Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Real Home Feature

Cothelstone Manor

Past made perfect



FEATURE and PHOTOGRAPHY by Jo Sheldrake



Finny Muers-Raby combines classic and contemporary to create a stylish family home in an Elizabethan Manor house in rural Somerset.





Finny, who runs her company West Country Interior Design from home with her husband Nigel, a marketing consultant, were drawn to Somerset’s historic Cothelstone Manor, not only by its glorious red Quantock stone fa├žade and rare rounded mullion windows, but also by its huge potential. “There is only one other house of its period in England with similar mullions’, says Finny, “It is steeped in history, given to Sir Adam de Coveston by William the Conqueror in 1066. The house as it stands was built in the early 1500s as a fortified Manor but was sadly partially destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in the 1600s.’  Restored in the 1800s this glorious house, built in the reign of Elizabeth I is now home to Finny and Nigel, their three sons Tom, Ollie and Jack, together with two Sealyham Terriers, Maud and Moley, Guinness, the cocker spaniel and several hens who provide the family and their Bed & Breakfast guests with fresh eggs .



There was no structural work needed when the family moved in, so the walls were painted throughout to freshen up the feel of the Manor. With her keen eye and natural flair for interior design, Finny quickly set about putting her own mark on their glorious new home.  ‘I love to create beautiful rooms which are also homely and intimate  – very much rooms to be lived in rather than admired’, says Finny, ‘I enjoy combining classical and contemporary design and the period features in the Manor provide the perfect blank canvas/backdrop to work within. Finny has successfully created stunning, classically styled rooms focusing on symmetry, order and balance. ‘ I love using elegant fabrics and natural materials as much as possible’, says Finny, ‘everything from the lighting to the way that pictures are placed in a classic room should be immaculate and each side of the room mirrored on either side of a central focal point.’






 Her attention to detail, choice of colours, ornamentation and furnishings clearly demonstrates that it is achievable to create a stylish and practical family home with a lived in feel. It is possible to combine impromptu purchases to achieve an elegant look without spending a fortune. ‘I am always picking up bits and pieces from auction houses, antique markets and of course specialist interior suppliers’, says Finny. 


This stunning painting enhances the aga being the focal point of the room and the Hay colour freshens up the overall ambience 


Favourite Room


One of my favourite rooms has to be the kitchen. With three sons (who are always starving)  and their friends coming and going, it is always  busy but a great gathering point  with everyone sitting around the large kitchen table.  Even the dogs love it – everyday they have a competition to see which of them can get closest to the warmth of the Aga 

Finny uses classic gray and pale neutral hues to create elegant design in this cosy snug


I will spot something and instantly know that I can put it together with something else that I already have at home that will create something a little more spectacular.. For example, the silk orchids in the kitchen, perfectly fine as a decorative feature on their own, but placed in stone/resin planters and softened with a touch of green moss, suddenly add something more interesting, bespoke and stylish to the room. ‘I just love the ones we have in the the kitchen and of course they never need watering  -so perfect’, says Finny!  


Elegant yet intimate a wonderful room for entertaining




The floral arrangement on the kitchen table is simply a collection of single stem flowers in decorative glass bottles around a floral arrangement on a verdigris platter.  You don’t have to go to expensive shops to achieve a great look, says Finny. ‘We bought our kitchen table from a hotel clearance sale and gave it a new lease of life by painting it in Hollyhock by Little Greene’, says Finny.‘I tend to look at a room in terms of layers which creates instant interest and helps to build a picture’, says Finny, ‘ I like mixing different tones of grey, as these Palladian colours complement the strong features and stone structure of the Manor with its stunning Mullion windows. We painted the dining room walls in ‘Quartz Grey’ from Heritage collection and introduced other tones of grey in the furniture and objects of interest adding a subtle and stylish effect to the room’. Inexpensive rush /sisal rugs from Ikea are a great way to break up floor space and finish a room whilst using groups of pictures enhance the walls. Aged mirror frames and antique mirrors also are a practical and stylish way to lift a room.

Finny has created a sense of perfect symmetry within this classically designed room.





Finny Finny chooses from the classical colour palette inspired by nature including yellows and shades of grey.


 



Finny’s great love for design, choice of interesting furniture and attention to detail have helped her bring out the best of this stunning historic Manor with its distinctive structure and ancient beauty.  ‘Although the Manor is quite a grand house, we have a home where friends and guests to the Manor can feel welcome, relaxed and at home’, says Finny, ‘it also demonstrates that whatever the canvas, you can paint your own picture’.



Picture Captions

1.Sitting Room
Finny uses classic gray and pale neutral hues to create elegant design in this cosy snug
Walls have been painted in Half Harbour Grey Emulsion, from £44 per 2.5 litres, Zoffany. Sofas ranging from £1000 and Lamps including shades £120 West Country Interior Design.  Mirrors sconce 40cm x 23cm, £24.95 West Country Interior Design
           
2. Kitchen
This stunning painting enhances the aga being the focal point of the room and the Hay colour freshens up the overall ambience .
Similar Large Glass Hurricane Candle Holder with stone base £64 West Country Interior Design.  Painting from Claude Lorrain collection, 56cmx54cm, £402 West Country Interior Design, Potted Silk Orchids £50, John Lewis

4.DINING ROOM
Elegant yet intimate a wonderful room for entertaining Walls painted in Quartz Grey £24.95 for 2.5 Litres, Heritage Range, Dulux. Dining Table £1100 and Mirrors from £95 West Country Interior Design Planters from £10.00 West country Interior Design. Clock £750 Pomax

6.Master Bedroom
Finny has created a sense of perfect symmetry within this classically designed room.
Painting collection from Imperial flowers in antique mirror frames £402 each Trowbridge Gallery. Small Rattan Dog Bed £195 West Country Interior Design Cushions from £34.50 West Country Interior Design.  Osted Natural Flatwoven rug 212cmx300cm £85 Ikea  Similar. Decorative Birdcages £28 Homesense

7. Guest Bedroom
Finny chooses from the classical colour palette inspired by nature including yellows and shades of grey.
Walls painted in Hay Estate Emulsion £65 per 5 Litre, Farrow- Ball . Ticking Stripe Bedlinen from £17-£109 West Country Interior Design. Bedside table £85 West Country Interior Design. Simiar Four poster Iron bed £650 West Country Interior Design


8.Bathroom
Groups of paintings lift the traditional panelled style bathroom?
Similar Topiary/Grass Planters from £9 West Country Interior Design Similar rustic mirrors from £69 Wells Reclammation Yard


Stockist List

West Country Interior Design 07709 434411  westcountryinteriordesign.co.uk
Farrow & Ball 01202 876141 farrow-ball.com
Zoffany  0844 543 4600 zofany.com
Ikea 0203 645 0000 Ikea.com
John Lewis 03456 049 049 johnlewis.com
Wells Reclammation Yard 01749 677087 wellsreclammation.com
Homesense 01923 473561 homesense.com
Dulux 0333 222 7676 dulux.co.uk