Arranging Status



The architecture, cost, exterior decoration, and situation of gentlemen’s houses all conveyed significant messages about their residents, but it was on the interior that some of the most important aspects of status played out. The next two chapters develop a better understanding of how gentlemen’s houses were laid out and decorated, what rooms they contained, how the function of rooms changed over the period and, perhaps most importantly, how they were furnished with objects that constructed everyday life and social behaviour. Gentlemen’s houses had multiple functions and rooms were flexible. As centres of domestic life, show-pieces of display, and theatres for status construction, they put objects into action repeatedly to reinforce the social position of their owners. Spatial organization and floor plans provided the ‘medium through which society is reproduced’.1 The interrelationship between spatial organization, interior finish, furnishing arrangement, and the ways people interacted with these spaces helped to define social status.


Eighteenth Century Service Function Ground Floor Floor Plan Large House 
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Copyright information

© Stephen Hague 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rowan UniversityUSA

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