This week I was taken on a tour of Lutyens’ Surrey. My daring companion identified all of the architect’s houses in the county and off we set in his convertible; my headscarf flapping, his cap masterfully cutting through the warm air of the A3. The endeavour was not without peril. Most of the houses are private homes, and, it turns out, folk who live in homes, albeit Grade 1 listed ones*, are not keen on uninvited guests**. Still, a lovely lady called Mrs Baker agreed, by prior appointment, to show us around a Lutyens house epitomising the rather stark, rather throwback style of the Arts and Crafts Movement popular with fancy Edwardian folk. Of course, if the A3 were in fact a time portal, and we had been able to hurtle through it into 1905, we could have found the house as it once was – still slightly strange, but full of useful and beautiful things. The old Morris adage should still apply to the home; if you have space of course. But if you are like me and don’t, you might try anyway. Just make sure that if you are attempting to display items not typically destined for display, that you secure them safely to the wall. Vintage, kitsch neon tennis rackets seem like a great buy at the time, and look seriously chic resting against a matt grey backdrop, but, slightly less chic when they harm small children and animals. Think like the Edwardians. But only think like them about interiors. They were mostly dreadful to children and animals.
*And therefore part of our heritage, and therefore should be bloody well open for tea and cake.
**Claiming that Sat Nav has led you erroneously up their 500 metre gravel drive is a dubious excuse at best