By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Decorators and Gilders Hare & Humphreys Ltd

Project: A London Residence

Client: A London Residence plc
Services: Painting; Gilding; Decorative surfaces conservation and restoration; Technical Advice
Recent Press:,, Henry VIII’s Astronomical Clock at Hampton Court Palace (video), Historic Royal Palaces, Kings Beasts

Over a 4-year period Hare & Humphreys were constantly involved in this quite remarkable project.

Base decorations were carried out as a sub-contractor to the building contract with main contractors Walter Lilly & Co and under the guidance of leading British architects Quinlan Francis Terry.

Led by Peter Hare, H&H were commissioned by the client directly to provide full interior enhanced decorations and arts concepts with water colours and references to previous projects, to enable the interior transformation from a beautifully built architectural building, to a family home. The fine rooms would be suitable for the reception and entertaining of heads of state. Proposals were approved by the client, QFT and Professor David Watkin (architectural historian, Professor Ermitus in the dept history of art at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University & Vice Chairman of the Georgian group).

On approval of designs the enhanced decorations, art and gilding phases were completed as a direct contract between the client and Hare & Humphreys, who subsequently took the lead position as principle contractor, controlling security access and programme for other finishes “fit-out” trades, co-ordinating all to ensure aesthetic quality remained the principle goal.

Family rooms received hand-mixed paint finishes to suit individual tastes and the ground floor and galleried Great Hall picked out with faux stone effects, faux bois and fine colours with trompe l’oeil panelling adorned with bespoke art and gilding to create suitable impact.

The decorative treatments have been hailed by many as the finest post-war “new works” achieved.

Worth specific mention is the old timber boarded dining room (Sir Edwin Lutyens), that H&H stretch covered with canvas and applied ornamental art, trompe l’oeil and gilding of the finest order.