May 17, 2009

Home of designer Ashley facing sale

The National Trust says it is in negotiations with the children of Laura Ashley regarding the purchase of the late Welsh designer's rural home in Wales.

Ashley's eldest daughter, Jane, also confirmed the designer's home in the Welsh county of Powys may soon be sold to the conservation organization for England, Northern Ireland and Wales, The Sunday Times of London reported.

The home and countryside are what inspired my mother, Jane Ashley said of the 700-acre Rhydoldog House estate. The house is a bit shabby but that's part of its charm. The trust likes the idea that it still feels like a living and breathing place.

The area surrounding Rhydoldog House is indicative of the landscapes and nature views that helped popularize Ashley's clothes and furnishing designs, The Times said.

Jane Ashley told the British newspaper the home also offers memories of her mother, who died in 1985, through its fabrics, prints and decorated pillows.

The fact that the business was built in this house over decades is what makes it special, she said.

A lot of the interiors are perfectly preserved and you can see how the style evolved as you walk around.