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A Collaboration, Shades of Cool London X Cowdray - The Most Beautiful Dohars

quilted robes hanging from a cherry blossom tree at Cowdray House

A Collaboration, Shades of Cool London X Cowdray - The Most Beautiful Dohars

Here at Shades of Cool, London, we have been passionate about Dohar blankets for almost a decade, and, as part of that passion, we have been committed to promoting a more holistic way of life, using nature and tradition to enhance our well-being. Now, we have partnered with Cowdray to bring to life stunning a new Dohar design that takes its inspiration from the estate’s artistic heritage.

The Cowdray Estate

The Cowdray Estate is a progressive and dynamic one that has a true passion for the land and country pursuits. Today, Cowdray offers an extensive array of traditional sporting activities including clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, walking, riding, cycling, golf, and polo.

The Estate also boasts impressive hospitality services including a farm shop and café, wedding venues, and holiday cottages as well, of course, as the spectacular Cowdray House itself which lies at the Estate’s heart and is available both for events and private stays.

With its illustrious history, the estate is proud of its traditions, and is delighted to be able to showcase them in style in such gorgeous surroundings. However, Cowdray is about more than just sporting heritage. The current Viscountess, Marina Cowdray, has a love for art, meditation, and the holistic lifestyle – a passion that we share here at Shades of Cool London.

Reflection And Art Come Together

Viscountess Cowdray is a sculptress and artist who has refurbished the Cowdray Ruins’ Tower Room, turning it into a spectacular Renaissance Art Studio. This hexagonal space steeped in history is hidden away in this romantic tower, and within it, Marina Cowdray shares with others her artistic passions.

Furthermore, she has founded The Meditator – a growing community that empowers itself through meditation and reflection. Having practiced meditation for years, the Viscountess found that it has built a cornerstone for her to live a productive, creative, and above all, balanced life.

She came up with the concept of The Meditator during the course of her own search to bring the benefits of meditation to everyone and to demystify the practice, and she is now sharing its ability to bring a sense of greater well-being to those who wish to embrace a more holistic lifestyle.

Marina Cowdray is not the first artist to be associated with the Estate, in fact, her grandfather was a talented designer and painter, whose work was only recently uncovered by the Viscountess, and it is this connection that brings Cowdray and Shades of Cool London together in collaboration.


Alister Maynard – Artist, Designer, And Army Officer

Viscountess Cowdray’s grandfather, Alister Maynard, was born in 1903 and received his education at well-known academic institutions including Sandhurst, Holt, and Gresham’s School. Like many other young men of his generation, he took an army commission and served for a decade in India where he met his wife-to-be, Molly Wingfield.

The pair couple were married in 1933 after returning to England and Alister set himself up in London as a modern luxury furnishings and furniture designer. He received numerous important commissions until World War II broke out, not only from English patrons, but from Indian clients too.

Not only was Maynard a skilled furniture designer, but he was also a talented painter. Although he had studied art briefly in his youth at the Chelsea School of Art, he was primarily a self-taught artist who painted trompe l’oeil paintings and allegorical portraits. Due to his deep interest in the world’s religious beliefs and mythologies, he frequently portrayed them in his artworks.

Despite their impressive quality, many of his pieces remained unseen and out of sight until Viscountess Cowdray recently uncovered a treasure trove of her grandfather’s artwork. She immediately decided his work must be displayed so that they could be enjoyed and appreciated by a far wider audience.

Now, his paintings are hanging at various locations across the Estate, including at Capron House and the Golf Club. They can also be bought online on Cowdray’s website as well as in Cowdray’s Living Shop. 

7 blocks ready for printing 7 colours in the workshop. Jaipur

The Dohar Connection

When Marina received one of Shades of Cool London’s original sleep Dohars, she immediately felt a connection with her grandfather. Thanks to his connections with India, paired with his impressive artistic abilities, she instantly saw the potential to collaborate with Shades of Cool London to create a unique sleep Dohar that would be based on one of her grandfather’s stunning designs. She got in touch and suggested a collaboration that would result in Alister Maynard’s spectacular original design being hand block printed onto a delightful and fine cotton Dohar.

dohars on a bed

The design chosen was intended originally to be used for a rug, but it lends itself perfectly to a Dohar. Using no less than seven colours, the design is incredibly delicate and intricate, and thus, it required incredible skill and expertise to recreate.

.quilted robe on a bed

Seven different wooden blocks, one for each of the design’s seven colours, had to be specially created and then carved by hand – something that is unbelievably challenging and ambitious. It required the input of the most skilled woodcarvers and block printing artisans to bring this project to fruition. However, the final outcome is a jewel of handmade beauty, bringing together history, tradition, and culture together in one glorious and luxurious blanket.

Perfect for use all year round, this cotton Dohar is an ideal alternative to a duvet during the warmer summer months, but equally adds an extra layer for warmth during the winter. A traditional Indian cotton Dohar is the ultimately versatile solution, and thanks to our collaboration here at Shades of Cool London with the Cowdray Estate, we have created a truly unique cotton Dohar that marries heritage and art together in the most practical yet elegant way. 

pile of dohars on a bed


No doubt Marina Cowdray’s grandfather would be very proud to know his work and Indian connections are being remembered in this very special and entirely unusual way.

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