Mid-Century Musings

So I have been looking at mid-century homes A LOT of late.  There are plenty of these beauties around these here parts.  I have this client/friend shall we say, who came to me in a dilemma.  She had sought professional advice in terms of  ‘freshening’ up her home and felt that what had been suggested to her was not the right fit. Power to her I say.  I won’t go into the details too much, needless to say that we are revising the ‘suggested’ colour schemes for the interior and exterior. When I say revising, there really needs not be too much change. As I suggested to her, why not just freshen up what is already there. The home is so strong in its characteristics of the era, let that be your guide.  Work within sympathetic and respectful boundaries I say. She simply could not believe that she had not thought of that (well she shouldn’t have to, after all, that’s what paid professionals are for).  Needless to say  I have been traipsing the streets, stumbling upon some amazing mid-century homes that are literally just around the corner.  I have also included some ‘not so local’, because you can never have too much eye candy.

kew house

This interesting (and rather beautiful) mid-century home above, is in Kew, Melbourne. It is on a steep road that overlooks the Yarra River, and I used to shuffle-run up that street and marvel at this beauty when we lived around the corner. Apparently the house wasn’t furnished in a ‘sympathetic’ manner. Damn shame, because it certainly deserves to be. Source

australian modernist landscapres

Another local gem.  This home is in Balwyn North, a suburb that features many mid-century homes.  The home is blogged about on Australian Modernist Landscapes This house stands out amongst the others of it’s genre because it has undergone a renovation and an addition that has paid full respect to the design sensibility of its era.  Full credit to the architects (in this case Nest Architects) .

13 redmond street kew

Another cracking mid-century modern in Kew, at 13 Redmond Street. Looks to be in original condition, and love the breeze blocks at the back of the carport.

lower plenty

Found on realestateview.com.au

lower plenty 2

Found on realestateview.com.au



The Design Files featured this Sydney home (belonging to Ferne Colls and family) back in June last year. The house was designed in 1972 by modernist architect Harry Seidler. As Lucy Feagins mentions in her blog post, this home has retained its original layout, and almost all of its original features with some being restored painstakingly to former glory. Now that’s respect. Take a look through the images and Lucy’s fantastically informative interview with the family that resides here. Read more about the back story of Gissing House at Modernhouse.co

tim ross


One of my all time personal favourite MCM (Mid-Century Modern) homes belongs to comedian Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross and his family.  It was featured on The Design Files back in June 2011 (see TDF post here).  Tim Ross is passionate about music, comedy and architecture from the 1950’s and 60’s. You just gotta click here and see a 3 min snippet from his Man About the House Show, performed at the Robin Boyd designed ‘Walsh Street House’. Makes my heart skip a beat. 

trust your blood tumblr


I have so much respect for those that have so much passion about restoring these homes. Their homes have soul, and it’s all about maintaining that. After all architecture is not about houses at all, it’s about people.



2 thoughts on “Mid-Century Musings

  1. There are so many amazing mid-century homes around Melbourne (and probably Australia) and they can all be treated to some love, restoration and sympathetic restoration. It is a fine line to tread however. We renovated our 1957 Beaumaris home a few years ago and it was a challenge to make the home work for our family’s lifestyle, keep to our budget and then try and retain as much of the original character of the home. I believe we did a good job for where we were at the time, but now in hindsight their were elements I should have worked harder to preserve.

    I guess modernist style is quite timeless and can be achieved using contemporary materials, layouts and fittings. It’s more about the attitude to the design I think!

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