Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Ballroom, Music Room, and Piano Shifting...

Welcome to day 7 of the tour (my gosh, this could go on for weeks)! Today we share one of our reception rooms for the first time, the ballroom. We took some of the inspiration from the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, and although in no way as large and as grand, there are distinctly recognizable elements, such as the mirror at the south end, doubling the size of the room and showing the view of the gardens to the north. Then there are the gilded consoles and pier lights above, between each of the French windows.

There are 3 large chandeliers as well, centrered on the doors into the music room...

and highly polished oak floors with parquetry borders. The photo below was taken the night before our guests arrived, at twilight with the sunset starting to stream in through the French doors and set the crystals aglow. We had cleared all the furniture out of the room so that the floors could have one final polish. I doubt they will ever be as flawless again (Louis XIV didn't have to contend with stilletto heels and disco dancing!)

Throwing open the bifold doors we now enter the music room, with the Broadwood Grand...

It had arrived a month or two earlier (before the terrace marble was down or the balustrade was completed)...

The boys were very careful not to damage either the piano, or the floors in anyway. They have over 25,000 pianos on their books that they look after, repair, tune, refurbish or restore.

The lid, legs and music board ready to be reassembled...

The piano with its old wooden frame, laid on its side so the legs could be screwed in. Each leg had a large wooden screw on the end.

The lyre-shaped peddles...

The final product...

Being an antique piano, before the age of steel frames etc, it will never be able to be tuned to concert pitch, but we are happy with it being tuned to a semitone below. I'm sure our friends will be able to tune their flutes, cellos and violins down a notch a la baroque chamber orchestra. A shiny new black Yamaha would just have been so wrong for this room. I do hope you agree? Now there are no excuses for Peter and me to get on and learn that duet.


  1. The Galerie des Glaces indeed. I do like this room, but disco music would seem a tad incongruous, but I suppose if it's what the paying customer wants...(!)

  2. This is so very elegant. How many years have you been working on this estate? I am 8o years now and I remember when you had been putting in the landscape by the road.
    You have done such a wonderful job. God Bless and I wish a full house. yvonne

  3. Once again, breathtakingly beautiful! And I so agree about the Broadwood Grand. How wonderful to have an instrument with soul, with so many songs within her and so many more to play.

  4. Hello Lord Cowell,
    simply magnificent! the mirrors and pier tables add so much grandeur to the room. Looking at the pictures it definitely makes me think of my visit to Versailles. The piano is a very handsome piece of furniture and I love the inlay in the floor. It is such a wonderful ballroom. Well done!
    Big hug


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