From Lived-in to Luxury: Transforming The Arch

Written on 21st October 2022

When Charlie Luxton turned down the drive onto the Fonthill Estate, it was love at first sight.

“Through The Arch there is the calming lake on the left, the cricket pitch on the right. You are in a valley with not a single house in view. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful place,” he says.

After bringing life back to the Beckford Arms, a derelict pub on the Estate, Charlie set his sights on the magnificent Fonthill Arch, the 18th century gatehouse at the entrance to the grounds. When the Estate woodsman who’d lived there for 25 years moved out, the Beckford team finally got their wish and got to work. Dreaming of transforming the characterful home into a luxury, country retreat, Charlie knew the best person to call for help with this colourful cottage: Patrick O’Donnell, Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball.

 

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Farrow & Ball Colour Consultants are experts in three things: colour, light and bringing your vision to life. Our Consultants work with you to choose colours and finishes that suit your space, while also showing off your style, as Charlie discovered during his colour consultancy experience: “I learnt so much from Patrick, about layering, about colour, how not to be scared of pattern. He steered me through what was a very personal journey. I’m really proud of this place,” he says. “It’s the best thing we’ve done at The Beckford Group.”

Charlie is an experienced hand at finding hidden gems in the corner of antique shops, so Patrick encouraged him to allow his eclectic taste to flow into the colour palette too, adding a little twist to the cottage charm of the décor. “Charlie has a great eye,” says Patrick, “but I think he would have played it safe if it weren’t for my input. I encouraged him to be bolder, a bit braver.”

The Entrance

Walls, woodwork and ceiling: Beverly No.310. Photo credit: Boz Gagovski

Charlie and Patrick went bold from the beginning, opting for forest green Beverly all over the entrance hall. This rich shade is named after a much-missed member of Farrow & Ball and, like its namesake, is dependable and reassuring, making it perfect for a warm welcome.

Beverly is also a perfect choice for a low-light, small space like this one: embracing the minimal natural light and helping to make the connected kitchen feel even brighter. “White walls can be gloomy,” Patrick explains. “If you paint a poorly lit space a dark colour, it exaggerates the lightness of the other spaces. You want that counterpoint between light and dark.”

The Kitchen

Walls: Stirabout No.300, Cabinets: Mahogany No.36, Door & entrance hall: Beverly No.310. Photo credit: Boz Gagovski

In the newly transformed kitchen, Patrick combined old and new, with Stirabout on the walls, one of our 11 new colours, and archived Mahogany on the cabinets.

“The kitchen was always going to be the starting point,” says Patrick. “We were inspired by the Huguenot houses of Spitalfields in East London - we wanted it to look period enough, but without feeling old school. It had to have a bit of edge.”

Walls & woodwork: Stirabout No.300, Cabinet interior: Bamboozle No.304. Photo credit: Boz Gagovski


A few fun and unexpected twists bring a fresh feel to the otherwise traditional, cottage kitchen, including the red and white checkerboard floor (“Charlie’s idea”, says Patrick) and the pop of Bamboozle in the Stirabout cupboard.

Walls: Blue Grey No.91. Photo credit: Boz Gagovski


Blue Gray, the cool shade on the walls of the sitting room, is the perfect choice for creating a relaxed, timeless feel. It has a lovely empathy with the glorious view over the Estate’s parkland from the window. Dancing between blue and grey, this calming colour looks like it’s always been there, making it ideal for this historic space.

The Staircase

Wallpaper: Ivy BP638, Staircase: Selvedge No.306. Photo credit: Boz Gagovski


This spiral staircase is proof of that old adage: fortune favours the bold. A light, pale neutral would have suited this space perfectly fine, but by saturating every surface with bright Selvedge, Patrick has added an unexpected twist that delights and surprises, especially when paired with the traditional Ivy wallpaper.

The Master Bedroom

Walls: Templeton Pink No.303, Bath: Beverly No.310. Photo credit: Boz Gagovski


In the master bedroom, guests can take in the beautiful view of the grounds from the rolltop bath or the luxurious bed. The Templeton Pink walls and Beverly bath complement the natural landscape outside, helping to bring the outdoors in, while still feeling deeply cosy and inviting.

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Whether you’re renovating a historic gatehouse or making over a more modern home, let our expert Colour Consultants help bring your style to life.

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