“I visited Charleston [Farmhouse] last December on an extremely cold, gray, day, and immediately felt its Chekhovian beauty and sadness. The place has been preserved in its worn and faded and stained actuality. It is an artist’s house, a house where an eye has looked into every corner and hovered over surface, considering what will please it to look at every day – an eye that has been educated by Paris ateliers and villas in the South of France and is not gladdened by English prettiness. But it is also the house of an Englishwoman (an Englishwoman who on arriving at her rented house in St. Tropez in 1921 wrote to Maynard Keynes in London to ask him to send a dozen packages of oatmeal, ten seven-pound tins of marmalade, four pounds of tea and ‘some potted meat’) – a house where sagging armchairs covered with drooping slipcovers of faded print fabric are tolerated, and where even a certain faint dirtiness is cultivated.”
Janet Malcolm “A House of One’s Own” (The New Yorker June, 5, 1995)
But clean teacups.
I love Charleston Farmhouse – Vanessa Bell’s house in Sussex – so inspiring and so lived-in.
I love Charleston Farmhouse also. The sagging armchairs and faint dirtiness seem part of its charm. But using the clean teacups and pots must have been a necessary highlight of the day, especially when it was cold and damp in those unheated rooms. Thanks for the reminder of this most artistic of houses.
Hi Katy, I do not know of Charleston House. But I like sagging printed slip covers. A unique display of “clean” teacups and tea pots.|
Maybe printed slipcovers always sag. You’d love Charleston Farmhouse Netzy – colorful and imaginative – kindred spirits!