In recent years the picturesque town of Stow on the Wold has seen a rise in investment from hoteliers.
‘Stuart House’, designed by hospitality veteran Sue Hawkins, is a rooms only concept. The 400 year old town house sits on a historic street in the heart of the town. Step inside and you’ll be transported into a ‘faux bijou hunting lodge meets gentleman’s club’ vibe.
Curious about how this little place came to be, hotel entrepreneur Sue Hawkins shares her behind the scenes inspirations for this cool and quirky interior.
What was the initial inspiration behind the interior? I had to consider the type of clientele we were aiming to attract, this is Stow on the Wold, not central London so I couldn’t go crazy on the interior. My previous project was Church Street Townhouse churchstreettownhouse.com and I had a lot more freedom there. I wanted to be stylish at Stuart House but not so out-there as to put off any older or foreign visitors who would probably like to see an old building that felt like a 400 year old Cotswolds townhouse – I just wanted to add a few stylish touches to set us apart from the chintzy Cotswolds places.
Are there any similarities with your home style? My home is nicknamed 50 Shades of Gray. My maiden name is grey and my house is a palette of everything from charcoal to dove. I live in a large glass box on top of a hill so I have a very modern interior there. My husband and I had it built and we moved in 2 years ago. It’s like a massive hotel suite – we decided against having spare rooms or anything that wouldn’t be used regularly and have used most of the space luxuriously – there’s a craft studio with floor to ceiling pigeon holes storing everything from sticky tape to wrapping ribbon. There are two dressing rooms, 5 bathrooms, a gym, a mini cinema etc and STACKS of storage – there is very little clutter. I love it!
Top tips to create the ‘Stuart House’ vibe? I had to decorate the bedrooms in the same style as The Bell – our pub down the road. If people want to book there and we are full then I didn’t want them to have a shock if they stayed at Stuart House instead. The style in Reception is more me, more interesting. I love a sort of hunting lodge meets gentleman’s club meets antique shop look(!) You need some tatty bronze, a stags head, lamps not overhead lighting, velvet, mirrors, wooden floor and I LOVE trompe l’oeil wallpapers, as you can tell.
Your ‘go to’ place that you love to shop for interior pieces. Fagins in Devon. It’s a massive reclamation place with everything from 1920’s fur coats to taxidermy to the wooden figurehead of an old ship. www.faginsantiques.com
Favourite independent coffee shop places and why you like the space. I don’t know too much about coffee shops – I don’t ever seem to have any spare time to just hang out and if I do, I prefer something more alcoholic! I love a restaurant in London called Les Trois Garcons http://wordpress.lestroisgarcons.com/