SIDA exhibitions: a full listing of designers and their display rooms

Between 1953 and 1986, the Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) staged nine exhibitions of model rooms, each room designed by an interior designer.

The rooms were idealised spaces, sometimes prepared for a known Australian or foreign personality. The exhibitions were staged at various spaces in Sydney including department stores and often organised in conjunction with other groups, especially charities. They were generally very popular with the public and featured in newspapers and magazines of the day with glossy photography. However, few photographs of these exhibitions have survived, though a small number are held in the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection (CSL&RC) and a brief listing can be found in the SIDA Finding Aid.

A booklet or brochure was usually (but not always) published to accompany the exhibition, some of which are illustrated below. The booklets list each of the interior design exhibitors and the rooms they have created and so provide major source material for the exhibitor listings that follow. Where booklets do not exist, a list of exhibitors has been cobbled together from both SIDA archival files and from newspaper and magazine reports of the day.The following is a full list of all the known exhibitors at each of the exhibitions.

1953: Society of Interior Designers first exhibition
Woollahra Arts Centre, 1 September – 12 September 1953

Edmund Dykes: Photograph and illustration panel
Hera Roberts: Flower arrangement
Mary White: Bed sitting room
Hilda Abbott: Designs for hotel bedrooms
George Korody: Studio setting
Cecily Adams: Teen-ager’s bedroom
Bruce Tebbutt: Living room of today
Marion Best: Contemporary study
Student members: Model and renderings
(Barbara Hansen, Lois Dawson, Vivienne Chaffer, Yvonne Bush, Jill Townsend)
Exhibition design committee: Selections from shops and factories
(Margaret Lord, Donald Johnston, George Korody)
Geoff Callaghan: Informal dining sitting room
Donald Shaw: A bachelor entertains
Ruth Sloane: Sitting room in the traditional manner
Stuart Low: Sitting room in reproduction 18th century furniture

1955: Society of Interior Designers [second exhibition]
Taubman’s Galleries, North Sydney, 21 March – 15 April 1955

Marion Hall Best: Living room
Ruth Sloane: Entrance hall, ‘Chinese modern’
Mary White: Bedroom
Don Johnston: Office
Stuart Low: Dining room
Bruce Tebbutt: Indoor patio

Stuart-Low Studios: A library for Morris West
Leslie Walford: A bedroom for Googie Withers
David Jones Ltd (John Brown): A sitting room for Dame Pattie Menzies
Mary White: Outdoor pavilion for Richie Benaud
Décor Associates: Town house – sitting room for Anne Baxter
(Warren T Harding and David C Lorimer)
Deric Deane Pty Ltd (Malcolm Forbes): Study for Sir Garfield Barwick
Merle du Boulay: “After Five” with Judy Barraclough
Cabana (Joyce Tebbutt): Living room for Digby Wolfe
Thomas Gillies: Nursery for David Lloyd Jones
Marion Best: Breakfast with Gordon Andrews

1967: Rooms on view
Daily Telegraph Home Centre, Park Street Sydney, 9 October - 29 October 1967
The Black & White Committee of the Royal Blind Society of New South Wales

Décor Associates Pty Ltd: A bedroom for Mrs Marcel Dekyvere
Room at Government House, 1820
L Walford Pty Ltd: Sitting room for Mrs Harold Holt
Neville Marsh Interiors: Study for Mr & Mrs Lew Hoad
Mary White: A ‘Mountain retreat’ for Sir William Hudson
Deric Deane Pty Ltd (Malcolm Forbes): Provincial dining room for Graham Kerr
Thomas Gillies: A hall for Mr John McCallum & Miss Googie Withers
Stuart Low (Barry Little): An indoor-outdoor room with Oriental overtones for Mr Bill Northam
Barbara McKewan: Barbara McKewan designs for Miss Sheila Scotter
Bridges Associates Pty Ltd: Dining room for Bob Sanders
Merle du Boulay: A country morning room for Mrs Michael White, ‘Belltrees Farm’, Scone
Cabana Pty Ltd: A room for Miss Merle Oberon
Marion Best Pty Ltd: A room for Mary Quant

1971: Rooms on view 1971
Blaxland Galleries, Farmer and Co., Sydney , 13 September 1971 – 2 October 1971
The Black & White Committee of the Royal Blind Society of New South Wales

Barry Little: A Sydney apartment for Sir Robert Helpmann
Neville Marsh: A study for Mr Kim Bonython
Duveen Pty Ltd (Merle du Boulay): An informal dining room for Mrs Alexis Albert
Cabana (Joyce Tebbutt): A room for Miss Prue Acton
Mary White: A verandah for Evonne Goolagong; A weekender for Jim Hardy
Anthony Morris: A room for Harry M Miller
Décor Associates Pty Ltd: An entrance vestibule for Mrs William McMahon
(Warren Harding & David Lorimer)
Marion Best Pty Ltd: A room for Mr Peter Sculthorpe
(Marion Best & Deirdre Broughton)
Decorators Boutique Mosman (Sheila Thomas): A study-den for Sir Garfield Barwick
Barbara McKewan: A room for Mrs Indira Gandhi
Leslie Walford: A room for Bobo Faulkner
Edmund Dykes: A study for Captain Bert Ritchie
Andersons Holdings Pty Ltd (Tim Anderson): A garden terrace for Lady Cutler

