A Dream Makeover in a country cottage, Derbyshire
PUBLISHED: 14:21 29 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:55 20 February 2013
A look at what happened when Bennetts set to and transformed a room for the readers who won our makeover competition
It was the impassioned and humorous nature of Mr Heatheringtons entry to the Bennetts Room Makeover competition on behalf of his wife that proved the deciding factor. The lucky couple now live in his mothers old house in the Peak District and Mrs Heatherington is very keen on making her own mark.
She was invited to Bennetts to meet interior designer Neil Cochrane Cooper for an initial consultation, and to browse the expansive fabric library. They chatted about her likes and dislikes, her favourite colours, and the mood she wanted to create in the room. Bennetts workroom in Derby has many years of experience in producing curtains and soft furnishings, using the finest interlinings, linings, weights and fabrics. Choosing from the vast collection of Zoffany fabrics, paints and wallpapers, Neil started to design a scheme based on aubergines and silvers, taking fabrics and wallpapers and picking a mixture of textures such as chenilles, velvets and silks. He created a mood board and some sketches focusing on details to show Mrs Heatherington. The room chosen was the couples main bedroom and it was created to be a stylish yet calming space in which to escape and relax, the deep aubergines giving an instant hit of indulgence and style.
The next stage of the process was a visit to site to present the scheme and check if there were any features in the room that might have a bearing on the design. Measurements of the windows were taken and an assessment of the walls, doors and beams carried out.
After a few changes, a final mood board and visualisation with a detailed design were completed, including a full range of fabric, paper and paint samples. Once agreed, the clients dream could start to be put together.
Due to the age and nature of the house plus the wealth of original features in the room, it was critical to call on the services of decorators who were not only experienced and skilled but also sympathetic to working on this type of project. HDR Decorators were a clear choice, and their initial site survey made recommendations on how to retain and enhance the wooden beams, how to prepare the walls as a perfect foundation for textured wallpaper, and how to best prepare the wood for painting.
The next stage of the process was to decide on focal points. Neil decided to design a unique tall headboard, manufactured by Weston and Brown upholstery designs of Derby who custom make individual pieces to the clients requirements. This would give the bed even more presence and Neil had it upholstered sumptuously in Zoffany striped velvet. Zoffany Grosgrain fabric was used for the bedspread and a throw added in Zoffany Spitalfields. To lend further texture and colour a generous selection of scatter cushions in different shapes and sizes was made by the Bennetts team in fabrics such as Villiers and Graphica in rich aubergine and grape colours. Tocomplete the picture a simple panelled valance was added.
The bedroom window has a beautiful curved beam; an important feature that was worth highlighting. To preserve it Neil designed a simple but sumptuous roman blind, with a deep bottom band that matched the headboard.
Behind the bed a feature wall was created using Zoffany Pot Pourri wallpaper. The wall had to be carefully prepared by HDR as the papers reflective quality would show up any imperfections. It was also necessary to use specialist wallpaper paste which wouldnt react with the metallic finish in the wallpaper. The remaining walls were finished in a soft Chteau emulsion.
A stunning overall effect can sometimes be achieved easily by a bold use of colour and texture but overall quality demands a keen eye for detail. New crystal door knobs supplied by the Bennetts Architectural Ironmongers provided just the right finishing touch. The flush hidden door to the en-suite bathroom was papered to match the wall, and HDR even copied the wallpaper pattern across the hinges using Zoffany paint. The beams were finished in a blend of oils to bring out the natural colour in the wood.
Another very important consideration in an old house is lighting. Neil decided on Valsan Minilla wall lights in a contemporary chrome finish with simple shades. Mounting them quite high on the wall allowed the light to shine down the wall, adding a sense of height to the room.
Finally various accessories in the clients favourite colours were added to dress the room: a stunning Libra planters armchair, picture frames and vases.
The end result is a sumptuously appointed room filled with rich colour and luxurious texture. All the original character and features are enhanced and an array of contemporary finishes and accessories have been added to reflect the clients brief.