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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 09:35 GMT
Mackintosh art deco house reborn
Part of the back room wall
The back room has black walls and jewel-coloured stencilling
A house with one of the most important interiors of the 20th Century opens its doors to the public on Monday after a 1.5m restoration project.

The house at 78 Derngate in Northampton was remodelled by designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1917 for the Bassett-Lowke family.

After two years of restoration work and nearly a decade of fund-raising, the original art deco designs are on show.

The house was Mackintosh's only domestic commission outside Scotland.

He was invited to remodel the Georgian house by the Northampton model-maker Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke in time for his wedding.

'Classic' talent

The curator of 78 Derngate, Sylvia Pinches, said that Bassett-Lowke had an eye for all things modern.

"He was very concerned with modernity and everything being efficient and speedy.

"He didn't want anything in his house that was older than himself, and he spotted in Mackintosh that classic cutting-edge talent."

Mackintosh's original design for the house included a back room with a yellow-stencilled wallpaper motif of inverted triangles.

Mackintosh bedroom
George Bernard Shaw slept at 78 Derngate
The guest bedroom - in which the playwright George Bernard Shaw stayed - was decorated with bold ultramarine, black and white stripes.

Before its restoration by the 78 Derngate Northampton Trust, the house was semi-derelict and had been empty for over ten years.

Some Mackintosh features had been covered by 1970's wallpaper.

The house is open to the public from March to September, by pre-arranged bookings only.

Bookings can be made on 01604 603407.

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