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The Gallery Hotel

The Interior Design Concept

The Gallery stands squarely amongst the high Victorian architecture of Kensington and in the lee of Britain’s most imposing museums. The heart and soul of this hotel reside in the Victorian age, an age of industrialisation and engineering, yet its name suggests a leaning towards the arts.

The overall concept sees an updating of the Victorian style of decoration that retains recognisable links to the original while creating more light and space within the rooms to appeal to the modern day visitor. The gentle theme that runs through the whole concept is that of the Victorian artist.

In the overall scheme we focus on three Victorian artists; William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Lord Frederic Leighton. They did much to define design and decorating standards that remain with us today, but they were also the cultural magpies of their time. They borrowed and adapted freely from their ever-expanding world to create unique and eclectic styles of their own. We have borrowed and adapted in turn from them to create a welcoming environment that plays on the advantages of the existing architecture and location and provides a subtly themed environment aimed to appeal to international visitors.

Morris influences our basement while the work of Rossetti and Leighton are the themes of the two suites. Our lobby unifies the theme by focusing on the Victorian artist at home.


The Hotel Lobby

The vision of the Victorian artist at home helped us to create this welcoming, warm and comfortable hotel lobby area. The dark panelling is softened by a large collection of pictures, prints and photographs of, and by, the artists of the period. A variety of framing adds to the feeling that this is a personal space and our unnamed artist adds a bohemian touch with lamps made from Chinese pots, peacock feathers on display and kilims draped over small side tables.

The Gallery Hotel

Overall depth of character is added to the entire ground floor area by the installation of wall-to-wall contract carpeting with Turkish motifs in rich reds, golds and greens. The overall feel is more like a home in which the guest is encouraged to explore the whole area.

Central to the lobby/bar area is the installation of an antique Victorian marble fireplace with a realistic reproduction electric fire and the replacement of the pre-existing large sofas and single low table with groupings of individual chairs around small tables.

An ottoman covered in distressed velvet and edged with brocade provides casual seating or a place to spread out the newspapers.

The reception desk is reduced in size to minimise its intrusion into the artist’s home. This gives us space for a quieter seating area away from the bar, an atmosphere emphasised by potted palms in simple terracotta pots.


The Basement - The William Morris Room

The basement begins to bring the theming into sharper focus. William Morris, poet and artist, was a leading light of the Arts and Crafts movement. This style called for a simplification of design that paid homage to the craft of medieval furniture makers, displaying gothic elements and the use of stylised leaves and flowers.

The Arts and Crafts style is less opulent than the design themes used in the Lobby but the "Arbutus" wallpaper in blue-green with raspberry motifs and the comfortable furniture arrangement allow the room to appear cosy and inviting. A simple wooden fireplace and an intriguing antique piano emphasise the feeling.

victorian interior design

The chairs are upholstered in woven wool fabric with the existing sofa re-upholstered in deep raspberry pink heavy cotton fabric. The lamps have wooden bases after the Arts and Crafts style and the antique side tables are of dark oak, a popular feature of all parlours of this period.

Floor to ceiling curtains are installed along the double doors that lead across the corridor to the breakfast room. Made from fabric of the same "Arbutus" pattern they reinforce the intimacy of the room when drawn and melt into the walls when opened. The carpet is based on a Morris floral pattern called "Tulip and Lily".


Suite 1 - The Dante Gabriel Rossetti Suite

The Rossetti Suite pays tribute to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a Victorian artist in the Pre-Raphaelite style. His paintings depict medieval England and its inhabitants in a highly romantic "Arthurian" fashion. The suite reflects this lush and romantic medieval gothic styling.

Bedroom suite

Upon entering the room the guest is immediately struck by the frieze that surmounts the wall. Depicting a Lion and a Dove against a backdrop of rambling roses it confidently proclaims "The Wilderness shall blossom as the Rose".

victorian wallpaper

The walls are papered with a stylised leaf pattern in a muted green and prints of Rossetti’s Arthurian visions hang on the walls. The floor covering continues the medieval floral effect. It is immediately obvious that this is a special place indeed.

The writing desk, chest of drawers, bed and bedside tables are all in dark oak and reflect a gothic influence in their styling. The sofa is covered in an antiqued fabric based on a William Morris pattern and the chairs are in distressed green velvet.

The Romantic slant given by Rossetti’s works makes this the obvious choice as a honeymoon suite, but the integration of the Victorian artist theme with the rest of the hotel means that any guest would feel comfortable occupying the room.

rossetti painting      rossetti painting       rossetti painting


Suite 2 - The Frederic Leighton Suite

The Leighton Suite draws inspiration from Lord Frederic Leighton, a successful and popular Victorian artist who painted classical and exotic historical images. The suite focuses on the Victorian fascination with the exotica of the Orient and Middle East.

Bedroom suite

Here the walls are topped by an oriental frieze that sits above the cool colouring of the wallpaper. The Eastern feel maintained by a stylised bamboo pattern.

The furnishings take on the rich hues of the Orient with deep pinks and turquoise velvets and damasks coupled with rich ivory curtains and a tented bed-hanging. The reproduction black lacquered furniture reflects the popular Victorian Aesthetic style.

The whole room is underpinned by a rich Persian style wall-to-wall carpet and capped by striking ceiling paper.

inspirational victorian image

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