Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fading Fedeterranea

There is a classic Fedeterranean home for sale in Marrickville at the moment (I've taken these photos from the real estate website - I don't think they'll mind the free publicity). This is a modest, low-key version of Fedeterranea - no statues, no columns - and I think it has a lot of charm. What do you call that clean minty shade of blue? It's warmer than ice-blue, cooler than aqua.

Somehow I just know that a happy family was raised here. The chairs look so comfy and everything is so well maintained. This home has been treasured and loved and I imagine the children were similarly valued. I love the look of framed pictures on wallpaper. I reckon one of the kids went on a trip to Thailand and brought back those black elephant cushions. The crystal cabinet is full of treasures & memories.

I bet there have been some beautiful meals served at this table, although it was probably reserved for special occasions.

The strangely contradictory mix of freshly swept concrete and abundant vegetables in tubs is very Fedeterranean.

But this is by far my favourite photo. This is where this family would have spent a lot of time - at the kitchen table, sun shining in, kids & grandkids running in and out. I can almost see them there now. Looks like everyone had a favourite cushion for their chair.

Fedeterranea is slowly fading out. This is inevitable of course, as tastes change. Many of the people who created the style are now in their seventies and are moving off to nursing homes or retirement villages. Their grown-up children most likely prefer interior decorating that's more "today". I doubt you can even buy carpet or tiles like that anymore. This home will probably be given a gut-n-smeg by its new owners, unless it's bought by friends of mine who will treasure some of its Fedeterranean features as precious retro while they quickly get rid of others. Either way its loveliness will change, so I'm glad I can put the photos up here.


JahTeh said...

I love going through houses on these websites. I'm always interested in the bathrooms because sooner rather than later I'm going to have to re-do mine. It always sounds funny when I say I haven't had a bath since 1995 but unless I go for a deluxe roman type heated tub with steps, I'll never have another so a bigger shower and no tub.

dorian said...

A steal at $645,000!!1 Wow.

Red said...

love this! The layout and furnishings are a wonderful example of a past (or passing) ideal of how a home should be and what it should contain. Guess this is from a time when people settled, kitted out their houses and spent their lives in the same house, sitting on the same chairs!

Love the 'formal' lounge and dining, where all the 'best' treasures were kept.

Note the sliding glass door to clearly divide 'formal' dining from kitchen and the hard work going on there--not like these days where it's all open plan and our dinner guests can watch us hard at it. On the other hand, I do love a bit of company while I cook, so I'm not really in favour of host-guest apartheid :)

Still, what a lovely eat-in kitchen it is in that house. You do get the sense that that's where the family spent most time; there's such a warmth about it.

Meredith said...

Dorian, ok ok it's Sydney where mortgages are routinely half a million - but yes, outrageous.

Jahteh, at least you don't say you haven't had a pea since 1995.

lucy tartan said...

I like the solitary flying duck on the meals area wall, above the window. And everything else as well.

I wanted to help out with what the paler than mint blue is called but on investigating I seem to have lost my Wattyl and Dulux colour cards. Probably Arctic Mist or something.

That's so pants said...

Lovely. At this minute I'm sitting in my Hackney (London) flat preparing for potential buyers to come and look at it. Happily for me, the sun is pouring in from all angles and it looks quite nice. It has a water frontage and I've just been out and thrown all the bread I can find into the canal to attract swans and ducks. When I move back to Australia, I want a nice big open house, just like this one.

R H said...

It's dreadful. Horrible. Stark, plain, depressing. Awnings on the front windows would help, and a front garden instead of concrete. But this is a shocker: The No-Maintenance house. And yes, Mediterranean alright, reflecting Southern European Migrants' obsession with concrete.
So how much do they expect for this dud; this backyard dunny? For all its homeliness you may as well live in an apa-a-a-rtment.

R H said...

It's a pox, I wouldn't live in it.

It makes the remand yard at Pentridge look like Como.

genevieve said...

Gut-n-smeg, heheh.
The concrete is looking like a very good idea now that we are running out of water down here.

elsewhere said...

Colgate blue? The same colour as your blog -- Marrickvillia blue?

I think it looks solid -- I'd be interested if I were looking in the Sydney market. And I'd leave the kitchen absolutely as is. The backyard looks huge, but I guess that's how they've photographed it.

GoAwayPlease said...

Sorry RH, but I am more repulsed by the opulent sashaying of wretched excess in Belle-type magazine featured homes

This house is for sale now that the Nonna who cooked and cooked there, raised several taxpayers who now have McMansions and have given her a suite of her own in one of them.

R H said...

Don't be rude. You're right, but don't be rude -or I'll get you a perch with Markus Knowallus.

See how you like that!


Ampersand Duck said...

I'd call that colour Spearmint Milkshake, but only if it were in Perth, because you can't buy that flavour here in the East.

boynton said...

Great post, Meredith.

I spend a lot of time looking at the pics on Real Estate sites. A great anthropological resource, (and maybe a narrative resource too) and good to see one of the exhbits preserved digitally before the gut-n-smeg gets em.