Come with me on a Hogarthian journey. We're travelling to Spitalfields in London's East End, so ladies, raise your petticoats when you tiptoe across the cobblestones (you don't want that nasty ordure clinging to your dress) and gentlemen, please don't forget to give a ha'penny to the crossing sweeper.
We're standing outside 18 Folgate Street. Dennis Severs' House. Go ahead, lift the knocker. (Long beat.) That's strange, I told the family we'd be popping by. Let's go in anyway. No, please, after you.
(A bit of background: Artist Dennis Severs (1948-1999) spent his life transforming this formerly dilapidated Georgian house into a living time capsule now open to the public. Half-eaten food on tables, the sound of footsteps overhead and echoed conversations all create the illusion that a fictive family of Huguenot silk weavers is living all around you.)
Look at this room, would you? Those bones. Those details. That artful disarray. It's like a "World of Interiors" spread.
Love the panelling in this room. And the way that jade-colored seat cover pops against all those orangey-red hues. And the rough texture of that beige fabric -- is it a curtain? The edge of a sleeve? I can't tell. But it makes me want to design a billowy hemp blouse to wear with jeans, boots and a big wooden necklace.
That chilly English light creeping in from the window has me at "hello." Especially when tempered with the warmth of an unadorned candle. It's so "Tristram Shandy."
Love the assemblage of tiles on that kitchen wall. (Delft? Perhaps.) Wonder what they made for tea...Venison? Syllabub? Posset?
The right photograph can make the most untidy of rooms look utterly inviting. This is that photograph.
Grace Coddington needs to convince Anna to let her use this location, don't you think?
Mental note: Garlands are for more than just mantelpieces and bannisters.
Pea soup green, cobalt blue and orange. Who knew?
Really, just can't speak.
Click here for a virtual tour of the house and information on opening times. Monday evenings require booking as they tour by candlelight -- how divine!
(Photo credits: LightLocations. And thank you to reader Linda who alerted me back in March to this incredible find.)