1973: Ten best dressed rooms 1973
Centrepoint, Sydney, 24 November – 15 December 1973
The Cornucopia Committee for the Children’s Medical Research Foundation

Lachlan McIntosh: Town house pre-dinner drinks area
Denis Belotte: Study for a designer
Ray Siede: Private jet for a company executive
Leslie Walford: City apartment for a youthful tycoon
Ronald Sabien: Garden room at Coolum
Merle du Boulay: Guest’s bedroom in a country homestead
Anthony Morris: City dining – country flavour
Kevin Hambly: Master bedroom for the ‘now’ couple
Barry Little: Bathroom for a liberated wife
Joyce Tebbutt & Jenny Birtles (Cabana): Living in one room

1976: ’25 years of design’
Centrepoint podium level, Sydney, 12 October – 24 October 1976

Tom Terry (Fubbs): Solarium for the sophisticated sun-worshipper
Babette Hayes: Good looking, good cooking kitchen
Laurel Baker & David Westcott: The young executive’s dressing room
(David Jones)
Rolf Heins (Unicum): Eve’s affair
Warren Head: A bedroom for a dressing man
Ron Horstmann: Gentleman’s yacht
Lenora Clarke: Allegretto
Ronald Sabien: A garden pavilion
Angus Foulds: The traditional living room ‘goes to town’
Christine Smith: The decadent bathroom collection
James Morland (The Book Ends): Breakfast with the birds
Lachlan McIntosh: Guest’s room for out-of-towners
(Lachlan’s interior designers)
Barry Little: That little girl’s room
Joyce Tebbutt & Jenny Birtles (Cabana): A jungle gym for David
Patricia Pruden: On vacation
John Hall (Duveen): The man about town’s leisure room
Anthony Morris: Luck be a lady
Graeme Wright: An apartment bar
Susanne & Graeme Over & May Kerr: To dine as a king
(Avanti Interiors)
Leslie Walford: New angle on a classical entrance hall
Malcolm Forbes: A Paddington terrace balcony
Ray Siede: The devastating dunny
Richard Swiney & Allan Pearce: Her private domain
(Richard Allan Studios)
Gail West: A room with a view
Dick van Leer (Artes Studios): Study for M/s reporter
Warren Harding & David Lorimer: Dinner for one
(Décor Associates)

1980: Décor with black
Luxaflex design centre, St Leonards Sydney, 25 August – 7 September 1980

Lyndall Evatt (Artes Studios): The male retreat
Barbara Bridges: Korean room of the Yi Dynasty
Peter Moss: Art Deco today
Victoria Kraitzer: My little corner of the world
Babette Hayes: A padded cell
Roma McMinn: The white room
Ross Cox: The modern office
Stewart Symonds: Adam inspiration
Rosemary Kendall: For a country woman
Warren Head: A pavilion
Mark Higgins: Marble and deco
Leslie Walford: A model [home]
Geoffrey Lopez: Entry hall
John Hall (James King Interiors): A morning room

1986: [Display rooms]
Sydney Showground, Moore Park, 19 April - 27 April 1986
In conjunction with the NSW Guild of Furniture Manufacturers, part of Australian Furnishing Expo ‘86

James Morland: Entrance hall
Ann Brewer: Dining room
Mary Nilsson: Garden room
Geoff Lopez (First Editions): Boy’s room
Tom Terry (Weaver Interiors): Master bedroom
Antonio Castella (Archterior): Study
Lenora Clarke: Living room
Simon McLachlan: Family room
Sue McCleman & Jeff Paterson: Girl’s room

Browse all
Marion Best Pty Ltd: 'A room for Mr. Peter Sculthorpe' by designers Marion Hall Best and Deirdre Broughton, [Rooms on View 1971]

Finding aid: SIDA collection

The Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) was a professional body, founded in 1951, to represent the interests of interior designers in Australia. It promoted interior design to the general public and also set standards of practice for the profession

An indoor-outdoor room with Oriental overtones for Mr Bill Northam

SIDA: advocate and caretaker for a new profession

The Society of Interior Designers of Australian (SIDA) was a local expression of an international movement. The label ‘designer’ rather than decorator was used by a professional body as early as 1936 and SIDA saw itself as advancing the new profession


Rooms on view: SIDA’s exhibitions, 1953-1986

From its inception, the Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) used exhibition rooms as an effective marketing and education tool. The ‘rooms’ were each designed by an individual SIDA member as an idealised space often for a named personality.

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