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Australian Patio Furniture??, Sydney


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Friday, April 30, 2010

Australian Patio Furniture??, Sydney

I could shoot this same picture all over Sydney.

So, what's the deal with the house couch on the front porch?

Comments on "Australian Patio Furniture??, Sydney"


Blogger a speer said ... (5:40 AM) : 

I like to think if I had a patio like that, this is what the furniture would look like. The best part about it is, it just works.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:40 AM) : 

wonder how quickly it grows mold...


Blogger Zac said ... (5:43 AM) : 

Why not?

Most of those terraces are low rent, usually multi-tenant student accomodation. You find a couch by the side of the road ready to be taken to the tip.. drag it to your place with the help of your mates.. and voila, an excellent place to drink tea / beer with a friend and watch life pass you by..

You don't usually find the porch-couch in front of the nicer pricier terraces in East Sydney / expensive parts of Glebe.. I guess some turn their nose up at it.. but that's speaking more of the gentrification of the traditionally bohemian inner west, and that's a different story altogether.


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:44 AM) : 

Not enough room inside.


Blogger little scarlette said ... (5:45 AM) : 

Well, they're comfortable of course!


Blogger Alice said ... (5:46 AM) : 

uhmmm what's the deal?


Anonymous La fille du marais said ... (5:46 AM) : 

I absolutely love it. In a couch for a perfect chill-out.


Blogger indigo16 said ... (5:46 AM) : 

I shot many similar photographs when I was in Cyprus over Christmas. They tend to go for wood and plastic more than fabric, but is was the same in every porch, village after village.
It was like a constant stream of William Eggleston viewpoints.


Anonymous jill said ... (5:48 AM) : 

It's how we do


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:48 AM) : 

Cause it's warm, doesn't rain very often, they're more comfortable and most importantly it's cheaper to drag home the couch your neighbour puts out on hard reduse day then to buy actual outdoor furniture.


Blogger Michael Collins said ... (5:48 AM) : 

It's a share house thing. Two room mates move in together and they both have couches. Only one can fit in the living room so one goes outside.

For the smokers - or just to watch the world go by.


Blogger Emily McGuire said ... (5:51 AM) : 

Great photos. I saw the same set-up happening when I was in Sydney a few years ago. I love it; bring the inside outside without sacrificing comfort! Plus, being Sydney, it is done in an ultra-stylish manner, naturally.

I can just imagine a bunch of trendy hipsters with their de-caf and bi-annual fashion magazines lounging on the leopard print number!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:51 AM) : 

It looks like you're in Darlinghusrt.... these terraces are usually teeny tiny, dark and with little or no backyard to speak of. A lounge on the patio is great for hot nights, cigarette breaks and watching the passing parade.


Anonymous teresa said ... (5:51 AM) : 

I'm from NZ, not Australia, but you'll see a similar thing here. Most likely they're student flats.


Blogger I'm a mean street kid. said ... (5:52 AM) : 

we aussies just like to sit by the front door with a beer in our hands and watch the people walk by!


Blogger saba said ... (5:54 AM) : 

aussies know HOW to enjoy life.. so movin back !! im done in sweden


Anonymous VVRI said ... (5:54 AM) : 

let me guess your in either Redfern, Surry Hills, Waterloo, Darlinghurst or Paddington. Its the intoxicated roommate bed/bad boyfriend bed/or afternoon drinks type of couch, usually.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:56 AM) : 

I think it's just an aussie and sharehouse thing... Happens whereever there's student sharehouses, all over Australia.
.... exactly what Zac said.
It's much cheaper than buying outdoor furniture, the fuel used for transportation on it is hardly anything because you need to drag it and it's comfortable. An because it would hardly rain into the terrace front veranda, hardly any mould.
comfy too...


Blogger Henri said ... (5:56 AM) : 

Awesome. I did this recently, couch on the lawn, chilling out redneck style.


Blogger Ruthie said ... (5:56 AM) : 

because the weather here is so beautiful, and we like to be comfortable. that's why it makes sense to me, at least.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:58 AM) : 

Oh dear. The memories! When I lived in Melbourne we had at the highest count 16 sofas in our shared house and its garden. I think we sourced most of ours from either hard rubbish days or the local op shop (thank you Brotherhood of St Lawrence!).
Good times, good times...


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:58 AM) : 

This is an Australian shared-house institution! It symbolizes parties, late afternoon beers and mid-morning cups of tea.


Blogger pentagramica said ... (5:59 AM) : 

Because it's a comfortable place to sit in the sun and watch the passers-by! If I had my way, there'd be a couch on my back verandah so I could sit in the sun and read my book!

p.s. I doubt you'd have that much trouble with mould.. it's not that wet here.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:02 AM) : 

cause thats how we roll..the best place for people watching..especially in surry hills/darlinghurst


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:02 AM) : 

Uni students and share houses... Porch = extra living space. On a Sydney Summers night a drink on the porch after uni with friends, very nice! Im guessing you where in Surry Hills?


Blogger mustownmore said ... (6:02 AM) : 

Ha ha! It's so true. My brother lives in Melbourne and everyone there just seems to rock the old furniture from inside on their porch instead. The Aussies seem to like it, I think it looks a little like they're waiting for the junk collector to come...


