Wilton Celebrates Understated Elegance at Statham Lodge
Bespoke woven axminster carpets from Wilton Carpets, have been used to extraordinary effect throughout the public areas and suites of the Georgian period Grade II listed Statham Lodge, an award-winning Cheshire wedding venue.
With the various patterns of existing carpets showing signs of wear on thresholds after 20 years of intense use, the time had come to replace and so Statham Lodge turned to the quality of wool-rich woven carpets from Wilton.
Emma Walker, project manager at Statham Lodge, explains: “In the past, we had to adopt a rather piecemeal approach to our carpet to get something down as quick as possible, often just rolling out a stock pattern as opposed to one designed for the space. However, we noticed that a bespoke carpet copied from an original Georgian creation had stood the test of time. Having made the decision to start from scratch and create our very own look, this seemed a natural starting point.”
For the entrance hall, reception and Shelley Suite, Emma tasked Wilton with creating an effect that referenced hand-made Savonnerie style area rugs, inspired by traditional Georgian designs found in 18th Century country houses such as the Robert Adam’s designed Syon Park. Working closely to this brief; Wilton’s head of creative, Damian Roscoe, created a design that achieves an air of understated elegance and with the ability to last for another 20 years without looking dated.
“We wanted the carpets to feel like an heirloom piece and so opted for traditional Georgian designs and a muted colour palette also referencing the period, allowing us to make the most of the light and airy feel afforded by the archetypal Georgian features found within the building,” continues Emma.
With the Shelley Suite, the design was reworked to deliver a more formal feel suiting the room’s use for civil ceremonies and in a palette made to work with any wedding colour scheme. The rug effect design works here too, as it creates a defined shape with symmetry that sits well with a centre aisle for ceremonies.
In the substantial Gainsborough Suite, the approach to carpet design took into consideration a need for a neutral feel, again to work with wedding colour schemes; while reflecting the grandeur of the setting. As the principle room for wedding breakfasts and receptions, it was important that the carpet didn’t overwhelm the space, yet that it also wasn’t lacking in character and so Wilton designed a statement Georgian inspired carpet that retains the understated elegance of carpets elsewhere. By giving the intricate pattern room to breathe through use of borders, centre motifs and large areas of plain background colour; the design fits the brief perfectly.
“Emma was clear from the beginning that the carpets needed to work not only in respecting the history of the building, but also in the practicality of Statham Lodge’s status as one of the best wedding venues in the north west,” explains Damian Roscoe. “The key was to evoke Georgian style with low contrast between colours, so that they didn’t feel too sharp and new.
“Creating a Savonnerie rug look with such an intricate design, different in individual rooms, was a huge challenge, so we introduced a subtle floral diamond backdrop to work as an effective border that still had an elegant period feel to bring everything together. The results are extraordinary and show what can be achieved when building owner and carpet manufacturer work closely together with a clear objective.”
As part of a wider refurbishment to the interior, including wall panelling and a new colour scheme, the carpet also proves the importance of designing areas in harmony; bringing the overall feel desired while retaining an individual sense that responds to the unique requirements of rooms. Woven in a high-performance blend of 80% pure new wool and nylon, the bespoke 10-row axminster carpet is made to last and retains ease of maintenance; vital for Statham Lodge.
Emma Walker continues: “A lot of people were nervous about the colour palette, faded blues and reds atop light stones, as it breaks so much from convention, but this was important to make sure the carpets offered a ‘blank canvas’ for weddings. Also, we didn’t want a ‘pub carpet’ feel just because it might be better at hiding stains.
“A subtle scree in the backdrop of the design helps to minimise the appearance of stains, while also contributing to that all-important sense of faded elegance that purveys a subtly relaxed feel. So far, chocolate cake and red wine have posed no threat and the carpet has responded 100 per cent to spot cleaning. A reflection of the quality of fibre and construction employed by Wilton Carpets.”
Crafted on Wilton Carpets’ computer-controlled high speed axminster looms in Wiltshire, the stunning carpets were woven within tight timescales to meet Statham Lodge’s need for an installation process that meant the venue could stay completely operational. Careful planning of the design and expert installation have led to a first-rate carpet that has been exceptionally well-received:
“The response to the carpet was immediate and we’ve received lots of fantastic comments on social media from our guests. When you say it’s a Wilton carpet, it seems to make everyone happy,” concludes Emma Walker.