The charming Draycott Hotel, owned by the South African hotelier Adrian Gardner, occupies a terrace of three rather nice adjacent townhouses, now joined together but built in the 1890s in the Sir Hans Sloane style architecture. I have been asked to titivate it gradually, as they don’t want to close the hotel during the refurbishment. A great many literary and artistic figures have stayed here over the years, and still do today. What everybody loves about the Draycott is that it’s a comfy hotel tucked away behind London’s Sloane Square in what appears to be a private house. It is, in fact, a little jewel.
For the drawing room, which overlooks the hotel’s lovely garden, I was asked to look at the collection of pictures, books, pots and goodness knows what that had been put together over the years, and make it seem more like someone’s private room while at the same time reintegrating the art. The first thing I did was to mahoganise the fireplace which had previously been painted white and looked dreary. I then put down a neutral-coloured carpet which had a border around it, to delineate the space and give it a little bit of grandeur.
Next I added a pair of comfortable sofas flanking the fireplace. There had previously been sofas on either side of the fireplace, but if couple came into the room, one of them would sit on each sofa, which messed up the seating for anybody else. I therefore pushed the sofas further back, which made space for two coffee tables between them. I also added a fender stool at the fireplace end of each of these sofas and an armchair at the other end of each, creating two groups around the fireplace.