Monday, 13 May 2013

Design Porn: William Morris


William Morris is one of the most influential designers of the 19th Century. He was also a writer, scholar, artist, translator and socialist and an integral part of the Arts and Crafts movement. Over the bank holiday weekend, Frances and I took a trip to the National Trust's Red House, where Morris lived in Bexleyheath. Just 25 minutes from London, it's a gorgeous house full of patterned treasure.


Red House is that only house that was commissioned by Morris, and it's a work of art in itself. It's also a pretty grand day out. The volunteers at the house are so enthusiastic about his life and work. They love this house, and not just because of the bee hives in the garden and the £3.50 cream tea.


Tea towels are £6 (or £4.95 if you buy them directly from Laura's Beau). That's brilliant. I bought one called The Strawberry Thief. Berry stealing birds? It's definitely my new favourite Morris print.


Laura's Beau produces several different Morris designs on her soft furnishings and homewares. This Compton apron is just £10.95. Everything comes in oil cloth as well, so you can choose which you prefer.


The V&A Museum is the perfect place to continue exploring my William Morris pattern obsession, their exhibition is huge! And they've got an event on in a couple of weeks which looks great. I'm more likely to make a cuppa and sit and get lost in this gorgeous hardback book.



This William Morris scarf is absolutely perfect - it's based on his Pimpernel wallpaper.


I don't have £150 to spend on a William Morris dress, but I do like this design very much. It's African Marigold, designed by Morris in 1876.


If you've got the sewing skills, then get the perfect fabric from the original William Morris & Co. I'm head over heels for this Forest Velvet fabric. Look at those curtains! And goodness, don't even get me started on this gorgeous chair.


Having been inspired by all things Morris (and his adage 'have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'), I'm now plotting a trip to the William Morris gallery in Walthamstow as well as a whole bunch of other National Trust properties (the very impressive 575 Wandsworth Road is next on my list). I promise to report back on the price of tea towels and cream teas.

4 comments:

  1. The WM gallery is well worth a look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll get there, really soon hopefully. Have you been to any of the places listed on National Trust?

      Delete
  2. Come around to ours for tea after the WM gallery if you don't end up in the lovely cafe there!

    ReplyDelete

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