A red house in a green garden

I recently visited Kent to pick up a chunky knitting machine, and I decided to take a visit to William Morris’ Red House along the way. He and his family only lived here for five years after it was built in 1859-60, and despite a subsequent owner painted over some parts of the house, there are still wonderful examples of his work in many of the rooms.

The gardens, too, are charming, and somehow very English, luckily the weather was glorious and many of the flowers were in bloom.

The walls that remained in their original condition were some excellent examples of Morris’ handiwork, often hand painted and later translated to printed designs for his company. The many whimsical and decorative stained glass windows featured throughout the house were designed by Edward Burne-Jones.

One of the most interesting and endearing things about the house was it’s outward appearance. The house was designed from the inside, with windows placed according to the light required in each room, and the brickwork changed to create decorative patterns above fireplaces and windows. Because of this, nothing looks quite right from the outside, and yet it works somehow, and is the type of house that you long to explore, because you know that inside there will be something worthwhile.


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