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Australian Home Styles Through the Ages

Homes can be as individual as you are, which is what makes them so great. No matter what kind of person you are, there’s almost always going to be a home on the market that suits your style. If not, there’s always the opportunity to redecorate and design your own home to suit you. There are a number of different architectural styles for homes in Australia and some are a little less common than others. However, all are unique and wonderful in their own way.

Queenslander

There is something rather distinct about a Queenslander home which makes them uniquely special and easy to spot. Developed around the 1840’s, the Queenslander was designed to survive the wet climate of Queensland. They’re primarily built with timber and are either high or low set, and can be either one or two storeys tall. These homes are generally raised off the ground due to flooding. They give the appearance that they’re ‘floating’, and they typically also include a verandah of some kind, sometimes surrounding the complete outside of the home. This is usually a great way to incorporate extra living space into the home.

Victorian

Named after the period Queen Victoria reigned in the United Kingdom, these styles of home heavily influenced Australian architects between 1840 to 1890. It was in the 1850’s when Australia had a gold mining boom, so this style of home often represents the wealth and confidence that many Australian’s gained during this time period. Beginning as one-storey homes that were either freestanding or terraced, as time passed, the homes became grander with decorative brick and stylish, patterned floor tiles. Victorian style homes are also styled with cast-iron lacework which, by the 1850’s, no longer needed to be imported from Britain thanks to the cast iron made within Australia during this time. Today, Victorian homes are usually found in older areas of cities and towns and they’re typically the oldest homes in Australia.

Inner-city terrace homes

Like the Victorian style homes, inner-city terrace homes were a style imported from Britain. Long rows of the homes were built in city areas to accommodate a flourishing population and ranged from two rooms to twenty rooms, single-storey to five-storey. They included cast-iron lacework just like those found on Victorian homes. But, these homes weren’t always the admired homes of today. By the 1890’s, these homes were considered slums and were thought to be breeding grounds for criminals and disease. Because of this viewpoint, by the 1920’s, the government actually banned terraced housing.

Federation

Sometimes also referred to as Federation Queen Anne homes, these buildings are the equivalent to English Edwardian homes. They are generally the most common style of home in Australia originating from around 1895. This style of home was also built to embrace the outdoor lifestyle of Australia, and they generally have front verandahs and decorative timber features. They are usually free standing or semi detached utilising red brick on its exterior. The Federation style home is a true representation of Australia. In fact, some homes will also include symbols of flora and fauna within the timber work or sunrise motifs within the front gable, to symbolise the dawning of a new century.

Californian bungalow

From around 1915 to 1940, Californian bungalow homes were in huge prominence across Australia. As the name suggests, this style of home derives from California and often features thick, large columns at the front of its verandah area. At the time, California was seen as a warm and youthful area, which is what many Australians hoped the country would become. These bungalow homes were often built upon decent sized blocks of land, perfect for the kids to play outside. This style of home was perfect for families who wanted a more laid-back lifestyle and to take advantage of the great outdoors, even if living in and around city suburbs.

Mid-century or postwar modern

From the 1950’s through to the 1960’s, architects of Australia were once again inspired by Californian styles. Chic, classic and simple was the name of the game during this period, with many homes looking to emphasise once again on the outdoor lifestyle and bringing more living areas into the backyard. There were the inclusions of sheltered courtyards and large gardens for the whole family to spend time in. There was also a shortage in building supplies, so these houses were built with simple materials such as double brick and fibro.

Mid to late 20th century

As we move into the homes of today, we have seen many homes become more simplified, sleek and overall, less decorated. Between the 60’s and 70’s, there was an increase in the number of home unit buildings, and then a move to more freestanding brick veneer homes closer to the year 2000. There has also been an increase in material experimentation, with an increase in the overall size of homes being built, also.

Different varieties of Australian homes

There are many various styles of homes all across Australia. The roots of each of these styles is very interesting, and knowing what era your home could have been inspired by is certainly worth looking into. Knowing the style of your home and what suits it will inherently make upgrades and new fittings for your home a little easier, as you will want to buy features that suit the current style of the home. For example, when looking for a new screen door for your Federation style home, buying a door that suits the already existing style and design will help to keep the look of your home the same throughout. Buying fittings such as doors and windows, and even the colour of paint for your exterior could easily be determined by the style of your home to ensure you keep it’s style for years to come.