All of my family and friends know that I can’t leave my home alone and have to potter around rearranging this and that every few weeks or months – this appears to be an inherited trait, since my mother and grandmother have always done the same thing: more than once, when I was a child, I got up in the morning to find all the furniture in a completely new configuration, tripping over a chair where a cupboard used to be! Fortunately, none of us has ever been wealthy enough to replace everything each time we get the “itch” – just imagine the fun we would have had trying out different colours and styles and starting over umpteen times!
Ours wasn’t quite as iconic as this Herman Miller modular sofa, and brown synthetic towelling over the moulded seats, but I’ve never seen another like ours so can’t find a suitable pic no matter how much I Google!
No, we need to be more creative than that, and having witnessed the problems of moving house with a 6-door wardrobe and 5′ bedframe (my parents’ – and the iron bedframe had to be sawn in half…), I have been careful to amass furniture that is smaller, lighter, and more versatile. In fact, since we all have this gene, quite a lot of pieces have had lives of their own in a number of different homes with a variety of family members owning them.
A 1930s living/dining room in the Black Country Museum – the Georgian windows aren’t very typical for the area, though!
My granny still has a few pieces of furniture that travelled with us from Germany in 1968, graced our two houses between then and 1973, and have remained with her ever since – though it has to be said they don’t seem to have moved around much in her house! Although she still has the dining table and a couple of the matching chairs she bought for the house when they moved in in the late 1930s (and she still has the receipt!), she also inherited some bedroom furniture from her sister-in-law. I don’t know who received hers!
At one time, EVERYONE had this set in Switzerland and the concept remains popular in more modern form
The tradition continued with a shiny pine corner bench and table, standard in many Swiss homes, which spent a few years in my parents’ home, then joined us for a few years in two of our homes and subsequently made themselves useful in four of my daughter’s flats and houses before conveniently falling apart after 30 years! A very attractive sofa in a neutral grey with lots of other threads of different colours, making it very versatile, was the centrepiece of a smart living room overlooking mountains back in the 80s, but then made its way back down to the valleys to our 1830s farm-house, where it made an appearance in three different rooms, including one daughter’s bedroom, before being relegated, fairly threadbare, to a youth club, where its bones probably didn’t last an awful lot longer. The next sofa with a story went from my husband’s pied-à-terre (too bulky and didn’t match) to my eldest daughter (three of her homes) and then to my middle daughter – as they are now moving abroad, I think it will be discreetly disposed of!
Standing upstairs yesterday and giving my surroundings a severe inspection, I decided we no longer need the seesaw banana or the slightly-too-high purple bench seat (3rd placing) now that family size is decreasing and we no longer have a tiled oven to warm your back against – but great fun for the grandchildren at THEIR house… excuse me while I move the console (bedroom-hallway-living room) back to the bedroom and the sideboard (living room-kitchen) back to the living room, that should keep me quiet for the evening. Then I need to consider what seating to put in the kitchen…