Decorating at The Duke

Wednesday 10th January, 2018|Category: News

In August 2017 we bid farewell to Bill, a much-loved member of our team (click here to read our blog post). Bill worked at the hotel for thirty years, initially for a contractor and then on a full-time basis once the opportunity arose to employ him eight years ago. At that time, we welcomed Ian, Bill’s former apprentice. Ian has since been busily working away at the hotel, refurbishing bedrooms as well as the public areas. Ian is a fantastic addition to our team, and can always be found with a smile on his face! We took a moment to find out how Ian is finding his role so far.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to talk to us, are you enjoying working at the hotel?

Yes, it’s great being back and seeing familiar faces as well as new ones. I previously maintained social housing which involved a lot of working outside, so this is quite a contrast, but a welcome change! The standard of work is extremely high at the hotel and this is something I am enjoying maintaining. It is clear to see how much love and dedication goes into this beautiful building, it is a credit to Wally and the team.

How many bedrooms have you refurbished since Bill’s retirement in August?

I started in the position on 3rd July and was working with Bill for a few weeks before his retirement. We worked on room 412 together, which I then finished wallpapering after he left. Since then, I have refurbished another four bedrooms, all of which are very different in style. As well as bedrooms, I have been busy with maintenance jobs, ensuring the hotel remains in fantastic condition. This has included everything from painting the woodwork in the Ballroom, to fixing doors and general repair work.

Do you have a favourite room? If so, what makes this stand out?

Out of the rooms I have decorated so far, I would have to say that room 512 is my favourite. I particularly like the purple floral wallpaper and the shape of the bathroom. Room 111 is also nice, with an unusual window shape. I love how each room has its own style and character, adding to the boutique feeling of the hotel.

Here are just some of our recently refurbished bedrooms that Ian has worked on, with the 'before' shot on the left and 'after' on the right.

Above right hand image: Richard Downer Photography

Above right hand image: Richard Downer Photography

What would you say is the favourite part of your job?

I enjoy how varied the job is; one day I could be painting or wallpapering a bedroom and the next day I could be fixing a door or carrying out general maintenance jobs. Although the job is varied, there is still a sense of continuity which I enjoy, as I can start a bedroom and then see the process through to the end. I find it very rewarding to work on a room and then watch it be re-opened for guests to enjoy. It’s also great to hear feedback from the team, everyone has their favourite room!

You have recently started refurbishing the Lounge (which looks stunning already!), have you enjoyed this?

We are a couple of weeks into the refurbishment now which has been great to be a part of. Wally wanted to give the space a modern update as well as adapting the room to make it suitable for informal meetings. The décor was quite dark with the wooden panelling, which although made the room feel very cosy and welcoming, needed to be brought in line with the other recently refurbished function rooms. We are all excited to see the finished result!

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Ian and can’t wait to share lots of new images with you from our beautiful refurbished spaces!

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