Anonymous Luca said ... (6:07 AM) : 

Haha - this must be Surry Hills - its for sleeping on when you stumble home late from a night out and have forgotten your house keys (or are not in a state to fit the key in the lock), not uncommon! lol


Blogger Siobhan said ... (6:11 AM) : 

We don't call them patios. They are front verandahs. And it is one of the most comfiest ways to watch the workd go by.


Anonymous mimi said ... (6:13 AM) : 

four words: student housing/share accommodation.

not very glam, but comfy all the same. plus, also practical - those terrace houses are tiny.. no room for much furniture.


Blogger Anastasia said ... (6:16 AM) : 

oh gosh - thats awful!!!
being a Sydney sider ...thats SO embarrassing....but guess its a comfy way to watch the world go by...


Blogger the maisies said ... (6:25 AM) : 

to sit, smoke, drink tea or wine or beer, enjoy the warm weather and watch passers-by. i'd say 90% of those couches are picked up from hard rubbish. terrace houses are tiny and dark, and if it's warm enough, why not just have your living room outside?


Blogger Lauren said ... (6:30 AM) : 

We do the same thing here in Melbourne!


Blogger truffle buttons said ... (6:37 AM) : 

its much cooler than being inside! and you can chat to the locals


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:37 AM) : 

It's a great way to save perfectly good furniture from going to the tip. Personally all my furniture in our sharehouse is rescued from curbsides. I used to think it was just a student thing but now I'm working and I still do it. Who wants to spend money on cheaply made (but expensively priced!) new furniture when the old stuff is just as good and looks COOL? Not I.


Blogger lungi said ... (6:43 AM) : 

Coz its better that sitting on plastic ar wrought iron


Anonymous SydneyGal said ... (7:07 AM) : 

With reference to Diana Vreeland... if you have constant fabulous weather, why not bring all things indoors outdoors!!!


Blogger saradowle said ... (7:10 AM) : 

What a great idea, they'd get soaked here in the UK!
Last night there was a programme on tv about Sydney, now I reeeeally want to visit!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:12 AM) : 

If they were nicer they'd be stolen. The good ones are probably on the back porch.
I think I'd prefer to put big plants there!


Blogger Belinda said ... (7:15 AM) : 

I love the traditional Australian front verandah couch. They are not unique to Sydney - I've seen them in every major Australian city that I have visited. They are great for relaxing and watching the world go by.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:21 AM) : 

its because we [students] are awesome.


Blogger dreamsofcities said ... (7:29 AM) : 

It's an outside couch! Outside couches are a simply glorious phenomenon. They bring the comfort of the inside of your home outdoors. Usually rescued from the kerbside rubbish collections. I sometimes wonder what my future outside couches will be like.


Blogger Unknown said ... (7:30 AM) : 

Scotty its the same in melbourne


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:34 AM) : 

What's the deal? It's self-explanatory - sociable and comfortable!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:46 AM) : 

this is my hood so i shall share my view...

probably couch was found on council rubbish collection day... not a stylish find but a useful one.

this is not a small terrace, it is at least a 4 metre wide front, which by Newtown standards is enormous... would have at least 3-5 may be Surry Hills or Paddo. Rents are ever increasing in the inner city here and out of necessity you have to collect furniture this way.

tenants are likely smokers. we don't like cigarettes much in Oz.


Blogger bawkbawk said ... (7:52 AM) : 

this made me extremely homesick (for melbourne)!

& yes, its for drinking beers & smoking & etc etc. Some of the best summer nights are spent on such couches.


Anonymous Mandy said ... (7:59 AM) : 

You see that occasionally in North Carolina. But more recliners, I'd say. Especially in old houses that may not have AC.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:05 AM) : 

Come up north to Queensland where there are real verandas - we love and live in our outdoor rooms!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:09 AM) : 

Reminds me of frat row.


Blogger Unknown said ... (8:14 AM) : 

I love my couch. I like being outside while maintaining that "in-doorsy" feel.


Anonymous Emily Play said ... (8:22 AM) : 

It's our thing. Like, how in other countries people put a flag out the front of their house. We put a couch.


Blogger said ... (8:27 AM) : 

It's the same as a stoop in the US.

The couch on the porch provides a nice comfy way to watch the world go buy.

These are typically found at student flats where there's always an old couch kicking about.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:33 AM) : 

It's too hot to sit inside so share houses or student houses often put a couch on the patio for drinking beers.

On some days you'll see they drag out their tv's to watch the cricket.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:33 AM) : 

It's widely known as recycling - reusing what we have and reducing our global footprint. Yes, they're probably relics of previous tenants and it's mostly likely of a share house. What dumbfounds me are your regular naive comments in your blog and book. It's a contradiction for a well-travelled person. Is it suppose to humour or simply to condescend?


Anonymous said ... (8:38 AM) : 

it's perfect for chilling out on a nice day.


Blogger jenson said ... (8:41 AM) : 

aussies love to sit out in the sun


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:42 AM) : 

Yea, this seems to be what most of them look around in the inner city area like Surry Hills, Glebe etc - a lot of the time, students co-renting / hippy-like people living there.


