CFA Voysey

CFA VoyseyCharles Francis Annesley Voysey  was an English architect and furniture and textile designer. Voysey's early work was as a designer of wallpapers, fabrics and furnishings in a simple Arts and Crafts style, but he is renowned as the architect of a number of notable country houses. He was one of the first people to understand and appreciate the significance of industrial design. 


  • a wallpaper is of course only a background, and were your furniture good in form and colour a very simple or quite undecorated treatment of the walls would be preferable, but as most modern furniture is vulgar or bad in every way, elaborate papers of many colours help disguise its ugliness

  • we may make doors and windows, chairs and tables with mechanical exactness....but neither we nor those who pay for (them) will gain any spiritual benefits from our labour unless we have put our hearts and minds into our work, anxiously seeking to impart some good thought or healthy feeling.....but now the idea that a chair or table can be made to express thought and feeling seems to our workmen quite ridiculous

  • we must clear our minds of all concepts of symmetrical elevations, made after the likeness of temples, and return to the gothic principle of evolving our homes out of local conditions and requirements

  • we should evolve our creations out of due consideration and requirements, instead of imitating tradition or well beloved examples, (because) our considerations and requirements are always changing, new methods and new materials are constantly being evolved, and men's habits and tastes are forever developing

  • supposing we are agreed in the belief that the highest development of character are only possible under peaceful and simple conditions of mind, that war and turmoil are only the extreme conditions of a want of repose and simplicity. then it is obvious that the home should be the most peaceful, restful, simple servant we possess

  • Voysey to James Morton: you will find in all my designs a clearly marked contrast between the small, rich, intricate or elaborate parts of the design and the plain simple bare pieces. This....produces breadth - breadth is on the side of simplicity and repose

  • Voysey in The Studio Magazine (1893) most modern drawing-rooms confusion is the first thing that strikes one....let us begin by discarding the mass of useless ornaments and banishing the millinery that degrades our furniture and fittings. Reduce the variety of patterns and colours in a room, eschew all imitations, and have each thing the best of its sort, so that the decorative value of each will stand forth with increased power and charm

  • Voysey in 'Ideas in things' (1909)......think of the machine that is going to help in the making, and choose such shapes as are easily worked by machinery.....(y)our wood comes to you machine sawn and machine planed, and the only thought and feeling you can put into your furniture must be through a mechanical medium. So right proportions and the natural qualities of the wood, the suitable colour and texture of the upholstery make up for your limited vocabulary.