The White Drawing Room

The western end of the historic oak panelled passage suddenly widens to form a kind of anteroom where light floods in on the white walls and slender columns which introduce us to the decorative scheme of the White Drawing Room. Emerging from the darker, more masculine rooms in the house, the feminine brilliance of this room is a stunning contrast. Where the Dining Room is formal, and the Main Hall impressively baronial, this room is a delicate bower of shimmering light. The moulded plaster work may contain some references to Elizabethan interiors but the most powerful impression of the room is one of modernity, well removed from the gloomy tones and clutter of a typical Victorian parlour.

In 1897, Arts & Crafts architect Baillie Scott designed a fantasy tree-house for Crown Princess Marie of Romania. The White Drawing Room has a similar feel to it, as if we are perched in a tree above the landscape. Light sparkles and dances around the room as it enters from the south and west from Lake Windermere, reflected by mirrors inserted into the panelling. Elegant columns with flowing carved wood capitals appear like flowers on long delicate stems. The bay window overlooking Lake Windermere also evokes the impression of the bridge of a ship, with the lawn terrace below a deck from which to enjoy the lake and Cumbrian fells.

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  • The White Drawing Room © Nick Wood