The library of Bridget Elworthy’s Jacobean manor house in Oxfordshire bursts with vibrant colour.
Bridget and her husband, Forbes, moved to Wardington Manor, a Jacobean house near Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 2008. It has since become the base for The Land Gardeners, the design, cut-flower and compost business that she runs with her business partner Henrietta Courtauld.
The manor house, which has 30 acres of grounds, including a Victorian walled garden, had been given what Bridget describes as an ‘Arts-and-Crafts makeover’ in the early 1920s. The library, which doubles as a drawing room, was designed during this period, a project that involved taking out the ceiling to create the double-height space and adding panelling from another house of a similar age.
Bridget has filled the room with furniture and upholstery that she already owned, recovering a few pieces with the help of her friend Lulu Lytle, co-founder of Soane Britain. ‘Anything that’s really lovely in the house comes from her,’ Bridget adds.
The curtains are made from old French sheets that have been dyed a mustard yellow using natural colours by Polly Lyster. ‘The tone of the wood was tricky to match, so we tried a few different colours in situ before arriving at this one.’
Adding freshness to the room — and complementing the chintz fabrics — are the generous bunches of flowers for which The Land Gardeners have become known. Here there are various types, including Elma E, Otto’s Thrill and Café au Lait, all of which have been grown in the garden.
This image appears in ‘At Home In The English Countryside: Designers And Their Dogs’ (£40; Rizzoli). ‘The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers’ by Bridget Elworthy & Henrietta Courtauld is published by Thames & Hudson (£39.95)
The transformation of a Wiltshire drawing room by Lucy Elworthy demonstrates the rich possibilities of a carefully considered use of