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Eltham Palace In order  to  help  me  to  gain  a   be1er  understanding  of  the  rooms   in  Eltham  Palace  and  their  designs,   features  and  stories  I  went  on  one   of  the  house’s  art  deco  tours  which   alongside  informa;on  from  the   guidebook  gave  me  more  insight   into  the  house  and  the  designs   within  it,  here  I  have  given  a   summery  of  the  rooms  in  the   house  which  I  found  most   inspira;onal,  my  impressions  and   areas  which  might  influence  my   designs,  I  have  also  highlighted   some  interes;ng  facts  and   informa;on  which  could  help   inspire  my  designs.  

The Entrance Hall

The entrance  The  house  as  a  whole  was  an  incredible   place  that  combines  both  a  sense  of  simplicity  and   luxury.  The  entrance  alone  contains  plenty  of   interes8ng  designs  and  ideas,  which  could  be  used  to   inspire  my  collec8on,  you  walk  into  a  large  circular   room  which  is  clearly  the  centre  of  the  house,  a   recep8on  area  which  very  much  made  me  think  I  was   on  an  ocean  liner  with  curved  walls  clad  in  Australian   blackbean  veneer  inlaid  with  stunning  marquetry  of   scenes  from  various  places  the  Courtauld’s  had  visited   guarded  on  one  side  by  a  Viking  and  on  the  other  by  a   Roman  soldier  which  the  guidebook  suggests   ‘represent  the  southern  and  northern  limits  of   European  civilisa8on’  (p5)  but  which  to  me  also   represent  a  show  of  their  wealth  and  power  with   travel  and  knowledge  being  something  very  important   to  the  upper  classes  of  the  8me.  The  beau8ful     The  stunning  concrete  and  glass  dome  which  floods   the  room  with  light  is  features  hundreds  of  small  glass   cylinders  and  create  a  simple  but  drama8c  paJern  on   the  ceiling.  Underneath  it  the  circular  rug  by  Marion   Dorn  is  designed  to  appear  to  create  paths  into  the   ground  floor  rooms,  poin8ng  to  the  entrance,  the   dining  room  and  the  Italian  drawing  room.  The  whole   room,  which  is  said  to  be  ‘probably  the  first  example  in   this  country  of  modern  Swedish  decora8on’  (p5),  is  all   about  curves  and  clean  lines,  a  simple  modernist   concept  that  is  s8ll  widely  used  in  modern  designs.   Around  the  hallway  and  into  the  stairways  there  are   several  porthole  style  openings  in  the  walls,  adding  to   the  emphasis  of  curves  in  the  room  but  also  adding  to   ocean  liner  feel,  there  are  also  a  line  of  windows  along   the  top  of  the  walls  above  the  main  doors  which   resemble  the  windows  seen  on  the  bridge  of  a  ship.     Inspira8ons   • The  marquetry  on  the  veneer  could  be  used  as   inspira8on  for  a  toile  design,  I  like  the  idea  of  a  design   inspired  by  travel,  and  toile’s  are  classic  designs  and   are  on  trend  at  the  moment.   • The  paJern  and  texture  of  the  dome  could  be  an   inspira8on;  I  par8cularly  like  the  idea  of  using  it  to   create  a  design  on  a  sheer  fabric  in  order  to   incorporate  the  idea  of  light.   • The  designs  of  the  rug  could  be  used,  as  a  star8ng   point-­‐  looking  into  Marian  Dorn’s  designs  may  be  a   useful  source  of  inspira8on.   • I  think  it  will  be  important  to  incorporate  curved  into   the  designs  and  a  sense  of  flow.  

