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William Morris’s Bedroom at Kelmscott Manor

1st June 2016

On the 17th May, 1871, William Morris wrote to C.J. Faulkner, “I have been looking for a house for the wife and kids, and whither do you think my eye is turned now? Kelmscott, a little village about two miles above Radcot Bridge- a heaven on earth; an old stone Elizabethan house like Water Eaton, and such a garden! close down on the river, a boat house and all things handy. I am going down there again with Rossetti and my wife: Rossetti because he thinks of sharing it with us if the thing looks likely…”

The house and it’s contents were preserved after his death on the 3rd October 1896 by his younger daughter May, before being passed to the Society of Antiquaries. Today we turn our attention to Morris’ bedroom, immediately upon walking into the room, you’ll see the walls adorned with his ‘Lily’ design. Lily was first produced in 1883, although it is called ‘Lily,’ it actually contains bunches of wild flowers including bluebells and daisies. “A return to the simple ‘powdered’ pattern of Daisy: that is, the leading lines are not followed continuously by the motifs used in the pattern, but are only traced out in the form of dots or ‘powderings.'” (William Morris Wallpapers and Chintzes, Fiona Clark.)

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The main feature in the bedroom is Morris’s early seventeenth century oak four-poster bed, pictured above from a visit we took to Kelmscott Manor. From 1891, the bed was decorated with embroidered hangings, which you can see, are the most striking feature. “In wools on natural coloured linen, they are beautiful examples of their kind and in remarkably fresh condition. The valance displays displays Morris’s poem ‘for the bed at Kelmscott’, composed in 1891, embroidered by May Morris, helped, it is said, by Lily, sister of W.B. Yeats. The bed curtains too are by May.” (Kelmscott Manor, The Society Of Antiquaries of London, 2004)

The bed curtains background pattern is based on Trellis which was produced in 1864, Philip Webb having drawn the birds within the design. “The bed spread with its naturalistic bouquets, delicate colouring and quotation from Morris’s poem ‘A Garden by the Sea’ from the Life and Death of Jason (1867) was embroidered by Jane, who signed it ‘Si je puis. Jane Morris. Kelmscott.'” (Kelmscott Manor.)

 

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One of our licensed designs is the same Lily design as in his bedroom. We have always considered it one of his most loved designs for it to be in a room so personal to him. The tones and colouring within the design are so beautiful, they’re perfect for this time of year as spring slowly transitions into summer. The light green with the wildflowers are reminicent of a summers day, and are sure to brighten up your home! A top tip for during the summer is to purchase some of our PVC fabric which is sold by the half metre- if you’re having an outside BBQ or picnic, it’s great to pull the fabric out of the packet and place it straight onto the table; with the PVC fabric not fraying, it’s a perfect made-to-measure tablecloth that will wipe clean!

lily fabric

lily

lilly

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Thrilled with our reupholstered chair, brought back to life with our heavyweight William Morris Willow Bough Green 🌿 It’s amazing what a pop of colour and a floral will do to a room 🤍 If you fancy learning how we did this upcycle, we’ll write a blog on it ☺️ 
& if you’re in the UK and would like a sample of any of our fabrics, please let us know 📮
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The different weights of fabric 🧵 We have four weights of fabrics; cotton, heavyweight, drill and pvc, all work well for different projects. For a free sample, please feel free to message us and we’ll get them sent out to you 📮
✨ For our 100% cotton, it’s great for quilting, dress making and more, our lightest weight of cotton
✨ Our heavyweight cotton is perfect for curtains and light upholstery, a heavier fabric than our 100% cotton 
✨ Our drill cotton fabric is our heaviest weave fabric, suitable for light upholstery 
✨ Our PVC is our pvc/oilcloth coated cotton fabric, brilliant as a table covering, it’s sold by the half metre and as it won’t fray, is great to put straight on the table 🌿

The cotton, heavyweight and drill cotton are all 152cm wide and the pvc fabric is 140cm wide. All are sold by the half metre 📏
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In January when the Christmas sparkles come down, we’ve got to bring out even more Morris florals to make sure the house still feels sparkly and beautiful ✨ if you’re also looking to revamp any of the home and looking for a licensed William Morris design for a pop of colour, get in touch for any samples so you can choose which works in your home 🤍
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Our blue Strawberry Thief oven gloves are back in stock, just in time for Christmas! 🎄 will you be gifting some Morris floral magic this year? Or hope to be receiving some! 🎁 Our matching sets of kitchenware and tableware are very popular this time of year, remember if you’re sending direct to your loved one, you can select for the items to be gift wrapped at checkout on our website! 🌟
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Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
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Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
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We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
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A few of our licensed William Morris designs all hanging out, aren’t they iconic! It’s amazing that you can see a Morris print and instantly know it’s his design 🌿
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Hands up if you’re a Golden Lily fan 🙋‍♀️ Our licensed William Morris design tea towels make excellent Christmas gifts if you’re writing your Christmas list!🎄 
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Always brightening up the kitchen; Willow Bough 🌿 What a special design ✨
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“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” - William Morris. Some days, for us, that means decorating our tables with napkin bows and settling down for a slice of cake! 🧁
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Fabric stack of floral dreams 💭
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We'd say Morris more than succeeded, with timeless designs and words, it shows true beauty and art will never age 🌿 Morris wrote this quote in "The Well At The World's End: Volume I." Have you ever read much of his poetry or writing? ✍️
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A little fabric stack full of William Morris floral magic 🌿
Is anyone else a little excited that it's only 100 days until Christmas... or is it too soon to talk about? We're quite excited for Christmas crafts, food and films! ☺️ We wonder what your favourite Morris design is? Does it change based on season? 🎄 (it's far too early for this emoji but we're excited and can't help it, sorry.)
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Important conversation of the day at Laura's Beau HQ: who fancies a crumble and which is your favourite flavour? 🍎 Apple seems popular, so does rhubarb ☀️ One thing we can agree on is that we're all going to be baking them tonight - best get our fave oven gloves out! 👩‍🍳 These are our licensed William Morris Eyebright double oven gloves, isn't it such a beautiful pattern 🤍
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We were cutting our Strawberry Thief fabric today and the sunlight hit it perfectly, we couldn’t resist a picture 🌿 All our licensed William Morris designs are printed in the United Kingdom, and we sell it by the half metre 🪡 If you’re in the UK and would like a sample, just send us a message! 💌 
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#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #design #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #cottonfabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #fabrics