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79. Lord, Margaret Florence, 1908-1976.
Interior decoration : a guide to furnishing the Australian home / Margaret Lord. (Sydney : Ure Smith, 1944)
In her “Foreword”, Margaret Lord refers to the growing trend overseas of setting up schools of interior decoration, while here it still generally depends on “the good taste of the amateur.”
If we are to take full advantage of the present-day rapid changes in methods of manufacture. new processes and new materials, we must have instruction in the subject. The need is great in Australia; our interiors are too often an undiscriminating imitation of imported styles, with little comprehension of our own problems of furnishing. In this book I have sought to relate the general theories of interior decoration to our own particular Australian needs. (p. 1)
The colour illustrations demonstrate how “sunshine and the sea” can be used as key-notes for modern Australian interior design. The rooms shown are from Roy Grounds Frankston home.
Two views of a Living Room by the sea. The designer, Roy Grounds, has made effective use of the natural colours and textures of wood, tiles and fabrics. The first view shows how a large map has been used to make an effective wall decoration. (p. 76-77)
80. Faulkner, Ray, 1906-
Inside today's home / [by] Ray Faulkner [and] Sarah Faulkner. 3rd ed. (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, )
This American book on interior design was first published in 1954. The third edition (1968) was reprinted in Sydney in 1970 for the Australian market. The cover features a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from a harbour-side living room; the photograph continues onto the back cover where we can see the Opera House.
This lovely waterside home overlooking Sydney Harbour typifies the exciting influence that the best of international design is having on today’s Australian home. (Photographed especially for “Inside today’s home” by Kurt Vollmer.)
81. Brindley, B. H.
Australian home decorator and painter / B.H. Brindley. (Melbourne : Colorgravure Publications, )
82. Stewart, Anne.
The colorful home / by Anne Stewart. (Sydney : Taubmans Ltd., [195-?])
83. At home with colour. (Sydney : Taubmans Industries, [195-])
All of these are from the 1950s. Mr. Brindley’s book sets out possible colour schemes for each room and explains the underlying principles. The book is open at a spread on “Aspect and color”.
The two Taubmans books give very detailed suggestions as to the most modern colour schemes for each room. The cover of Anne Stewart’s book shows the exterior of a beautiful two-storey Mediterranean-style house, predominantly white, but with red doors and black iron-work.
At home with colour is open at a kitchen done in ivory and green; other options are also illustrated in cinnamon, olive and coral, and blue. Notice the “hutch-style” split door.
84. “Complete home painting guide”, Australian Home Beautiful, October 1953.
The woman painting a brick wall on the cover was Mary Maxwell, who contributed an article to this special painting issue, “Quote was £150, so I painted it myself for £20.” (p. 35-37)
Also on display are two colour charts from 1965 for “Dulux Spruce” and Berger Brisk” house paints.
85. The Leader spare corner book : an unique collection of home and household hints and kitchen recipes. Parts 4, 5, 6. (Carnegie, Vic. : Quintin Thomas Bone, 1932-35)
The cover shows a typical Australian kitchen from the 1930s, with its ice-chest, lino and “Kooka”.
86. The Homemaker's book of plans : with new and original ideas for your home. (Sydney : Penrod Publishers, 1946)
This is open at an advertisement, “Design for a small Hotpoint all-electric kitchen,” opposite an article which advises you to, “Plan your kitchen to save steps.” The article is accompanied by plans which show the walking routes in two different kitchen floor-plans.
87. “Special report on 1962 style kitchens”, Australian Home Beautiful, October 1962.
The article compares a kitchen designed by a woman with one designed by a man. The kitchen featured on the cover was designed by Leslie H. Runting for Mr. and Mrs. Hebden, 2 Derry St., Essendon.
88. How to use your Sunbeam mixmaster : full instructions for use 172 tested recipes. (Sydney : Cooper Engineering Company, [195-?])
89. Over 400 tested recipes for your Semak Vitamizer. ([Carlton, Vic.] : Semak Electrics Pty. Ltd, [195-])
Electric kitchen appliances became more common in Australia in the 1950s. When someone described a kitchen as having “all mod cons” this is what was usually meant.
The Sunbeam Mixmaster was the most desirable appliance, but the Semak Vitamizer, as seen on Bob Dyer’s Pick-a-Box, was perhaps even more prestigious. The Semak recipe book included a section on “Adult party drinks” such as the “Sherry joy-maker” and the “Hazy-dazy.”