The Boudoir The boudoir  to  me  feels  a  liJle  more  dated  then   the  entrance  hall  but  at  the  8me  of  its  decora8on   the  room  would  have  been  ahead  of  its  8me  with   the  minimal  furniture  and  limited  amount  of   paJern  and  texture  giving  it  the  art  deco  look.  The   sycamore  veneer,  ribbed,  mirrored  ceiling  and   arched  doorway  carryon  the  ocean  liner  feel  from   the  entrance  with  the  beau8ful  leather  map  of  the   area  which  features  around  the  fireplace  and  the   shelves  and  cupboards  full  of  books  again   impressing  the  couples  interest  in  travel  and   knowledge.  The  arched  doorway  leads  to  the   secretary’s  office  which  apparently  used  to  be   called  the  map  room  and  was  covered  in  maps  to   ‘help  the  Courthauld’s  plan  their  travels’  (p10),   although  it  has  more  recently  been  covered  by  a   modern  wallpaper.   Inspira8on   • Maps-­‐  I  like  the  idea  of  crea8ng  a  paJern  based   on  maps  following  on  from  the  idea  of  travel,   which  is  reflected  around  the  whole  house.   • Leather  panels-­‐  it  would  be  interes8ng  to  create  a   design  made  from  leather,  it  is  a  material  I  have   never  worked  with  and  one  that  would  be  a   challenge  but  could  create  some  interes8ng   effects.   • The  ceiling-­‐  I  love  the  ribbed  shape  of  the  ceiling   and  the  way  the  mirrored  surfaces  work  with  the   concealed  ligh8ng  to  create  soW  reflec8ons  and   light  up  the  whole  ceiling  as  if  the  sun  is  shining   into  the  room.     • There  is  a  very  subtle  simple  print  on  the  sofa   upholstery  which  gives  a  deco  feel  but  in  a  much   more  feminine  way  using  a  series  of  curved,   flowing  lines,  this  kind  of  more  elegant  print  would   never  go  out  of  fashion,  however  as  it  is  it  is  a  liJle   bland.    

The Bedrooms

As had  been  tradi8on  for  upper  class  couples  at  the   8me  the  Courtaulds’  had  separate  bedrooms,  each  one   is  very  different  with  Virginias  being  the  biggest  and   seemingly  having  no  expense  spared,  where  as   Stephens,  although  beau8ful  was  much  more  simple.   Stephens  room   The  most  standout  thing  in  Stephens  bedroom  is  the   wallpaper  depic8ng  Kew  gardens,  it’s  a  beau8ful  block   printed  design  in  a  grey/blue  colour  scheme  which   keeps  the  bedroom  looking  masculine  and  stops  it   standing  out  too  much  against  the  soW  colour  of  the   wood  making  it  almost  appear  that  you  are  looking  at   the  scene  through  a  window.  The  colour  scheme  and   the  composi8on  of  the  design  again  bring  toile  to  mind,   this  design  could  easily  be  adapted  into  a  toile  design.   Virginia’s  room   This  room  is  far  larger  and  far  more  luxurious  then   Stephens  indica8ng  that  she  was  the  one  that  came   first  and  bearing  in  mind  the  style  of  the  room   compared  to  Stephens,  it  was  probably  Virginia  who   got  the  final  say  in  most  of  the  decisions  when  it  came   to  the  décor  of  the  house.  The  room  is  very  light  and   had  a  feel  of  simplicity  but  it  is  one  of  the  most   luxurious  rooms  in  the  house,  with  the  circular  ribbed   dome  ceiling  and  feminine  marquetry  on  the  wood   panels  and  on  the  bed,  however  I  personally  feel  it  is  a   bit  too  plain  and  empty,  there  is  very  liJle  that  I  felt  I   could  take  inspira8on  from  in  this  room,  even  the   marquetry  feels  a  liJle  too  dated  to  use  as  inspira8on.   Inspira8ons   • The  wallpaper  depic8ng  Kew  gardens  in  Stephens’s   room-­‐  I  like  the  idea  of  crea8ng  a  toile  inspired  by  this.   • The  ribbed  dome  ceiling-­‐  the  ribbed  effect  alongside   the  concealed  ligh8ng  created  a  soW  yet  interes8ng  and   dynamic  effect  with  light  and  shadow.  

