• Tara Deighton

Hanging out with the Bloomsbury group- Inspiration from Charleston

Without a doubt, the Bloomsbury group has had a profound and enduring effect on designers and artists over the last century. Bohemian and ahead of their times in many ways, they have been an inspiration for many a creative, and I am no exception

I first fell in love with the idea of the Bloomsbury group and the their romantic bohemianism when I read Virginia Woolf in my mid teens. I already had an obsession with the fashions of the twenties and thirties and found those aesthetics and ideas came alive when I read her books. In that way, I stumbled onto Charleston and it has been on my 'places to visit before I die' list. It helps that it's only a few miles down the road.

My day spent at Charleston really didn't disappoint- both the house and gardens were stunning and inspirational. A guided tour of the house was really insightful, and it seemed as though Vanessa Bell would walk through the door and ask us what we were doing there!

The view into the dining room, which had the most amazing stenciled walls in dark grey and blush pink, a colour combo that I especially love.

Although we couldn't photograph inside the house, the garden was filled with interesting sculptures made by one or other of the members of the Bloomsbury group, such as this urn.

Hollyhocks were everywhere! A beautiful shade of pink amongst the green foliage. It was definitely the colour of the place that inspired me the most- the chalky shades of the paint and interiors contrasting with the shots of vivid colour in the huge garden.

I came home and put together a mood board about Charleston and spent a blissful few hours going through my treasure trove of fabrics and trims.

An absolute favourite flower of mine, the Rosa Mundi. One of the oldest types of rose and it makes me think of Raspberry Ripple ice cream. It's a fleeting visitor to the garden, but really worth making space for. I would have to have this in my wedding bouquet!

I loved this little derriere pot in the garden filled with Hydrangea- I would love one of these for my houseplants! They were a saucy bunch, those Bloomsbury lot!

A pheasant had made her home in the borders of the garden and she was very cross with us as we disturbed her and her chick. She had a stand off with us so we couldn't get passed her to see the back of the garden!

I left feeling so inspired and thinking how fabulous a Bloomsbury inspired wedding would be.

Close up detail of my inspiration board and a famous image of a young Virginia Woolf.

A painting of a vase of flowers by Vanessa Bell inspiring my Charleston colour palette.

My day at Charleston was absolutely wonderful and I'm looking forward to going back! Inspired by the various characters that made up the group, the colours of the house and garden, and the romance of the writings and paintings they created, I have started work on a project focusing more on the Bespoke side of what I do, so keep posted for an important announcement later in the Summer! Exciting plans are afoot!

I hope you're enjoying the sunshine and feeling inspired too!

Tara x

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