The Living Room
90. Patmore, Derek, 1908-
Modern furnishing and decoration / by Derek Patmore. (London : Studio Ltd., 1934)
The living room shown here was designed by the head of Fortnum and Mason’s Furnishing Department, as “an example of how to decorate a modern room with only a moderate outlay.” (p. 33)
The colour scheme in green, yellow and brown, is built around the painting.
91. “Modern ideas in furniture and furnishing”, Australian Home Beautiful, 1 August 1934.
The cover shows the living room of Mr. C. Max Werner in Moorakyne Ave., Malvern. Both the house and the furniture were designed by the architect, Rae Featherstone.
The living room centres on the fireplace which is described in the article, “Harmony in furnishing when an architect designs the furniture” (p. 15-19)
A fireplace treatment featuring the modern horizontal line – it is sand-finished in keeping with the wall, with inset marble decorations. The mantel shelf has a veneered edge of Queensland walnut. The open hearth is screened when not in use by an oxidized metal sliding grille. (p. 16)
92. The secret of a happy home. (South Melbourne : Tye & Co., 1940)
The living room on the cover of this Melbourne furniture catalogue is altogether less intimidating than that designed by Fortnum and Mason’s. The parents look quite at home watching their son read his comics.
93. Storey, Walter Rendell
Furnishing with color. (New York, American Studio Books, 1945)
Through the 1940s and especially into the 1950s and 1960s there was a trend in modern homes for open plan interiors. Typically the living and dining areas would be combined. Here we see two possibilities, in a London house (left), and an American one (right).
94. “30 ways to divide a room”, Australian home beautiful, August 1956.
The cover features a living area where the dining room is divided from the lounge room by Venetian blinds. Note also the Scandinavian style chairs, and the modern Lazy Susan.
95. “Quest for freedom”, Australian Home Beautiful, October 1963.
The cover shows an open-plan living space looking out into the upper canopy of Australian bush.
The house has little resemblance to the stereo-typed Australian home. It is Sydney’s latest much-talked-about home, belonging to architect Mr. Ken Woodley at Mosman. It breaks new ground in home design, shows a new way of building on a steep slope, and offers a new, brighter, freer way of family living in areas instead of rooms. (p. 5)
96. Have the home beautified with wallpaper. (Melbourne : John Danks & Son, [193-?])
97. Practical household decorating : a complete guide to interior decorating / edited by B.H. Brindley. (Melbourne : Colorgravure Publications, [195-?])
Until the mid-1960s wallpaper was very popular for decorating the interior of the home. The problem was hanging it, something which amateurs constantly found difficult, and changing it when the pattern became faded or unfashionable.
The cover of Practical household decorating shows a handyman putting up wallpaper over an old plaster wall.
98. “Choosing the paper”, Australian Home Beautiful, 1 November 1932.
This couple are looking at floral patterns to match their lounge suite.
99. Crown Wallpapers series 71. [Pattern Book] [196-]
This pattern book from the mid 1960s includes samples of Crown wallpapers produced in England, as well as samples for a new product “Stripovin” vinyl wall covering, made in Canada.
Large, bright florals predominate but there are also many more traditional patterns as well as the flock-finished, relief patterns which gave the wall texture. Brick or timber patterns were available.
We acquired this volume for the collection of Vietnam War press-cuttings which a previous owner has pasted onto the backs of the samples.
100. John Danks & Son.
Catalogue / John Danks & Son. 1952 ed. (Melbourne : John Danks & Son Pty Ltd, 1952)
John Danks & Son were one of the largest hardware and home suppliers in Melbourne. Their 1952 catalogue is open at a page where they are promoting “Lustrtile”, a Masonite based sheet, “the perfect wallboard for kitchens, bathrooms, shower recesses, or wherever a tile effect is required.” (p. 65)
The illustration shows the bathroom decorated in black and maroon with yellow vanity basin and bath.
101. Standard sanitary appliances (Hull, Yorks : Ideal-Standard, 1954)
This catalogue was circulated in Melbourne by Shanks & Co. It is open to show a curved bath with brown tiled floor and light and dark purple wall tiles. There is a shower above the bath with a quarter glass screen. Also displayed is a brochure for one of Shanks & Co.’s own appliances, “The elegant Milos” vanity basin, seen here in yellow in a black tiled bathroom.
