Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Lounge of The Brain Watkins House

My Favorite Room

This is the lounge, found at the back of the house, a more private area than the front parlour. I love this room, it has a feeling of faded elegance and suited a more formal style of entertaining than most would find comfortable today.

The walls are hung with paintings and sketches, some by Bessie Brain. All are very European in their inspiration and style, and similar to what would have hung on the walls of English houses in the same period.

The pale pink wallpaper with its decorative floral strip, gives the room a feminine feeling.

The gorgeous ceiling, is made of pressed tin.

Don't you love this 'Deco' tea trolley, with its castor feet. " James, where is our tea? Oh and don't forget the sponge cake with cream and strawberries for my darling friend, who doesn't call nearly often enough."

Flowers are everywhere in this room, almost the only decorative motif used, a girl can never have too many flowers.

And look at this lovely little detail, the edges of the curtains have been finished with a hand-worked crochet trim.

The china cabinet is stuffed full of tea cups, and the drawers are full of doilies, table centers and runners.
1960's floral Axminster carpet, saturated with flowers of every type and colour. This room is so full of floral detail, and yet somehow it all seems to work, in a wild eclectic sort of way.

Plastic flowers are found in the vases in the lounge, and they are so different to artificial flowers today. I would guess they are from around the 1960's, and they are completely made of plastic, not very life-like, and some of the fruit on the cake stand is made of wax, the mandarin has melted and stuck to the plate.

This beautiful lead-light glassed cabinet holds silver and china treasures, and a plastic flower bouquet from the wedding day of the youngest Brain daughter, Elva. You can just make it out on the bottom shelf, see the Lilly of the Valley flowers. Elva did not marry until the age of 72, and married William George Watkins who was aged 68, (this is the reason for the name of the house, Brain-Watkins ). So there you go girls, you should never give up on finding Mr. Right, if you are a patient darling he will come along eventually.

A fern stand with another plantar full of plastic flowers, and look to the lower right, see the ashtray on the wooden stand, that would have sat beside a lounge chair, so you could smoke in comfort.

Chinese lacquer plate, inlaid with mother of pearl and abalone.


For me though it is the chandelier that sums up the feeling of this whole room. The desire for a style that suggests, wealth, luxury and European taste, a fantasy chateau full of glamour and glitz.

And now for some textiles, I love the table cover on the small round pedestal table, with its hand crocheted circles and pom-poms. And the applique lillys on the green velvet upholstery of the wooden chair.

The vibrancy of this chair would have been much brighter, before the velvet pile wore off.

Oh my darlings, I do need better lighting don't I?

This motif is everywhere in the house, on cushions and bedspreads. It has such a youthful feminine feel don't you think. A feeling of abandoned joy and abundance, flowers and sunlight in fields of long grass blowing in a gentle summer breeze.

So I really must leave you now, I hope you enjoyed a little peak into the lounge, one day I will show you the treasures in the lead-light cabinet, there are some wonderful stories contained in the objects there, of massacres and lovers killed, but these, my patient darlings, will have to wait for another day.


  1. Just delightful JoJo, thanks for giving us a peak into history, x

  2. Thats ok my darling, it is delightful isn't it.