Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Margaret Lord "A guide to furnishing the Australian home" (1944)

Have a look at this book I recently picked up for $2 from a book fair- "A guide to furnishing the Australian home" written by Interior designer Margaret Lord in 1944. This book is described as the first Australian monograph of interior design.

It seams like the decorating style is almost still current today - just look at the illustrations and colour selections. (click on Image to view larger).

And in case you were interested a little about the author Margaret Lord Via: Powerhouse Museum:

This is a photograph of Margaret Florence Lord (1908 – 1976) – a precursor of interior design in Australia. It was taken in Lord’s flat in Potts Point by a prominent Sydney photographer Laurence Le Guay in 1944, the same year she published her first book Interior Decoration. A Guide to Furnishing the Australian Home.

The content of the book comprised of notes originally prepared for a correspondence course for service personnel organised by the Army Education. The overwhelming popularity of the course led to the publication of the book which is now considered the first Australian monograph on interior design. She published two other books, an autobiography titled A Decorator’s World: living with art and international design in 1969 and Interior Decoration in Practice in 1971 and also wrote numerous articles for magazines such as Australian Home Beautiful and The Home.

According to Lord
“interior decoration is a civilised art with a primitive appeal; it strikes deep down to the fundamental instinct of home-making which is inherent in all of us. This instinct needs direction and education if we are to satisfy our natural desire for surroundings that provide both for our need of comfort and our love of beauty”
(Lord 1944, p.1). 

Interiors designed by Margaret Lord include Sydney University Union, the Shell Company’s Carrington Street building, Johnston and Johnston’s factory at Botany, Australian Glass Manufacturers’ factory at Waterloo, Wrigley’s Ltd building at Rosebery, the Sydney Club, the Memorial Hall at Shore, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, and the ships Monowai, Manoora and Kanimbla.

The Powerhouse Museum’s extensive archive of the designer consists of diaries, photographs, guidebooks and notes regarding her travels, scrapbooks, news cuttings, typescripts of speeches, broadcasts, articles, and more.

I think I have a new Idol- Oh and what a Betty!



  1. First off, I don't have an australian home, but I want this book! So pretty! Secondly, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!


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