At The Elvetham, which is located in Hampshire, UK, the presence of history manifests itself in the captivating beauty of the estate and its surroundings. The Elvetham is suffused with over a century of history and England’s tales are woven through its ancient oaks and parklands. It’s the site where Eadric the Wild plotted against William the Conqueror in the 11th century, where King John gathered his noble in readiness for war with France in 1205 and where King Henry VIII fell in love with Jane Seymour, just to mention a few.
While only parts of the medieval house remain, its ancient spirit has been translated into the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. Consisting of 43 bedrooms within the main house and a total of 91 bedrooms including the adjacent court building, The Elvetham offers a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience in which the breathtaking atmosphere is kept alive through elegantly designed and carefully crafted premium quality interior.
The transformation of this luxurious country house hotel was led by design director Sindri Matharu from Jastar Capital who recently acquired the historic property in corporation with her brothers Jay and Taran. They immediately realised that although the estate has always been popular for weddings etc., the interiors had not been prioritised for many years and therefore it desperately needed updating to match the grand exterior.
Sindri explains: “With historic properties, upkeep is always a challenge as well as making sure there’s the right balance of old and new. The indoors are very grand and can be quite cold due to the high ceilings and use of wood details, so carpet was definitely important to add some warmth and comfort to the rooms and corridors, although during the renovation we discovered some beautiful original tiling underneath the public areas’ old carpet. Due to this, we decided to highlight them and opted for runners and rugs for the ground floor instead.”
The indoors are very grand and can be quite cold due to the high ceilings and use of wood details, so carpet was definitely important to add some warmth and comfort to the rooms and corridors.
When it comes to the design of the 2,000 m2 carpet specified for this project, Sindri explains: “The design process was tougher than expected, especially as I was still residing in New York at the time, having only seen the property once in person! In the end, I used the beautiful octagonal ceilings as inspiration for the custom Colortec designs and chose the colours based on the original tiles that we uncovered. For the focal rugs in the Top Hall and Bar, I used William Morris’s textiles as a precedent, who I see as a symbol of early British design. We also opted for a subtle herringbone design from Ege Carpets’ Graphic concept for the rooms, as an homage to the English Gentleman, as not to detract from the detailed headboards, which I also designed in a William Morris print.”
Working with Ege Carpets was really helpful and easy. As I joined as the lead designer midway through the project, I did change some of the initial specs, and Ege Carpets were very understanding, patient and flexible.
According to Sindri, guests are wowed as soon as they walk in – especially as the ground floor runners and rugs really compliment the original tiles that were uncovered during the renovation. She elaborates: “I really love all the carpets (truly!) but I think the one that always makes me feel the most content in my decisions is the Top Hall rug, as it makes the space feel opulent and compliments the intricate ceiling details and tiling surrounding it.”
Sindri considers being decisive as the biggest challenge in the design process. She explains: “Design is so subjective and everyone will always have an opinion. What matters most is that you’re respectful of the history and compliment it rather than detract from it.”
Sindri’s brother Taran co-wrote a history book on The Elvetham that can be found in every bedroom. As an author by trade, he was understandably very interested in the history of the property and spent many an evening trawling through the archives searching for information on it. According to his findings, The Elvetham is where Henry VIII met and wooed Jane Seymour (The Elvetham was her family estate at the time), even spending a scandalous 8-day prenuptial honeymoon there.
Additionally, it’s the site of The Elvetham Entertainment, a 16th century party thrown for Elizabeth I by Jane Seymour’s nephew. The event included the first ever game of lawn tennis, the third ever instance of fireworks in England and the country’s first ever opera. William Shakespeare likely attended as an actor, later writing Midsummer Night’s Dream and referencing the event throughout the text. Both Elizabeth and Shakespeare’s portraits can be found in the intricate ceiling murals – you just need find them…
At Ege Carpets, we fit four- and five-star hotels all over the world with textile flooring beautifully defining expressive or subtle interior decorations. With the Graphic and Colortec concepts, high level aesthetics combine with plush comfort to deliver timeless elegance, perfect for achieving the ultimate multi-sensory experience.
Established in 1938, we draw on a solid experience when converging outstanding craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology in carpet design and production. Swearing by the finest pre-dyed wool, we proudly dispatch every single high-quality item from our Danish factory.
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