This week’s blog post comes from Alison; one of the six-strong House Team.
I’ve been a Conservation Assistant here at Standen for two years. My job is to carry out the daily cleaning of the house, as well as assisting with the “deeper” conservation cleaning. Working so closely with the collection has enabled me to become better acquainted with some of the objects, so I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite things.
The first thing that came to mind when it was suggested I might like to write something for our blog was a brightly coloured decorative box (for stockings!) which I discovered about a year ago in one of the dressing table drawers in the Westbourne bedroom. I like it because it’s unusual and looks like it has been hand painted. It helps me imagine the daily life of the family while they were living here. This, in turn, reminds me why we take such care when looking after the collection.
I also like the bedside lamp from the Larkspur bedroom for similar reasons. It’s a practical everyday item, but it’s also delicate and pastel-coloured – subtle and pretty in a house full of bold colours and large, imposing furniture.
I prefer the small bookcases from the Westbourne and Larkspur bedrooms to the huge bookshelves downstairs, because they seem slightly less intimidating. They make the bedrooms look like restful places, for more relaxed reading – perhaps on the daybed – as opposed to the arguably more intellectual reading which appears to have taken place downstairs.
Along the same themes as the bookcases, I particularly like the print with the two ladies from the Bedroom Corridor, which seems to depict reading as a not entirely studious pursuit!
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few snapshots of some of the collection up close.