Newlywed William Morris commissioned his friend, the architect Phillip Webb, to build him a home (and incubator for fellow artists) in 1859. He moved in with his wife, Jane, the following year and set about furnishing the interiors with designs of their own. Red House was decorated in bold, jewel-liked tones and pared-back Gothic furniture especially designed by Webb to complement the romantic style of the Bexleyheath residence. Webb wasn’t the only creative friend of the Morris’ who helped with the interiors of the house: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, Edward Burne-Jones, Jane and Elizabeth Burden all contributed mural paintings, furniture, stained glass and embroidery. This sense of community and artistic collaboration would eventually give rise to the Arts and Crafts movement.
Red House is open for pre-booked guided tours Friday to Sunday and on bank holidays. Tickets are released every Friday for the following week