Anonymous Lucy said ... (8:49 AM) : 

Porch couch! I have of these on my porch in Melbourne. Student furniture staple.

We, in fact, bought ourselves a couch to go on our porch before one for inside! Good for warm nights of wine drinking and a comfy outdoor reading spot.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:00 AM) : 

The cheetah print on the bottom works, but the other couch looks like a class-less, blob-like lump next to the door that is begging to be put out of its misery. You would think that if someone would set a fabric-covered piece of furniture on the front porch, they would at least have the decency to throw a tarp on it when not in use. Coninuing visits by strays can set (FAST!) the whole business in motion for the retiring a piece of outdoored-indoor furniture


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:00 AM) : 

Sigh, reminds me of Crown Street days in Surry Hills, we had a sofa on our terrace porch too and for all the reasons mentioned, nice to be taken back, seems so far away in London


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:12 AM) : 

I've seen the exact same thing in some North American cities, including as far North as Toronto. It's always in the more underprivileged/student neighbourhoods.


Blogger Little Kell said ... (9:25 AM) : 

Some of my best and fondest memories are of sitting on a couch out the front of a terrace in Surry Hills with the gang, drinking and watching the people. Grimey and awesome. Thank you for posting these! It's so Sydney!


Blogger Just me and my bon genre! said ... (9:27 AM) : 

People down under are laid back! Couch is there for the mates to come down have a chat & a beer, then pass out not on the mouldy gutter but on the comfy couch! :)


Blogger nellouise said ... (9:34 AM) : 

It's where the husband sleeps when the wife locks him out for being in the pubs to late.


Blogger Unknown said ... (9:44 AM) : 

eew..that is embarrassing! And may I add, not at all representative of all Australian porches! But each to their own I suppose! Just not my idea of comfort! :)


Anonymous msd said ... (10:17 AM) : 

Hilarious! I never realised how weird this looked to outsiders.

As others have said, the couch is a sure sign it's a share house full of young people, probably university students.

What happens is this... someone moves out (generally after forgetting to pay the last phone bill) and leaves a crusty old couch they don't want anymore. No-one else can be bothered to take it away so it migrates to the front. Alternately, someone drags it out onto the street and someone else down the road drags it back over to their house. (Free couch, woo hoo!)

It's cold and rainy this week but in Summer you often see young people smoking/drinking/talking on the couches. Space is at a premium so the front of the house becomes a second living room. It's very useful when the actual living room is full of annoying friends of your even more annoying housemate.

Sigh, I had some good times hanging out on lumpy couches like these in my student days.


Anonymous Rob said ... (10:22 AM) : 

Oh! back in my student days we had a bed on our porch...boy if that bed could have spoken....


Anonymous loolah said ... (10:30 AM) : 

Not on my porch you couldn't :-)

But it's for chillin', innit?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:31 AM) : 

In Melbourne too!


Anonymous The Duchess of Amboy said ... (10:56 AM) : 

Lots of porch couches in Pittsburgh, Pa too!


Anonymous Lydia said ... (11:07 AM) : 

Looks like Newtown to me, I've seen house couches dragged out of upstairs windows onto shop awnings on King Street too - makes a great place for a bird's eye view, if not such a great idea for those with vertigo ;)


Blogger FASHION SNAG said ... (11:21 AM) : 

Cool couch! Doesn't it get wet outside? x


Blogger Mumei said ... (11:39 AM) : 

while it doesn't happen often in toronto, there are more than a few porch couches to be seen. my old room mates and i had one and it was THE party spot on warm summer nights. we may have been doing it for the sake of white trash inspired irony though. by "may" i of course mean "were".


Blogger John Hutchison said ... (12:13 PM) : 

This is a very common thing in the deep south of the good old US of A. A place to just kick back & watch the world go by.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:23 PM) : 

Lived in Sydney - Mosman actually – in a house with a bunch of friends and we had a couch on our porch too! Drove all of our fancy neighbors and the local neighborhood council crazy!! We were having a great time though...


Anonymous Andrew said ... (12:38 PM) : 

I think the concept is cool but it should be done with style. Aside from that, indoor couches easily absorb dust and moisture which would totally ruin the furniture. I suggest having a proper
patiofurniture would be best. If it's a matter of being comfortable, recliners or deep seaters is what I would advise rather than exposing the couch outside.


Blogger Allison said ... (12:59 PM) : 

Ah, the porch couch! This is a very common sight in Portland, OR. I'm born and raised here so I didn't realize how odd it looks until visitors started questioning it. And it Portland it's not even a frat/student thing, either - it's very wide spread. It's something of a "we don't care if this looks presentable, we want to be comfortable and drink beer (and not throw away something perfectly good because we bought something new/got rid of pets/quit smoking)".
Thanks for sharing some of Sydney daily life for those of us stuck at home.


Anonymous evalyn said ... (1:23 PM) : 

Well, I don't live in Sydney, but my reaction is: why not? It looks like a (hopeful) return to front porch living, visiting with neighbors, etc. Have a beverage, sit outside and say Het to people passing by.


