If you’re visiting Scotland, or even if you already live there and are travelling to a different part of the country, you might think about booking into a hotel called Granary Lodge.
It’s a 10 bedroom bed and breakfast which you’ll find on the grounds of the Castle of Mey, in Caithness.
What you may or may not know, however, is that the owner is none other than his His Royal Highness Prince Charles. That’s right. The Prince of Wales has gone into the hotel business, officially, and has just opened up this regal B&B.
No doubt, the eminent owner will take the utmost care of visitors and the hotel will operate to a high standard. That said, it’s more of a good cause venture than a business one since the proceeds from the hotel will go towards maintaining the Scottish castle as a tourist attraction.
The question is, what has he done with the place?
You’d expect a royal residence to look plush and the hotel doesn’t disappoint in this respect. In terms of the decoration, the hotel has gone down the Victorian road. The aim of the hotel design was to make the rooms feel as if they were part of the castle itself.
The walls are a pleasant pastel colour, which gives them a fresh feel, instead of the more overwhelming sensation that bold colours would invoke. To balance these colours out, the rooms use dark wood and more earthy tones, as tends to be the requirement with pastel. Floral drapery conveys a further sense of freshness.
In fact, there’s never a dull moment when it comes to the walls. Of course, since the hotel has royal roots, there are family photographs of the family, just like you’d expect to see in any other B&B. Then there are the Scottish landscapes and coastal paraphernalia, which include a barometer and even a ship wheel.
The hotel dining room has also benefited from a neat little touch: grandfather clocks. There are six of these handsome pieces. When they all chime together, it’s something of a spectacle, to say the least.
Giving your home the regal look
Feeling inspired by all this? The Prince has sure put some money into the hotel. He called upon the services of the designer behind Clarence House, which is the Prince’s London home, and of Dumfries House, in Ayrshire. There’s no reason, however, why you can’t seek to emulate this style or give your home its own regal and luxurious look.
Wood is one of the key elements in the design. Depending on the type and tone of the wood, you can create various degrees of warmth and character in the rooms of your home. To keep it looking luxurious, you’ve got to make some carefully considered choices. If not, the home will feel cluttered and uncomfortable, so here are a few tips on how to furnish and decorate your home with wood for luxurious effect:
Look for clean lines
The shape of wooden furniture has a real impact on the feel of the room. When you go for something that has a more curvy outline, a room can feel dated, old-fashioned. Choose furniture with clean, straight lines and you’re immediately catapulting your room into the contemporary.
Surround the wooden piece with other luxurious elements
This might sound a bit elementary, but you can’t have a really nice wooden piece and then accompany it with cheap or tacky accessories or materials. Do your furniture justice with some elegantly upholstered chairs. A chandelier would be terrific, but if that’s out of your price range, some good quality lighting will equally suffice.
Make your bed a statement piece with wooden bed frames
Opt for a darker wood and your bed can be a real statement piece. The bed is the focal point of the bedroom, especially of a master bedroom, and a wooden bed frame has a real elegance about it that conveys a feeling of luxury and regality. Not forgetting, too, that there’s a natural sense of warmth in wood that makes the bedroom feel extra cosy. You won’t be able to slip between those sheets fast enough! When using your bed as a statement piece, remember to stay minimal with the other furnishings in this room to really make an impact.
Create layers and contrast
One of the important things to remember with wood, as the designers of Granary Lodge have, is that you must offset wood furnishings in some way. You should have a dominant tone so that there is colour continuity. Neutral or light tones of wood will give you flexibility. Contrast light and dark tones or break things up a little with an accessory, such as a nice rug.
Think about flooring
Wooden flooring can really hold the decor together, visually, and infuses the room with a real softness. Long floors, comprising wide planks, project an immediate sense of luxury. If the wood is patterned in some way, even better! You can ramp up the effect with an oil or matte finish, as opposed to a more traditional stained finish, and really bring out the nuances in the wood. It looks beautiful and creates real excitement in the room. In terms of colours, pale tan colours will keep the room warm and contemporary feel, whereas pale white cast colours generate drama in the design and work well if you have an especially unique piece of furniture you wish to highlight.
Injecting luxury into your home doesn’t have to cost you the Earth, as fantastic and regal and luxurious as Granary Lodge is and despite the money that will, undeniably, have gone into the hotel. It’s a question of knowing how wood influences the visuals and levels of comfort in your home, and how wood can work with other pieces in your home, and then you can aspire to the same level. Good luck in your endeavours!