Part of the original Robert Adam house, the Yellow Drawing Room was referred to as the ‘3rd drawing room. The Adam marble fireplace has survived but the rest of the decoration including the fashionable1820s colour scheme dates to Wellington’s day when it was simply recorded as a drawing room. The suite of furniture you see today has been identified from the 1854 inventory.
The Waterloo Gallery is the final element of Benjamin Dean Wyatt’s work on Apsley House completed in 1830. The style is French revival and has been described as after Louis XIV, Louis XV or Louis XVI. In reality it is an eclectic mix which was a hallmark of Wyatt’s work. The gallery is double height; there is no second floor or attic in this part of the house. When Wyatt’s designs for York (now Lancaster) House were delayed in 1826 they were re-worked for Apsley House.
The Portico Room is so called as it looks out onto the portico that was added to the house in the 1820s by Benjamin Dean Wyatt, Wellington’s architect. Before 1828 this room would have formed the west side of the original Robert Adam house with windows overlooking Hyde Park. This was changed when the Waterloo Gallery was built in 1828 and a new grand entrance was made into the gallery.
The dining room was completed in 1819 and formed part of a new three storey extension to Apsley House. This was the first major work by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt at Apsley House and gave Wellington his own private apartments below the Dining Room and on the third storey were two new bedrooms, all linked by a backstairs.
Today visitors enter through Wyatt’s 1830s front door and steps into an entrance hall that was created by sweeping away a series of smaller rooms. The display of busts on granite plinths dates from the 1850s and was introduced by the 2nd Duke of Wellington. By the late 19th century a black and white mosaic floor had been laid and the cast iron radiator covers installed. The mahogany doors are part of the 1830 Wyatt scheme.
Created from three smaller rooms by Benjamin Dean Wyatt in 1820, the Red Striped Drawing Room was a place for Wellington’s guest to relax before or after dining. The walls are lined with military figures from the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns in a way that echoes the famous ‘Waterloo Chamber’ at Windsor Castle. The distinctive red and cream silk wall hangings were influenced by ‘the Napoleon Room’ at Malmaison, the former home of the Empress Josephine on the outskirts of Paris. The room appears much as it was in Wellington’s time and is based on the 1852 watercolour by Thomas Shotter Boys.
The Piccadilly Drawing room’s main features, the ceiling, the frieze and the fireplace are all that remain of the splendour of Robert Adam’s original interior. The colour scheme you see today reflects the style and taste of the 1820s when the house was refurbished by Benjamin Dean Wyatt for Wellington.