Jun 9, 2012

Rescue Me Please :: I'm a 1930's "Between the Wars" house!

I was built in 1936,
with mottled red bricks & art deco elements,
in the "between the wars" style,
but I now need a bit of help to be re-imagined as the elegantly foxy home
I should be. 
Will you help rescue me?

But first, 
to put ourselves in the mood for what was happening in the hippest homes 
in 1936,
let's see what was the height of fashion in this year...

Lots of Moderne - bold, dramatic lines in furniture & design. 
Art Deco is big. No too much ornamentation.
We can bring in some of these elements,
to create the mood of the 1930s,
but not too many literal pieces or I will look like a museum.
I'm thinking I need something a bit like this...

And perhaps using a colour scheme a little like the tones
of these fabulous flowers.
Soft apricots, burnished golds, dark olive greens, palest smokey blue,
with hints of chestnut-hued timbers,
and lots of creamy white as a background.

I'm already a graciously-sized lady,
but you know, a little plastic surgery,
just a bit of tweaking,
wouldn't be out of the question.
I probably don't really need my second kitchen,
but, being partial to allowing my guests a martini or two,
I wouldn't mind sacrificing one of my kitchens to make a bar instead.

This is my living room. 
You see, I do have charming elements. Like my oak double doors
& ornate plastered ceiling.
And if you look carefully, 
you can see my oak panelled entry. 

But my entry would look even better with a curvaceous mirror, 
chestnut-toned polished floorboards
& a dramatic piece of furniture, like a chest or drawers...

...or a gilt-edged chaise. 

And my living room could do with some opulence.

After all, the 1930s were all about opulence.
Who wants to know about the Great Depression and serious things,
when we can dream the Hollywood glamour lifestyle instead?
So yes, I'll have an oyster-grey cut-velvet sofa thank you,
with feather-filled cushions and gilt legs.

My dining room has a couple of leadlight windows,
bedecked with red roses,
of which I am rather vain.
Well they are rather gorgeous, if I say so myself.
But their drama isn't reflected in the rest of the room.
So perhaps some navy walls,
to contrast with my fabulous oak windows and the floral motifs...

And over scaled candelabra, 1930s style, for the table.

Oh, did I casually mention that I have more of those rose leadlight windows in my bedroom?
No? Well let me just show you instead.
Rather nice, aren't they?
But I need to have a quiet word about the furniture.
You see, it's not quite dramatic enough for me.
It's quite lovely, but it belongs in another home, not in me.

There, that's better.
A bit of art deco.
Bold and confident, lots of oomph. Very 1930s glam.

I am on quite a large block,
especially for one so close to the CBD,
so with a bit of landscaping, 
my garden would be just perfect for picnics.
Elegant ones.
With coupes of Champagne, silver bowls of strawberries and beautiful people
lounging about on cream broderie anglaise rugs. 

Ok, I need you to take a leap of imagination now!

Because with a bob cat or two, 
my back garden could go from how it is now ...

...to this!
Yep, I need a swimming pool. 
With dramatic garden sculpture preferably.
Where else can we have those glamorous pool parties?

Many 1930s homes have an underlying dramatic graciousness,
and with just that little bit of thought applied,
they can be truly worthy of all the glamour of the era.
And gorgeous to live in now.

But it's probably just as likely I will be demolished.

Am I worth rescuing, then, do you think?

property location :: 52 seymour grove, camberwell
agents + property images :: marshall white
// all flowers kari herer photography // 
// all vintage magazine images le officiel de la mode 1936 edition //
// the height of fashion :: artwork blue fruit :: all items from 1st dibs //
// entry hallway with zebra rug // art deco bedroom // picnic //
// art deco swimming pool // fashion shoot // 1930s club style bathroom //
// all other images :: washington schoolhouse hotel //


  1. Hello Virginia:
    Oh, we would if we could!! With imagination, and not a little money, it could be so very stylish.

    1. As with all house renovations, it would be easy to tip money in hand over foot, and yes, of course much easier if one has a large budget. But I suspect this one wouldn't take quite so much money to come back to life, and that's the whole point about loving these houses for what they are, rather than "modernising" them, as it luckily takes less money to do so.

      But what am I talking about? I am preaching to the converted! Because you 2 know exactly how to love an older property for its inherent beauty. And for that I am very grateful to have you as dear readers.

  2. What a fabulous posting!
    Beautiful pics, great ideas!

  3. YES!!! You know how I feel about this!!! Ah, now I have a new house to worry about. Please keep us posted if you can...

    Gosh, the fun one could have putting the glam back in her...

    1. What on earth?! I was clearly overwhelmed this morning because I didn't even mention the insane beauty of the oyster velvet sofa (!!!!), the long white-washed table...and more importantly, the incredibly, just divine drawings with flowers. That is what happens when I write back before the coffee kicks in my friend. Oops. Good thing I needed a second look. What a gorgeous, gorgeous post!

      Bon weekend...

    2. Oh dear you must be as addicted to your morning coffee as I am to mine...

    3. Sad but true. I am HOPELESS without it. And if only I could have real Aussie coffee!!
      PS. Yes, this means that I came back to this post for a third time--just too beautiful!!

  4. One of my very favourite eras for housing so solid and a little serious with just the occasional humorous twist!!!! Actually it would be ideal for me and my youngest daughter with the two kitchens...pity we don't need to live in Melbourne!!!!!! xx

    1. Haha! Then you could compete in the kitchens to see who could get a fabulous meal onto the table first. What fun!

  5. What an amazing imagination you have! I love coming to see what's in store for us with your posts, but I especially like these with the houses. Quite splendid, I must say !! Sending love....

    1. Thank you dear Marsha, and back again at you.

  6. Great styling! I love a 1930s home. As long as it has good bones it is definitely worth rescuing. I only wish I could be the one rescuing it.. xAnastasia

  7. Definitely this one deserves a rescue... your ideas are brilliant... xv

  8. Should anyone purchase this property they MUST have you advise them of appropriate updates. Lovely post!
    x KL

  9. I just love those black and chrome patio chairs. And that art deco bed? WOW!


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