Journal

MANOIR:NOUN MA·NOIR \MAˈNWÄR\: (FRENCH) A LARGE MANOR HOUSE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE.

Travel-Inspired Design


I always wanted to be a travel writer - but during my time as an expat London my passion for travel began to intersect with my love for interior design. The influences that shape Manoir are many and varied. Visits to manor houses and chateaus throughout Europe have played a part, as have museums (the V&A, my weekly haunt!)), antique markets, the Kings Road in London, global travel, beautiful hotels and even the dwellings of chic friends. These posts will tell the story of how the Manoir collection has come together, a tapestry woven from the threads of these local and global influences. I hope you will enjoy our story and collection as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. 


This is the beginning of a journey, and shouldn't all journeys begin on a road as beautiful as this one leading up to a farmhouse in Umbria? (Beautiful spot outside of Todi and excellent winery, Cantina Peppuci!) 

Travel has definitely informed our collection and here we highlight some of the interiors  that have influenced the Manoir look:

Below is the lobby of the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France. The hotel is stunning, the photos don't even do it justice. Now owned by the Four Seasons, they describe the hotel as "embodying the classic glamour and timeless chic of the French Riviera."  We love the big gilded gold mirrors in contrast with the calming tones of neutral color sofas and soft blue accents. We are huge fans of the white sofa/ gold mirror combination. Quite taken with it all, I remember trying to surreptitiously and nonchalantly take photos in the lobby!

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

The next is the old-world but perfectly updated and sophisticated Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland. An incredible place of natural beauty, the exquisitely decorated interior of this castle hotel stands up to the natural beauty outside. The hotel has great history, with a tastefully tucked away gallery of photos highlighting history and famous guests, including Princess Grace of Monaco and Bono! 

Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland 

Our next highlight is the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, Peru, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592. This beautiful hotel boasts centuries-old charm and an incredible art collection.  The Spanish colonial décor is breathtaking, with dark wood, white walls and colorful accents adorning the walls, both frescos, Madonnas and Pachamamas (the goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes). Although not Catholic, I couldn't help but be drawn in by a beautifully rendered painting of Madonna & Child at the local art school...it now hangs in my living room.  The Madonna is adorned with Peruvian robes, referencing Pachamama - the shape of her robes symbolic of the Andes - and the painting's gilt-gold wooden frame is exquisitely carved. (See below).

Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cusco, Peru

 

   
Living Room with Peruvian Madonna and close up of Madonna

There's also an element of rustic glamor that has seeped it's way into the Manoir consciousness, influenced by some especially chic glamping venues in the UK. This one pictured below is the North Star Club in Yorkshire, owned by Christian and Carolyn Van Outersterp, multi award-winning designers.  Their place is inspired by Christian's Canadian grandmother’s tales of the American Great Camps – rustic, wilderness retreats, more akin to woodland hotels built for wealthy industrialists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  We love colors, the birch beams, the chic stag head, the mix of textures with the faux-ostrich fur throw - and plenty of wood accents (tables, stools, floors).  Best of all is the deep copper soaking tub!


Northstar Club (glamping), Sancton, York, England

Another favorite from travels is the chalet look, which makes heavy use of natural colored wood to create a warm and inviting ambiance.  All that wood paired with cozy accents like sheepskin throws draped over chairs - truly chalet-chic!  Below is Chalet Les Chats Bleus in Les Gets, France, a place that genuinely made me never want to leave the Alps!

Chalet Les Chats Bleus, Les Gets, France

Finally, Paris is always a good idea, Audrey Hepburn once said, and what we absolutely love about Parisian apartments is the willingness to marry modern with traditional.  This abode has all of the great details of a Haussmannian interior with it's high ceilings, carved details and beautiful fireplace, all of which is stunningly contrasted with the pop of color with modern velvet sofas and pulled together with the geometric pattern rug.  We have taken notes!

Private Apartment, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France

 And there you have it, a brief tour of some interior influences achieved through travel.  Which interiors in your travels have inspired you?

 


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