Angel unleashed her creativity once more (with her husband Dick Strawbridge helping with the build) as she undertook a new project at the Strawbridges’ home, Château de la Motte-Husson, to prepare for wedding season – after two years of closure, the chateau is back open for business and making up for lost time.
While the exterior of the chateau needed work – re-rendering its 25 metre-high walls and putting a new coat on the front facade – Dick and Angel turned their attention to the basement in a room that was once the chateau’s cider and vinegar store.
The chateau was originally built between 1868 and 1974 for the wealthy Baglioni family, and in October 2014, when Dick and Angel first explored the chateau, they found down in the sous sol (the basement) a cool, dark room containing empty cider and vinegar barrels. ‘It was very, very rustic,’ Angel said.
The room has been used as Dick’s workshop, and since being moved out of the preserves cupboard, as a temporary dumping ground for Angel’s wedding gear. But Angel decided it was time to bring the room back to life by transforming it into a dedicated wedding workshop; an Atelier de Mariage.
Packed with vintage china and Angel’s floral decorations, Angel wanted her very own wedding room to be turned into a space that’s not only practical but incredibly creative.
‘I know that I definitely need a central work reservation and because I have to be essentially practical here, I’m going to be able to store these racks of china underneath it,’ Angel said, explaining that she wanted walls filled with wicker baskets and galvanised buckets, rather than plastic storage baskets.
‘I love the idea of having a big flower chandelier to dry flowers from it, but also I’ll be able to pick from it,’ Angel added. ‘And I need an inspiration wall.’
Heading to the chateau’s reclamation yard, otherwise known as the outbuildings, Dick and Angel sourced trellis for Angel’s flower chandelier and the barrel that was originally in the cider and vinegar store – with Angel specifically wanting to use the top of the barrel as an inspiration wall. It was a pretty big task but Dick managed to bring Angel’s vision to life in his workshop. Dick also sourced an old sink and Angel put some old taps to good use.
Angel’s vision was pretty clear, as she required ‘a very dynamic space’ in order for the room to serve its purpose. ‘The things I need in this room are all the racks with glasses and plates and everything. It’s got to be a place where I can just grab things. I want this to be completely 3D,’ she explained.
We love the trellis suspended from the ceiling to hold a beautiful array of dried flowers. It creates a cocooning effect and is a wonderful way to showcase colourful blooms – and if they’re scented, even better.
Angel also talked viewers through a decoupage tile project using floral patterned paper napkins – and the results were beautiful. She used the tiles on the working bench and as a splashback. It’s a great way to save money and personalise your space.
Finally, the barrel top was used to hang wedding photos of chateau guests (including a photo of Dick and Angel’s own wedding) on jute rope, serving as a wonderful wall display for all the new wedding memories the couple will create.
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