A walk through Bedford Park

Where Design Innovation Meets Artistic Revolution

There’s something stirring in Bedford Park. The quiet rumble of artists gathering, ruminating on, and developing designs that would influence ways of viewing design and styles of living. And at the head of it all, William Morris.

Over the years, Bedford Park, Chiswick, has found itself at the beating heart of change.  At the forefront of the Garden Suburb Movement in the 1870s, the area was also a mere stone's throw from where our beloved Victorian arts pioneer, William Morris, was masterminding a tremendous shift in design. Later, Bedford Park became the home and site of early work to architect and artist C.F.A. Voysey and the setting for Morris’s contemporaries, whose work would come to move the dial of design ever forward.

A gathering of creatives

The Bedford Park collection brings together this inner circle of towering creative talents, heroes of British design. William Morris, the leading light of the Arts & Crafts movement, C.F.A. Voysey, Allan Francis Vigers and J.H. Dearle set the visual scene, creating all a manner of striking designs dedicated to the principles of the craft and promoting artistry and one’s connection to nature with every stroke of a brush and pencil marking.

John Henry Dearle

The artist behind the iconic Leicester, designed in 1912, J.H. Dearle (1859-1932), was a lifelong member of Morris & Co., having started his career as a shop assistant at the Oxford Steet store, and rising to become Head Designer and later Art Director of Morris & Co. Though often overshadowed by Morris, Dearle authored some of Morris & Co.'s most iconic designs, such as the beguiling Golden Lily (1899).

Allan Francis Vigers

Allan Francis Vigers (1858-1921), another contemporary of Morris, was committed to craftsmanship, exemplified in designs such as Campanula, originally designed in 1900 and recoloured for Bedford Park in vibrant tones, accentuating its wooden block print origins. This design heavily aligns with Morris's legacy of promoting skilled artistry and a connection to nature within decorative arts.

Charles Francis Annesley Voysey

It is C.F.A. Voysey (1857-1941) whose lasting architectural legacy is most famed in this group of distinguished designers. The renowned Voysey House, recognisable for its clean lines and seamless connection with nature, reflects Voysey's dedication to those principles championed by Morris. Voysey was also a fierce proponent of nature-inspired textile designs, as highlighted in Tulip & Bird. It takes its place proudly in the books of Bedford Park.

A powerfully disruptive palette

The unmistakable artistry of these designers has been honoured and uplifted in the carnivalesque vibrancy of the collection. Gem-like colours, lively tones and saturated contrasting colourways highlight the iconic flowerheads and tumbling tendrils in great depths of colour. Day and night contrast, lifting striking designs from the ground, reminiscent of its Arts & Crafts origins, recapturing the radical zest and design punch of the time. From Pimpernel’s psychedelic nod to the 60s to the calming yet retro hues of Laceflower in Tobacco & Pistachio, this collection delights in a powerfully disruptive palette.

A Radical Spirit

In style, Bedford Park squares up to the punchy spirit of those who created its patterns. Combining the whimsical with the untamed, in shades of punk and flower power, this is a colour-rich Morris & Co. as you’ve never seen it before.



Make sure to show us your finished tablescape masterpiece for the chance to feature on our grid. @wmorrisandco

posted on 01 Mar 2024 in Interiors

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