From the Editor September 2012
Sally wears a Helen Cherry top; photographed by Emma Bass; make-up by Kaitlin Chapman; hair by Michael Kent
When we saw the pictures of Peter Gordon's red chesterfield couch, we knew we had to have it on our cover. Never mind that it was on the other side of the world in Peter's new London flat and some nearby roads were closed for the Olympics. Art director Rich Brunton and I decided it was worth the effort to shoot the couch for the cover because - well, actually just because we loved it.
We love the fact that it makes a bold, brave style statement, but is also very well-bred: the first sofa of this type is said to have been made for the Earl of Chesterfield in the 1700s and chesterfield sofas have been seen over the generations in fine drawing rooms and smoke-laden gentlemen's clubs. But, where early versions were black, brown or oxblood, Peter's is rip-roaring red. It glows against the paint-splattered floor of his art-studio-turned-sitting-room. It is quality with quirk, tradition with a twist. It is the sort of couch you can see once and fall in love with.
Which is what happened to us in the office, and also what happened to Peter when he bought his sofa, before he even had an apartment to put it in: "I knew if I didn't grab it, it would be snapped up by someone else". It spent years of its life in an elegant West Hampstead apartment, then moved with him to his vibrant new pad.
While Peter lolls happily on his red chesterfield sofa in Hackney, on the other side of the world in a restored Wellington villa Samantha and Andrew Murray and their brood of boys do the same on an almost identical sofa. Because, amazingly, there are not one, but two sexy red chesterfield sofas in this issue of NZ House & Garden.
While we shot our cover chesterfield in Peter's airy, arty apartment, the same piece of furniture looks every bit as special "but completely different" hunkered down in the Murrays' cosy man cave with its retro Axminster carpet and black walls.
Like Peter, Samantha Murray seriously stretched the budget to buy her red chesterfield years ago. It has been leapt and wriggled on by three boys and had a button chewed off by a puppy, but she still thinks it's great: "It's aged just beautifully".
Here at NZ House & Garden
we're always reminding ourselves, and our readers, of the golden rule of homeware: if you buy what you love, you can't go wrong. This red-chesterfield-inspired issue proves the point beautifully. Twice.