Blogger nicole said ... (1:29 PM) : 

Another person here from Portland, OR confirming that there are many porch couches to be found here! And they are spectacular. My current house does not have enough room outside for a couch, and oh how I miss the morning cup of coffee out on the couch, listening to the rain hit the pavement.


Blogger Christina said ... (1:58 PM) : 

Really interesting...good on ya mate!


Blogger Unknown said ... (2:10 PM) : 

haha.. so you can save the money of buying outdoor furniture.


Blogger Mark S. Cone said ... (2:27 PM) : 

This is the best use of an old couch that has been replaced. I have one on my back patio in AZ, and it is awesome. Everyone needs to give it a shot, it will change your life.


Blogger eats and thrifts said ... (2:52 PM) : 

You could shoot that all over Indianapolis.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:56 PM) : 

the question should be, " so, what's the deal with uncomfortable 'patio' furniture on the front porch?"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:27 PM) : 

it's where you drink beer and smoke cigarettes


Anonymous My Roman Apartment said ... (3:27 PM) : 

Q: What do the really rich and the really poor have in common?

A: They both have upholstered outdoor furniture.

Scott--You've never lived in a neighborhood where everyone has a front porch? This is so common in Los Angeles and all over the south.

Indoor furniture often looks great outdoors. I use a vintage chandelier as a patio light. People love it.


Anonymous transplnt said ... (3:31 PM) : 

No worries! It looks just like the Portland, Oregon, USA, Inner South East neighborhood - for all of the aforementioned reasons...tres chic!


Anonymous Judith said ... (3:45 PM) : 

I've seen those alot in California and even in Germany on Balkonies! When I grow up I'll have my own front porch with a couch on it! :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:45 PM) : 

Haven't you ever been to a college town? I see this all the time.


Anonymous Raphaël said ... (3:57 PM) : 

Ahaha, it does make me think to the old people from corsica that like tp gossip around everyone, but this is such a good idea to enjoy conformtable bothh sunny sky and hot weather.


Anonymous Marissa said ... (4:32 PM) : 

Classic Sydney! This one is making me homesick!


Blogger Ladan Azita said ... (4:52 PM) : 

We do that in Boston too!


Blogger Eri said ... (5:16 PM) : 

They're always crappy old couches that no one in the house can be bothered throwing away - why would you when you can just stick it outside for you and your mates to kick back on and enjoy a beer together at the end of a long day/night?


Blogger Lucy Laucht said ... (7:29 PM) : 

People watching! Lucy Laucht


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:59 PM) : 

Indeed, as many readers are asking, why not? It is amusing to read the wide-eyed accounts of the well-heeled, as they scour the globe and think they're uncovering something radically different in another society. What the Sartorialist sees as something particular to a national culture is very much particular to a socio-economic class.

It's odd to see The Sartorialist's slow transformation toward more broad subject matters. Yet, The Sartorialist's efforts reek of exclusivity, the same sort on display in well-tanned, sculpted bodies at pool side in Rio. Bravo.

I am reminded of his photographs of India's poor, caught from inside cabs, and from his effort to reduce the photograph of a Pakistani lawyer to a mere fashion critique, and to ignore the lawyers social context, a moment of demonstration over the dismissal of a supreme court judge. This is nothing new.

But we keep coming back for the eye candy he gives us. And, every so often, we are reminded of what eyes gaze and frame the photos of these high-couture-blogs.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:04 PM) : 

I love how two couches can get more comments then some other photo's here, gheh.


Blogger Helen said ... (8:20 PM) : 

This is not a respectable abode.
A bunch of 20-year-old party animals with no money and no jobs live there (otherwise known as students). I think I lived there once. That is someone's mum and dad's old couch that no-one wants anymore. Enebriated friends who have drunk through all their cab money always know they can stagger to your house for emergency accommodation. They will be snoring on the couch when you wake up in the morning, or, more likely, at midday, to share stories about the previous night's excesses and make plans for tonight's.


Blogger A said ... (8:43 PM) : 

Yep, what all the other Sydneysiders have said! Plus people generally don't smoke inside in Oz (especially if you're sharing with nonsmokers) so comfy outdoor furniture protected by the rain is a must! Also people-watching is a glorious tradition! My terrace is so old it doesn't have a verandah (1800s) but I sit on my front step with tea/glass of wine and watch the world go by all the time. Love it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:47 PM) : 

great colours.


Anonymous chloe said ... (8:52 PM) : 

a great sight is when they start to grow weeds!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:32 PM) : 

Best place to have a cigarette and watch the passers by.


Blogger after the rain said ... (9:35 PM) : 

thats my boyfriends backyard right now, i kinda like it it's a lot comfier than real patio furniture


Anonymous princess glee said ... (9:50 PM) : 

Ha ha, how provincial!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:51 PM) : 

This takes me right back to college years in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Everyone who was anyone had a sofa on the porch. How could you not? Where else would you sit whilst dinner was cooked on the porch grill? And what else would sit alongside the porch keg? Porch furniture forever.


Blogger Miss said ... (10:03 PM) : 

I think it's a down under thing - we do it here in New Zealand as well. Nice and comfy haha


Anonymous jess said ... (11:20 PM) : 

HAHA I laughed so much after realising that we used to have a couch outside at our old house like that.

