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Gainsborough Silks at The Goring

 

I visited the Goring Hotel www.thegoring.com  last week. I wasn’t there for the Edwardian architecture but for the Gainsborough Silk walls in the aptly named Silk Rooms.

Blue silk wall covering from Gainsborough

Regency Wall Mirror reflects silk room at The Goring

That visit inspired me to begin this blog to collect together my thoughts and inspirations for creating classic interiors for modern living in Regency and Georgian style homes.

Catherine’s choice

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.

However, I sense that a large part of the decision that Catherine took was based on the newly refurbished Royal Suite designed by Russell Sage

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.

Royal Suite Drawing Room

Silk originally used in 1st class dining room on The Titanic

Goring Hotels Royal Suite

The silks are used on door panels and inside cabinetry

Regency four poster bed

Antique four poster bed in the Master Bedroom

Gainsborough SIlks in Royal Suite at The Goring Hotel

View through from the royal bed to the drawing room

Goring Hotel Regency headboard

Regency style walnut headboard set off perfectly by champagne pink silk

Heritage restored

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.

Regency style swags and tails with Gainsborough SIlk Walls

Room 58 uses a gold silk originally found in Buckingham Palace

Classic and contemporary style mix

Room 59 has a pale blue silk used in Clothworkers Hall

Room 78 has a flamingo pink silk which was used in the British Consulate Paris

Original Regency Style Walls

Room 56, the Westminster Design, originally found in The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, built by The Prince Regent.

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.

Georgian antiques and Grand Piano

Georgian antiques and Grand Piano in the suites dining room

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.

Colour contrasting against beautiful silk walls

Colour contrasting in the Master Bedroom of the Royal Suite

Vibrant and daring colour

Daring and vibrant colour combination of Room 58

Floral silk design

Up close with a Gainsborough Silk from Room 58

Classic contemporary interior design mix

That fabulous purple accent colour again in Room 59

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 papers inside wardrobe

The wallpaper inside this wardrobe is made by Fromental

Chinoiserie silk wall coverings

For a contemporary take on silk walling or my favourite, a Chinoiserie theme, 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.

Georgian style house

Fromental’s Paradiso Design

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

Perfect for Regency or Georgian interiors

Cole & Son Sudbury Wallpaper

Romo Grandis Wallcovering www.romo.com

Damask and flock wallpapers

Damask and flock wallpapers from Romo

Designers Guild Royal Collection Arundale Wallpapers www.designersguild.com/fabric-and-wallpaper-showroom/royal-collection/

Damask from Designers Guild

Beautiful damask wallpaper from Designers Guild

For Chinoise inspired papers see;

Osbourne & Little Palais Chinoise www.osbourneandlittle.com

Osbourne & Little Chinoiserie

Osbourne & Little Chinoiserie in a metallic finish

Nina Campbell Birdcage Walk www.ninacampbell.com

Metallic finish Chinoiserie

A shimmering contemporary take on Chinoise

Manuel Cavanos at Colefax and Fowler Summer Palace uses a vibrant two colour design to bring Chinoiserie right up to date  www.colefax.com

Fabric and wallpaper in Chinoiserie style

Vivid blue fabric and wallpaper in Chinoiserie style

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.

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