Saturday, 27 June 2009

Bloomsbury at work: The Omega Workshops

33 Fitzroy Square: home of the Omega Workshops

Last Thursday I went on an exclusive behind the scenes visit to 33 Fitzroy Square. The day was hosted and organised by the Events Manager and Curator of Charleston. It was fabulous to look inside the building - now a private house. Recently owned by the NHS, the building was in an unrecognisable state when the present owners bought it. For the past three and a half years they have been lovingly restoring the house to its former glory. Unfortunately, not too much remains of the Omega Workshops but the owners are replacing original features and are researching and using the Bloomsbury colours - Charleston grey being one of them.

The house is completely filled with light and you can gain a real sense of the artistic activity that took place there between 1913-1919 when the workshops were in operation. The present owners intend to open the house within the next couple of years as an events venue so we could all have our wedding receptions, birthdays and bar mitzvahs in rooms where Grant, Fry, Bell and numerous others were hard at work designing furniture, textiles and ceramics which have informed so much of 20th century design.

The picture above was taken some time ago as all the layers of magnolia paint have been removed from the exterior, exposing the wonderful portland stone facade. Fitzroy Square is a short walk from Bloomsbury 'proper' and is a must-see for anyone interested in the Bloomsbury Group.

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