Charleston House: Home of Bloomsbury Collection

We head Sussex bound and fall for the charms of Charleston House.

For Art & Craft devotees Charleston House is the Mecca of one of the most influential British art sets of the 20th century. Once the hub and home of the legendary Bloomsbury Group, a set of free spirited English artists, writers, intellectuals and philosophers. Most namely artist Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Giles Bell as well as regular dwellers and on-going guests Virginia Woolf (Vanessa’s sister) and E.M. Forster. The collective of creatives worked or studied together in and around Bloomsbury, London during the early 20th century but Charleston House soon came the melting pot of their bohemian lifestyle (which was somewhat unconventional of the time) and a place where they could exercise their mutual adoration for the arts. Charleston House today has been returned back to its original glory, bursting with decorative arts, ceramics, painted furniture and murals. The artists of the Charleston House (predominantly Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant) painted everything from the walls to the doors in their stunning Post Impressionism style.

Back in the early 1980's Laura Ashley bought the rights to some of the Charleston House archived prints (Queen Mary and Charleston Grapes), which exploded on to the interiors scene in the form of our famous Bloomsbury home collection. Marking Laura Ashley’s 60th anniversary this year, we have once again re-launched the Bloomsbury room set to it’s former glory.

Laura Ashley Bloomsbury Collection


This past May Charleston House hosted their annual Charleston Festival. We invite you to enjoy some beautiful pictures from our bygone era trip to Sussex and enjoy the house, grounds and kick start their series of guest literary speakers…

The stunning Charleston House gardens.

If you are planning a trip to the Charleston House make a day of it and enjoy a guided tour of the house itself before relishing in a garden tour or shopping spree at the gift shop. The tour of the house takes you through each of the rooms, whereby every inch of the house is covered floor to ceiling in awe-inspiring art. The house itself was treated as one big canvas for their creations, explaining the pull it had over the art world of its time.  A tour of the house is also a great chance to spot the original Charleston Grapes print (now updated for Laura Ashley SS13 today) which can be seen on upholstered chairs and on curtains in some of the wildly inspiring rooms.

The Charleston House is open now through October 27, Wednesday-Saturday. Leave plenty of time before a talk to meander through the preened gardens, enjoy the views, chill out in their temporary wooden yurt and devour some delightful quiches or cake in the tea tent, complete with summer friendly outdoor picnic benches and fresh flowers. Perfection!

The temporary tea tent cafe – only open for the duration of the Charleston Festival in May.

Doorway to the pretty Charleston House gardens.

We spotted our Bloomsbury fabric Queen Mary adorning the tables in the festival’s marquee.

For more information about the Charleston House visit their website here.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. valorie wrote:
I would really love to spend some time looking and enjoying each and every room .Just taking time to really see every part.Then to slowly

walk the gardens and soak up some history and the different flowers and statues and all the different views it has

Fri, July 12, 2013 @ 9:56 AM

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