How a chance discovery of a wallpaper fragment inspired the look of this country house bathroom

A fragment of hand-painted chinoiserie set the scene for the decoration of this bathroom at Keythorpe Hall, Leicestershire.

Barbara Van Teeffelen and her partner, Giles Godfrey, bought Keythorpe Hall in Leicestershire just over 10 years ago. Having renovated it, they now run the house as a fully catered let for up to 20 guests, with an on-site team that cooks with locally sourced produce, much of which is grown in the nearly two-acre walled garden.

The adjoining bedroom had been altered in the 1920s and, during work to restore the room to its original shape, the couple removed a boxed-in chimney to reveal hand-painted wallpaper featuring leaves, flowers and butterflies. ‘We knew we wanted to replicate its look, then we found this design by Watts of Westminster, which is very similar,’ explains Miss Van Teeffelen.

The next find was the freestanding shower in antiqued brass that was sourced through Drummonds. ‘We wanted to leave the architecture of the room intact and this was ideal, because it meant there was no need to tile the wall.’

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Taps, washstands and the towel rail were deliberately chosen in an unvarnished brass, because they will gain a patina of age as the years go by. ‘Of course, there were no bathrooms in the original house, but the aim was to design a space that looks as if it could have been original — with modern and unseen comforts, such as pressurised showers and underfloor heating.’

A crimson-painted claw-footed bath from Hurlingham — based in nearby Grantham — picks up some of the colours in the wallpaper.

Antique markets and shops in and around Rutland were scoured for mirrors and light fixtures, whereas the light shades were bought from Pooky.

Keythorpe Hall —