Crown Paints Brings an Ode to the Natural World to Taunton's Historical Hestercombe House
Stately Home, Hestercombe House, has unveiled the first milestone in an extensive 18-month project, which will see 15 rooms in the 320-acre estate being redecorated.
Thanks to specialist redecoration services and expert colour insights from Crown Paints, the interior of the Portman and Jekyll rooms now reflects the estate’s luscious 50-acre Georgian landscape garden, blending the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.
A popular venue for weddings, art exhibitions, and family days out, Hestercombe House and its garden have been managed by the Hestercombe Gardens Trust since 2003 and have been fully open to the public since 2013.
With the Stately Home’s last noticeable redecoration investment taking place a decade ago, Estates Manager, Warren Leavens, called in the experts at Crown Paints for colour and product recommendations, as well as architectural and design advice on how to transform the estate.
Armed with a fairly open brief, Crown Paints’ Colour Studio has enjoyed the freedom involved in taking the entire project from concept to completion. The team has used the first two rooms as an opportunity to create welcoming spaces that bring the outdoors inside, focusing on a colour palette that takes inspiration from nature and the estate’s surrounding gardens.
The first part of the works saw Crown Paints’ Colour Studio transform the Portman Room to create a new retail space with close links to Hestercombe’s contemporary art gallery. The team used Crown Trade Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt Emulsion in Fern Canopy on the walls and Crown Trade Vinyl Matt in House Palm on the ceilings, with colour hues inspired by rich greenery and foliage. Crown Trade Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt Emulsion in House Palm was also used on the room’s infill panels. This type of paint prolongs the decoration cycle, which is ideal for spaces like the Portman Room that are open to the public and are faced with regular high traffic.
The new space will showcase the work of artists and craftspeople from across the South West and will allow visitors to browse, enjoy, and purchase art works for their own homes.
The Portman Room is known for its extensive wooden panelling and collection of artwork, which is why the Fern Canopy colour was chosen to fit in with the room’s era and enhance its historic features. This first part of the project also saw Crown Paints work with other teams to redecorate, repair plaster work, refurbish the floor, rewire, and install a specialised lighting system.
Historic features also had to be considered when it came to redecorating the Jekyll Room, which had been neglected in recent years. Crown Paints’ Colour Studio used Crown Trade Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt Emulsion and Crown Trade Vinyl Matt in White to enhance the yellow tone of the tiles of the room’s large open fireplace. Crown Trade Acrylic Eggshell in Antique Cream was also used on the wood panelling. Continuing with this fresh, green colour scheme ensures the meeting room is a welcoming space and the perfect venue in which to host Board meetings.
Crown Paints was also able to advise on floor restoration and finishing techniques. The next part of the project will involve redecorating the Column Room, using warm, neutral colours to provide the ideal wedding venue.
Warren Leavens, Estates Manager, Hestercombe Gardens Trust, said: “I am passionate about colour, but with such a wide variety of shades to choose from, I found it difficult to devise the perfect colour scheme that would enhance all the rooms’ original features. It was great to work with Crown’s team of experts to finesse the final scheme and specify the best products. Crown’s advice really brought the room to life.
“This project shows that historic house restoration can be done sympathetically. I’m looking forward to the next part of the project to begin and being able to provide a beautifully serene venue that is perfect for a wedding day.”
Amy Johnson, Architectural & Design Consultant, Crown Paints, said: “For heritage projects like this, it’s so important to strike the balance between being sympathetic to the original design, while also delivering a change that refreshes the space.
“Big spaces can be quite overwhelming to redecorate, and it’s important to respect features such as high ceilings and wooden panelling. By using a green colour scheme to reflect the outdoors internally, we were able to create two holistic rooms that really soothe the mind and invite quiet contemplation and relaxed conversation.
“The team at Crown Paints know that it isn’t just paint, it’s personal. Our specialist colour services find the best colours and tones to enhance a space. It’s been fantastic to work so closely with the A&D team on this project so far and I look forward to transforming the estate further in the months ahead.”
Rich in its history, the Hestercombe Estate dates back to at least the 11th century, when it was owned by Glastonbury Abbey. The current manor house dates back to the 16th century and was built for the Warre family, who continuously owned the property from 1391 until 1872, when the last member of the Warre line passed away.
The house was extended in the 18th century, and was then comprehensively remodelled by Edward Portman, 1st Viscount Portman in 1875, with the Victorian façade hiding the earlier historic core of the building. The Honourable Edward Portman, his wife, and grandson then commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to create a new formal garden with a planting scheme designed by Gertrude Jekyll.