That visit inspired me to begin this blog to collect together my thoughts and inspirations for creating classic interiors for modern living in Georgian and Regency properties.
Most of you will have heard of the Goring Hotel for the recent choice by the Duchess of Cambridge to spend her last night as a single woman in their capable hands.
The choice was not that surprising since The Goring has long had royal connections. The Queen has the lounge area turned into a dining room for her each year for a Christmas lunch and Viscount Lindley was involved in the past in its interior design.
Described by The Gorings PR team as the most glamorous suite in London it has been designed as if it were an exquisite apartment and home from home. For me it’s a great example of how historically accurate wall coverings and antiques can be combined with contemporary touches to bring the style to wide appeal in the 21st Century.
The Silk Rooms
In my view the thing that holds it all together so beautifully is the use of the silks throughout the suite. This is not the first time they have been used by the hotel. They have 16 rooms in this style aptly named The Silk Rooms.
Each and every one of the silks is breathtakingly beautiful and were rewoven by The Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company www.gainsborough.co.uk (the great English silk maker in Suffolk). These include two powder blue silks, a gentle champagne pink, a rich red stripe and a dusky green silk originally woven in 1910 for the First Class Dining Room of the Titanic. The fabrics are opulent, yet they cosset the guest in an amazingly comforting manner.
All the silks used in the Goring’s Silk Rooms have come from the archives at The Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company. Here are a few images of some of the other rooms and details of where the silks in each were used originally.
For anyone who might be as enchanted by these silks as me it is worth noting that, unsurprisingly, Gainsborough’s silks do come at a price – somewhere between £70 – £120 +VAT per meter.
Georgian style in the Royal Suite
The other major strand of the design strategy was to fill the space with a truly unique collection of antiques gathered from around Britain. In the Dining Room a magnificent array of Georgian decanters and engraved glasses sit either side of the large campaign style desk. Beautiful wooden tea caddies are found in all the rooms as well as a number of antique books, clocks, silver and prints.
Contemporary colour combinations
What brings this all so up to date is the colour palettes used in each room. In the Master bedroom of the Royal Suite for example, dusky green walls contrast with deep purple velvet on a sofa and the same colour on the bedside lampshades. The same purple is used to contrast with gold walls in room 58 and pale blue walls in room 59. Then Coffee colour walls co-ordinate with pale green and fuchsia pink in room 56 and in room 96 racing green walls contrast with a vibrant apricot.
Other contemporary elements include the quilted bedspreads, some of the cabinetry made by Manborne, or bedheads such as the one in Room 59. The bathrooms have all the mod cons with walk in frameless showers. Detailing like wallpapers inside wardrobes or drawers and the Goring’s signature wooden sheep are found in every room.
Chinoiserie silk wall coverings
For a contemporary take on silk walling or my favourite, a Chinoiserie theme, http://www.fromental.co.uk designs are being deployed in the homes of the rich and famous around the globe. Also pricey but absolutely knock-out. And a great team to work with too.
More contemporary twists on damasks and Chinoiserie
As an alternative to silk (and the associated price tag) there are plenty of damask and Chinoise papers out there which have been designed using velvety flocks or shimmering metallics for an updated elegant or glamorous look. See the following collections for damask and classical motifs. Try collections by
Cole & Son Sudbury www.coleandson.com
Romo Grandis Wallcovering www.romo.com
For Chinoise inspired papers see;
Osbourne & Little Palais Chinoise www.osbourneandlittle.com
Nina Campbell Birdcage Walk www.ninacampbell.com
Manuel Cavanos at Colefax and Fowler Summer Palace uses a vibrant two colour design to bring Chinoiserie right up to date www.colefax.com
Hopefully all these ideas and showcases on fabulous walls, fit for the best of todays Regency and Georgian properties, have given you the appetite to create stunning homes.
What to look out for next
Over the coming months I will be sharing other ideas on interior design styles for Regency and Georgian residential properties. Keep an eye on my blog for fabulous Regency and Georgian inspired pieces; antique, replica, reproduction and contemporary. Do let me know if you find any designs that I might also be interested in. A collective search is always more fruitful than a solitary one.