Art is at the heart of Rachel McLane Ltd’s interior designs for the new high-quality Eden Valley farm barns conversion of the Flakebridge Estate.
The major turnkey interior design project of an array of traditionally constructed stone and slate barns, cattle byers and dairy into a stone hospitality centre and holiday cottages now open at Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria.
The main old barn has been transformed into the hospitality centre for the new facility with a drawing room, bar and breakfast room, shooting/gun room and a large commercial kitchen. An adjacent barn houses a billiards room and wine cellar.
Seven stone cottages have also been converted from former farm buildings and come with bespoke kitchens and en-suite bathrooms.
We worked from the architect’s planning drawings at an early stage to incorporate their vision into the internal detailing, including all the interior finishes, electrical and lighting positions and spatial arrangements while sourcing all fixtures and fittings, including bespoke joinery, lighting and furniture.
As part of the project, we created a unique and original look for the development after commissioning an abstract acrylic/multi-media painting by fine artist and founder of Red Dog Glass Design, Sally Coulden.
“I’m a big admirer of Sally and her art and have wanted to work with her for some time now,” said Rachel. “The farming history, stone and timber structure of the barn and the cottages, with the addition of Sally’s artwork, gave us the perfect opportunity to create a unique and beautiful design which compliments the surrounding landscape of the farm.
“She visited the estate as part of the preparation and to fuel her inspiration for the original painting. Having found a great view that she felt captured the essence of the landscape, she spent several days sketching, taking photographs and getting to know the environment before heading back to her studio to start work on the painting.”
The result is a 2m x 1.5m abstract painting on canvas, which now hangs in the main barn and reflects the rural, family nature of the estate, with found objects from the surrounding fields, including foliage and pheasant feathers.
Sally said: “It was a leap of faith on Rachel’s part as we hadn’t worked together before, but it has been such a brilliant partnership throughout the process.
“In addition to the original painting, Red Dog has created a contemporary art glass panel which sits behind the Aga in the main breakfast room, the design for which has taken specific features from the original painting.”
LHL Group’s managing director Richard Hampshire said: “We were able to incorporate Rachel into the full design team at an early stage, so this has made the integration of architectural and interior design so much easier and has avoided any design clashes at the outset, and ensured that we were all working to budgetary constraints.
“Working in old buildings is always challenging, but every project meeting has been well-spirited, and any problems were countered with solutions in the quest to meet the brief, and it is clear to me that we had a team all working to one goal.
“The unique Rachel McLane Ltd flare shines through.”