Bored during lockdown? This sale is just what you need!

July 17, 2021

Bored during lockdown, stuck at home seeking escapism, comfort and pleasure?  You’re in luck – we have just what you’re looking for with our latest House & Garden Winter online sale with leading auction house Lawsons including select pieces from the home of Collette Dinnigan.

It’s your chance to refresh your home, update your space with a curated sale of more than 350 extraordinary items that make it easier than ever to pick up a key piece from the comfort and safety of your sofa. After all, the best houses and gardens have something extra; and these antiques, vintage collectables and garden ornaments – are easy to layer on top to make your pad even more appealing.

Join the huge trend to acquire a beautiful piece for your home and garden that you’ve always wanted – pieces to give joy!! 

If you’ve ever wished you could decorate your home like Collette Dinnigan does, you’re in luck: the fashion and interior designer Collette Dinnigan has included around 20 pieces from her latest Southern Highland home in Bowral,  giving everyone the opportunity to make their own homes feel a little more hers. 

Interior lovers will get a rare glimpse into the designer’s most recent Australian country house at Bowral. Over the years Dinnigan has amassed a portfolio of properties, hand picking a collection of furniture, lighting and rugs from around the world, with an assortment up for grabs in our sale on July 28.

Every part of Collette’s homes reflects elements we see in her work as a designer. 

“When I was designing fashion collections, I would always start with a colour palette – and I take the same approach with interiors.”- Dinnigan shares.

Once I’ve established the key colour for a room, I then look at all hues and shades within the same family – then add “texture” with furniture, rugs, lighting, even a fireplace”. 

The sale includes a set of the designer’s 20 Murano vintage blue tumbler glasses, (Lot 30,  estimate $1200), plus an exquisite antique French black desk, (Lot 31, estimate $1000), a pair of French antique black chairs with blue velvet seats, (Lot 32, estimate $1000), four classic white timber kitchen chairs, (Lot 73, reserve $700); an antique giltwood over-mantel mirror, (Lot 74, reserve $1200), a wrought iron decorative outdoor stairway made by a Southern Highland’s artisan for Dinnigan’s former Melbourne Toorak boutique, (Lot 72, reserve $3000) and various Morrocan striped handwoven rugs and runners made using vegetable-dyes, (estimates, from $800).

“I make it a priority to get the lighting right first and never use “down” lights because their glare tends to be a little harsh,” says Dinnigan. “In contrast, having an array of lamps and sconces can totally change the mood in a room for the better.”

The sale includes a striking antique French brass 115cm lantern from Dinnigan’s former landmark Vaucluse home,  (Lot 25, estimate $6000), a vintage Italian 1930s wall light in brass, (Lot 74, estimate $250); and a darling blue ceramic table lamp with checked shade, (estimate $150). 

When you’re designing a house and garden, it’s natural to focus on the foundations. But walls and floors aren’t all there is to a visually appealing space. Furniture, ornaments, statement pieces from mirrors to art, candelabra, pots, and statues have an important role to play and are the things people are most likely to notice first when they visit. 

These things draw people to a space. They have a way of transforming a house into home. Or a backyard into a garden.

Find plenty of garden items in earth tones that will  blend in. It’s about how the colour reads from far away as most people spend just as much time looking at their garden from the house as they do from outdoors.

There’s plenty of statues and other ornaments to add a sculptural note, the kind that feature in grand European gardens for centuries, but for a lot less. Don’t let the idea of adding them to your backyard seem intimidating.

They can transform a space, however small, by creating a focal point in your garden.

Seek out large decorative urns on plinths, figural fountains, big pots you can use to anchor something at the end of a path, to mark an area you’ve become interested in, or to cover up something you don’t want to see. Also the most spectacular pair of lidded urns with aged patina, all kinds of teak garden benches (as above), classical statuary, a pair of cast iron stags, sets of bronze lions, whippets, planters in the form of a Roman bath, black painted Champs Elysee-style cast iron lights, old marble wrought iron tables, an armillary sphere on a stand, a large bronze Buddha, and pots galore. 

They are great pieces to upgrade your surroundings and make your home a sanctuary, reflect who you are, and personalise your space so it feels like your own, mirrors you, and helps you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Even if it’s a new bench to put outside to enjoy the alfresco life. There are the most beautiful urns on plinths, that will transform your view when you look out a window. Because the best homes are about having lovely big windows with great views of pretty things like statues, or fountains. Even a master bedroom looking onto a balcony with a gorgeous pair of grand urns. You will find it all. 

Also find beautiful, affordable garden seating with teak benches that can be left out all year without falling apart – not just in obvious places, like on a deck or around a pool, but out in the landscape.

It could be a bench along a garden path, or driveway, which creates a destination within the larger garden.

From our own collection, there’s a French antique Neoclassical black round table, a French side table bought from Parterre Garden, bedheads made in a beautiful imported Spanish toile for a spare bedroom at our Sydney family home. (Lot 18, estimate $500). All our homes have had a spare room done in blue toile, which is such a wonderful memory.

There are lots of vintage baskets. Wherever we go, we buy baskets with good proportions and a good patina.

There’s a French XV-style mid-19th century armchair which was our prize possession for many years, (Lot 3, estimate $2000) and a Chippendale-style chair with gesso paint finish (see above) we have had since our children were young, (Lot 9, estimate $400).

There’s a generous contemporary glass-top desk with chrome trestle base that we wrote our Herald columns on for more than 15 years, (Lot 14, estimate $800). Every piece has a story, and meaning. 

The sale is a lesson in using things in new, different settings – an opportunity for people to buy soulful things that have been well designed and well made with a story. This stuff just fits everywhere. It will add variety and stop your home from getting stale.

Remember, you find the best things when you’re not looking for them.

Also find striking Gothic to Georgian mirrors, superb sets of chairs, pairs of antique armchairs, select chandeliers, French marble-topped walnut commodes, antique leather-bound books, various clocks, painted French-style bookcases, open elm dressers, Spanish tables, armoires, farmhouse tables, and majolica

There are 1920 patinated bronze bowls, French 19th-century caned canapes, 18th-century Italian consoles, a French empire bed, a teak plantation chair, gilded side tables, antique French bedsides, antique oak coffers, French bergeres, Georgian chests, an 18th century English Provincial oak settee and numerous decorative smalls.

What appeals about the furniture and accessories is they have meaning, history and a story, that creates a sense of ease, comfort and safety in a space.

These pieces resonate more deeply today than ever. 

Bringing vintage into our spaces, enduring pieces which have been loved, reloved and repurposed, reminds us that however difficult things are at the moment, life goes on. 

Join the thrill of the chase at now to find your very own eye-catching piece. Have fun tracking it down. Ends 7 pm, Australian Eastern Daylight Time, Wednesday 28th July. Register to bid, now.

Our online collection hits the spot for pandemic decorating because you’ll fall in love with each piece’s sustainability, its style, its story. Plus, collecting and decorating are a few of the leisure activities the pandemic didn’t take away.

This last year has made us all realise how a well-designed home improves our well-being and happiness. We’d truly love you to find a timeless piece from this special sale – think of it as The RealReal of Interiors –  to enjoy forever! 

Melissa Penfold’s Winter House & Garden Sale including one-off pieces from the Private Collection of Collette Dinnigan.


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