Friday, August 2, 2013, by Amy Schellenbaum
Photo via The Manor
In an work to steer its image away from its identified propensity for 19th-century rural English motifs and an near-cloying gusto for all manner of florals, famed textile brand Laura Ashley—”shabby chic ahead of Shabby Chic,” as Glamour describes—has, as of Wednesday, opened its personal hotel and live-in catalog. Carved from an old tutor manse bought and renovated by the company in 2012, The Manor Hotel in Elstree, Hertfordshire, UK, now boasts 49 rooms wearing modern rehashes of the brand’;s beloved Jane Austin aesthetic. Confident the colors are muted (silvers and patinaed pinks and blues) and the florals have ballooned to a far more modern day scale, but the architecture of the creating itself—with its dark exposed beams against cream walls, heavily detailed fireplace mantles, and paned windows—is quintessentially British adequate to make the brand recognizable. Nonetheless, cannot help but wish they’;d stuck with some of their tiny delicate florals of yore rather than go velvet with the armchairs. But alas.