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Modest countryside home once owned by Laura Ashley available to stay in from next month


Flair BNB! Modest countryside home once owned by fashion legend Laura Ashley will be available to stay in from next month after renovation

Fashion fans are set to be able to stay in Laura Ashley’s former home in North Wales after a couple completed their passion project of restoring the building. 

Linda Bretherton had long been a fan of the famous designer before she and her husband bought the property in 2015 after searching for a holiday home in the Machynlleth area.

‘It’s very small so it was debatable whether we wanted it for a holiday home. Initially I said to my husband let’s think about it,’ Ms Bretherton stated.

‘The following day I was taking the dog for a walk. I heard this noise behind me and when I turned around it was a Laura Ashley lorry, it had got stuck down the lanes.

‘After helping him, all the way home I was going ‘oh that was a sign’ and that was is it.’

Laura Ashley’s former home in Machynlleth, North Wales

Linda Bretherton has been restoring the property as part of a passion project

Linda Bretherton has been restoring the property as part of a passion project

The property features original oak floors and wooden wall panels that were transported by train by Ashley’s husband Bernard. 

The couple have installed new electrics and plumbing also restoring original features in the home.

Ms Bretherton explained: ‘All the floors are all the original oak floors – which are fabulous. There’s a fantastic little spiral staircase which is all in oak, all of that had to be cleaned off and re-varnished.

‘We didn’t want to have to rip out walls, some of the walls are just oak wood back-to-back, you can see through them.

‘We were told that Bernard Ashley had carried some of the panelling, he got it from Y Plas near Newtown and he carried it back on the train.’

She also revealed how she collected vintage garments from a seamstress who worked in the nearby Laura Ashley factory and has been gifted items from across the globe. 

‘They are gorgeous all original Laura Ashley fabrics, dresses, blouses, skirt, trousers all over 35 years old, all made by a local lady who worked in the Machynlleth factory.

The property features original oak floors and wooden wall panels

The property features original oak floors and wooden wall panels

‘In lunch times they were allowed to sew and make their own things using patterns and she made these then. So I’ve got loads of these gorgeous fabrics, patterns and dresses.

‘They’re going to be on display, some of them I’m not going to part with because they are just iconic.’

Ashley, who opened more than 230 stores around the world with her signature designs, had such great success that she was able to afford a yacht, a private plane, the French Château de Remaisnil in Picardy and a town-house in Brussels.

She also owned the mansion Rhydoldog House in Powys, Wales, before she died in 1985 which was bought by singer Charlotte Church. 

Ms Church bought the £1.5 mansion to spend her life savings transforming it into a wellness retreat in the countryside.

Fans will be able to stay at the Machynlleth home when bookings open in May.

Laura Ashley's countryside mansion Rhydoldog House in Powys, Wales, which was bought by singer Charlotte Church for £1.5million

Laura Ashley’s countryside mansion Rhydoldog House in Powys, Wales, which was bought by singer Charlotte Church for £1.5million



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