102. “The modern bathroom is full of colour”, Australian Home Beautiful, 2 March, 1931.
This features a predominantly green and yellow bathroom with light steaming in through a clear-glass, leaded window. The article has the title, “The pluperfect bathroom” (p. 15-16), and advises the home-owner to have a recessed bathroom heater installed.
103. [Bathroom at Mr. Bert Watts’ house, North Fitzroy], Australian Home Beautiful, 1 May, 1939.
The bathroom is described as “really luxurious”. It is finished in light brown tiles and has a dressing alcove attached. The cover illustration shows the endless vista which can be seen in the mirrors.
The inside wall and the ends of the bath itself are of gold mirror and the photograph shows just one half of the reflections. (p. 7)
The gardening feature in this issue promises, “More about hydroponics: growing plants in water inside or outside the house” by Aqua.
104. “This was our bathroom a week ago, just look at it now”, Australian Home Beautiful, p. 110, December 1956 issue.
This advertisement for “Hardie’s Tilux, marble-finished wall panels”, shows the before and after. The old bathroom has dingy look with its hot water geyser and a claw-foot bath; the new is brightly decorated in green and yellow with a separate shower recess.
105. Australian Town Planning Conference and Exhibition (2nd : 1918 : Brisbane, Qld.)
Catalogue : Second Annual Town Planning Conference and Exhibition, 30th July to 6th August, 1918. (Brisbane : A. J. Cumming, Govt. Printer, 1918)
The verandah was a feature on the Anglo-Indian home but because of the Australian climate was readily adaptable for local conditions. Queensland homes are the best-known Australian examples and the illustration used for the cover of this 1918 Brisbane Town Planning conference publication is typical. The wooden balustrading and the high stumps are characteristic of the style, and the front garden with a palm tree and a poinsettia is also very Queensland.
106. Stewart, Anne.
The colorful home / by Anne Stewart. (Sydney : Taubmans Ltd., [195-?])
On display is “The sun verandah” showing a bamboo chair, a steamer chair and a simple couch, looking out onto the garden, shaded by canvas blinds, the predominant colours being cream and green.
Furniture and fixtures
We have several furniture catalogues, mainly from the early twentieth-century.
107. Maple & Co.
[Furniture catalogue] (London, Maple & Co., [192-])
This is open to show “The ‘Cha Ya’ portable garden house”, with its cane furniture.
108. Furniture designs (London, Thos. Atkins & Sons, [192-])
This catalogue of furniture is stamped by its Melbourne distributors:
Made expressly for C. F. Rojo & Sons Pty. Ltd., 501-511 Swanston St. European labor only.
The labour reference is to the contemporary agitation on the part of the local tradesmen and their union against furniture made in Melbourne by cheap Chinese labour, particularly in the factories in the streets and lane-ways in the north-eastern corner of Melbourne’s Central Business District. C. F. Rojo & Sons was a long-established Melbourne firm specialising in hand-made, period reproduction pieces.
109. Illustrated catalogue of perfection doors & parquetry flooring / George Hudson Pty Ltd. (Sydney : George Hudson, [193-?])
George Hudson Pty. Ltd. was a Sydney firm of timber merchants. They ventured also into building but here we see one of their catalogues for doors and floors. It is open at a Pacific maple and walnut door with an art-deco dressing table in green and black wood.
110. Makeshifts and other home-made furniture and utensils. 3rd ed. (Melbourne : Issued for the New Settlers League of Australia (Victorian Div.) by A. Gilchrist, 1927)
This booklet was published for use by new migrants who often had to “make-do” when they were setting themselves up in their new country. The lounge chair and book-cases made from kerosene boxes shown on the cover is typical of the suggestions in the book.
The 1930s depression made such “makeshifts” even more relevant to many home-makers.
We have extensive holdings of gardening books, which will be the subject of another exhibition in the near future.
111. Pescott, Edward Edgar, b. 1872.
Gardening in Australia : a practical guide to laying out and cultivating gardens, lawns, hedges, paths ... soil preparation, etc., etc. / by Edward E. Pescott. (Melbourne : Whitcombe & Tombs, )
This book is on display for its cover illustration of the ideal Australian home and garden from the 1920s. We see a neat lawn, a hedge and standard roses along a curving drive which winds beneath an arbour to the backyard garage.
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