Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister) and the love of her life (although he was gay), Duncan Grant were artists & part of The Bloomsbury Group. They lived in Charleston House, in Hastings part of the larger artist & writer group who lived around the way.
They painted the interior of their house & lived a very bohemian life between the wars, part commune, part free love. Conscientious objectors to the war, they lived a life that was against everything normal and accepted, an incredibly modern life. They had little luxuries, but what they did have was their creativity. Instead of using a tablecloth, Vanessa painted the tabletop, and the walls to substitute for wallpaper. The architectural details were highlighted in out-there colours, that were not traditional to the time.
Bell painted patterns and circles, which adorned window panels, door surrounds, doors, wardrobes, tables and any other paintable space in the house in repeat. So unusual, but beautiful and perfect. Everyone who lived in Charleston House had an incredible eye for colour combinations. The bathroom was the most beautiful shade of punchy green! The extensive garden that you see pictures of (devastated there were no photos allowed in the home) is an indication of where their inspiration comes from. Much like myself, nature played a huge part in their colour choices.
The garden is filled with: apples, cosmos, Japanese windmill, sweetpea, dahlias, hollyhocks, Gladys, thistles, nasturtiums, poppies, waterlily, plums, roses, rosehip, honeysuckle, onionballs, figs, grapes, snapdragons, butterflies galore, cornflowers, clementine & forget-me-nots.
At The Society inc. HQ the morning light (around 6.30am) is glorious. I often stop through on my way to the beach, and the light is distractingly beautiful. These are the objects that greet me at the top of the stairs.
I love Christmas and here is a peek at my favourite decorations for this year to go with my Gypsy Caravan theme at The Society inc.!
Due to wet weather & strong winds we were deterred from visiting Iona, the island of the tip of the Isle of Mull in Scotland, and made a dash for the Drovers Inn – a ferry trip and about one hour from Inverarnan. What a treat we were in for. It is the oldest inn in the UK that was built in 1705 and is still functioning as an inn. In the middle of a National Park, you travel down a picturesque road (perfectly timed for us at dusk) and see this amazing beacon of warm light in the distance, making you think of comfort, soup and red wine. Which I\’m sure is what comes to mind for the predominant visitors to the inn, hikers exploring the surrounding mountains and lochs.
There are boxes upon boxes upon boxes of taxidermy and mounted specimens coming from http://hicallyslot.org/ the wall and ceiling and every which way direction. There were many small rooms off the reception area, my favourite had a fox door knocker on the door and opens to the bar. Bar staff are amazing, wine list is awesome and food is good & honest. Everyone is chatty and talking about the day\’s hike, where they\’ve been and where they are going next. Oil paintings are clustered together as you go up the stairs to bed. If you imagine this place in your mind – it is that good.
There is a train station nearby so you don\’t have to drive. Secretly pleased we missed out on Iona so we got to see the Drovers Inn!