After weeks of painstaking work; drawing on the expertise of a design committee, historic research, a colourist, an interior designer and skilled crafts people, the work to redecorate one of the grandest rooms of the 17th century country house is complete.
The Dining Room is central to the experience of Weston Park for those that take part in one of the events it hosts, hire it for their own special occasion or explore it during the House’s Open Season.
Making the biggest impression is the impact of the deep shade of pink that has been chosen for the walls, with paint selected over wallpaper to allow the artwork to have dominance. The historic research and insight of Curator Gareth Williams has been combined with the expertise of colourist Charles Hesp of Hesp Jones and Co. For the extensive decorative features, shades of lime white have been introduced in place of inappropriate pastel colours. The visual result, as a backdrop to the extensive artworks that adorn the walls of the room, is stunning.
Many of the most important pieces from the world-class art collection assembled by the Newport family in the late 17th and early 18th century hang in the Dining Room, including six significant van Dyck works. In the early 19th century the 2nd Earl of Bradford built this section of the house to create a series of rooms on three levels, with its distinctive full-height bay part of this vision. His son, the 3rd Earl, then created the Dining Room as the space that we know today.
To maximise the impact of the two storey windows, they are now dressed in new Italian-strung curtains in a shade of taupe with green banding and pink passimenterie, as a nod to the Italian Gardens they overlook to the west side of the House. Injecting more light into the house has been a theme that has run throughout the projects led by Weston Park Foundation. This chimes with the approach of Lady Bradford, who talked of her desire to “bring warmth and lightness to a room” when she oversaw the last project to redesign the room in the 1960s.
Evolution is something witnessed across the centuries at Weston. With each generation of custodians demonstrating great care and respect for this magnificent property and its history. The estate is now in the care of Weston Park Foundation, which has carried out a number of extensive projects and renovations to the house, grounds and its properties.
A small flood caused by a bursting pipe necessitated work to be carried out to the Dining Room. Now completed, the project also stands as a shining example of how the proceeds from within the park are used by Weston Park Foundation to help support projects such as this, so that the House can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.
The Dining Room is a central part of the experience guests can enjoy when they privately hire Weston Park. The room is also used as part of the Afternoon Tea events held on key dates throughout the year, with the next taking place on Sunday 22 March for Mother’s Day. During Open Season, the Dining Room is one of a number of state rooms that visitors can explore.