Edward Street house
The house at Edward Street Woollahra was home for nearly 40 years to Peter and Deirdre Broughton. Deirdre trained as an architect and was the daughter of interior designer Marion Hall Best whose business, Marion Best Pty Ltd, was one of Sydney’s preeminent interior design firms from the 1950s until the 1970s. Deirdre worked for her mother’s business for over 20 years. The Broughton house, designed by Ken Woolley for Pettit + Sevitt architects, was built around 1973 and furnished by Deirdre Broughton in the Best style. Many of the furnishings in the house were sourced by Marion Best on her overseas travels and sold through the company’s Queen Street shop or used in interior design commissions for clients.
Marion Best Pty Ltd closed in 1974 and so the furnishing represented the company’s mature style. However, some elements in the house had been associated with Marion Hall Best over many years, including the Joe Colombo coffee table and the Georges Jouvé deer head candelabra. The candelabra had been used 20 years earlier in a dining alcove for Peter Playfair's flat in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney. Other features of the house often associated with Marion Best Pty Ltd include glazed ceilings in most ground floor rooms, rattan blinds, Japanese grasspaper wallcoverings, green rya rugs, McGuire dining room furniture, Indian madras plaid cushion covers and Knoll blinds in the bedroom. The house was photographed immediately prior to its sale.
Andrew Shapiro, ‘Personal Best’, Vogue Living, Sydney, Jan-Feb 2012, pp.150-157.