22, June 2016

Bowhill: Smoking Room Re-Imagined


For the first time in 138 years, the Smoking Room at Bowhill House - the country home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch - will be open to the public following a contemporary redesign with a new interior by Timorous Beasties and Dovecot Studios.

Led by curator and textile historian Ben Divall, the refurbishment of the Smoking Room was guided by Bowhill’s inventory of 1915 which detailed the room's decoration and provided a basis for its re-imagining. Timorous Beasties were invited to design the textiles for the room, creating a contemporary take on the smoking room whilst remaining responsive to the room's history.

The velvet curtains feature cigars branded with the family insignia, forming a border along bottom edge of the curtains from which smoke rises to produce swirling, complex patterns of pluming smoke.

The linen fabrics play upon the room's function with a bespoke smoke trellis, decorating the soft furnishings with a subtle texture that is ruptured by bold illustrations that evoke the sporting nature of the estate and detail the building's south facade on the rear of the sofa. Cushions depicting small ‘Vignettes’ of scenes from the estate also adorn the furniture in the room. 

True to history, the contemporary refurbishment will never hinder the room's purpose -

'As a non-smoker I will not myself be tempted, but the image of skulking, shivering figures with glowing cigarette butts banished to the front doorstep is not worthy of a great house.'

- the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury.

The Smoking Room will be open to the public from July 2016. Further details are available from the Bowhill website.