I sit on it to put my shoes on, to avoid tumbling down the stairs.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:06 AM) : 

Sometimes when you're broke and moving to a new terrace, you drag your huge old couch with you... only to find the terrace's doors and staircases are too small for your furniture to get into.

So you give up and leave it on the porch on your way to ikea. It becomes a place for your and your hipster friends to smoke and drink beer.


Blogger Little Lovables said ... (12:18 AM) : 

In my student housing at college, every porch had an old goodwill couch.

It's where the boys played their guitars trying to woo the ladies and such.

The older and kitschier, the better.


Blogger Hannah Shipton said ... (12:45 AM) : 

Oh my! When I first saw this I did a double take. Thought it was my sister's terrace in inner city Sydney.
Yeah we're all about recycle and re-use in Sydney!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:47 AM) : 

During Mardi Gras they were all having house parties along here. So many people on all the verandahs. There were DJs next to the couch & everyone walking past wanted to join the party.


Blogger Gin said ... (12:59 AM) : 

LOVE the comments :)
i see outdoor furniture around my campus a lot during summer as well, even on roofs sometimes


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:24 AM) : 

It's so clear that your not from Australia if u ask a question like that?!! Ha ha.... It's just how we roll.. Comfort, style environmentally friendly and yet another way to enjoy our fabulous weather! ... Jealous rest of the world??? ;-)


Blogger Rebeccak said ... (2:16 AM) : 

Haha.. I never even thought of it as odd! Where else would you want to chill with your mates in the afternoon?


Blogger Jessica said ... (2:21 AM) : 

From the comments, it's clear that many of you have not spent much time in Southern California (and I'm not thinking Newport or Malibu). I can't even begin to count how many times I saw this sight during the time I spent there. It seemed to work because of the dry climate. My mind would always run away with thoughts of bug colonies or small animals taking up homes within the furniture though...


Blogger mk said ... (2:40 AM) : 

its a social thing, it's common all over australia.


Blogger kylie said ... (3:36 AM) : 

i love this. i'm a sydney sider and i live in the burbs rather than inner city. there are plenty of those couches around here and we had one for a time, i still miss it. we got ours off the curb, just an opportunistic acquisition. it lasted about a year before the fabric started to degrade in the sun. it's just way more comfy than outdoor furniture and didnt cost anything.
as for the embarassed sydney people, well you shouldnt live in sydney


Blogger Unknown said ... (3:47 AM) : 

Awww this and the comments makes me so happy! Makes me want to go to Sydney and hang out in one of these!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:51 AM) : 

When you live with 3-4 other people, who usually move into a house with all of their couches/furniture/etc, you need to put them somewhere - and a porch? Why not? You can have your morning coffee (and smoke if you do) in comfort, out in the fresh morning air. Also - outside couches + parties = good times.


Blogger Jacinta said ... (3:59 AM) : 

That is pretty much Australia. Its all over Melbourne too, and not just front porches but backyards...why sit on plastic furniture when you can sit on a lounge, usually one you've picked up for free on hard rubbish collection day.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:57 AM) : 

I agree - the couch on the verandah (not patio) is an Aussie institution! However, are you being humourous or condescending Scott? If you ask me, this is a great way to enjoy Australia's great weather, develop a better sense of community, as well as recycling old furniture!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:02 AM) : 

its gross and unsightly, and yes they do get mouldy and stinky.


Blogger erinbrooks said ... (5:44 AM) : 

I'm pretty sure that first one is one of my mates' flat in Newtown...
Yeah, student accomodation. And why be uncomfortable when you're outside for a smoke?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:30 AM) : 

You're making me homesick. it don't happen in Canberra mate. We are all inside wearing uggies now :-(


Anonymous Ros said ... (6:50 AM) : 

Hey how come you didn't visit Wellington on your trip? We've also got some interesting things happening on the streets...maybe next time?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:17 AM) : 

it's the perfect people watcher!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:45 AM) : 

Dundedin in New Zealand has a slightly different spin on this quirky furniture arragangement - pop it in the front yard, and add a sharehouse of students in their pj's sprawled over chair ;)


Blogger Unknown said ... (7:45 AM) : 

The couch out the front = non-conformist. Which, plenty of creative, resourceful people do with their front verandah. Plus, whom really would want to steal a lumpy, often tea/ food stained couch covered sometimes with dog hairs from your front porch as opposed to a refined, purpose built outdoor setting?

Yep, it is definitely a student thing. You find this setting heaps around Carlton, Fitzroy, Burnswick, North Melbs.


Blogger East Cape Beach Motel PEI (902) 357-2228 said ... (8:31 AM) : 

These shots are really great!


Blogger Claire said ... (9:13 AM) : 

It's just what we do! Why sit inside when you can enjoy the beautiful weather outside? Happens all over australia. I'm in Perth and houses are more spaced out but still everyone does this. Frankly I don't understand the appeal of uncomfortable wooden or plastic furniture.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:43 AM) : 

because we sydney-siders are awesome :)

rena @


Blogger @nnoushka said ... (10:35 AM) : 

it never rains that it????


