The Ravenswood is a beautiful 15th-century manor house located in the idyllic countryside of Sharpthorne, in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, West Sussex. Originally built in part during the reign of Henry VI in 1426, with further parts erected during the latter years of Queen Victoria. Over the years the estate has passed through many family hands and in the 20th century, the property underwent many changes, including becoming a casino in the 1960s and in the 1970s opening as a hotel and restaurant. The Ravenswood is now a gorgeous wedding venue, offering civil ceremonies within its historic 18 acres of land.
Karen, our head of soft furnishings, was approached by Gilchirst, The Ravenswood parent company, to complete a soft furnishings refresh within the 33 bedrooms, including the honeymoon suite, to coincide with refurbishments happening at the venue. The rooms were dated, with royal red and green carpets, cream-panelled walls and antique wooden furniture, including wooden carved headboards and four poster canopy beds. The soft furnishings within the bedrooms and suites matched the old-fashioned furniture, with fabrics from an era long ago and canopies lined with muted floral patterns, trims and netting.
The client required a more contemporary look for the refurbishment that matched the new décor of the sleek silver, grey and white colour palette and to provide curtains and a ceiling canopy for the Princess Beatrice Suit.
Work began with the Honeymoon Suite, a spacious, romantically designed private room with a stunning 4 poster bed overlooking the grounds. Taking inspiration from the sheer luxe look that was represented in the decoration and furniture offerings, the team provided pinch pleat curtains with a black-out lining and a leading edge, the curtains were floor to ceiling that spanned the beautiful bay window. These curtains were tailor-made in Clarke & Clarke Arbour Taupe, a fabric with a subtle textured pattern to give the fabric depth.
Also in the Honeymoon Suite scatter cushions and coordinating throws were produced to add to the opulence of the room, the front of the cushions were covered with the same fabric as the curtains and finished with self-welt pipping in Tundra Ecru for a traditional and timeless look.
The next step in the project was the further 32 bedrooms, 5 of which were in the building's original structure. These also featured floor-to-ceiling pinch pleat curtains in ILVI Tundrum Platinum, a textured woven textile hung on wooden poles for a more classic look and roman blinds in matching fabric. In the bathrooms, we also provided sheer voile roller blinds in white for privacy.
The final piece of the project was something really quite special, creating a sealing canopy for the Princess Beatrice suite - a breathtaking round room with wooden ceilings and large windows, used for evening receptions and formal dinners. The team designed, manufactured and installed the very large drapes made from voile to stunning effect.
Also within the Beatrice Suite, the team replaced the old curtains that covered the large windows that circled the building and overlooked the estate grounds. The curtains were unique as they had an acoustic liner to lessen the noise pollution from outside. These curtains were made with ILIV fabrics in Alto, as this woven fabric drapes beautifully, matching the drape of the voile within the canopy.
Through the renovation and redesign of the bedrooms, The Ravenswood has replaced the old-fashioned styling with a dreamy interior that is fit for any couple and their guests on their wedding day. The soft furnishings team were able to add a timeless look whilst also providing technical expertise, allowing the guests to have the most comfortable stay possible.