Designer Dorothée Meilichzon adopted a whimsical tone for Gloucestershire hotel Cowley Manor Experimental, with checkerboard patterns, bright colours and hidden doors referencing its role in an iconic work of children’s literature.
It’s a new look for the historic home, operated by the Experimental Group, which dates back to the 1860s when Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll was one of its regular guests. Legend suggests he saw a white rabbit disappear down a hole in the manor’s grounds, and the idea for the book was born.
The literary connection has clearly inspired Meilichzon, who installed rabbit brass knockers on bedroom doors and scattered rabbit and mushroom motifs throughout. She’s also drawn on the Mad Hatter’s checkerboard pattern, which appears on furniture, walls and carpets – often in a modified, more restrained form.
Colour is also important, with Meilichzon introducing a whole range of shades, including greens, reds, pinks and oranges, and flashes of royal blue, which appear in rugs and furniture throughout the Gloucester hotel’s public spaces.
Her mischievous choices are toned down by the surrounding interiors of the manor, with its venerable wood panelling, parquet flooring and stone fireplaces. Rooms start around £300 a night.
Cowley, Cheltenham GL53 9NL, United Kingdom