Staying in a hotel that feels like home is a luxury we don’t experience enough in our lives. Fortunately, Merchants Manor hired interior designer Helen Hughes to transform a grand hotel into a warm and welcoming home from home.
Falmouth is traditionally a seaside resort, explains Helen. “But because Merchants Manor is set back, perched on the top of the hill and with wonderful grounds, the owners – Nick and Sioned – wanted a stylish, cosy country house hotel with year-round appeal.” With brief in hand, Helen set to work creating a welcoming place to stay with a lived-in feel.
“It’s quite a grand house,” she says. “But Nick and Sioned wanted people to feel as if they were coming into a family friend’s home, rather than a hotel. Achieving this meant being quite relaxed about the design; building it through eclectic décor and objects that reflect the evolution of a family home over time.” This brief means that each object chosen is done so with thought and care and hopefully holds with it a history of its own.
Indeed, walking through the manor you feel like Alice walking through Wonderland as each decorative piece beckons you over and begs curiosity and inspection. From the coffee table in the library made by a local design student out of various bound copies of Punch magazines to a 19th century, painted horse and from primitive hand-carved bowls from the farms of north eastern Europe to illustrations and artwork by local artists, Merchants Manor evokes multiple feelings of home by showcasing life from different eras.
Of course, while each piece is unique and holds within itself its own talking points and interest, the true art comes in the arrangements of the décor. Every room manages to blend these diverse decorations into a striking yet welcoming space that does indeed feel like it has been assembled over years of living rather than through a mere eye for detail and design.
Nothing is out of place and yet everything stands out, a combination truly hard to achieve but eternally pleasing to the eye. If you want to spend your getaway in a familiar yet new and absorbing place then a visit to Merchants Manor should definitely be top on your list.
1 Western Terrace, Falmouth TR11 4QJ