Staging to live… And failing at the first step…

Is there such a thing as staging to live? Or, is it just called interior decorating….

I’ve idolised the interiors of the homes we viewed for sale over the past few years, or however long we’ve been in this viewing to wistfully buy-one-day game. I would be in great envy at the cohesiveness of the decor and the inviting on trend style each house presented and thought, how do these amazing people who live here create this perfect space?…. And their magic tricks worked, I could imagine us living in these places very easily.
I am a stranger to the ways of Home staging and real estate. Hence, my being fooled into thinking people actually lived in these houses. I’m what you’d call an absolute novice, naive in the ways, so it took me by surprise that I’d been fooled by the smoke and mirrors of that show. I felt swindled, utterly betrayed that this was not a reality someone enjoyed and lived in. Boo. So I decided I wanted to create a space as beautiful to enjoy living in.
So, I’ve been decluttering and organising my treasures, some to put away (in colour groups of course for chaning in and out when it suits me) and some to showcase in my staged to live abode.. I am currently displaying metals and neutrals, mostly white, or off white things.. I decided recently, and at my husbands insistence, to spoil myself and buy a few little somethings since every inch of my life is spent on running around keeping the household ticking over. Well deserved was his point. So lucky am I.
What did I get? 

Well the terms were 1/ whatever it was it had to be for me, 2/something I would enjoy, and 3/not for hubby or the baby… 

So, I brought three little busts…. To start me on my staging adventure. 

The first one is of plaster cast and called ‘Au Village’ it is of a french peasant girl in the 1900’s I am not sure who the original is by, or anymore detail, just that she is lovely. Measures W16cm x H23cm and D11cm. Generally good condition, had been sitting in a bathroom of an antique dealers house for the last 20 years… A few nibbles, scuffs and bumps, but not too bad condition.


The next little bust is still in the mail, making its way speedily to me. It is made of a concrete mixed with other materials with enamelled detailing around the shoulders, she appears dutch in style, the previous owner named her Miss Dutch, I think that name will stick…. Not old, very much contemporary. Brought new from a home decor store 3 years ago is how the prev owner tells it.. I love its quirks and nod to stuffy old vintage but it still remains current by being made out of industrial materials. 15cm from shoulder to shoulder, 16cm tall and 8cm deep. My plan was to put her away with my blue and grey things for another day.

And the final one, well I thought it would be the same in dimensions roughly as the first two, maybe a bit smaller…. I’d even picked out a spot for it beside ‘au village’ on my small art deco sideboard. 

I called it ‘sulky’.

This is sulky….

The auction listing had only a couple of sentences…. It went like this.

Young girl figurine’, ‘Unknown origin, young girl bust’.

Sure, why not, the price was right (priced right for a non-resin, vintage, small to small/med size FIGURINE with fine expert detailing).. I asked what it was made of, the seller was unsure thought it might be ceramic and mentioned that it was signed.. Ok, at least it’s not resin! So I placed one bid for her…. And I won. Elated, I envisioned with a few minor   adjustments to the setting and she’d sit pretty up there with ‘Au Village’, my art deco Mr Symcox beswick jug and deco style glass plane lamp. After some prelim research into the signature it was revealed she’s a 1978 chalkware repro of a french sculpture too – so it was meant to be……..

Well, Until it wasn’t.

She is nearly half a metre tall and a quarter across…… Holy smokes, I didn’t realise this until just before the auction closed on my leading bid. So instead of nesting nicely with au village and the rest of my little attempt at a pretty assemblage. She will be the only thing that fits on the sideboard! Talk about white elephant in the room, I think sulky will be very imposing.

On research…She is apparently a rare piece, however I have managed to find at least two others on the net at this time…. One authenticate antiques whom seem to specialise in austins say that it is – Made by Austin Productions in 1978 (no longer in business). The name of this piece is know as “La boudeuse” (the Sulky or pouting). It is a reproduction of a famous work of the same name by Jacques-Franço is-Joseph Saly, known as Jacques Saly. He was born 1717 – died 1776.

I saw on one of the other listings the measurements, I thought that they had got it wrong. It was clear from the listings that the owners had no idea what the piece was, or where it had originated from, hence my thinking they must have been mistaken… That was until I checked the next one and it had a picture that had a bike in the background to give context……. Then I realised I had it wrong.

Later confirmed by the seller that I had purchased this piece from – Sulky actually measures height 46cm , width at shoulders 23cm, slightly less of a figurine, and more a gigantic piece of chalk hewn from the side of a mountain and fashioned into a giant pouty childs head… At least that would have been the in the description had I’d been the seller. Adorable as she is…..

At this point, I’m gonna stop… I’m going to pack away a few things and I am going to flag the staging to live thing cause, just nope – it’s not for me….  I’m going to pick out a few things I already own and love, I don’t care if they are not matchy-matchy that includes sulky, and I’ll pack away the rest… 
Frankly I messed up, and now I am going to literally live my mistake…. Failure at the first turn – When blind buying ALWAYS check the measurements. 
So, when she arrives we will sulk together. nah, just kidding, I’m sure she will be beautiful and a great conversation piece, I will love that enormous pouting face, be sure of it. However, there just wont be room for anything else…..
Hewn from the side of a giant chalk mountain is my massive sulky.
She’s now on her way to me, and will be here in a matter of days… I am so anxious, it’s like having another child – I will make it work, somehow. Haha.
*************************** fast forward 12-18 hours

Miss Dutchy arrived!

She’s petite and cool, definitely concrete and enamel crackled work on the bodice. Yay! Great for $5


And 15 minutes later SULKY arrives, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there was a wave of panic that coursed through me. I hadn’t cleared any space, I was expecting at least a few days to go before before I saw her and had to actually do anything. I ONLY BROUGHT HER YESTERDAY less than 24 hours ago!… A few deep breaths, the box was a easy metre long and half wide, ugh.

Step one, take the box inside, the box is not that heavy, good sign.. Open it.

Take another breath, excuse my messy house – the baby and I were having a nap on the couch when sulky turned up.


She’s actually quite nice, such fine details and she actually feels more ceramic than chalkware and the glaze is a muted grey (actually the accompanying ticket says terracotta). Her size which threw me into a crazed hyperventilating panic attack yesterday, is actually not as imposing as I thought it would be. She’s definitely big, but a manageable size. She also came with her original purchase ticket saying who made her what her number is and title… Which is not ‘La boudeuse’ it is actually called ‘girl with braids’ but is modelled after La boudeuse by Saly. Not that it says that on the card… The gaze angle and eyes seem slightly different between the piececs. But there is still not doubt they are the same… Ie.Reproduction.

For anyone out there that has this piece and has no idea about it… Below are the images of the ticket that came with this piece. Hope that helps. 

It would be unfair to say my attempt at staging an area failed, I now revise my title to staging to live, forget it just live.