Step Inside


The entrance to a bedroom on the first floor gallery of Ballinlough Castle, County Westmeath. Probably dating from c.1740, the oak door frame is notable for exaggerated height and narrowness. Its geometric formality and that of the adjacent wainscotting provide a decisive contrast to the exuberant rococo plasterwork above the frame, a feature repeated throughout the two-storey hall and stairs to create an enchantingly theatrical interior.

7 comments on “Step Inside

  1. Jack Plane says:

    Such an attractive and enticing entrance.

  2. missveue says:

    seeing the wainscoting and door frames on photos of Ballinlough I always wondered if that is the original finish or was it painted at one stage. The finish looks to me like limed oak, nice color but lacking the sort of elegance that one probably would associate with rooms like this.

    • I must confess that I don’t know, although my instinct is that the wood was all once painted, or possibly even varnished. I shall ask the Nugents (owners of the house) and report back again once I have an answer. Thank you for your comment, and query, one is always encouraged by interest.

  3. Eliza Lloyd says:

    Hello dear Robert, So beautiful…..I think they are some of my favourite doorways in Ireland. I do so enjoy reading your blog. eliza x

    • Thank you Eliza, the doors at Ballinlough are lovely, not least because of the combination of slenderness and height. And thank you for kind comment about this blog, it acts as a big spur to continue!

  4. columnist says:

    It’s interesting how the cracking of the plaster and the aged wood looks so attractive in an C18th building, but in a modern apartment, such as my own, it just looks as though I need to get the decorators in! I just noticed a couple I had not seen before, but I was wearing my glasses, so perhaps it’s better to see (and look) without them.

    • Yes, isn’t it strange how the veneer of age justifies ‘distressing’ – a version of shabby chic I suppose, and how our eye permits certain faults because we attribute them to age and they thereby acquire venerability. Let’s hope we ourselves are likewise regarded with a benign eye in old age…

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