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Mansion restoration will reflect Chanel

DEVELOPERS who will restore Coco Chanel's former Highland love nest have vowed to include a "strong nod" to the designer's influence on the property.

Rosehall House was used as a hideaway for Chanel in the 1920s before it fell into serious disrepair, and now permission has been granted to turn it into an upmarket boutique hotel.

The 20-room Georgian mansion, 10 miles to the east of Lairg in Sutherland, will have five luxury holiday apartments and a spa. It belonged to Chanel's lover, the Duke of Westminster, who entertained Winston Churchill there.

She was in charge of its decoration but it has been empty for 60 years and evidence of her influence has been waning, with the wallpaper peeling off.

Iain Cram, director at Bell Ingram Design, said he was thrilled to receive the news from the Highland Council that the famous property will be brought back to life.

The company is working on behalf of clients Ghulam Choudry and Aamer Waheed.

He said: "This is a new subject of conservation for us, working with steel and concrete, but we will still have a strong nod to the 1920s/30s Chanel influence had on the property.

"Although we don't know what the final interiors will look like, we hope to recreate as much of the original decor as possible."

A team of specialists who act on behalf of the Chanel Archive has already viewed the property and offered access to all their records.

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