Oct 282011
 

Victor Hugo lived in exile on Guernsey for 15 years.  He lived in the beautiful Hauteville House, where he created what may be the most be the most extraordinary and humorous domestic interior I have ever seen.  With plenty of time on his hands Hugo scoured flea markets for what was out of fashion and therefore reasonably priced, which in the mid nineteenth century was dark wood chests, blue and white tiles, large tapestries designed to be cover walls, tatty carpets and all manner of chinoiserie. He worked with local craftsmen to achieve his vision.

It is a house of balance with a red drawing adjacent to a blue, a darkly paneled formal dining room next to a brighter tiled family one, an apartment of death on the second floor and an apartment of life on the roof. There are many references to family alongside those to exile, with a billiard room styled as an ancestral portrait gallery and an ancestral throne in the dining room.

Photos by Michael Jardine