Morris & Co. pattern guide: Simply Morris

Morris & Co. pattern guide: Simply Morris

Now over ten years old, the Spode X Morris & Co. collaboration blends Great British heritage with timeless style for a beautiful table and homeware collection.

William Morris, textile designer, environmentalist, socialist and poet, is most known for his direction in the Arts and Crafts movement. His iconic designs were mainly inspired by nature and his work focussed on bringing the outside in with a desire to provide affordable ‘art for all’. Today, we continue to drive this inspiration forward with Morris & Co., bringing archive Morris patterns to life across tableware, serveware and linens.

Read on to take a closer look at the heritage patterns that adorn Spode’s Simply Morris collection.

Strawberry Thief

Perhaps one of Willaim Morris’s most beloved designs, Strawberry Thief features a delightful scene of song thrushes perched amongst leafy vines, stealing ripe strawberries – inspired by a true event that took place in Morris’s garden at Kemlscott Manor, Oxfordshire.

Created in 1883 as a fabric design, Strawberry Thief exemplifies the Arts and Crafts movement’s focus on nature and handcrafted objects. A charming and playful depiction of the natural world, the thrushes, with their bright eyes and colourful plumage, are portrayed with a sense of mischief, while the strawberries look good enough to pick straight off the design.

A long-standing favourite of ours, Strawberry Thief has taken on a few different guises across our Morris & Co. collection over the years. Now, you can enjoy the timeless design in a fresh pink, green and blue colourway across a Serving Platter, Cereal Bowl, Side Plate, Table Runner and Napkins. Or, if you prefer a more traditional look, opt for the blue-toned Mug, Teacup & Saucer, Cake Plate or Tea for One.


Named after Standen House, a historic Arts and Crafts mansion in Sussex, England, the Standen pattern is an all-over leaf design taken from another Morris & Co. wallpaper called Lily. The pattern features a delicate and understated design of interwoven leaves that have been showcased in a variety of colourways by Morris & Co.

For Spode, Standen decorates Dinner Plates, a statement Serving Bowl and Tablecloth in a classic leafy green colourway, with the pattern purposefully translated onto the pieces to look like trailing leaves. The simple yet elegant design of Standen complements many design aesthetics and is the perfect choice for those seeking to incorporate a touch of William Morris’s legacy into their homes.


One of the most recognisable of all Morris designs, this all-over leaf pattern was first produced as wallpaper in 1874 and predated the more intricate Willow Bough pattern by 13 years.

For Spode, the curved leaves feature gold detailing and are set against a vibrant green backdrop. The pattern engulfs the tall Mug, borders a Side Plate, Cereal Bowl and Pasta Bowl and decorates the gold-edged Napkins, beautifully complementing the Strawberry Thief linens.


Originally known as Pomegranate when it was first introduced in 1864, Fruit is inspired by one of William Morris’s earliest wallpapers, showcasing his talent for pattern design. The design features a captivating display of nature’s bounty with pomegranates, lemons, blossoms and flowing branches.

Fruit can be enjoyed across Spode Side Plates, Cereal Bowls and Pasta Bowls in a bright and playful colour option featuring golds, corals and greens against a white background. Or for a bolder approach, opt for the pink backdrop showcased on a Cream Jug, Mug Set and Serving Tray.


Created in 1875, Marigold is one of the few designs Morris intended for use on both wallpaper and fabric. Unlike many of Morris’s elaborate floral prints boasting a riot of colours and intricate details, Marigold features a single colour to stunning effect. The design depicts a climbing vine with tendrils and leaves gracefully winding their way upwards.

The strength of the Marigold pattern lies in its simplicity and adaptability. The single-colour design allows it to blend seamlessly with various colour schemes and design styles and is often considered a tranquil and calming pattern. Marigold is showcased across Spode’s Cereal Bowls, Side Plates, and Pasta Bowls in an eye-catching gold shade that helps to bring out the pops of colour across the whole collection. 

Learn more about the Morris & Co. patterns showcased across Spode’s Mug collection here and discover the inspiration behind our latest collection here with Ellie Tyerman, Morris & Co.’s Senior Licensing Designer.

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