Banishment to my bedroom at the beginning of 2024 due to COVID was not what I had hoped for, but it ended up being a mixed blessing.

Photo courtesy of Moviescore Collection LTD/ Almay Stock Photo

In my mind, the year started off with a Polar Plunge at Tod’s Point (say it every year, never do it), then back to work at Town & Sea with our very exciting announcements that we will not only be re-launching our new and improved online auction site for pre-owned home decor but also formally announcing The Reserve, Town & Sea’s consignment services. I was all geared up and ready to go, except now I sit and sit and sit. Unfortunately, looking nothing even remotely like Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette.

Honestly, I am feeling better and can catch up daily with the team, but the downtime gave me room to review, read, and research, all some of my favorite pastimes from when life was quieter. In other words, time for rabbit holes galore.

While the new site is set to launch at the end of the month, we are already listing some beautiful consigned pieces for purchase on our current site; please take a peek at The Reserve.  You will find there is already a little bit of something for everyone.

And honestly, isn’t that what creating a home is about? A welcoming refuge comprised of layers of special pieces, new and old. From antiques that have been around for at least one lifetime to new seating and lighting that adds to your current lifestyle. When you no longer need them, we are here to help you consign or auction them into new homes and lives.

Kyla Sullivan, Betsy Perry & Anna Marinelli of Town & Sea

One of our current offerings that could have been useful to me over the past few days as I lolled around feeling sorry for myself? Le Canapé Évanoui or The Fainting Sofa. (sorry, my other pastime has been watching the fabulous French series Astrid on Prime Video – which I highly recommend.)

We have a beautiful pair of George Smith Chesterfield Fainting Sofas available, and these lovelies are sold individually if you only need one. I was showing one of my sons several of the new pieces, and they questioned the name. Fainting Sofa? What is this? I knew vaguely but not exactly how the name came about, so down I went. 

One myth is that the fainting sofa became popular during the Victorian era when women’s fashion included corsetry. The myth claims that corsets were causing women to faint in such remarkable numbers that an entirely new category of seating was required. Having been highly skeptical that women of any era would have the luxury of being so fragile, no matter their social standing, I was not surprised when reading a post by Stephanie Celiberti, Debunking Those Corsetry Myths, that “…the Victorians didn’t use the term ‘fainting couch.’ Take a look at the Google Ngram Viewer. This database searches the printed word from the 1500s and on. After searching for ‘fainting couch,’ the results show that this term is indeed a modern construction.” Yes, according to Le Google, the term fainting couch first appeared in writing in the 1960s, well after the Victorian Era. Btw, corsetry? Interesting rabbit hole! 😉

Palm Beach interior designer, Danielle Rollins of Danielle Rollins Brands, shared another theory regarding fainting sofas in an article by Monique C. Valeris, initially published in Elle Decor. Rollins suggests that “During the Victorian era, once the housekeepers had made the bed, that was it, and the lady of the room was not to get back in it until the bed had been turned down for her,” she says. “It served as a respite for napping or reading.”

Or, may I add, for when one is quarantined to her room for a few days and has similar reservations about lying upon a made bed. Bed made, can’t leave, now what?

Photo courtesy of Danielle Rollins Interiors

Designer Suzanne Ascher of Waterleaf Interiors, another talented designer quoted in Ms. Valeris’ article, agreed, “The fainting couch has such an elegant shape, I would use it in a large bedroom to add seating so you’re not always in or on your bed when you’re reading, talking and watching TV. It also gives your children and your pets a special spot.”

While our George Smith beauties may be too masculine for some bedrooms, they are perfect for a family room or home office. Without a definitive side, they can fit into a floor plan easier than a traditional sofa. The wider depth of 44 inches will allow for a gaggle of kids, dogs, friends, you name it. Also, the gorgeous leather patina makes them a bit less precious than other options, so you are free to laugh, party, jump, sleep, or faint away! 

From the Team at Town & Sea, we wish you a very happy and healthy 2024. And for the record, my New Year officially begins today, a week late, but I am very grateful.

Thank you for coming by!

~Betsy

P.S.  If you happen to be a fan of George Smith, we also have a gorgeous pair of Dahl Chairs currently available as well. Update – these chairs have sold 🙂

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