This European walnut panelled study has a beautiful honeyed French polished finish which gives the room a certain gravitas and period charm.
The specialist hand finishing process creates a sun-bleached effect giving the impression that the panelling has been there for some time.
While the style of the architectural joinery throughout much of the rest of this newbuild house is largely early Georgian, for the study, Artichoke took its inspiration from the architect Sir Christopher Wren, and introduced raised bolection mouldings to frame large flat walnut panels. A bolection mould is a moulding which projects beyond the face of the surrounding frame. In joinery design this adds understated drama and it was used to great effect by Wren throughout his life. Having flat panels as opposed to raised and fielded panels also makes framing art simpler.
The biggest challenge we faced when designing this particular room was working out how we could incorporate a secret jib door into the panelling to the right of the fireplace while still maintaining panels of equal width across the entire fireplace elevation. This required detailed discussion with the builders and involved Artichoke’s approved manipulation of the architecture in order to make it work. To create rooms which look understated, simple and pleasing on the eye proportionally always requires a degree of head scratching geometry somewhere along the line. The interior decoration in this room is by Todhunter Earle who also sketched the original concepts for the space.
The double sliding doors leading to the drawing room are really quite substantial. Standing at 2.7 metres in height and at 54mm thick, they are made entirely from solid European walnut which is an unstable timber and difficult to use. To add to their complexity, the doors are hung on sliding runners and not held in place by butt hinges along their length. Solid doors of this size are notoriously difficult particularly when installed into an air-controlled building. Careful timber selection was therefore particularly important to minimize the chance of any movement which might cause the doors to jam in their pockets. The doors have a split finish with the interior matching the honey tones of the study and the exterior matching the darker finish chosen for the architectural joinery throughout the rest of the house. A subtle feature that demonstrates Artichoke’s attention to detail are the clock points which supply power to the picture lights – even though they lie behind the artwork, Artichoke has disguised them using the faux bois specialist paint process.
Located adjacent to the main drawing room but also accessed via a jib door to a private sitting room, the study provides a wonderful quiet space in which to work. To ensure the beauty of the panelled room was not broken up by a door opening, the interior designers, Todhunter Earle Interiors, introduced the jib door into the scheme. Adjacent to the jib door is a lockable cabinet lined in green calves leather. The desk was a special commission by the client, also made of walnut but more contemporary in design. The cables associated with data collection and electrics run up each leg to eliminate unsightly wiring. Time has been lavished on every detail to create a harmonious space.