In a beautiful backstreet in Kensington….
Katrina recently visited the Leighton House Museum in Kensington and got inspiration for Moorish garden design, orientalist and aesthetic interiors, as well as ideas for combination of colours and materials.
Painter Frederic Leighton commissioned architect George Aitchsin to build him a home and studio combined. The resulting building completed in the late 1800s is known for its elaborate interiors and design as well as the striking large rooms.
Moorish garden design is a showstopper
The first room Katrina entered was Lord Leighton’s beautiful office, which was decorated with tan and brown colours. What really steals the show though, is the large hallway, covered in the most electric blue tiles. Shafts of sunlight cause a dazzling light space here.
Passing through this hallway, you arrive into the Arab room. This pseudo Islamic Court is reminiscent of a Moorish garden design. The central pool fountain creates a calming and gentle noise. It has a real courtyard feel to it, delightfully surprising and wonderfully atmospheric.
Keeping in the theme of light and shadows, fretwork shutters on the windows create beautiful shadows across the floor, combined with pattern tiles that line the walls to the domed ceiling. Recessed arches and deep alcoves filled with sofas make the Arab room an interesting and exciting space to be in. This room is a great mixture of Moorish garden design, beautiful lights and nice patterns. Being a painter, you can understand Leighton’s design choices.
In the saloon
The saloon is a very understated room much like you would find in any other period setting. A circular table sits in a bay window overlooking the garden, and a fireplace with a mantelpiece mirror dominates the room with its sheer super-size scale.
Another showstopper apart from the Moorish garden design in the office, is the hallway and landing, with deep azure blue tiles and the packed wall. A lovely inglenook seat spread with deep padded cushions looks like a fab place to while away a few hours and gives inspiration for an indoor garden look.
Upstairs, the silk room is opulent and full of the pre-Raphaelite work that Lord Leighton is known for. The bedroom is sparsely furnished but with lavish items. The wallpaper is William Morris and the deeply chest of drawers is just stunning.
Lord Leighton really drew from many areas for his beautiful house but kept to quality over quantity when it came to furnishings, calming but striking colours and focussed on Moorish garden design, elaborate interiors all mixed with a grace of opulence.
To see all the photos form the trip to Leighton House please visit our Pinterest page.