I do have a penchant for the Arts and Crafts movement. That famous line by William Morris; “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” is one that I mutter to myself on those Sundays when I’m overdue a good clear out. The ethos of the movement, which strove to react against the somewhat frivolous use of over-adornment in Victorian interior and product design, and aimed to protect artisanal tradesmanship, was one that resonated with me when I first learnt about various design movements at school.
My appreciation for it undeniably stemmed from neighbours influence on my childhood. Their house, perfectly adorned with wood carvings, tapestries, beautiful crockery and the odd trophy wall of William Morris’ Bird and Pomegranate wallpaper was the perfect setting for teaching me how to embroider and create crafts when I was a wee tot.
When flicking through the National Trust handbook on my birthday day off last month then, Standen House in West Sussex was an easy choice for me and my Dad (and trust me, that handbook has some gems and I’m huuugely indecisive!) Standen House was built in the early 1890’s by Philip Webb for the affluent Beale family, and was furnished by his friend, the great William Morris.
The entire house pays homage to the Arts and Crafts movement with original light fittings (each one meticulously designed and fashioned by hand) still remaining in use today, ceramics by William De Morgan and metalwork by W.A.S Benson. It’s such lovely family home which showcases a rich and pure example of the style of the time and one that I could quite gladly inherit thanks very much.
Sadly, I was only able to get Instagram shots of the stunning garden which features a quarry, quaint streams and views out on to the weir, and the education rooms which exhibit a fantastic archive of Morris and Co. prints, but you seemed to like them none the less!