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Complete Structural Overhaul & Redesign of Multiple Bridal Suites

Project type

Structural & Design Rennovations

Project Duration

One Year (2016)


Northern New Jersey


The Manor (Bow & Arrow Manor, Inc.)

As I was designing for the end use as bridal suites in a banquet venue, I went for a Versailles inspired Marie Antoinette boutique that would incorporate functional elements for hair and makeup prep and provide lavish backdrops for wedding photography.

The code restrictions in a below ground level location provided challenges for creating an experience worthy of special occasions, and making sure the spaces would be water tight, more accessible and have adequate temperature control and airflow. Further, the previous version of the space had a confusing layout, too much party crossover, and had been highly neglected in its care.

To ensure that construction could begin and end within a small window of opportunity when weddings were not booked, I had started to lay out the design and purchase materials a year before walls were stripped and moved.

I was fortunate to have a dedicated team of contractors who smoothly followed the details of my vision. Without formal plans, I directed every dimension of box panel layout, wainscoting, and onlay application to an irregular space.


To resolve the options for ceiling materials give the nature the space, I chose to install micro-perforated tin ceilings with acoustic foam dropped behind for sound absorption. To fully blend the ceiling with the overall aesthetic I took the implementation and extra step and arranged for them to be refined with a gilding treatment by a decorative painter.


With leftover oak flooring from a prior renovation, I gutted a small ladies room and converted it into a full length mirror stage for dress hemming and photo shoots, to add another level of amenities and functionality for this highly-customized space.


I was able to gather and a repurpose a good selection of Louis XVI-style antique furniture that the venue already had in it's collection. Selecting, sourcing and purchasing all the fabrics, I had a tradesman reupholster each piece to fit the color palette, style, and theme. I utilized a master seamstress to produce all of the cording, pillows and lamps as finishing touches for the suites. I had a drapier produce the curtain and drapery to my specifications, to dress the windows and incorporate all the lavish swag and jabot appropriate to the style.

In years following the transformation, the suites have been received with great joy by the bridal parties and much relief by the event sales staff. Since the change, bridal parties are opting to arrive as early as 8:00 a.m. to enjoy the setting all day with hair and makeup prep, photography and playing their music through the integrated Bluetooth sound system. The result is and added layer of experience for the clients, heightened word-of-mouth through the "wow" factors of social media sharing, added-value booking enticements for the sales staff, and opportunities for more revenue both from winning bookings and package upgrades.


"The awe-inspiring reinvention of two additional all-new bridal suites (in addition to our Rotunda Suite) is the latest in the extensive series of renovations and upgrades successfully completed at The Manor. In keeping with the timeless and classic grand aesthetic of our venue, while incorporating modern comforts and amenities, these bright new bridal suites further raise the bar of the all-encompassing experience provided for our brides.

This remarkable new suite successfully elevates The Manor’s already unique environment. From the color palette to the architectural style, to the design choices and lux furnishings, the rooms provoke a vibrant, fresh and breathtaking feeling that has already been embraced by all those who’ve visited this luxurious space. The new salon arouses a feeling of romance, pampering, and extravagance, bringing a graceful and stylish classic refinement, thoughtfully integrated with all the useful features perfect for the fashionable modern bride.

Taking inspiration from the most grand palaces and museums of the world, our talented designer and project manager, Keri Knowles painstakingly researched and conceived a cohesive design plan. With prodigious attention to detail and a truly hands-on investment of time into every last element, she guided a team of craftsmen to help bring to life a bit of a majestic royal luxury for our brides to enjoy.

The aesthetic pays significant homage to The Palace of Versailles, Louis XVI design, and the French baroque style. As one of the most famous and acclaimed examples of extravagant classical design, Versailles was an ideal muse for the re-imagining of the grand bridal suites. Ms. Knowles’ goal was to bring to life the same level of opulence and feeling of awe for our brides, to make them feel truly special on their most special of days. She implemented the aesthetic through the introduction of incredibly detailed ornate decorative onlays, richly gilded moldings, and the crispness and symmetry of lines throughout–all further heightened by the sheer volume and level of layering of these elements.

The suites also include specially-dedicated spaces for hair and makeup, with individual glamour stations. The areas incorporate oversized mirrors flanked with Hollywood lighting, providing the most flattering and functional illumination as recommended by our beauty care experts. Comfortable swivel chairs make it easy for professional hair and make-up assistance. But the vanity areas don’t stop at functionality–they too are designed for style as well, surrounded by gilded details and complete with a spacious finely-honed blue marine granite counter top.

The salons also include a private bathroom for the exclusive use of our brides. Additionally, The Manor has also provided access to an adjacent powder room that includes a dedicated hair wash sink.

The Versailles Suites also offers wide, framed full length mirrors for a complete head-to-toe reflection of the beautiful bride. The space offers ample seating on sumptuous antique chairs and settees upholstered in rich brocade fabrics in which to relax and enjoy with eager anticipation the magical evening’s celebration to come. The furnishings also include a beautiful antique rococo table for additional prep and table space.

Ms. Knowles also commissioned custom-designed drapery made from the finest fabrics that were hand cut and sewn by an artisan with a long history of creating specialty pieces for The Manor. With all the frills and flourishes of a bridal gown, these comely curtains frame a perfect backdrop for yet another Manor photo op.

The suites also provide independent heating and cooling temperature control to customize the rooms to your exact comfort level. Code locked doors ensures the peace of mind of not only privacy and exclusive control, but the security of treasured belongings.

The integrated hassle-free WiFi connection also helps to deliver contemporary amenities in a classical setting.

A dedicated in-suite private built-in sound system enables the bride to easily play music from her smart phone or mobile device via a Bluetooth connection. Your device can also be easily connected to a provided standard 3.5mm audio dock.

From the shimmering crystal chandeliers to petite pendant-like golden adornments, you might just feel as though you’re inside a jewelry box."

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