Sambourne House is a historic house located at 18 Stafford Terrace in Kensington, London. The house was built in the late 19th century and was the home of Edward Linley Sambourne, chief political cartoonist for the popular magazine Punch. The Victorian illustrator lived there from 1874 until his death in 1910.
Sambourne House is notable for its well-preserved interior, which showcases the artistic and aesthetic tastes of the Victorian era. The house has been restored to its original appearance and is now open to the public as a museum.
Edward Linley Sambourne and his wife Marion were both passionate collectors. They decorated their home with a variety of objects, including furniture, wallpaper, ceramics, and textiles in the Aesthetic Movement style, which was popular in the late 19th century.
The home is a spectacular illustration of a "House Beautiful." It was artistically created in defiance of mass manufacturing, upgrading the status of furniture and accessories to works of art.
In addition to its connection to the Sambourne family, the house also has historical significance as an example of Victorian architecture. The house was designed by the architect Thomas Henry Wyatt. It features a striking red brick exterior with decorative detailing and a distinctive turret.
The decor is characterized by a mix of patterns and textures, including floral motifs, geometric designs, and exotic influences. The use of color is bold and dramatic, with rich jewel tones and contrasting hues.
The style also features ornate details, such as elaborate wood carvings, stained glass windows, and decorative tiles. Visitors can notice influences from various historical periods, including Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo.
The furniture style is often ornate and highly decorative, with intricate carvings and embellishments. Pieces are typically made from dark woods, such as mahogany or walnut, and are upholstered in rich fabrics such as velvet or silk.
Sambourne's interiors were carefully crafted, with intricate details like carved moldings and decorative friezes, and ornate furniture. The interiors feature unique ceramics chosen by Linley and his wife Marion, stained-glass windows, Morris & Co furniture, and wallpaper. The collections contain cartoons from Punch magazine as well as a sizable photo library that provides insight into Linley Sambourne's cartooning technique.
Overall, the Sambourne House style is a unique and eclectic mix of Victorian and Aesthetic Movement design elements, with a focus on saturated colors, bold patterns, and intricate details. Sambourne used a variety of patterns, including floral, geometric, and Oriental-inspired designs, to create a richly layered visual effect.
Today, Sambourne House is a popular destination for visitors to London who are interested in Victorian history and design. The house is managed by the Victorian Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings and promoting the study of Victorian culture.
📍 18 Stafford Terrace, London W8 7BH
🚇 The closest London Underground Station to the Sambourne House is High Street Kensington, on the Circle and District lines.
*All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon unless stated otherwise.