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:43 AM) : 

It might be a student house aesthetic, but most students are priced out of the market around Surry Hills. Those terraces, even with unrenovated kitchens and bathrooms are very expensive to rent. It's true though that australians spend a lot of time on their verandahs.


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:10 AM) : 

Yeah, I don't think it's a Sydney thing, I think it's a student thing. Where I went to school, Madison, WI, plenty of student houses would have the same things, couches picked up from second-hand stores or the curb and given a nice home on porches.


Blogger Roxana Farahmand said ... (11:17 AM) : 

I live in an off campus apartment in Boston and saw this in more than three of the houses/apartments on my very small street. It's just what the cool people do ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:33 AM) : 

Australians are awesome. I need to get out of the U.S.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:33 AM) : 

This is such a southern U.S. thing--makes me gag to think fo the bugs in these.


Blogger Renata Mentor said ... (12:22 PM) : 

It just can not rain... It gotta be sunny and warm...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:03 PM) : 

life on the street! you see that kind of interaction in europe, asia and south america... this is the australian appropriation of british architecture for a cosmopolitan climate!.. but it's pretty much a student house thing- and aquired from the side of the road during 'hard garbage' pickups... if only everyone would use them more!?


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:46 PM) : 

i'm sure it's already been said (i can't read 106 comments) but i've seen a similiar sight around a lot of australia. i believe it's a part of our beauty. we're that relaxed we need a couch on our porch.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:07 PM) : 

No one there has heard of wicker? Or ornamental iron? Sad, really.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:37 PM) : 

Were you conceived on a house couch like this? What's your deal. : )


Anonymous Nick said ... (5:07 PM) : 

This patio principle is like fashion - the incongruity is what makes it chic. I see this a lot in Madrid. Love it!


Blogger Cassie Tasker (SFPorter) said ... (6:49 PM) : 

Oh, you just made this Nashville-based Aussie homesick!! :) I've hardly thought about it before, but it really is a staple item for the porch / balcony / beach + a good friend & cool drink... Perfection!


Blogger carla said ... (7:22 PM) : 

Is it my son's house in New Town???
I have sat on a similar couch on his front porch with a mean 'short black'.It is great, relaxing and you can say just hello or chat to people that come past. I live in Tassie, the same thing happens here, but the couches DO get wet, because in Tassie is still rains!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:37 PM) : 

I'm surprised neither of these photos have kangaroos hopping past, with people riding them.

Poor Americans. They're very sheltered. But bless him, at least Scott has ventured away from home so that he can observe the weird and wonderful ways of The Rest of the World.


Anonymous Bronwyn said ... (7:47 PM) : 

This is not just an inner city thing....this is seen so much more in the suburbs! I live outside of Sydney and or us, it's a place to sit as the sun sets, as it's always so warm in the evening, and have a beer or cup of tea, while you talk to your neighbours or watch everyone go by. It's not about space in a house, because we still have backyards and room out in the suburbs, but it's such a relaxing place and you can sit and watch the kids play in the yard, enjoy the fresh air and the neighbourhood. Our couches aren't always that trendy aswell!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:41 PM) : 

assuming these photos were taken in Surry Hills... anything goes and it just adds to its it


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:46 PM) : 

my parents rent out a terrace in newtown, the first week the tenants went in there was a couch outside, apparently the homeless get some use out of it :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:46 PM) : 

this is a massive trend in inner-melbourne too,
love the old couches


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:19 PM) : 

my sister has one. she calls it a bal-couch-ony


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:32 PM) : 

This is common in low income neighborhoods and housing projects in the mid-west.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:46 PM) : 

I'm from Australia and i didn't know it was such a wierd thing to everyone else! It seems pretty normal to me. i mean why NOT a couch outside!? like all of the above have said...chill nights, party nights, drunken sleeps, smoke breaks etc etc seems logical hahah


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:04 AM) : 

like so many have said before me, it pretty much is an indication of a student house.

When there is hard rubbish collection and there are any decent couches/armchairs they almost always become the furniture in and in front of a sharehouse.


Blogger eric g said ... (1:33 AM) : 

You're from Indiana, just like home!


Blogger Bronwyn said ... (3:12 AM) : 

The Dunedin, New Zealand spin also includes using the couch as fuel for mid-street party night bonfires. Something the university authorities are doing their best to crack down on.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:18 AM) : 

Wicker furniture or ornamental iron? You would NEVER see that here (to comment by dkzody above)
It would be nicked in no time!

Yes, maybe it is a common thing all over the globe with students but our obvious weather advantage makes it seem all the more plausible. Did i mention it is Autumn and 24c here today..?


Blogger ajdye said ... (4:16 AM) : 

It's usually found in places with renting university students. A great place to sit outsite if you have lots of friends over for some drinks. Usually the couches are found on the side of the road for hard rubbish collection.
You can see this in Melbourne too. :)


Blogger Mint mannequin said ... (4:47 AM) : 

in Newzealand, especially dunedin, students do it everywhere, its near impossible to be here and not see it.often their burned at the end of study year on the streets, if their lucky enough to not get slapped with a fine.


