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JAMES FINLAY

ADVISER ON HISTORIC HOUSE DECORATION

I am an independent consultant on all aspects of historic interior decoration

I have been closely affiliated to the National Trust for over 30 years, and in 1998 I was appointed the NT’s sole Adviser on Interior Decoration, covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Most of my commissions involve the restoration or reinstatement of historic schemes in country houses, properties open to the public, private homes, college and religious buildings, museums and art galleries. I’ve also had experience of working in many twentieth century buildings, and I’ve long been an enthusiast of Modernist architecture. 

I have an academic and practical background which enables me to give detailed, comprehensive advice tailored to suit the situation. Some projects need to be entirely based on archival research and site investigations; and I also enjoy working with fewer constraints, devising schemes which respectfully marry contemporary usages and collections to historic settings. 

Every job requires the same attention to detail and sensitivity to the individual spirit of a place, and all are founded on research and a thorough understanding of the architectural context. 

I work very closely with clients and I am happy to manage a project from the research and advice stages through to completion, or to work collaboratively within a team. I will bring in highly experienced specialists, such as upholsterers, gilders, conservators and painters to assist when necessary.

Hanbury Hall - detail of 18C Estate map
Florence Court - Stairwell redecoration in progress
Saltram - detail of Adam cornice in Saloon
Westwood Manor
Dyrham House