Kedleston's State Floor, 30 years of restoration.

state apartment before restoration

Usually National Trust interiors are a showcase for the careful preservation of generations of change. However, in the case of Kedleston we had a rare opportunity to return a great 18th century show palace back to its original glory.

The lavish entertaining space and opulence of the state floor is the soul of the building, never intended for comfort or day to day living. To celebrate what is so special about kedleston we wanted to give this experience back to the visitors of today as well as do justice to the vision of its creators.

Restoration down to the finest details
the dressed curtains of the restored kedleston state bed

The state floor rooms have remained structurally the same since the eighteenth century. Although the rooms retained almost all of their original treasures they had been redecorated over time. Generations of use and exposure to sunlight naturally lead to damage of furniture, delicate fabrics and works of art.

faded fabrics and damaged guilding
a sofa of kedleston's state apartment prior to restoration

Since 1987 The National Trust has lovingly worked towards restoring the rooms to Robert Adam's original vision.  Using cutting edge conservation technology in tandem with highly skilled traditional craftsmanship, each room has been fully returned to its 18th century bling. Original paint schemes have been reintroduced, new damask hung on the walls and precious gilt furniture and works of art restored.

Work on the carving of the bed
Conservator working on some carving of the state bed, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

2017 marks the completion of this lengthy restoration process and the result of all the hard work has paid off. The final phase was the State Apartment, the last suite of rooms to be fully returned to its eighteenth century guilt splendour. The jewel in the crown of these rooms is the magnificent state bed which has once again taken pride of place in the visual tour de force which is Kedleston’s state floor.

Kedleston is one of the most important and least altered 18th century show-palaces in Britain. A Temple of the Arts created in the latest style by Robert Adam for his Lord Scarsdale. It was never intended to be a family home but to show off wealth, political standing and taste. Now that restoration work is complete visitors will be able to explore the State Floor and see it through the eyes of Lord Scarsdale's 18th century guests, just as Robert Adam intended.

Kedleston's drawing Room settees restored to their dazzling former glory
one of kedleston's restored mermaid sofas