Bowden Knight supply Decorative Antiques for Burley Manor
We had followed Etre Creative for a while and really admired their work so we were delighted when Emily approached us to source decorative antiques and accessories for their latest project, the Burley Manor in the New Forest.
Set in the stunning grounds of Burley Park the hotel was built in 1852 and has a history going back before the Domesday Book of 1086.
Etre Creative’s brief for the refurbishment of the hotel’s interior was to create a welcoming and relaxing inspirational space whilst retaining the heritage and fascinating history of the building.
Bowden Knight was enlisted to source period antique furniture and individual picture collections along with accessories for both communal areas and bedrooms. We were really excited at the prospect of such a high profile project and totally embraced the Burley Manor’s positive approach to the use of antiques and the refurbishment of existing furniture. This really endorses the credentials of antiques being ‘green’, there’s nothing like investing in the future by recycling the past.
When we began sourcing antique mirrors for the bedrooms and bathrooms our approach was dictated by the size and positioning of the beautiful custom made lighting from Scotland. Also, for a mirror to be hotel quality you must be able to see your reflection clearly, however, the charm and character of an antique mirror often lies in the ‘foxing’ a term given to the fogging that appears in the glass over time, this was something we had to take into account to ensure the mirrors practical use. Drawing on our knowledge of different styles, finishes and periods we decided on a beautiful authentic collection made up of oak, mahogany, moulded and gilt framed mirrors ranging from early Victorian right through to the 1930’s.
When sourcing picture collections you never know what you are going to find, but with our trained eyes and the brief firmly in mind it’s really satisfying to see the collection come together. Etre’s bold use of paint colours from Farrow & Ball along with eclectic fabrics by William Morris, Turnell & Gigon, Zimmer & Rohde and Casamance gave scope to a wide brief for artwork. We supplied pictures in collections of 10, a deliberate mix of periods, subjects and styles, all the while being mindful of the hotel’s New Forest location, we became quite well informed on our wildlife and scenery doing our best to match the subjects to the Forest.
From abstract oil paintings, original pencil drawings, signed etchings, mixed with decorative Victorian gilt frames to softer and lighter framed watercolours, coupled with fantastic original antique prints, many of which were hand coloured giving them an amazing finish and depth that is lost in the modern equivalent.
Etre’s unerring attention to detail when placing the artwork adds real soul to the heart of the Burley Manor which has undergone a £1.8 million transformation into a restaurant with rooms. The grand reception area with its imposing stairwell showcases over 30 pictures and makes for a striking and welcoming arrival to guests. We also sourced larger still life artwork, which Etre grouped together in the stylish restaurant, re-themed to serve food inspired by the dishes of the Mediterranean, resulting in a comfortable and inspiring atmosphere.
When considering the brief for antique accessories, we set out to find some really special pieces to complement the mahogany and upholstered furniture. We sourced standard lamps in brass and oak for the bedrooms, which were paired with neutral shades for a contemporary look and antique wine tables, which were used in many of the rooms as occasional tables giving a practical use and quirky look. Each item had the luxury of being hand refurbished to ensure the highest quality before being thoughtfully placed in the hotel.
This was a great project for Bowden Knight, we enjoyed scouring the country for wonderful finds and are really confident that our pieces met Etre’s brief and therefore supporting them to complete the Burley Manor’s transformation into a unique and truly relaxing space.
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