Dumfries House

Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland

Dumfries House was designed in the 1750’s by the Adam brothers, Robert and James. They were known for creating the ‘Adam style’ of neo-classical architecture that replaced Palladian styling, popular during that time.

Dumfries House was commissioned by William Crichton Dalrymple, the 5th Earl of Dumfries, a military man who inherited his title upon the death of his mother. A year after the Adam brothers began construction of the building, the Earl’s wife passed away and from that point the interiors were lavishly decorated in the highest fashions to attract a new wife that would produce him an heir.

As Dumfries fell into disrepair in the early 2000’s, the house, it’s priceless furniture and works of art were set to be auctioned. The property and estate were saved in 2007 by HRH Prince Charles, who set about raising funds to restore Dumfries House to it’s former glory, safe-guarding it’s unique collection of furniture by Thomas Chippendale.

The story of the restoration of Dumfries House can be read here on Architectural Digest.


The Family Bedroom

The Chippendale Mahogany bed was designed for The 5th Earl of Dumfries personally, by Thomas Chippendale. The wood carvings on the bed are said to promote fertility. The windowed Earl spared no expense on the bed in his quest to attract a new parter and produce an heir.

The bed was originally hung with “18 yards of green silk & worsted damask”. The design used in the restoration was taken from remaining fragments discovered on  a chair in the house and is thought to be the original covering. The same design is used in The Blue Drawing Room and The Family Parlour.

The blue colouring is taken from Duff House, Scotland and is also at The National Trust property, Stourhead, Wiltshire.

Project reference: 2133

The Blue Drawing Room

Humphries Weaving pieced together the design for The Blue Drawing Room, The Family Bedchamber and The Family Parlour from remaining fragments discovered on a chair from the house that was thought to be the original covering. The design was also found in the Humphries archive and redrawn to recreate the original design.

The damask in pure silk for festoon curtains and upholstery is woven narrow width, to accurately replicate the historical importance of the fabric. The blue colouring is taken from Duff House, Scotland and  Stourhead, Wiltshire (National Trust).

Project reference: 2133

The Family Parlour

The Family Parlour, also known as the Yellow Drawing Room, uses the same design as that of the Blue Drawing Room and Chippendale Bed in The Family Bedroom.

The redrawing of the design was a challenging process as there was very little of the pattern remaining on the original chairs in the house. The same design was found in the Humphries Weaving archive, allowing the design to be accurately redrawn at the historically recognised narrow width of 21 inches.

The rich, brilliant historical yellow shade was researched by renowned textile historian Annabel Westman and is used for seat furniture and festoon curtains in the room.

Project reference: 2154

The Dining Room

A two colour damask was woven in a silk and cotton construction, in crimson and beige tones.

The original late 18th century style ribbon and bow design was redrawn in the intended scale. The colour was toned down under the direction of respected interior designer David Mlinaric, to prevent overpowering the original elaborate wool trimmings that were restored and reused in the scheme.

Project reference: 2134