Tuesday, September 11, 2007

attingham: standen

Another gorgeous post from Anne! Enjoy...

Standen (in West Sussex) was a favorite destination of many on the trip, myself included. It was designed by the architect Philip Webb, known for his collaborations with William Morris, and built between 1892 and 1894. Despite its immense size, Standen differs greatly from most of the houses we visited because its architecture oxymoronically seeks to proclaim modesty and restraint rather than wealth and power. Its design incorporates Hollybush, a farmhouse dating from 1450 that stood on the property (see bottom image). Taking his inspiration from Hollybush, Webb designed a home that appeared to have grown organically over hundreds of years, and made use of a variety of local and traditional materials, such as sandstone, weather-boarding, and render. The result is a house which, though outfitted with all the modern conveniences such as running water and electricity, seems to have been tucked into a comfortable bed of flower gardens, orchards and fields.

The interiors of Standen, which are decorated in Morris & Company textiles, aspire to a simplicity and coziness that is atypical of the country estate. Unfortunately, some of the original furnishings were lost as Standen fell victim to the disdain for Victorian-era design that prevailed during much of the twentieth century. However, a few dedicated people in the 1970s managed to save much of it for the benefit of future generations.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Ohmygod! I really want to live at Standen...seriously...William Morris interiors...I can't even stand it!