Campbell Smith & Co have been undertaking works to create, conserve and repair the finest decorative schemes since their inception in 1873. You can view some of the projects that we have worked on here.
For English Heritage at Kenwood House (The Iveagh Bequest), where we recreated the original Robert Adam scheme to the library. The Library or ‘Great Room’ at Kenwood House in north London was built and decorated to Robert Adam designs between 1767 and 1770 as part of the Scottish architect’s remodelling of the entire villa for its owner – the celebrity judge of his day, the Lord Chief Justice, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. Hailed at the time as “superior to anything of the kind in England,” the library was redecorated many times over its history, obscuring Adam’s original scheme. It was restored at the end of the 1960s but in 2011, detailed historic paint analysis revealed that redecoration to be inaccurate. Now using the evidence from more than 400 tiny samples of historic paint, a newly discovered inventory and some of Adam’s original drawings, English Heritage instructed us to re-create the complex palette of colours from the original decoration scheme.
The result features a subtle palette of pale blues, greens and pinks in a framework of delicate white plasterwork that serves to unite the 19 ceiling paintings from 1769 by the Venetian artist Antonio Zucchi. The extensive gilding – historic but not original Adam – has been painted over but carefully protected beneath removable layers. Finally the modern carpet was removed to reveal the original deal floor.
Few decorators have the extensive range of research and consultancy services, allied with the skilled craftsmanship and attention to fine detail that can fulfil the demanding requirements of recreating such an important and delicate decorative scheme.
At Campbell Smith & Co we are dedicated to providing individual attention to our clients to ensure that their brief, however complex, detailed and historically important. We have a very proud history of delivering the finest projects and are most happy to be involved from the design stage through to completion.
Whatever your requirements are – whether historical accuracy, fine detail or a complex and challenging scheme are your priorities, please contact us as we would be delighted to be involved.