‘Toft House’ 129 Avoca Rd, Avoca QLD

Let’s stay outta town with this regional Queensland surprise package. Frankly speaking regional Qld is most often the haunt of more down-at heel, dishevelled or eccentric Mid-Century offerings however this sensational spread a stones throw from Tomato Island (we had to get that in somehow) is a bona fide pedigree. In almost unreal condition for its age and boastful of its 1966 architectural roots (though not sure of the creative hand behind it) this family home of simple but superb design has a proud and beautifully kept legacy. This is most clearly seen in those intelligent interiors, gorgeous bespoke joinery, clean light fittings, accomplished build and the fact that (like the best of MCM) it responds to the needs of contemporary living immediately with only very minor, superficial changes in order, if at all. And like its regional brethren you get all this joy, history and spacious living for a mere $330k – dark rum cocktails all round!

23 Old Bass Hwy, Wynyard TAS

Sitting in the wings for literally half a year the day has arrived for this sweetie to shine. Right on the connecting road, yet also right on Bass Straight this little ripper requires only a small serve of love and care (and removal of those vertical blinds) to make it an agreeable apple isle base.

‘Seccull House No.2’ 77-79 Smith St, Lorne VIC

A Christmas miracle confluence of premier Victorian beach town and preeminent Victorian architect, this residence was Guilford Bell‘s second commission for the Seccull family, completed a mere year after their city home was finished. Now, those of you with pachyderm memories and/or super serfs at the foot of the Australian Modern gods will remember when we showcased the first Seccull House 2 years ago. This formiddible statement of theoretical breadth and unfettered vision clearly impressed Mr and Mrs Seccull enough for them immediately request a holiday house in the then boho and surfer dream town of Lorne. This auspicious combo of patronage, prestige and place leads to this 1973 listing which should have many weak at the knees. A configuration in two parts: the bedroom wing – a comfortingly steadfast block of repeating windows, rooms and balconies – a design which had roots in the 1930s Internationalist circles, but which  thereafter become 20th Century design shorthand utilised in everything from motels to offices to retails strips across the globe. And in an adjoining twist, but very typical of Bell’s (especially later) work, the living dining pagoda-esq pavilion topped with an incredible timber-lined ceiling and exapnisve decking affording all the breathtaking Otway coast views. To die to die! Of course it’s had its share of updating (some bits most successful than others) but for the most part it remains close to the original in form and it would be a hard heart indeed who wouldn’t give their eye teeth for the chance of inhabiting such a home of such provenance and location. 

Historical photos curtesy of Simon Reeves at Victoria Modern – many thanks Mr Reeves!

27 Holmwood Ave, Anglesea VIC

Settle down children and we’ll tell you a story. A tale of our very first foray into the world of MCM before we really understood the term or the subject. Back in mists of the 1990s, while researching an art project we went hunting for the all-Australian fibro, pastel-toned, mid-century beach house of our childhood mind’s eye. A tour of the ti-treed lots of sleepy, mid-winter Anglesea was target numero uno, as we knew those hills to hold a trove of such homes. Film photos were taken (digital was a couple of years away), developed and cataloged away but some of these homes never, ever left our thoughts. And in the coming years with the coastal real estate market venturing into absurd new territory of aspiration and ownership we’d sometimes recall those buildings and sigh that they probably had fallen by the wayside. This house was one of them. Last seen last century, painted pale lemon, hiding in a thicket of dark trees on a large hilly block, those octagonal windows, entry patio and dynamic skillion roof-line were never going to be forgotten. Suffice to say we nearly fell off our chair when we we spotted it today, sparkling anew with an architect designed extension. It has not only survived as intact as we could probably hope for but thrives as a celebrated design reference still as practical and breezy beautiful as the day it was originally constructed 60 years ago. An endless summer is a true reality for a lucky few…………

32 Gray St, Riverside TAS

Another in the basket of the doable, more than doable really, as this Lonnie lovely has striking Mid-1960s form (project home we dare say) which are nigh on impossible to reproduce with integrity, but is relatively unaltered inside. This leaves an opportunity for some clever busy bee to get to work and cajole this little home into something loyal to its lines and wonderful to behold. 

4 Joshua Crt, Lara Vic

At this stage and with thousands of listings under our belt we really shouldn’t be so surprised about the high calibre of architect designed gems sitting in little ‘ol Lara. Maybe it’s an argument proving that illogical prejudices of the geographically adjacent remain the most stubborn to shake loose. No matter, there’s nothing bad to say about about this baby – not with those clean lines, beamed ceilings, lovely (and rather luxurious for the time) layout topped with that rip-snorting kidney-shaped pool and expanse of garden out back. No siree, this one is a bona-fide beauty in a now burgeoning ‘burb with a price tag sitting steadfast in reality. Hooray!

7-9 Panorama Place, Deloraine TAS

We’ve been holding on for Tassie to show us something special for a while and we’re glad we waited, for this is gangbusters. A massive family home with a bunch of mainstream extras: retreat! man cave! huge land! With additional MCM fan boxes being ticked all over: sunken lounge! Beautiful timber joinery! Breeze block and stone! 1 storey high hills hoist! (?). In a rather tucked away part of the country, under a pristine expanse of sky Rickie Lee Jones herself would mention this wonderful residence is one of a kind and allows you to financially have your 5 bedroom house and eat your avo toast too. Weeeeeeee!

PS. This home also boasts it’s own insta page and names its architect (Tandy, Pryor & Rogers) and builder in the pitch –  kudos to those responsible for such devotion!

Congrats to the lucky ones!

We always adore hearing the success stories, the validation of goals here at Modernist Australia and the relief of knowing a deserving listing has landed into loving hands. And often we are super jelly too, such in the case of the killer in Kanofski St, as new owner Michelle advised us joyfully of their purchase……

“We’ve been meaning to email you for months to THANK YOU for alerting us to the auction of this modernist gem in Brisbane via instagram – which we bought!………We wanted to assure you that since we have moved in, NO surfaces have been rendered white, nor anything removed or destroyed……. We connected with the original architect on auction day and he relayed a good deal of the history to us (he designed it for his parents as an architecture student in 1969) which we shall dutifully document over the coming years… “
We also have a second shout out to Modernist Australian, Olivia, who let us know that they are now the proud owners and soon to be renovators of the elegant Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag.
Huzzahs and thank goodnesses all round! And please – let us know of any more!

311 Rowan St, Golden Square VIC

Though perhaps not one for purists, this version of roomy family casa, beautifully appointed and speaking loud n’ clear in the 70s vernacular is something we can totally get on board with. The condition of this one is awe inspiring and with little details which make us die and die again (bulkhead lighting – where are you these days?) we think it’s a true regional prize. Step to kids.

73 Kenmore Rd, Kenmore QLD

Like the quietest person in the room finally speaking to reveal themselves as also the smartest, this elegant home flies utterly under the radar. The somewhat forgettable, coffee-toned street view belies wonderfully conceived interiors of a sophisticated design (that main ensuite yes!) and stunningly well maintained bespoke joinery simply everywhere, double points also for those gorgeous bathrooms and kitchen – all in insanely good condition for their age. The architect’s name is yet to be uttered (don’t pussy-foot Deb, just tell us!) but it’s sure to be a local luminary we’ll well know. Any hints kids?