Leslie Walford's yellow curtains

In 1972 the NSW government planned to make Elizabeth Bay House an official residence for the Lord Mayor of Sydney. Under the direction of Fisher Lucas Architects, from 1974 to 1976 the ground floor was 'restored' to the style of the 1830–50 period and the top floor adapted for mayoral and VIP accommodation.

Interior design firm L Walford Pty Ltd was engaged initially to provide curtains for the ground floor rooms. A grand scheme in the style of the 1830s was completed for the window treatments in the drawing room. This included inner curtains of white French voile, outer curtains of bright yellow French moire silk, a silk cord fringe with tassels in the centre section and long pleated side tails lined with red French linen that showed at the bottom of each fold.

When the work was in its final stages in mid-1976, a change of government meant that the plan for a mayoral residence was shelved. Instead, Premier Neville Wran announced that Elizabeth Bay House would become a museum open to the public and managed by the Elizabeth Bay House Trust. In 1980 the house was transferred to the newly formed Historic Houses Trust of NSW, which began a process of research into the period of Macleay family occupancy in order to present the building as a house museum. As part of this project, Leslie Walford’s yellow curtains were replaced in 1988–89.

23 May 2017 - 1 September 2017

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