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A Young Couple Lives in England's Elizabethan Burghley House

Living in a Museum: The Life of a Young British Couple

After having a house guest visit for a week or so, I always feel I'm due for a vacation myself. It's exhausting to entertain day in and day out, and just the presence of a visitor in my home can make me feel slightly off-key. But a week isn't all that long. Imagine having 100,000 daily visitors in your home in one year.

That is a reality for a young family of six in the English countryside of Lincolnshire. In the March issue of WSJ. magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow, interior and furniture designer David Netto introduces us to his friend and former co-worker Miranda Rock, who inherited a life at Burghley House, the largest and grandest house of the first Elizabethan age, which is open to the public all year long. When she was appointed by Burghley's preservation trust to assume her mother's role as custodian of the property, where she grew up, Miranda, her husband Orlando, and their four children packed up and left their life and friends in London for the 115-room estate on more than 12,500 acres.

Their new (old) home is filled with treasures that Europe's great museums would most certainly covet. Some of the items that came with the house are the biggest solid silver wine cistern in Europe, weighing 253 pounds; a smattering of jewel-like perfume bottles from India's Mughal Empire; more than 400 paintings; and even a fabulous marble mantel designed by 18th century Italian artist Piranesi. The trade-off for living with so much history in your midst is that you have to share it. Only a staircase divides Burghley House's private and public rooms, so the Rocks are bound to run into DSLR-straddling tourists on their way to breakfast in the family kitchen. What a way to polish up on your hosting skills.

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Head over to WSJ to read the full story.

Photo courtesy of WSJ Magazine

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