


Entertaining would have been essential for those in the world Dickens created, which is evident in the lavish dining rooms that were in many wealthy Georgian homes. Walls were often covered by flock wallpaper or moiré silks, and it wasn’t uncommon to find detailed prints like the one in the photo above. Photo courtesy of Maggi Andersen.

What elements of Georgian design do you like the best?

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