As a stylist/journalist I am often asked what I think the latest trends might be. At any one time, there are inevitably more than just one but there are sometimes a few trends which stand out more than others. Whilst I don’t personally adhere to every one, I do get a thrill when something comes along that has a meaningful design ethos, such as the current Arts & Crafts interiors and fashion trend. This is set to be fuelled by a large retrospective of Edward Burne-Jones at Tate Modern in October.
A handmade tale
Today’s home makers and shoppers are perhaps more in tune with the ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement than ever. People are turning their backs on the mass production available in the high street, and are drawn to quality and handmade items that resonate with the landscape and nature. They are also getting involved in making it for themselves.
Voysey collection at Lewis & Wood
As part of a Pink Blush Interiors post in March, I shared Lewis & Wood’s ‘Berry Brothers’ design from their new C F A Voysey-inspired wallpaper and fabric collection. The collection includes in true Lewis & Wood style some magical designs in several hues from soft greys, blues and pinks to Voysey Park in ‘verdure’ which I am featuring here.
Most people have heard of William Morris (deserves a whole other blog post – check out Morris & Co at The Style Library) but are maybe not as familiar with the work of C F A Voysey (1857 – 1941). Charles Voysey was an English architect renowned for country houses (such as Broad Leys and Perrycroft below), he was also a designer of furniture, fabric and wallpaper. The Sanderson wallpaper factory was designed by Voysey in Chiswick in 1901. It is named Voysey House in his memory.
This image of a rather hawkish looking Charles Voysey was first shown to me by Magdalen Jebb, creative director of Lewis & Wood. As Magdalen pointed out, for such a severe-looking man (in this image at least), he produced some rather heartfelt and tender designs.
Arts & Crafts mood board
The main ingredients for decorating an Arts & Crafts inspired scheme are textural seagrass/wooden flooring, weaves, naïve prints as well as a good dash of honest handthrown earthenware. Painted panelling wouldn’t go amiss either in a modern day Arts & Crafts home. My prediction for Autumn/Winter 2018 wall colour is that the darker greys and indigos are going to give way to olive green, which will range in shades from Farrow & Ball’s Yeabridge Green to Little Greene’s Olive. Little Greene are launching a new range of greens in collaboration with The National Trust in September 2018.
Ceramics made with ‘Head, Hand and Heart’
The motto ‘Head Hand and Heart’ is taken from an inscription used by Charles Voysey, which became the motto for the Society of Designers in 1896. These words are key to understanding Arts and Crafts (1850 – 1915): ‘Head’ for creativity and imagination, ‘Hand’ for skill and craft, ‘Heart’ for honesty and for love.
Ben Pentreath’s Arts & Crafts interior design
Arts & Crafts and Aesthetic Movement antiques
This Aesthetic Movement (1870 – 1880) chair isn’t one of the many chair designs which languish forgotten in junk and antique shops. It is a rather fine example of an Aesthetic Movement side chair in walnut upholstered in an olive/cream stripe. The chair is for sale in the John Fowler and Sibyl Colefax showroom. Other specialists of Arts & Crafts furniture and accessories include Patch Rogers in Petworth, Sussex.
I am so glad that the dress is back! Feminity is once again being celebrated in a way that is flattering to all. I am pretty sure that both the Pre-Raphaelites and Laura Ashley (in her early design days of the 60s and 70s) would very much approve of British designer Molly Goddard’s catwalk designs. Perfect for any modern day Pre-Raphaelite.
Texture and woven fabrics really give a decorating scheme class as well as practicality. Jaine McCormack is the creative director and designer who set up the Guy Goodfellow Collection 10 years ago and designed Kintbury Stripe (a woven fabric seen in the middle).
Jaine says, “it orginated from a woven Syrian blanket dating from the early 20th Century. Particularly sad now, as the great Syrian weave culture has been all but obliterated by the war. The original was woven from goat hair and we used wool to capture some of the original texture.”
An independent textile and print designer whose work I have my eye on is Annie Shrive who designs these very pretty print fabrics (at the top of the Swatch Watch pile) from her garden home office in rural Lincolnshire. One of Annie’s design heroes is William Morris and she also gains inspiration from flora, fauna, world folklore, architecture and symbolism.
White Vintage Shop
You can ‘shop the Arts & Crafts look’ with these two vintage items at my online shop White Vintage.
Arts & Crafts exhibitions
An Edward Burne-Jones exhibition at Tate Modern showcasing 150 of his works in different media including painting, stained glass and tapestry will be shown for the first time in London for 40 years: 24 October 2018 – 24 February 2019. Book tickets here.
David Parr House, Gwydir Street (off Mill Road) Cambridge (@David Parr house) has been lived in by the same family for over 100 years and behind its humble terraced exterior are handpainted interiors in rich Arts & Crafts designs. (I used to cycle to college past it every day without realising it was there!) Opens to the public in 2019 but you can follow progress on Instagram (@DavidParrHouse)
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have enjoyed it!
Finally, if you or your friends would like to receive email alerts for future blog posts, then please just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post. Many apologies to the few eagle eyed who spotted that I accidentally posted this blog when it was very much in draft form! Charis x