Blogger Unknown said ... (4:53 AM) : 

Well firstly is a 'lounge' not a couch and secondly its a 'veranda' not a porch :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:39 AM) : 

we keep a couple of old couches in the garage & drag it out to the back yard for parties :-)


Blogger Sean Cookson said ... (5:45 AM) : 

Mate, it usually signifies student accommodation.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:19 AM) : 

I'm pretty sure it's in Surry Hills down past the hoey. My mates home is just down the road. It's just what the hipsters do: have your friends round, chill on the couch with a beer or three. This is supposed to be one of the trendy suburbs so there are a lot of students and artistic people in this area.


Blogger Sophisticated Misfit said ... (6:28 AM) : 

Oh, hi there. I'm an Australian uni student/40 year old hipster. Together with 15 of my friends, I rent a small terrace built for 2. See that couch on the front porch? It defines me. We placed it there because that's the best place you need to be to annoy the neighbors as they're trying to sleep.

Yeah... how dare they complain at 3:30 AM cause they can't sleep. Who cares if they need to work in the morning to pay taxes and put food on our table. Who cares if we're trashing this joint whilst they work 4 jobs to pay the mortgage on their overpriced shoebox. Yeah, who cares about civility, cordiality and common sense. Not us. We like to put a decomposing couch on our front porch cause that will make us Australians, somehow.

How ridiculous. How vulgar. Next time I see one I will douse it with petrol and set it alight. Be warned. I'm in Paddington, often.

Just another reminder of why I should move back to Italy.


Blogger Chips said ... (6:45 AM) : 

I think it might owe something to the Mediterranean migrants. near my Mum's house in Surry Hills, Sydney the Greek Australian nmeighbours always sit outside the front of their terrace. Tho they are usually on plastic chairs, not upholstered couches.
Love this blog, have only learned how to make a mark myself. I read yours, Scott, and Garance's every day, tho I am in my late 50s!


Blogger Sophisticated Misfit said ... (6:47 AM) : 

Scott, I've spent 3 decades living in Sydney and sometimes, I swear, it's like being stuck in a parallel universe. Don't even try to understand it.

And what they're saying about whole street parties where everyone mingles with one another... it doesn't happen. The community to which they're alluding... it doesn't exist. The passing parade which they're mentioning... there is no parade of people.

The couch thing, like the couches themselves, is an issue of social decay.


Blogger M said ... (7:03 AM) : 

Its not just a Sydney thing. Its an Aussie thing.


Anonymous Silla said ... (9:03 AM) : 

Weird!!! I don't like it at all! :)


Anonymous leticia said ... (9:29 AM) : 

australians also take couches camping


Anonymous leticia said ... (9:29 AM) : 

Its an australian thing. Many a good time have been had on those couches on the porch.

I'm from Perth in the wild wild west.


Blogger Laura Evrard said ... (1:32 PM) : 

Ah! I love it! I mean really, why not put old cheap furniture to use? Plus, all the comments by appalled snobs are hilarious. Thank you for posting this.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:04 PM) : 

i see this in trendy singapore bars clubs now. sofas and ottomans taking over arcaded sidewalks after six. Must be a pain to take them in after hours


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:37 PM) : 

when i used to live in Surry Hills, a homeless man used to sleep on our front porch couch, but primarily they're just to sit and watch from.


Blogger Lee Oliveira said ... (7:00 PM) : 

Why not?!
Sydney is always sunny, we might just enjoy the sun outside.. Lx


Blogger winky said ... (7:20 PM) : 

lots of people do it here in portland, oregon, too.


Anonymous petal said ... (7:48 PM) : 

Sophisticated Misfit, why not go back to Italy if you're so desperate to escape Australia! your attitude clashes with this beautiful city.


Blogger Alice Liddell Blog said ... (8:39 PM) : 

What Zac said! Plus it's much more comfy than regular patio furniture. I once saw a red couch in a park in Surry Hills too (where they have the markets. It was sitting in front of a nice green hedge - I have a lovely photo of it!).


Blogger Unknown said ... (9:25 PM) : 

I've noticed many people saying that it something seen in only low income areas, student accommodation, one person even went so far to say that it is a sign of social decay!

I'm from Perth and I will concede that you would more often see this in those areas.

That said, I have seen many well looked after couches on huge verandah/balconies/porches in some of our highest socio-economic areas.

I am currently a student and am living in a flat that has no balcony or porch but you can rest assured when I am working and am able to buy my own house (or at least rent a bigger one), I will be buying a big beautiful couch or similar to wile away a lazy afternoon while watching the world go by.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:54 PM) : 

Haha, that was my old house.

New (old) couch though.

The mardi gras pary was awesome and was one of the fondess memories of that street.

ps. we were not poor uni students or wanky emo bitchs or whatever stereotype you douches.

My flatmate just got drunk one night and brought home a couch he found on the street for our dogs.

And yes it is Surry Hills.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:39 PM) : 

Love a good couch on the porch, ours tend to be the left overs from music festivals such as meredith and falls in melbourne / victoria, we take them so that we can sit on the hill /campsite and enjoy the music/scene. If they make it thru the festival they live on the porch to be enjoyed until the next festival rolls around.


