Tucked away just south of the stunning Newtown River Estuary on the Isle of Wight lies the beautiful Grade II listed Shalfleet Manor. Nestled in 55 acres of private grounds, this 16th Century property boasts an impressive history dating right back to before the Norman Conquest and has retained many period features, including original beams and stone-mullioned windows. Shalfleet Manor, together with its Barn and Cottage can accommodate up to 22 guests in total, each with completely independent facilities and their own entrances. It provides a perfect setting for families or friends looking to enjoy a holiday together.
It’s easy to see why it was love at first sight for owner Victoria Bonham Christie, who bought the property in 2017 and has taken on the responsibility of a full refurbishment, whilst avoiding major structural alterations to the house. Guests rave about rooms that are impressively large, without ever feeling imposing or too formal and her schemes are a clever blend of classic and contemporary. In the dining room, for example, Victoria commissioned our Gustavian Dining Table in a bespoke size to sit 16 guests but paired it with some Philippe Stark dining chairs. “This house is a complete refuge from the demands of life elsewhere,” she says. “I love its combination of history and grandeur with cosiness and modern comfort.” The overall result is a relaxed, warm and stylish design scheme – and what makes Shalfleet Manor such an attractive place to stay.
When it came to planning the bedrooms, Victoria got in touch with Deena Kennedy, who is our lead designer for projects, which are not within easy reach of our showrooms. Deena is very accustomed to working on projects abroad or in remote locations and uses a whole variety of online tools to support the design process. “We can achieve a lot over the phone,” explains Deena. “Customers will often send me photos and I can then recommend and send out samples. The online moodboard creator on our website is also useful for brainstorming room schemes. Or if we are discussing bespoke furniture, I can organise drawings to be sent out from our Graphic Design team.”
Victoria loved the idea of using our embroidered Snowdrop design as the theme for one of the rooms. Together, Deena and Victoria worked on a bed headboard and footboard design as the focal point of the bedroom. After mocking up a deign drawing for her to approve and discussing co-ordinating curtain fabrics, the bed was commissioned. Our quilts soon followed, and the room came together beautifully.
“There is something especially gratifying about seeing these projects come together from afar,” says Deena. “Very often, customers have a certain look in mind and the trick is always just to help make it happen. When I see the final photos, once everything is in place, it’s a real ‘wow’ moment!
In the case of Shalfleet Manor, the guest reviews speak to themselves. But perhaps, most importantly, Victoria herself is delighted with the results: “It’s my favourite place in the world to wake up.” What more can one ask for?