Wednesday, 26 September 2012


It's been a bad 24 hours for furnishings in our house with one of our children having a projectile vomit in our room at bed time last night which scored a direct hit onto the curtains, chair, chaise, cushions and Persian rug. All suggestions on how to get stains out of silk dupion curtains welcome as I've just noticed that the wool wash and warm water that I used last night hasn't quite removed the spackle. Oh, and just prior, he may have been eating blueberries.

But anyway, after reading Janelle from Janelle McCulloch's Library of Design's gorgeous post on her quest to find a sofa for her new home, I have been musing about how we came up with the motley assortment of sofas that we have in our house.

This is the first sofa that I ever acquired:

My grandparents old Jacobean suite. After my grandmother died, and my mum and aunt were sorting out her house, there were no takers for the lounge so they sneakily shipped it to me at the share house I was living in in Sydney. Surprise. It didn't look anything like it does now when I first took possession of it, as it was covered in this heavy tapestry:

My grandmother had such strict rules governing this sofa as she kept it for best......lolling was strictly forbidden. She would turn in her grave if she could see some of the antics my children get up to on it these days. 

My other grandmother had a Jacobean as well and I distinctly remember scenes from my very early childhood where she used to stick the tips of her fingers into the holes on the wicker panels and we would push them out to the accompaniment of a satisfying 'pop':

I play this game with my own children now. When I moved to Hobart the Jacobean came with me as that's the thing about furniture with a sentimental can never get rid of it, no matter what it looks like. Then I had it recovered in Warwick Macrosuede and suddenly it became almost beautiful. This is how it looked back in 2007 when our house was in the local magazine Tasmanian Life:

The editor at the time was living in a shed while her husband built their house and they used to regularly stay in one of our self contained apartments for time out. I think she was struggling for houses to feature.

This was how the entire lounge room looked then:

I am still recovering from the clean up involved in getting our house neat enough to be photographed. It sends a shiver down my spine just remembering. Back then, we were furniture sitting the green chesterfield for my parents who had recently moved to Darwin. It has since been taken back into their possession and now resides in my sister's house.

And this is how the lounge room looks today:

Not that much has changed really. The brown leather sofa is another constant. It was one of the first things that we bought together after we were married:

My husband used to complain that sitting on it put his back out.....from an old rugby union injury incurred playing in Japan. Luckily, he got used to it. And I must say that I found this particular sofa insanely comfortable to sprawl on during those difficult last weeks of pregnancy when you are good for not much else. Although, since I've had four children, I can't remember the last time I did this.

There was a time, when our two beagles had free range through the house, back when they could be trusted not to pee everywhere, that I wished that all of my furniture was leather as it is so easy to clean up fur, smears and mucky children/dog marks.

Obviously, I've changed my mind now as our most recent sofa addition was this:

Which I bought utterly decrepit  and very cheaply at Gowans Auctions. I then splurged and had it recovered in Designers Guild mock crocodile skin velvet.....well it had to be recovered and quickly as the reek of old cat pee seeped throughout the entire house.......sometimes, it's still fondly referred to as the 'cat piss sofa'.

In the above photo, you can see into the adjoining room which is now the library.....although for years it used to be the room in which my husband's Scalextric slot car set took up all the available floor space.....except for the patch where the children's wooden train set was. The slot car set has been banished to upstairs and the room now looks like this:

I picked this grey chesterfield up when Leo Schofield was selling off most of his furniture at auction last year:

Don't you love a drive in the country coupled with the prospect of furniture acquisition? I do. Especially when you have the thrill of bidding at auction. He sold all of the furniture.....but the stunning Georgian pile is still for sale:

If you are tempted, have a closer look here.



  1. If you ever have a Leo Scholefieldesque auction of all your gear I am going to swoop in and buy the lot! Gorgeous!

  2. You do have some lovely pieces! Lovely taste you have!

    Holli xo

  3. Ooh I bought a few things from that auction, albeit it by phone. I love mossgreen auctions. Do Gowans sell online or over the phone? Your pieces are great. I love things with a story. Sorry re anon - technologically challenged

  4. A fabbo post, my friend. Loving the stories behind what I've sat on so far! J x


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