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The Green Room

The Green Bedroom is one of the major state bedrooms at Leeds Castle.

When Lady Baillie first renovated Leeds Castle in the 1920s, she chose the famed French furniture maker and designer Armand-Albert Rateau to create the interior schemes. The Green Bedroom was designed by Rateau as one of the main guest bedrooms, which was later adapted by another celebrated French designer, Stéphane Boudin, who collaborated with Lady Baillie on the interiors at Leeds Castle for more than 30 years.

Boudin was described as “the greatest designer in the world”, creating stunning 20th-century interiors which drew inspiration from preceding centuries and different countries. He met Lady Baillie in 1933 and their client-designer relationship spanned more than three decades, ending when he died in 1967. The blue bedroom was the first of several important commissions Boudin undertook at Leeds Castle and the 1930s interiors visitors see today are crucial to understanding this great designer’s creativity and artistic practices.

During the Second World War, the Green Bedroom was used as an operating theatre – in the small cupboards in the entrance doorway the drawer marked ‘bandages’ can still be seen today.

In more recent years, the Green Bedroom was re-decorated with inspiration from Boudin’s nephew and designer, Claude Mandron, and the room has been popular ever since with both overnight wedding and corporate guests at the Castle.

As the Green Bedroom has been in frequent use, the room and its contents have suffered from wear and tear and the effects of sustained light damage. For this reason, and because of the historic significance of the room and the objects within it, the Green Bedroom was identified as a priority for conservation and restoration.

The soft furnishings and furniture in the room, including two 1930s easy armchairs, a 1950s dressing table and 1930s floor lamp, are part of Lady Baillie’s furniture collection. Following in-depth research by the curatorial team, specialist treatment was recommended to either conserve or restore the soft furnishings and furniture. Fabrics and braids were carefully chosen to replicate the colours and textures used in the original scheme.

In January 2020, the room was decanted with objects going either into conservation, to a re-upholsterers or into temporary storage. In November 2020, the contents were re-installed, following the completion of specialist conservation work. External art handlers and conservators provided expert assistance with the project.

A major task was to dismantle the 17th century four-poster giltwood bed in order for it to travel to Yannick Chastang Conservation Studio, where it received essential conservation treatment to make it more structurally sound. The bed had been modernised and radically altered in the mid-20th century.