Lisa Oestreicher was commissioned by the National Trust to undertake architectural paint research at the Red House to determine its original appearance and subsequent decorative development. The investigations were also directed at identifying and uncovering any original William Morris decoration surviving under later schemes.
A comprehensive programme of investigation was commenced in 2004 and over the following 11 years all principal rooms within the property were examined. As well as charting the decorative history of the property, this research contributed to the discovery and uncovering of original hand painted and patterned decoration by several leading Pre-Raphaelite artists. Lisa Oestreicher also revealed and colour matched many of the original paint finishes found at the property.
Red House is a Grade I listed building designed for William Morris by the influential Arts and Crafts architect Philip Webb in 1859-60. The property was lived in by Morris and his wife Janey at the outset of their marriage and became an important meeting place for their artistic circle of friends, many of whom were involved in the building’s decoration. In the years between the departure of the Morris family and the acquisition of Red House by the National Trust in 2003, numerous individuals have lived and left their mark on the property. During this period much of the house’s original interior decoration was either stripped away or painted over. The property is presently managed by the National Trust and is open to the public.