What we generally recognise as Australian styled ‘club lounges’ were made from the late 1920’s through to the mid 1950’s. This design was not uniquely Australian however it was very popular in Australia during this era and the suite featured is typical of this period however many variations were available.
These lounge suites all featured the wide arms, usually with timber trays and bases but some also had decorative timber trim on the arm facings. The upholstery finishes were also available in a wide variation of finishes. This included cord trim, contrast piping and raised panel patterns on the inside backs.
A client approached us who is from a prominent furniture manufacturing family to restore their ‘club lounge’. This club lounge was not a family heirloom but a design from the era they had always found interesting and destined for their retirement home. It is always an honour to be asked by a contemporary to restore a favourite piece of furniture however the expectations are always as equally high.
We stripped the 3 seater and 2 chairs down to the bare frames, removed the show-wood components then screwed the joints together. The timber arm trays were so badly damaged leaving us with no option than to completely replace them however the front base strips were sanded back and re-used have receiver three coats of lacquer.
The bases and backs were re-webbed with jute webbing then the coil springs laced in, tied down and covered with heavy weight hessian. We then used synthetic ‘thumb roll’ to build up the edges and laminated layers of premium foam over the bases, arms and inside backs until the desired shapes were achieved. Flutes were sewn into the inside back covers and the suite was trimmed with contrast piping. The seat cushion inserts were fabricated by laminating various densities of premium foam then encasing them with bonded polyester fibre. The outside arms and outside backs were all lined padded providing a superior finish.
The result was that we had brought furniture made about 80 years ago back to life. We trust the new owners will receive many years of enjoyable use of their furniture. However from a trade persons perspective we often wonder, what would those who originally made the furniture think of it now?