Updated: Nov 25
The Adams style was used only three times on Titanic, all in the form of first class staterooms located midship on B and C deck. These staterooms were known as the 'millionaire suites' because of their sumptuous size and extra luxurious comfort, in location, ship vibrations and style.
The Adams style was an eighteenth century style, and one of the first styles to be named after its designer rather than a monarch or a time period. Chippendale was the first style to be named after the designer, Thomas Chippendale, who was a woodworker that developed the style known by its name ever since. He produced a catalogue of his designs that many other craftsmen were starting to copy his ideas and designs. In the brothers Robert and William Adam, however, Chippendale had contemporaries working along entirely different lines. The son of Edinburgh architect, Robert Adam studied on the European continent and eventually returned to London in 1758, and shortly afterwards appointed as architect to the King. Robert was the first and William Adam were the first to combine architecture with the business of furniture and decorating the house.
The style was strictly foundered upon the classical style, much more reserved than the Louis XIV style then popular in France. The characteristics of Adam work was a lightness and delicacy of execution which contrasted sharply with the massive furniture of Chippendale.
The 1750s and 60s saw colours such as bright pea green, sky blue, yellows, deep greens, and chocolate brown. Robert Adam was a key influence in the 1770s and 80s with lighter, more elegant sculped ceilings, usually painted in patterns with white against a coloured background. Rather than pastels brighter colours were used and with fabrics the same.
Adam featured mediums for swags and scrolls. Ovals or circular ornaments in the form of an urn, a vase or a miniature painting.
The best work of Adam was shown in the great mansions of the period, in decoration and furnishings.
The Library of Newby Hall, North Yorkshire, UK
On Titanic, designers Mutters and Zoon were chosen to decorate the 'millionaire suites' in first class. They chose the Adams style for three staterooms onboard, two of which were in the most expensive parlour suite staterooms.
B-51 Parlour suite Sitting Room
The Parlour suite was one of four of the most expensive staterooms onboard. Two of which having the addition of a private promenade, B-51 was one of those. The type of suite was so exclusive it'd be reserved for royalty and only for the very rich. On Titanic, The Cardeza family occupied this suite with a ticket price of over £40,000.00 today.
The sitting room was the most important rooms of the whole suite, consisting of two bedrooms, walk-in wardrobes a private bathroom, a private 50ft (15.24m) promenade and a sitting room. The sitting room was where passengers could host private parties or simply relax in private.
An artist's impression of the Adam Sitting room on Olympic
B-51 was decorated in the Adams style, with the paneling and beamed ceiling painted white and the room was accented with three carved and polished mahogany doors.
B-51 Adam Sitting room on Titanic
An Adam-style fireplace was mounted against the forward bulkhead, ornamented with a veined marble surround. Inside the fireplace was fitted with an electric fire heater. The fireplace had an oval mirror above in an ornamental gilt frame.
Above the windows were ornamental oval urn carvings decorated with scrolls and ribbons, within an arch around each of the window frames.
The Adams-style Chippendale mahogany furniture contrasted with the white walls and matched the mahogany doors. Furniture was upholstered in sky blue fabrics, and carpeted with Adams-style pattered carpet in pink and blues.
Titanic's Adam Sitting room had a different layout to Olympic due to the addition of a private promenade and being slightly larger. The designer had to reconfigure the room and include a new door leading onto the private promenade.
My artwork of B-51 Sitting room on Titanic
C-64 Parlour suite Bedroom
This was the first bedroom of the C deck parlour suite on the port side. This suite didn't have the private promenade like the suites above but instead was right up to the side of the ship with uninterrupted sea views. This bedroom led off the sitting room C-62 and had its own walk-in wardrobe. A corridor led from this bedroom to the bathroom and the second bedroom next door.
The designers Mutters and Zoon chose the Adam style for this bedroom.
This room was fitted with Adam style carved oak wall panels and painted in white. With white carved beam ceiling and a cut glass bowl light fixture. The furniture was white, including a dressing table, a matching washbasin cabinet with marble top and brass beds painted white with mahogany side panels. The chairs were painted white with damask pea green or sky blue upholstery.
C-58 on Olympic in Adam's style, similar to Titanic's C64
This stateroom was located on C deck, port side just off the Aft Grabd Staircase. This cabin was similarly decorated to C-64 and had its own private bathroom (which wasn't common in first class). This cabin however had a 6ft wide double wardrobe flanking the washbasin cabinet.
An artist impression of the Adam's style
A lady enjoying the Adam's style cabin C-84 on Olympic
Do you like the Adams style? Let me know in the comments below
Written by Chris Walker of RMSTitanic.Design