At Parham, the winter months, when we close our doors to the public, are always a very busy time. All our conservation and restoration work happens then.
This year, we have concentrated on the Green Room and the Ante-Room, and we are very excited about the results.
In 1863, Emily Julia, The Hon. Mrs Robert Curzon, who lived at Parham, painted a watercolour of the room, which can be found hanging in the corridor outside. This shows the Green Room painted in a very vivid Paris Green, a shade very fashionable in the 19th century. By the 1980s, the colour was a much softer Eau de Nil green, with a pale cream ‘dragged’ across the top. Over subsequent years, much of this green faded in intensity.
Taking inspiration from the room’s previous colour palettes and painting techniques, the final colour was chosen by Lady Emma with the help of Claire Crofts of Campbell Smith & Co, the specialist historic decorators who carried out the restoration. It combines the vibrant green shown in Emily’s 19th century painting with the Eau de Nil colour that lay underneath the ‘dragged’ finish used in the room’s 1980s refurbishment. Remaining sensitive to traditional methods, Campbell Smith & Co have used a combination of flat oil, soft distemper and traditional matt emulsion paint.
The Ante-Room was also last repainted in the 1980s and has now been restored to its vibrant blue-green tone. The room previously featured a ‘dragged’ paint finish in different shades. Replicating the difference between these shades has resulted in a more historically accurate colour, and the visual link between the Ante-Room and the Green Room colours works much better.
The finished result also enhances the collection of gilded picture frames in the Ante-Room and the beautiful Hungarian Point needlework wall hanging on the east wall. The veined marble fireplace and oval Carrara mantel has been cleaned and polished; this has helped to bring out its exquisite multi-toned details.
To find out more about The Green Room, The Ante-Room and the collection of paintings and artefacts here at Parham, please click here.