August 15, 2017

A Touch of the Charles Dickens as Bowcliffe’s Reception Renovation is Completed!

Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall

Even without renovation, the hallway and reception at Bowcliffe was always going to turn heads. Pushing open the heavyset front door to an impressive sweeping staircase sets the scene for the rest of the Bowcliffe grandeur. But it has been over 10 years since the reception area was remodelled, and Bowcliffe Custodian Jonathan Turner decided it was time to give visitors to Bowcliffe – and reception team, Ann, Karen and Jackie – a new-look that was worthy of as much admiration as all the other rooms in the Hall.

After months of renovations, the reception is finally ready, and as you can see from the before and after shots below, what a job it has been! The devil really is in the detail, and from doorknobs to desks and coving to wood carvings – every inch of the reception area has been carefully considered and executed to perfection.

Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall

Jonathan Turner spoke of his vision for the first impressions of Bowcliffe, noting the importance of the reception area as an integral scene-setter for the rest of the Hall and Estate.

“As with everything we do on the Estate, I want to create a lasting impression. And, a lasting impression often stems from your very first impression. I call it the ‘arrival experience’. The gates. The kink in the drive pointing your car to the front door. The sign that tells you to go ‘this way’ or ‘that way’. The gardens. The lawns. Your head is spinning and you haven’t even opened the front door yet! The sign, ‘No riff raff’ (we are not joking). Then boom, into the hallway, turn right and look at that desk.”

Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall

IT’S A FACT! Workmen removed, numbered and remoulded the original reception coving to make exact replicas before replacing it!

Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall

The inspiration behind the reception revamp? Well Jonathan had a very clear idea of the look and feel of the room:

I never set out to copy an idea in all its entirety, but I knew I wanted to emulate a room that could have been straight out of a Charles Dickens book – a similar era to when the Hall was built – hence the rich mahogany wood used throughout. As ever, with all the Bowcliffe projects, the Yorkshire pound was high on my agenda, and I’m delighted to say that the entire cost of the reception refurb went to Yorkshire suppliers. Notably, it was Damian Lawrence of Rock and Bone who did almost all the reception job. He has some really talented craftsmen working for him. More importantly, he has real vision and we work well together. My only real issue with him is when he comes up with a better idea than mine!”

Praise too goes to Bowcliffe own version of Handy Andy, better known around the Estate as maintenance Mal. A man whose DIY skills appear to know no bounds. His team worked tirelessly to prepare and finalise the reception area.

Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall

IT’S A FACT! As always with any Bowcliffe project, it’s best to expect the unexpected. The reception is no different, and on closer inspection, you’ll see that the back staircase down into the cellar is now masquerading as an old telephone exchange!

Reception renovation at Bowcliffe Hall

This won’t be the last room to be renovated at Bowcliffe, however, Jonathan is keeping quiet about the next project:

“I have to be careful what I say, otherwise Lucinda (Jennings, Bowcliffe’s Property & Development Director), will go potty! But I have plans for a few more spaces in the Hall and on the Estate grounds. All of which are in the earliest stages of planning but are already looking very exciting! I might just have to wait until she goes on holiday to start them. At Bowcliffe we provide an experience for our guests and friends that I truly believe they can’t get anywhere else. We are just getting warmed up!”