The Australian House by David Rabbitborough

The Hall and Lounge

The anterior chamber of the home is called the Hall. It is a strange room which appears to have no use except to house a table with a telephone on it. For a long time it was a mystery as to why suburbanites would want to conduct telephone conversations in a room with five doors opening off it. The answer is that from the Hall there is a direct line of sight to the television.

The television is a sort of household god. It is always the first thing positioned in the house and all the other furniture is arranged around it.

Suburbanites believe that the television watches over members of the family and they are placed in positions where they can see what the suburbanites are doing every minute of the day.
(Right: Televisions on guard)

The Lounge is designed primarily to intimidate intruders. The fabric of the couch and the armchairs is the most expensive that the owners can afford. Invaders are made to sit on the couch and given cups of coffee and sometimes sticky cakes which they must balance on their knees. There is sometimes a low table called a coffee table but it is always just out of reach. Inevitably the invader always ends up dropping some small crumb or droplet and spends the rest of the visit trying to cover it up with their foot

Interestingly, we can use the furniture of the Lounge to tell the nature of occupants' relationship. If a couple sits on the couch it means they have probably been married for less than one year. After that period they tend to sit in the armchairs

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