This room is the only one which has been refurbished since Sambourbe lived. It is very feminine and inspired by the female boudior as the perfume bottle print Mary Katrantzou dress, the dressing table, the Mulberry scarf with printed ladies on them placed with towels by the window and those flower printed cermaics.
The Bathroom (up one light of stairs)
This bathroom doubled as a photography dark room. The photographs on the walls demonstrate Sambourne's talent and the stories behind them add more intrigue. A casual observer would miss the fact that all the men photographed are clothed and the women naked. This was because Sambourne like to 'admire the female form' and conveniently sent his wife away when his models came to pose for him. Some of them were his maids. In the marble bath the photos were developed. The most fabulous head-piece is placed on the loo. Created by Shona Heath, these rabbit ears were worn by Alber Elbaz in his portrait which accompanied his interview in the New Yorker, March 2008. They obviously literally continue the white rabbit and fantastical theme.
The Third Floor- The Maids Room and The Studio
This small room was where the maids slept. Apparently many of these maids died or committed suicide. Was it because of Sambourne photographing them- whilst they slept as well as that photo on the chair shows? Or the very claustrophobic nature of the room and its wallpaper? It is sparely furnished but bright and airy. On the bed is Shelley Fox's Pillowcase Jacket S/S2003.
The studio was originally the night nursery for the Sambourne children. In 1899 Sambourne converted the space to his studio. There are examples on his table and on the wall. The child-like print on these Swash pieces are juxtaposed with the dull masculine surroundings, hinting at the room's origins.
There was a little place on the stairs above where Andrew Groves- 'Ordinary Madness' A/W1997 stands.
Overall this exhibition is fabulous but educational. An unique experience and a new hidden treasure in London. There are weekly tours on Fridays-http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums/18staffordterrace.aspx
I thoroughly recommend this exhibiton. You won't regret going.