Tuesday 11 August 2015

1920s Inspiration at The National Trust's Coleton Fishacre

I visited my family in Cornwall a couple of weeks ago, and to make the most of the abundance of day-trip-worthy National Trust places in the area, I renewed my membership. 

We headed into Devon to (one of my very favourite NT houses) Coleton Fishacre. The house is all beautifully Arts & Crafts, full to the brim with gorgeous late 20s decoration. The garden is wild with colour as it sweeps down to a coastal bay. Pretty bloomin' picturesque. 

One of the things I love about visiting historical buildings or gardens is discovering the stories of those who lived there, or imagining yourself being part of the household as everyone mills around or drama unfolds! 

Maybe it's a side effect of a very active imagination, but Coleton is definitely one of those places where you really get a sense of it's past inhabitants. There are dressing tables in each bedroom that you can imagine them preening at before heading down to the lavish dining room.  You put yourself in the shoes of the workers in the servant's quarters, busily preparing meals and washing clothes on glass washboards. You see the scene play out of a lazy Sunday afternoon on the veranda before they set the tide clock and saunter down to the beach. 

One of my very favourite things about Coleton were the super-stylish Art Deco pieces dotted around the house, in particular the clocks! Have you ever seen so many gorgeous clocks in one place!? I collected as many quick snapshots as I could for inspiration, and to form a sort of homeware dream-list. 

I'm always really inspired by nature, so it was so lovely to be able to walk through the luscious gardens towards the beach (which, unfortunately is inaccessible now but I got a good look). There were some incredible colour combinations in the gardens, a pink and blue flower bed, an orange, deep purple and red one - enough colour palette inspiration to keep me spinning. 

I have a few ideas for illustrations inspired by the trip, but when collecting inspiration I think it's good practice not to expect ideas to pop up straight away. The beauty of inspiration is that it can ping at any time from anything you've ever seen or stored away. It's a case of collecting anything that sparks a shred of interest and knowing that at some point that might well lead to something beautiful. 

You can find out more about The National Trust's Coleton Fishacre here, or if you fancied joining the National Trust you can here (and get 3 months free with E15005)!

What's been sparking your inspiration lately?

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