Irish Essense: Ballyfin Demesne

Recent research led me into a deep web-dive of British interior decorator Colin Orchard, responsible on our Emerald Isle for the magnificent interiors of Ballyfin Demesne, one of Ireland’s grandest Regency country house hotels. He spent nearly 10 years working on the restoration, with French-inspired decoration in every room.

Having trained under Grande Dame Imogen Taylor at Colefax and Fowler, renowned for detailed traditional and modern quality fabrics, wallcoverings and soft furnishings, the decorator brought this knowledge to every room scheme.

A designer’s dream; with specially woven silk and linen damask on walls, toile de Jouy coverings and fabrics, and custom trompe-l’oeil Mauny wallpaper, combining the involvement of historian paint professionals Papers and Paints with specialist decorative painters like Lucinda Oakes for custom hand-painted murals and painted screens, myriads of fabric with antique passementerie trimmings, specialist rugs, and reacquired portraits of old.

The Library of Ballyfin Demesne, photo from The Robb Report, repost Ballyfin.

Designed for the Coote family in the 1820s by architect Sir Richard Morrison and his son William Vitruvius, the grandeur of Ballyfin then would have been both as welcoming and beautiful as Colin Orchard’s 21st century work.

Photo reposted from The Robb Report and Ballyfin Demesne.


D-tale is a series of interior design stories, the tales of splendid and fascinating places where history meets creativity. Follow me on Instagram.