21st January 2015
Standen House in West Sussex is a beautiful house built from 1892-1894 and was originally for a London solicitor James Beale and his family. He had seven children, and even when they had families of their own and moved out of the house, returned for family Christmas’ and summer holidays, showing what a true family home it was.
The house was built by Philip Webb, who you may remember from various other blogs we have posted to be one of William Morris’ closest friends. He preserved the already standing old buildings on the property and built the house around them, combining the older buildings with the new beautiful home he carefully created.
Inside the house, he decorated with the families own crafts they had handmade, mixed with a range of Morris fabrics and wallpapers from Morris & Co. The company was the result of Webb and Morris meeting, they completely changed the face of interior design in England and were central figures in the arts and craft movement. The lifelong friendship the two shared is documented in many of our previous blog, Morris showed his admiration of Webb’s design and architectural talents by commissioning Webb to build him his marital home Red House, which is well worth a visit to see the beautiful home in the Kent countryside. Two of the textiles used within the house can be seen in The Hall, the ‘Vine’ design used for wallpaper, and ‘Wey’ can be seen hanging here.
Morris’ influence with wallpaper, chair upholstery, curtains and many other textiles can be seen throughout the house, beautifully restored throughout the years, it is wonderful to see the care and attention they are looked after with. When visiting the property, it is clear to see the time and attention Webb used whilst designing the property, not only are the rooms themselves beautiful, but even the corridors hold treasures, such as one named in the guidebook the ‘Bedroom Corridor.’ This corridor is home to a tapestry, ‘St Agnes Tapestry,’ which was designed by Edward Burne Jones with the background added by Morris- what an amazing piece to be simply hung in a corridor- imagine if treasures like this can be hung in a corridor the things that will be in the rooms themselves!
Many of our facts we collected whilst visiting the house, and also in our guide book published by the National Trust who now run the house.
If you are interested in Morris textiles, please do look at our online shop to see our range of William Morris designs that we sell both in products (such as aprons, tea towels and tablecloths) as well as selling them by the half meter ready for any crafts you may wish to create yourselves! www.laurasbeau.co.uk