During my trip home in North Wales I visited a stately home called Plas Newydd, set on the shores of the Menai Strait amidst breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Pulling on my passion for beautiful Architecture and elegant Interiors each corner has something to behold.
Redesigned by James Wyatt in the 18th century; a prominent architect of the time who played a major role in the Gothic revival in England. He worked with many aristocrats to build their dream country homes, however his work includes public buildings, churches and garden buildings. He made his name, however, with The Pantheon, in London…..which is now a Marks and Spencer!
Stepping inside this stunning building the architecture transcends into elegant 1930s restyled interiors and this is where my heart strings get pulled a little more! The interior exudes timeless elegance with beauty around every corner, designed by the 7th Marquess’s mother in collaboration with the one and only Lady Sibyl Colefax to create the epitome of 1930s country living.
When Lady Sibyl Colefax lost her fortune in the wall street crash she took her hobby of interior decoration into the professional world, even though she had lost her money she still had her address book full of all the wealthy people she knew and made this her starting point.
Soon she was able to purchase the decorating division of the antique dealers Stair and Andrew and established Sibyl Colefax Ltd in partnership with Peggy Ward, the Countess Munster. Upon Peggy Wards retirement John Fowler was brought in as her partner and this is as how we know the business today as Colefax and Fowler.
The sense of grandeur continues from the entrance through to the main staircase lined with portraits of the families who once lived here and an ornate crystal chandelier.
The man of the house had a pretty impressive bed chamber with an incredibly elaborate decorative bed canopy that was upholstered in a floral fabric that definitely screamed with the style influence of Lady Sibyl. The room was grand but had a soft almost feminine feeling as to not feel too ostentatious.
The drawing room was filled with more stunning paintings, but rather than the portraits seen so much elsewhere around the house these pieces were landscape paintings that gave you a sense of the past times, horseback riding, hunting and lazy afternoons by the river. These paintings are perfectly complimented by the deep green velvets, dark mohogany wood tones and the floral prints that fill this room.
Not forgetting that the Interior is also home to the famous Rex Whistler romantic mural and the largest exhibition of his work. I learnt that in fact it is not a mural at all as it was painted on canvas and transported and installed in this dining hall, which makes it simply an oil on canvas. This room is not to be rushed through, you really need time to look in detail from all angles to capture and take note of all the tricks to the eye. I wont tell you too much as it would spoil the fun if you go to see it! I highly recommend that you stick around to listen to the volunteer tour guide as he explains all facts that are known and all the myths and assumptions that came after Whistler’s death.
Now to finish with my favorite room the house, and this was the room of Lady Anglesey, who’s given name was Elizabeth Shirley Vaughan Paget, Marchioness of Anglesey, but she was better known as Dame Shirley Paget. Not only was she the wife of the 7th Marquess Lord Henry Paget but she was a British public servant and writer and most notably the President of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.
The room is unashamedly pink and is actually much bigger in size than the room of the Marquees, with a four poster canopy bed (albeit not as elaborate as the the Marquees!) a seating area with a fireplace and a dresser than would put any footballer wife to shame!
The ceiling is adorned with a delicately detailed cornice which frames the room perfectly. The large windows in a bay formation create the backdrop and stage for the dresser and allow floods of natural light into the room giving the room an overall warm feeling by reflecting sunset hues of the pinks and golds.
This room oozed elegance and sophistication and reflected an interior style that is so often overlooked today for the more popular contemporary modern designs; but there is so much we can take into the modern design world from this era and I hope to see more of it.
To find out more about Plas Newydd and to plan your trip click the link below