We spent our time during lockdown 2.0 on an exciting project, that we hope will be a silver lining for the lovely couples that have had to postpone their weddings due to COVID-19. Our once hidden store room (a room piled high with ‘important things’ that we couldn’t possibly get rid of – which I’m sure lots of you can relate to!) has been transformed into a decadent Cocktail Bar bursting with wedding-worthy glitz and glamour. If you have been following our Instagram stories then you will have seen the progress stages of the transformation – a big thank you to those of you that helped solve our dilemmas when we couldn’t come to a unanimous decision!
The vision for the cocktail bar was to be a complete juxtaposition to the light and bright interiors in the rest of the house, to push us a little our of our comfort zone to create a moody, Great Gatsby inspired room with an atmosphere all of its own. After testing we decided on 3 Farrow and Ball paint colours, Charleston Grey for the walls, Elephant’s Breath for the woodwork and panelling and Brinjal for the ceiling. We called in Mark Carter, who has worked with us for years and we knew was the man to bring this vision to life.
We had great fun searching the internet for the perfect vintage finds to create the look, and it was very exciting seeing each piece arrive! Our best find has to be the neatly curved 1950’s cocktail cabinet with beautiful burr walnut veneer. It had been well used over the years and needed some TLC to make it look its best, but this was no contest for Mark, who worked his magic to bring the veneer back to life. It was like our very own Repair Shop as Mark shared his tips and tricks learnt from years of experience.
We were also delighted with the blush pink sofa in its original 1950’s upholstery that sits perfectly under the window. Tested for comfort, we can already imagine happy guests reclining here with a Cornish cocktail in hand! We of course had to buy some beautiful vintage glasses and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the chandelier from France which will be the perfect finishing touch. We also commissioned Cat from Tide Flowers to create an amazing dried flower everlasting installation for the mantelpiece which we absolutely love.
THAT gold ceiling
It’s time to discuss the main attraction – that gold ceiling! The seed of the idea had been planted by an article on the wonderful Mad About the House blog last year, when Kate Watson-Smythe used a metallic gold paint to transform her office ceiling. Emma had been dreaming about creating a gold ceiling ever since but didn’t think the opportunity would present itself – until the cocktail bar idea began to evolve. When we put the decision to a poll on Instagram and 95% of you said we should go for it, that was it, there was no turning back!
Rather than a metallic paint, which although potentially stunning would look very even as a finish, Emma began to research the possibilities of gold leafing the ceiling. Taking inspiration from the silver leaf mirror that hangs in the wedding room and has an elusive, time worn feel, Emma wanted to see if something similar could be created on the whole ceiling. We still wanted to see glimpses of the deep plum Brinjal paint used as the base colour, but use the delicate squares of gold leaf over the top. When we ordered the samples, it was clear that real gold leaf would be hugely expensive to cover a whole ceiling… but a little more research revealed the imitation gold leaf squares that we sourced through Gold Leaf supplies, which were a lot more on budget than real gold, for the same effect! We decided to bring the gold right down the picture rail for maximum impact and left a Brinjal ‘ceiling rose’ which will frame the chandelier perfectly. We didn’t waste any of the precious gold flakes and Mark let Emma and I loose with a paintbrush to add some gold touches to the backboards of the glasses shelves.
What’s in a name
We feel terribly lucky to be the current custodians of Shepherd’s House and have loved exploring the history of past occupants. Tall tales of scandal surrounding wealth born from the Cornish mining industry of tin, lead and silver have been discovered. With enough romance and tragedy for our own feature film, it seems likely that at least a little inspiration for the infamous Poldark was taken from our story. We have to thank one of our wonderful grooms Kevin, who has spent many hours exploring the history of the house and compiling the family trees of former occupants (our apologies also go to Marion, who spent much of her honeymoon hearing about these discoveries!). This research uncovered the names of two former Mine Captains and their wives who lived in the house in the 1820s- 1830s – Captain Middleton and Ellen Middleton, and Captain Champion and Loveday Champion. We thought that it would be a lovely idea to nod to the house’s history by naming the new cocktail bar after one of the original ladies of the house and so we ran an Instagram poll to choose between Ellen’s or Loveday’s. 83% of you voted for Loveday’s so we will be commissioning a pink neon sign to officially name the room!
We have had such fun creating this new space and cannot wait to welcome future couples to Loveday’s to celebrate small weddings in style with a cocktail in hand!