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Royal William Yard Navy Blue

The colour navy has seen somewhat of a fashionable revival over the last six months or so.

Indeed, you can find it on feature walls, painted on wood paneling or taking centre stage as a stunning, bespoke piece of furniture - much as you might have done in mid Victorian England.

I've been a particular lover of navy for a few years now, but it's not a colour that has been easy to acquire, especially for use on furniture. That is until recently.

On a recent visit to Royal William Yard, Plymouth, I was inspired to transform my latest antique find into something a bit special.

Royal William Yard was once the major victualling depot of the Royal Navy and an important adjunct of Devonport Dockyard. It was designed by the architect Sir John Rennie and was named after King William IV.

Built between 1826 and 1835, it occupies a site of approximately 16 acres (65,000 m2) being half of Western Kings, north of Devil's Point.

The Yard was closed in 1992 and subsequently passed into private hands. Grade I listed, it was converted to an up-market mixed-use development by Urban Splash.

Described as the grandest of the royal victualling yards, 'in its externally largely unaltered state it remains today one of the most magnificent industrial monuments in the country'.

The Royal William Yard is a collection of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings, built from Devon limestone with granite detailing and really is the most magnificent example of Georgian architecture in the area.

Inspired by my visit and of days gone by, I decided to apply some of these influences back home.

I acquired this fine oak George III 18th century piece recently and had been a little undecided what to do with it.

Originally a dressing table chiffonier with drawers and mirror, I thought it might be more well suited as just a chest of drawers.

The piece had suffered a little damage to the mirror and mirror stand anyway, so it made sense to remove the entire top section and assess things from there.

The thumb-moulded edged overhanging top sits on an arrangement of three graduated well made cockbeaded drawers and is adorned with brass drop handles with solid back plates.

The handles really had seen better days, but with a bit of gentle cleaning and repair they came up a treat and it was their brassy luster and their resemblance to military medals, that inspired her 'naval' navy blue makeover.

Looking like an entirely different piece of furniture all together now, she really does look stunning.

The original ornate brass handles against the navy really is very dramatic and so much more classical looking.

So striking, and the perfect addition to either a contemporary or more traditionally designed room.

Now available for sale on our website, go check her out because I don't think she will be hanging around in this particular dockyard for very long.

Photo source: Visit Devon, Royal William Yard, Pinterest, The Cornish House

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