Never has home been more important to us than right now.
Here I want to celebrate the beauty of one particular home that inspires me...
Charleston Farmhouse, nestled in the South Downs, home of the Bloomsbury Set, and perfect example of how loving your home, making it yours and going with your gut can create the most wonderful and unique place to spend time.
I have walked round Charleston more times than I can count and still on every occasion I see something new. There is so much decoration here that barely a surface is left untouched. The amalgamation of colour, texture, pattern, ephemera is boundless and a feast for the eyes.
So how does Charleston inspire me? It has encouraged me to be fearless in making our home our own. I have been emboldened to decorate from the gut and feel confident in the things that I like and not concerned about any rules... I mix items that I have inherited with items that Rollo and I bought for our first house with fresh paint colours, artwork hung in mix matched frames, mixing colours and textures, prints and patterns. I suppose the main message that I take away is that our house is a reflection of ourselves, its layers of memories, moments and elements of each individual that lives under this roof...its our living proof of who we are and how we experience the world, its our justification of ourselves, our beliefs and our emotions. I know this sounds deep, but the more I think about why 'home' has always meant so much to me the more I believe this to be true.
This is my own sitting room at Deerhyrst Cottage, looking through to the kitchen,
When the Charleston shop asked me to create something for them I was truly elated. It was super important to me that this was something I carried out locally in my Sussex studio, in a manner that Vanessa Bell and other members of the Omega Group might have done.... and so ... many many hours were invested in printing a collection of linen table runners and napkins to reflect my experiences of the house, the local colours and the exhibition about the Omega group that was running at the time.
I am VERY grateful to the trust for commissions this little project and very touched that I was allowed in with lovely local photographer Sarah Weal to capture this special moment in my working career.
As Charleston is down the road I get drawn back time and time again, often to hold my block printing workshops there. I know that it will continue to inspire me and I will look forward to noticing more things that I havent spotted before...thanks Charleston for your endless inspiration and proving that when you heart is in it you can really make home something special.