Bring the natural world indoors with the V&A William Morris Collection, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum. This luxury collection features 28 color combinations across six sophisticated designs in roller shades, drapery and roman shades.
William Morris was a great champion of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 19th century. Morris’ designs interweave flowers, trees, birds, animals and insects influenced by the greenery in his own garden and from walks along the riverbanks.
If you’re exhausted from your monotonous window coverings, it’s time to break away from bland and entertain one of these delightful, renowned patterns.
Marigold – 1875
No one did more to turn the Victorian interior into a romantic garden quite like Morris. But Morris’ designs were always subtle, stylized evocations of natural forms rather than literal transcriptions. With a natural eye for pattern, Morris produced furnishing textiles and wallpapers that not only balanced figuration and order, but which were (unusually for the time) distinctive. One of Morris’ most enduring patterns, Marigold demonstrates exuberant scrolling foliage and a gentle color palette. Designed in 1875, Marigold became one of a handful of designs intended for both fabric and wallpaper because Morris thought textiles and wall coverings needed to have different types of patterns.
Honeysuckle and Tulip – 1876
William Morris’ designs for fabrics, wallpaper and other decorative arts revolutionized Victorian taste and contributed to the revival of traditional textile arts, generating the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain. Honeysuckle and Tulip, a design from 1876 and one of Morris’ personal favorites, was an experimental block-printed silk fabric produced in collaboration between Thomas Wardle (1831–1909) and Morris. Both men had ambitions to obtain the depth of color from natural, permanent dyes similar to those in Indian textiles.
Pimpernel – 1876
The pattern’s title refers to the small scarlet pimpernels dotted throughout the design rather than the large poppies entwined with scrolling willow leaves. Created in 1876 by William Morris, Pimpernel demonstrates how time and time again Morris conventionalized naturalistic elements in his patterns, training flowers and leaves into scrolling and curving shapes, embodying the reasons why Morris is the most celebrated 19th century designer with an enduring appeal today. The highly elaborate and symmetrical pattern was originally hung in the dining room of Morris’ own home, Kelmscott House in London.
Sunflower – 1879
William Morris’ Sunflower pattern was first introduced in 1879 and was available in both regular distemper prints and the lacquered, embossed type used to imitate leather wall coverings. Sunflowers were a popular motif and symbol of the Aesthetic Movement and appeared in fashion, architecture and interior design. The concept of ‘art for art’s sake’, also known as the Cult of Beauty, permeated British culture during the latter part of the 19th century and was widely influential. The Movement originally started in the studios and houses of a radical group of artists and designers, including William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Strawberry Thief – 1883
One of Morris’ most famous and most popular designs, Strawberry Thief, was intended to be used for curtains or draped around walls (a form of interior decoration advocated by Morris), or for loose covers on furniture. He based the pattern and name on the thrushes which frequently stole the juicy strawberries from the kitchen garden of his countryside home, Kelmscott Manor, in Oxfordshire. Despite the fact that this design was one of the most expensive printed furnishings available from Morris & Co., it became a firm favorite with clients and hasn’t been out of print since 1883.
Willow Bough – 1887
Many of Morris’ wallpaper designs were based on the natural world which he studied at firsthand. His exuberant designs interweave plants drawn from his own gardens and the wildflowers and trees which he had seen on country walks. This intricate and naturalistic pattern inspired by graceful willow branches was designed by Morris in 1887. Morris also found ideas for his designs in the simple woodcut illustrations in 16th century herbals (books describing plants and their various uses in medicine and cookery). He owned several books of this kind, including a copy of Gerard’s Herball (published 1597) in which a willow branch is illustrated. The willow was one of Morris’ favorite motifs, and he used it in several of his designs for wallpaper and for textiles.
Call or chat with one of our Design Consultants to learn more about the VA William Morris Collection! Call (888) 257-1840. They’re easy to talk to!