Blogger la panique said ... (10:49 PM) : 

its very common in melbourne to. And i'm pretty sure comes from the sharehouse thing. Too many couches not enough space, so the spare either ends up on the balcony, in the backyard or the front porch. The purpose is for smoking ciggies and drinking beers on warm nights. its the best!


Anonymous Sharyn said ... (10:53 PM) : 

and when the couch is finally too grotty for the porch - you take it to meredith - uber-stylish festival seating


Blogger Nicole said ... (10:55 PM) : 

Old couches found in the local council cleanup (when people dump their old junk on the streets for other people to find) and probs couldn't be bothered to take it inside lol. But also its mixing the comfiness of inside with the relaxed atmosphere of outside.

Nicole, sydneysider.


Anonymous sophie said ... (10:57 PM) : 

eww - even reading unsophisiticated misfits comments made me feel cheapened

soonest gone - soonest mended buddy

see ya!


Blogger Kathleen said ... (9:39 AM) : 

Dear Scott,

If you ever visit the deep south, you will find plenty of couches on the porch. The Australians got it from us!
I'm not kidding about the couch thing here in the south, but they've got us beat by a mile as far as the style of the couch. You wouldn't see any leopard print couches out front people's home down here, or anything so bright. They win!


Blogger NARDIVILE said ... (11:31 AM) : 

How funny..i go past this terace often and always wish to myself that the couch on my veranda was leopard print.
I cant think of a better use for a couch that has seen its day but is still too good the throw away.
Mine occasional makes an apperance in the back yard in good weather.
Cant beat it!


Anonymous Santa Cruz Kid said ... (2:05 PM) : 

I've observed that almost everything you find a bit "bizarre" or "the look" in other countries (couches on the porch in Sydney, men wearing leggings under shorts in Tokyo, etc.) has all been normalized for years in Santa Cruz, CA. I guess no big-wig fashion people ever really bother to stop here. But, I suppose, we kind of like that.....the death of Bohemia is commercialization.



Anonymous men's t-shirts said ... (2:37 PM) : 

Fascinating shots!


Blogger Teresa @ good-grace said ... (5:35 PM) : 

oy! All I can think of is it's a big home for mice. (lovely shots, though.)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:04 PM) : 

Nothing to so with space inside, or being a student. When the weather is as great as it is here (and I'm in Perth, Western Australia, which has even better weather!), why would you sit inside on your couch? It's much nicer outside! And it doesn't get mouldy due to the lack of rain.


Blogger flybynightkarmarepair said ... (8:25 PM) : 

We used to do the same thing 30 years ago at the frat in Berkeley. Families would gift us with often very nice couches, when Mom redecorated, and when the "Sun Room" at the back filled up, out to the porch they went. Once the winter rains came, it was off to the dump with them - it DOES rain in Northern California.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:57 PM) : 

Haha, that's in no way a trend. Take a walk through a college town, and you'll see couches outside all the major frat houses. It's a comfy place for us students to sit and watch a rousing game of beer pong.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:53 PM) : 

Two words: Student housing


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:40 PM) : 

Haha. So Sydney. So Melbourne. So rental.



Blogger pdmeyer said ... (12:53 AM) : 

I go to school in Los Angeles, and all the students do this. It's comfortable, and if it doesn't rain then it's no problem!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:41 AM) : 

I'm from Brisbane, and we have one of these as well. Student/poor 20somethings house. The students next door were moving out and offered it to us. And yes it is totally about sitting outside with a book, watching the West End weirdos go by and smoking cigarettes. Also to those who said that the weather is so good that they don't get mouldy, have you looked UNDER the cushions lately? We've had enough rain in Brissy over the last year that ours is, admittedly, pretty damn grotty. It doesn't smell though so we keep sitting on it. We're looking to get a set for the backyard as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:05 AM) : 

Probably already said elsewhere here, but it's a pretty common thing for students in rental properties to do.

In Dunedin, New Zealand, the couches are often burned in the winter chill and don't make it through to the next year's tenants. Plenty of second hand couches around!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:02 AM) : 

the print couch is in surry hills right near the cricketers arms


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:25 AM) : 

Yes - this is fabulous Student house share Australia. We find it very difficult to throw away a comfy couch. FYI you may also find a couch on the back of a ute (small open back truck) ready to go to an outdoor concert or other summer event! Beaut idea!


Blogger bird of light said ... (10:57 AM) : 

Do I detect a hint of irony here, as opposed to sardonic humor, or other as has been suggested?... The incongruous pose has revealed the brains behind the beauty of the Aussie-outdoors couch... ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:22 AM) : 

Since when are we (Aussies) calling a verandah a porch?
Is this yet another example of American cultural imperialism?
It's fascinating to hear new fashion in our vocabulary. Last time in Melbourne I was stunned to hear young people use "You guys" instead of "you". Wha...??
An especially alarming habit to observe in a waiter :\
I rather like the colours in the animal-print sofa pic. Thanks Scott, your work is beautiful.


Anonymous Hel said ... (9:16 AM) : 

I wish I could have the same coach on my small, small balcony!


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