Virginias Bathroom

Virginias bathroom  can  easily  be  described  as   the  most  luxurious  room  in  the  house  with  its   stunning  gold  mosaic  behind  the  large  bath  set   in  marbled  stone,  onyx  panels  on  the  walls  and   archways  in  the  ceiling  which  give  the  rooms  the   feeling  of  being  in  a  roman  bath,  the  room   would  have  made  anyone  bathing  in  it  feel  like  a   goddess.     There  are  plenty  of  sources  of  inspira8on  in  this   room  from  the  gold  plated  lion  waterfall  tap  to   the  texture  created  by  the  gold  mosaic,  the   paJerns  materials  and  colours  are  all  quite   natural  which  could  be  used  to  inspire  the  colour   paleJe     Inspira8on   • The  roman  theme-­‐  the  room  has  a  modern  take   on  the  idea  of  classic  roman  architecture  that   could  poten8ally  be  reflected  in  a  paJern.     • The  texture  of  the  gold  mosaic  behind  the  bath-­‐   it  would  be  interes8ng  to  try  and  create  a   textural  metallic  fabric  inspired  by  this,   especially  as  I  have  never  worked  with  metallic   materials  before.       • The  gold  lion  design  on  the  tap  could  be  used  as   part  of  a  paJern.  

The Dining Room

The dining  room  probably  has  the  most   stereotypical  art  deco  look  of  the  whole  house   with  the  bold  black  of  the  doors  and  fireplace   contras8ng  against  the  light  maple  coated  walls   and  the  heavy  geometric  designs  contras8ng   against  the  light  pink  leather  on  the  chairs  to   create  a  room  that  is  both  a  bold,  modern   statement  and  a  light  hearted  atmosphere  for   entertaining,  the  room  again  ins8ls  the  couples   love  for  travel,  with  the  two  ancient  Greek   amphorae  jars  on  either  end  of  the  sideboard   framed  by  the  doors  which  are  decorated  with   exo8c  animals.     The  centre  of  the  ceiling  above  the  dining  room   table  has  a  recessed  area  which  was  covered  in   aluminium  leaf  which  the  concealed  ligh8ng   reflected  off  of,  reinsta8ng  the  feeling  of  luxury,   and  around  the  recess  were  squared  with  roses   in  the  centre  again  covered  in  aluminium,  the   space  as  a  whole  combines  a  well  balanced  mix   of  feminine  and  masculine  elements  to  create  a   beau8ful  space  built  for  entertaining.   Inspira8ons     • The  Greek  key  paJern  on  the  doors  and   fireplace  is  a  simple  geometric  paJern  common   in  art  deco  designs  which  would  s8ll  look   modern  today  and  could  be  played  with   • The  exo8c  animals  and  birds  could  be  used  as   inspira8on  for  a  paJern,  I  like  the  idea  of  using   birds  as  a  star8ng  point,  perhaps  looking  into   feathers  as  inspira8on  for  paJern  and  texture-­‐   feathers  were  commonly  used  in  headdresses  to   match  ladies  eveningwear  at  the  8me  and  the   associa8on  with  par8es  and  entertaining  would   be  very  much  appropriate  for  a  project  based   around  Eltham.   • The  aluminium  leaf  on  the  ceiling-­‐  I  had  already   men8oned  the  idea  of  playing  with  metallic   textures  inspired  by  the  mosaic  in  Virginias   bathroom,  from  this  I  could  perhaps  create  more   then  one  metallic  fabric  within  the  range.   • The  colour  scheme-­‐  I  quite  like  the  rose  pink  of   the  chairs  against  the  natural  wood  colours,   highlighted  by  the  silver  in  the  decora8on,  this   could  create  the  basis  for  quite  a  classic  colour   scheme,  which  would  not  easily  date.    

Eltham Palace  

A selection of some of the rooms from Eltham and how they have inspired my project

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