“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris
Long before Kon Mari had us throwing away everything that does not spark joy, William Morris advocated for a simple philosophy of decorating: if you don’t use it, or you don’t love it, don’t keep it.
Wren & Willow's name was inspired by this beautiful Willow Bough Wallpaper by William Morris and his love of bringing nature indoors.
If you have been to our main office, you have seen the artwork of William Morris all over our walls. His leafy, woodland patterns inspired much of the design in our office, and we love the way he brought nature into design. As an English artist, textiles designer, and novelist in the 19th Century, Morris was also a social advocate and has been called “one the of the most significant figures of the Arts and Crafts movement.” He deeply cared about preserving the integrity of old Victorian architecture and was influential in the Pre-Raphaelite era of artists. He is even credited for helping establish the modern fantasy genre in literature.
William Morris by Fredrick Hollyer, 1888.
William Morris did not just influence Wren & Willow’s design style, he also influenced our philosophy of keeping a home free from clutter. When we hold on to objects that we don’t love or use, we deprive ourselves from enjoying everything else that we have. How many things in your home do you hold on to out of guilt? Maybe you still have that Christmas gift from Aunt Martha, which was never your taste, or maybe it is something you spent a lot of money on 15 years ago, but now it is no longer your style. Guilt should not motivate our decor and it is completely fine to only surround yourself with objects that you actually love.
"Strawberry Thief" is one of William Morris' most famous designs.
What about other areas of your life? As we start 2020, let’s think about what else needs decluttering. Is your schedule too full? Are you surrounding yourself with people who do not bring out the best in you? Are you saying yes to things you would rather not do? Think about how you can resolve to spend more time doing the things you love, with the people you love, rather than filling your time with obligations out of guilt. William Morris’ philosophy reminds us that there is beauty to be found in our homes and in our lives; we just have to make sure we are intentional about finding that beauty and embracing it.
Blackthorn by William Morris, 1892.
Orange Cranberry Scones by Rhodric Bond