He created a theatrical experience which he described as 'passing through a frame into a painting.'. The house is entirely candle-lit and log-fired and decked out as it would have been two hundred years ago." This impression is created of an immediacy wherein the "house cat still prowls, there's the smell of food, and the sound of horses hooves on the cobblestones outside" when the museum is open.
(Back to the ODNB) Dennis Severs:
used each of Folgate Street's ten rooms to re-create and instil a moment from the family's history-from their arrival from France in 1688 to their departure shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. Severs's work, which was 'to be one room at a time, finished to perfection' ... began in the cellar and on completion led visitors into, among others, Isaac Gervais's dining room (1724), Edward Jervis's smoking room (1760), William Jervis's attic chamber (1824), and the Jervis sisters' parlour of 1915. In each room Severs created the impression that members of his family had just left and were now elsewhere in the house.
.... The house motto was 'You either see it or you don't', and those who did not-by failing to participate, by asking practical questions, or by raising doubts over historical accuracy-could be thrown out, along with their entrance fee. The historian.... Raphael Samuel thought the house a 'brilliant success' as 'a provocation to a historical engagement with the arts', albeit one created around a 'fanciful' historical narrative.
18 Folgate Street is maintained by a trust as a museum to this day.