Home is where the art is now

It has taken five years to restore the 1920s Arts and Crafts gardens at the National Trust’s 19th century property Standen. The 12-acre garden, with views over the rolling countryside of the High Weald in West Sussex, includes a rediscovered natural swimming pool new Arts and Crafts-inspired planting in the courtyard and a restored kitchen garden with espaliered apple trees planted when the house was built in the 1890s.

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An exhibition about the garden runs until September 3 and once inside the house, even the most ardent gardener will be overawed by the Arts and Craft interiors especially the William Morris design wallpaper.

Some of this has been reprinted especially for the house during recent restoration work and this attention to detail is an example of the enduring appeal of Arts and Crafts design for many people.

Original Arts and Crafts houses are popular and command high prices which is why present day architects are still creating designs based on the famous William Morris dictum: “ Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Not far from Standen, in the South Downs National Park, is the Grade II listed King Edward VII Estate, a former sanatorium designed by Arts and Crafts architects Charles Holden and Percy Adams.

Restoration specialist City & Country has transformed the building into apartments with communal areas that retail original tiling and intricate plasterwork. There are also leisure facilities including a swimming pool and gym.

The apartments have been snapped up by first- time buyers and downsizers alike, such as Maurice Harvey 79, who bought after a friend tipped him off.

“I was very impressed by the care City & Country had for the historic and visual character of the building,” he says. “It’s very satisfying to own a piece of history!”

First-time buyers Adam and Jennifer Bridger are equally enthusiastic, saying: “The location and the history of the building particularly appealed to us as we always look for something unusual. We especially love our spiral staircase and the beautiful surroundings.”