A hastily sketched post to close the week. Time is scarce – someone has just surprised me with a glass of delicious bubbles – so this must be photo-rich and word-light.
It’s 1925 and we are approaching a handsome house in deepest Wealden Sussex with gardens galore. The doors are opening – it’s time to welcome the weekend.
The table is set in the elegant but cosy dining room. It’s thistle green and has a fireplace to match, with handy stands to put pots to keep dinner hot.
We can see that William Morris’ work runs through the very fabric of this family home.
But Standen House (built 1892-1894) has been Philip Webb’s vision, in close collaboration with the Beale family, who planned this weekend retreat. Finely tuned down to every last perfect detail, electric lighting is fitted throughout (to Webb’s designs), and each fireplace is subtly individual. It’s a very modern home.
As advised by William Morris, each item is beautiful and/or useful. An ethos that plays out in all nooks and crannies, with craftsmanship from William de Morgan, Edward de Burne, and also in arty touches from family members themselves.
Art aside, it’s going to be a fun weekend …
No – too quick – I’m forgetting the gardens with their enviable views and a kitchen garden to feed a crowd …
Back to the weekend … it’s a slow and reluctant return to the 21st century.
Although this divine English sparkling wine is worth it … both functional and beautiful. I’m quite sure that both Philip Webb and William Morris would have approved.
Details (in the end)
It’s clear why Philip Webb is sometimes called the Father of the Arts and Crafts movement. His work is inspiring. Practicalities (and far less whimsy) on visiting Standen House and seeing it for yourself are here. I’m told that Christmas is a very special time to visit.
Way more insightful detail than I can give right now – here.
The Victoria & Albert Museum with its essence of the Arts and Crafts movement here.