Two Shades of (Downton Abbey) Grey

You can now paint your house like the Abbey, drink Downton wine and use Crawley-inspired cosmetics - but what other lines of merchandise would we like to see in the UK?


You can already drink wine like the Crawleys. Thanks to Marks and Spencer, you’ll soon be able to have lips as red and hands as soft as Mary. And now you can decorate your house to look just like the imposing stately home, too.


Two (not fifty…) shades of grey paint – Empire Grey and Amber Grey – which were specifically developed for the hit ITV drama, are now on sale to the public, so us ordinary folk can paint our kitchen cabinets to look just like Mrs Patmore’s territory.

The company that created the refined hues told The Times: “[Our] founder, John Myland, used recipes for a lot of really old, incredible colours, dating back to the Georgian and medieval times, from local traders. We have used these recipes since then and we believe that it is how authentic our colours are that makes us so popular.”

But there is more than just paint on the horizon to please the dedicated Downton fan. Downton Abbey’s executive producer Gareth Neame revealed earlier this year that they are “working across an entire range of products coming out this year. From fashion, apparel and homeware and furniture to wallpapers, beauty products and stationery.” So soon we’ll pretty much be able to recreate the whole of the Crawley’s ancestral pile inside our 30s semis…

While we wait for the pieces of our period drama-themed lives to drop into place (on the shop selves), we’ve been daydreaming about other merchandise Downton Abbey should make…

Countess Crawley’s Hats and Headwear

Gone are the days when hats were everyday wear. Nowadays we just don bobbly old ones or suncream stained caps that spend most of their lives discarded down the back of the wardrobe… But thanks to Downton’s new range of hats (which they will of course launch after they’ve read this article) we can all adorn our noggins with creations as delightful as Violet Crawley’s. Velvet, chiffon, silk – you name it, the Countess’s grey curls have sported it. And now we can, too. Sigh.

Crawley Carriages

I would suggest Downton brings out a range of vintage cars but after what happened to poor Matthew in the Christmas special I don’t trust those newfangled contraptions. You know where you are with horse-drawn transport, don’t you? And I’d much rather travel to work in a plush, cushioned carriage than spend an hour inhaling someone’s sweaty armpit on the Piccadilly line. I think it’d be a fitting way to arrive at Towers, too (which, as you can imagine, is not unlike the Abbey itself). We’d just need to convert a bit of the carpark (sorry, sweeping gravel drive) to house my horses…

Patmore’s Perfect Picnics

Forget a cheese and pickle sandwich, a crushed packet of Wotsits and a can of diet lemonade, when the Crawley family picnic they do it in style. And it’s not just the food that’s superior. They get their maids to drag out a big ol’ wooden dining table, chairs, tablecloth, china, glassware… the whole shebang. Just imagine if you could rent a Downton picnic-experience complete with Mrs Patmore’s pork pies, Daisy’s sullen service and Thomas’s snide remarks.

Carson’s Cleaning Co

From starching shirts to polishing silver, those below-stairs really know how to get things clean in Downton. If you’re a true fan, you won’t mind forsaking your hoover or your handy antibacterial wipes in favour of a traditional floor scrub on all fours. And that’s were this range of traditional cleaning products come in. Think soda, wash boards and mangles. Just steer clear of that slippery, slippery soap, eh?

Isobel’s Institute of Correct Behaviour

Minding your Ps and Qs was of the utmost importance during  the Crawleys’ time. Our abbreviations, slang and reliance on social media to get our point across just wouldn’t cut it. Learn how to walk and talk like a true aristocrat and you’ll snag yourself a Matthew Crawley before you know it. Just make sure he doesn’t leave your side on the day your first born enters the world…