Weston Homes has collaborated with GP&J Baker to create the exceptional ‘Nightingale House’ show house at Gun Hill Park in Aldershot.
The interiors are designed to inspire purchasers by mixing luxurious and accessibly priced fabrics and wallcoverings that provide a canvas to showcase an eclectic mix of new and collected belongings, original artworks and rehomed eBay treasures: A masterclass in high quality yet affordable and unique home décor.
Gun Hill Park consists of the transformation of the magnificent Grade II listed Cambridge Military Hospital, originally built in 1875 – 79, into a new residential address providing 140 one to three bedroom apartments and two to four bedroom houses, with private gardens and landscaped grounds. ‘Nightgale House’ is meticulously converted from an elegant Victorian accommodation building.
The Italianate neoclassical Victorian buildings at Gun Hill Park were based on the design principles of bright and airy living spaces championed by Florence Nightingale (light and fresh air were key to good health). The new 1,982 sq ft (184sq m) three bedroom show house has tall elegant windows, ceilings are an average of 15 ft (4.5m) throughout and a spectacular staircase hall with a Georgian tread cantilevered staircase with a 28 ft (8.5m) high ceiling, which forms a welcoming, light and airy entrance to the property. The show house opens onto a private patio and landscaped rear garden.
The ‘Nightingale House’ project offered Weston Homes the opportunity to access GP&J Baker’s extensive portfolio of fabric and wallpaper brands and their wide range of price points, hence enabling GP&J Baker to work with a large cross section of the UK’s most well-known and established designers on projects at multiple levels.
GP&J Baker’s brief for ‘Nightingale House’ was clear from the outset: to create a show house that would inspire savvy house buyers who appreciate quality, timeless design and provide them with a masterclass on how beautiful yet affordable interiors can be created by mixing luxurious and accessibly priced fabrics and wallcoverings, all sourced from GP&J Baker, to create a palette for the smartly dressed interiors.
The dressing included a curated mixture of pre-loved items from eBay, new furniture from high street retailers such as Zara Home and John Lewis and individually comissioned pieces, with all upholstery in fabrics from GP&J Baker. The complete schemes are complemented by original artworks, ceramics and other eBay finds.
In the dramatic entrance hall there is a steel and marble circular table, a large mirror in an antique frame and a beautiful oversized flat weave Ikat rug hung on a hand forged wrought iron pole in the style of a traditional tapestry. The staircase is lined with original artwork that recalls the styles of Chagall, Hirst and Braque and a contemporary chandelier from Manhattan hangs in the lofty atrium space above the central stairwell.
Dining and study Area
The dining and study area are open plan to the entrance hall and both form a part of this elegant and lofty space. The dining area has a mid-century style dining table dressed with vintage glasses and cutlery from the 1940’s, a 1950’s sideboard and textured ceramic lamp complete this area.
Double doors lead onto the patio and landscaped garden. Set in a large recessed archway, the study area is framed by a striking picture wall, with a central oil portrait from 1944 is of uniformed war veteran. Other works are by Bill Low, another war veteran who mastered painting and sculpture after his departure from the services, and a framed historic newspaper article about the Military Hospital. All a clever but subtle link to the history of the unique location.
Main reception room
The generously proportioned reception room opens with double doors from the main entrance hall featuring a pair of bespoke modern sofas and a central coffee table. These are adjacent to another mid-century piece, a beautiful 1970’s Rosewood cabinet as a base for the large TV.
Feature contrast nailed chairs and console tables with antique Chinese tea tin lamps also dress the space. Again this room is dressed with a selection of abstract oils and ceramics all procured via eBay or collected during the interior designer’s lifetime travels from a selection of artists and British ceramic studios.
Several well priced neutral textures from Threads were selected for the upholstery of the sofas and chairs creating the perfect tactile canvas and to perfectly balance more expensive statement cushions in sumptuous printed velvets. These statement velvets from GP&J Baker and Mulberry Home add a certain statement to the room.
Kravet’s inexpensive contemporary sheers were hung on simple bronzed rods in the reception and dining areas to provide privacy without compromising on the impact of the 3m windows and elevated ceiling heights that give a light and airy feeling to these spaces.
Located off the dining area, the fully fitted shaker style family kitchen has smart mid-grey units with pewter handles and neutral reconstituted stone worktops, dressed with a limited edition leather tray and a 1960’s John Russell coffee set. A 1920’s Turkmen Takke rug adds warmth and colour to the floor.
Boasting 15 ft (4.5m) ceilings with arched entrance ways, the 3 bedrooms are striking yet cosy and comfortable. Baker Lifestyle’s fabulously affordable plain linen and trimmings were chosen for the tall bedroom sash windows to create statement Roman blinds with a clean, contemporary style offering a smart and affordable substitute for more traditional heavy curtaining.
The principal bedroom has striking plank effect wallpaper from GP&J Baker with the bed dressed with embroidered Mulberry Home cushions and a smart Mulberry throw. A large Japanese lantern suspends above the traditional plaited flex and bronze ceiling rose. The large headboard in a smart Baker weave and contrasting velvet sit well with the mid-century furniture, artwork and mid-century style chairs.
Colour palette and design scheme
The colour palette for ‘Nightingale House’ is inspired in part by the building’s Italianate neoclassical style of warm yellow brick and beautiful bath stone as well as a nod to a mid-century palette taken from the rich wood furniture, artworks and studio pottery sourced for the project. Walls are predominantly soft white with warm organic tones. Linens and printed velvets in taupe, khaki, red and ochre with flashes of teal add richness and warmth along with wool and faux leather to enhance this smart classic but modern home.
Overall GP&J Baker have created an interior that feels collected and considered with timeless appeal. Simple, textured and plain linens and cottons provide the perfect backdrop to the modern, contemporary art and mid century furniture used to personalise the space much of which was recycled from eBay to give the buyer a sense of how a stylish and individual home can be achieved on a relatively low budget.
Ann Grafton, GP&J Baker’s Creative and Managing Director said, “‘Nightingale House’ has given GP&J Baker the opportunity to showcase the breadth of our brand portfolio. It continues to be fashionable to embrace a mixture of high end and lower priced purchases for the home. Customers are selecting good quality, inexpensive linens and textures and mixing them with more expensive statement textiles, trimmings and embroideries to create the framework for timeless, affordable rooms.”
Bob Weston, Chairman and Managing Director at Weston Homes said, “Weston Homes collaborated with GP&J Baker in order to create a beautiful, elegant show house with specially curated interiors that look luxurious and stylish, yet has the ambiance of a real, lived-in family house.”
Suzanne Aplin, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Weston Homes added, “Many show homes in central London are dressed on a six-figure budget and whilst this is attainable for some, with ‘Nightingale House’ we wanted a show house deliberately designed on a relatively modest budget, that still looks incredible. GP&J Baker have crafted an outstanding show house which we believe will help to inspire purchasers to create beautiful interiors by innovatively mixing new and old with inexpensive and luxurious items.”
The newly launched ‘Nightingale House’ is being used to market the houses at Gun Hill Park which are arranged over one, two or three floors and are up to 1,982 sqft in size. All houses have a family kitchen and breakfast room, a spacious living and dining room, some with outside balconies, most with private gardens, and many with a dedicated study / home office area.
‘Nightingale House’ is priced at £685,000 fully furnished, excluding all artworks and some decorative pieces which are kindly on loan. The price also includes two parking bays dedicated to the property. Other homes at Gun Hill Park are priced from £285,000 for an apartment with houses priced from £435,000. For further information on Gun Hill Park please contact Weston Homes contact +44 (0) 1252 957 843 or visit: www.weston-homes.com