The Cottage Parlour

Family life centred on evenings at home beside the fire.  Besides church, socials and the occasional concert there were few distractions: no radios and no televisions, but pianos and phonographs were slowly becoming more affordable.  The telephone had arrived but the service had a limited number of subscribers and was not automatic.  It was operated by a person at a small switchboard like the one in the general store/post office.


The cosy, intimate atmosphere and clutter of personal treasures, ornaments and pictures is typical of a late Victorian cottage living room.  Cottage rooms were generally small and had low ceilings which made it easier to keep the rooms warm in winter.  Oregon pine board lines the walls and ceiling of this room.  As an interior cladding it was very popular and is still found in many buildings of this period.


The small bamboo overmantel and the bamboo cupboard with the mirror were highly fashionable items at the time and were made by Liberty and Company of London.   The influence of Japanese style is obvious. The Arts and Crafts movement, which drew many of its designs from the Orient, had just come to Australia at the end of the 19th century.  The owners probably felt proud to have such modern and trendy pieces of furniture.