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Design inspiration: how to get the Calcot Manor look

CM280812_0040-1030x772If I could choose one hotel in the UK where I could escape to time and time again, it would be Calcot Manor. For families, it is utterly perfect in every way. Not only does it tick every box when it comes to small people – an AMAZING creche, completely child-friendly facilities, a genius listening service – but it is also incredibly stylish and very relaxed, managing to straddle that tricky line of being as good for parents who haven’t given up their game as it is for children who just want to play games. One of the many things I love about it (you can read all about the other reasons here) is the design. Its country-cool vibe is just beautiful and is all down to the genius designer behind it, Nicky Farquhar, who blends rustic elements with contemporary touches in the most stylish manner. We asked Nicky to open her little black interiors book and let us gain an insight to the ‘Calcot’ look. If only, so we can dream about recreating it at home…


What inspired the decor at Calcot Manor?

The calm hamlet of Calcot Manor and its sense of location inspired and set the pace for the hotel’s interiors. The wide open space of the 220 acre estate, the glow of the honeyed Cotswold stone and the daubs of vibrant garden colours are defining points that are picked up within the interior design. Together my colleague and co-designer, Cathy Birtles and I put these flavours under the magnifying glass and bounce ideas off each other to translate them for each particular room.

Is it a similar style running throughout the hotel or do certain rooms have certain quirks?

We aim to create a modern but classic design throughout where each room flows into the other, but all bedrooms do have a different design, with a different colour schemes, accents, accessories and fabrics. Also, due to the nature of the building all the rooms look and feel individual, and they come in varying sizes. We have family suites with separate children rooms in the family wing, cosy cottage rooms in the courtyard and more romantic “grown up” rooms in the main house, which may include a four poster bed for example.

What are the key pieces that sum up the Calcot ‘look’?

In the bedrooms the beds themselves take centre stage. We like to use a feature headboard with a strong design but the rest of the bed is made up with white linen that is fresh and clean. We like our guests to feel that they are the first person ever to have slept in that bed. Other key pieces are a desk / dressing table, bedroom chairs and proper clothes storage.  The design starts from a rigid practical brief of everything that we need to offer our guests in each room and then the challenge for us is to make the room look and feel like a personal, private luxurious space while still offering all practical hotel amenities.


I love the gorgeous star lights and ornamental stars (see above) that can be found in some of your rooms. Where did you buy them?

We source most of our accessories and decorative items from trade fairs in Europe in order to try and create an original look not found in other hotels. Also the neighbouring town of Tetbury is is an ever evolving treasure trove of decorative inspiration.  Similar lights can be found at Rockett St George. The mural with the cut out stars comes from Lewis and Wood and we continued with this theme by hand painting stars in the children’s room.

Fairground light, £100, Rockett St George

Fairground light, £100, Rockett St George

My children slept in the most beautiful Sleigh beds, where were these from?

These were from Simon Horn and the gorgeous star rug was from Rockett St George.

Star rug, £100, Rockett St George

Star rug, £100, Rockett St George

The floorboards and mirrors in the bathroom were beautiful. 

The floor boards were from Chauncey in Bristol, who fit most of our wooden floors in the hotel.  They are styled to look antique and original but are specially made for bathroom use. We source most of our mirrors etc from European Trade fairs and we go to as many decorative antique fairs as possible. We like to keep our own store of goodies as and when we find them, to use in various rooms when needed.

A child's bedroom at Calcot

A child’s bedroom at Calcot

 Get the Calcot Look….

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Hurricane lamp, £132, Eichholtz; Large metal star, £82, Lovestruck Interiors; Herb gift pot, £16.50, Hopscotch of Henley


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