The blues, despite their reputation, aren’t always somber: With many hues and textures, they can be moody, lush, sumptuous. The evidence? A small Georgian manor house in Dorset, England, untouched for generations, given a Picasso-esque revamp by London designer Mark Lewis. Of the blue palette, Lewis says: “I felt the house needed sympathetic yet modern tones. It is such a beautiful old, old building but needed help to bring it into this century.” Join us for a look inside.
Photography by Rory Gardiner.
Above: The small Georgian home, located in Shaftesbury, needed “substantial renovation,” Lewis says, including replacing the roof and much of the timber framework. Lewis also added a green stone extension onto the back of the house and a small studio in the garden.
Above: A view to the walled garden outside.
Above: The utility room, added with the extension, is one of the few rooms in the house without something blue. The custom cabinetry is by Mark Lewis; the team sourced reclaimed wood flooring. The yellow tiles are from Bert & May. (A similar style is available here.)
Above: The small sink—complete with scrub brush—functions as a post-gardening clean-up area.
Above: In the kitchen Lewis covered the old walls in traditional gray-pigmented lime plaster, which “allows the old walls to breathe” and adds a broody tone. The oven looks original to the house, but is modern: it’s the Everhot range in black.
Above: Bronze adds a touch of polish to the kitchen. The shelf brackets are by Mark Lewis and the faucet is from Aston Matthews’s Tradition line. The cabinets and cabinet paint color are both bespoke. A Dowsing & Reynolds Manston Farrier Bronze wall light hangs above the sink.
Above: Lewis layered textures and pigments in the living room, starting with the walls: He painted the panels in Farrow & Ball Hague Blue, then used an emulsion of that same paint for the walls themselves. The wood floors are original to the house. A midnight-hued sideboard, acting as a bar, sits ready for a cocktail party.
Above: When stacked, storage chests sourced from Kempton Market become an end table. The cobalt sofa is from Graham & Green. A pale gray rug from Plantation Rug Co. acts as a unifier for the many shades of blue.
Above: Even the original radiator is painted blue.
Above: Velvet curtains, made from Sanderson’s Taormina collection, add a touch of glamour.
Above: The original staircase maintains its original patina.
Above: The rough-hewn antique floorboards were retained.
Above: In the master bedroom, antique mirrors sourced from Kempton market flank an original fireplace, updated with Little Greene’s Bone China Blue.
Above: In one bedroom Lewis built a custom, charred-wood-effect headboard. The walls are painted with Earthborn clay paint in white.
Above: A fireplace finished in brighter tones (try Little Greene’s Mazarine).
Above: The doors are painted in Little Greene’s French Grey.
Above: An antique sleighbed from Hossack & Grey fits within the historic manor house.
Above: In the bath, a chest of drawers from London antiques shop Phoenix on Golborne stores linens within reach of the white-tiled shower.
Above: A bath tap and handheld shower by Burlington are a nod to antique styles.
Above: A quiet place to sit by a woodstove from nearby Forest Woodburning Centre.
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