William Morris (1834-1896) is best known as the father of the English Arts & Crafts movement. He was an iconoclast, who designed for Queen Victoria and created a full range of decor still used today.
Along the way, Morris became a patron saint for anyone wanting to simplify and beautify their surroundings.
William Morris introduced his Golden Rule, to keep what’s useful or beautiful, during a lecture at the Birmingham (UK) Society of Arts and School of Design.
Morris evolved as a poet, artist, craftsman, designer, social reformer and printer over his lifetime. His designs were inspired by medieval books and nature, and a stable of artists and artisans helped him expand offerings.
We look at English Arts & Crafts decor and call it useful and beautiful, as focal points in smaller houses. Take a quick tour below, to see if you like it.
Silk velvet textile brocaded with gilt thread. It was woven and block-printed in 1884. (William Morris Gallery)
Hand-knotted textile made from woolen pile on cotton warp, sometime in the 1880s. (William Morris Gallery)
Hand-drawn then painted wallpaper, from 1886. It features two distinct design layers. (William Morris Gallery)
Tulip and trellis design from the 1870s. It’s a hand-painted, overglaze ceramic piece. (William Morris Gallery)