‘Wilson House’ 12 Fawkner St, South Yarra VIC

All credit here to Steven Coverdale and Simon Reeves, who once more on their own pages fill a pretty vacant sale pitch with the richness of this property’s actual history, design and construction. Reeves has written up a glorious account of the architect and first owner and photos have been mostly supplied by both keepers of the flame, for over our dead bodies will we headline with a land-size image. Suffice to say this offering is an immediately enticing urbane-Melbourne-gentleman-about-town’s residence which, despite it’s development attraction, punches through with a purity of space and light which may very well see it through to live on another day. Less is more my dear fellows.

4 Hilltop Ave, Devonport TAS

Be it East Hampton, Acapulco or here in Davenport a ship comes in everyday and this could be yours. Though inconspicuous on the outside, inside reveals a rambling, though architecturally sophisticated, residence made with the elements in mind – indoor bbq FTW! At the rock bottom price point we have come to know and love from Tassie, hopefully this one will find the right family/buddy collective/cult it was made for.

3 – 5 Godwin St, Blairgowrie VIC

An unsullied beach-shack, Mid-Century modernism for the masses, rises out of the ever shrinking pool of originals. This home of pure and basic necessity would, with different build materials and more glamorous interior fabrication, be a magazine cover of contemporary beach-side design today. But back in the day, that was not a consideration. Just having your own place for the kids to run free, park a tinnie, have a shower after a long morning surf, invite some mates down to share a bbq and beer on the verandah, in short; actual living, was all the brief we ever wanted or needed to create a true holiday home.

‘Lyall House’ 13 Belvedere, Kew VIC

A shining jewel in the bedazzling Melbourne MCM crown that is Studley Park. A noted and cherished work (C.our Olympic year 1956) from crowd fav Anatol Kagan this cruise liner of a residence sits astride a sweeping corner, soaking up the northern views of urban bushland, river valley and hills dotted with similarly valued Modernist homes of note and pedigree. Spotless on the outside it has been somewhat colonised on the inside, in the 80s we suspect (oh that kitchen and stained glass has got to go!) however unlike the heart draining vandalism which has infected other homes (such as Danne’s 1954 residence at 5 Yarra St  turning natural, sleek simplicity into Liberace fever dreams, which BTW do not sell very well at all) this home has endured changes which could easily be reversed, bringing this worthy home back to the original vision.
A breadcrumb trail history of the home has been dug up on an old favourite blog, Walking Melbourne. First – from the original owner’s son Peter;
“I can confirm that the house was designed by Anatol Kagan around 1956 for my father, James Lyall who was a “designer and modeller of Architectural decor” mainly creating interiors of theatres in plaster decor (including the re-modelling of the Regent Theatre in the 1940’s). I was the architecture student referred to and lived in the house whilst studying Architecture at the RMIT. I was also fortunate to work in Anatol’s office both prior to commencing studies as work experience over the school holidays and also later on a full time basis when completing the course.
The house was fully completed when sold, including the establishment of the beautiful garden. The upper level consisted of Laundry, Kitchen, Dining and Playroom (at the pointy end) with associated balconies, the intermediate (entry) level had a small guest room a hall and powder room, the lower level comprised three bedrooms and the main bathroom as well as the double garage. The “basement” level was a small self-contained flat that we used also as a “home theatre” and a covered loggia used for BBQ’s etc.
The surrounding area was often referred to as “Kaganville” as there were many houses designed by Kagan in the vicinity.”

…and then the second owner’s son ‘Alan’;
“I was fortunate to have lived there from 1961 to 1972. My late parents bought the house from the original owners .The house was only 2 years old (near new) and the interior was barely finished. It was missing floor coverings in many areas;was missing a laundry and was not heated or cooled apart from a fire place. My father established a garden and had an indoor pool built by the Grollo brothers.(One of their first major projects) I have early photographs if any one is interested ? The houses and gardens in studley park were manicured when first planted and everyone took pride in their property…….”

This is one is certainly for the dreamers and the gamblers and we’d love to see a member of the rising class of monied up, clued-in ‘influencers’ ( sigh if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em) in Melbourne town take over the wheel and steer this wonder into another 6 decades of exquisite Modernist Melbourne life.


1 Harley Pl, Wheelers Hill VIC

Project home part two this time  ‘Design 14B & 17B’  from Ambassador homes of the late 60s-early 70s (thanks once more Steven Coverdale). Another simple delight of warm tones which, at the time of sale, was priced around the $9k mark. Oh what a time to be alive – 45 years ago that is…….

58 Charles Pl, Jannali NSW

A coupla project homes today, first this darlin’ which sold a week or so back but we’ve been meaning to put up for ages. We’ll chit chat about the lack or otherwise of project home options these days and what could be the future another time, but for this morning let’s take it down a notch and just browse.

664 Wyndham St, Shepparton VIC

Criminally undersold with a maddening display of photographic fecklessness, another regional option pops up for us. This time in the fruit sticks of Shepp. A lot to love here, and also quite a bit which needs attention but this could be the oasis that someone somewhere has been dreaming of.

7 Victoria Tce, Belmont VIC

Lay down the chocolate this Easter Sunday morning and feast your eyes on this instead. A beaut from one of our favourite regional ‘burbs, which was once a well kept secret but no longer (prime example: this Barrabool beauty, literally around the corner from this residence, which sold in oct 2014 then Feb 2017 – look at those prices and get in now people!). But we digress. This lovely, 1964 home in one of the best streets off the river has received a makeover which will bring it into the eye of the mainstream, though it still retains a lot of the gorgeous features and that immaculate northern orientated design. Cake and eating it here really, with nothing to do but move in your teak sideboard, hang those shag prints and call it home sweet home.

15-19 Romaine St, Blackheath NSW

A home of humble intent amid the majesty of nature. Perhaps pull an all nighter in the garden. Gather your followers around that sublime back courtyard and spin some parables. Maybe comfort a betrayer in your midst or someone who snubbed you in the street and work it out over bottomless wine just before the cock crows 3 times. Or is it just time to sit with the older prophets and belt out some seasonal songbook? In any case, this spot high in the blackish Blue Mountains is calling us this time of year.

‘Shoebridge House’ 86 Woodhouse Rd, Donvale VIC

After the privilege of seeing Graeme Gunn interviewed last year we have longed for one of his homes to showcase on MA. An architect of such grounded bearing and no-nonsense attitude who, in the often convoluted and self-important posturing of the architecture crowds, remains a humbling breath of fresh air. And throughout his legendary practice this thoroughly Australian personality is evident. Brutally solid structures, nothing extraneous, elemental yet not cold. We’re so lucky to see this particularly incredible home (c.1961) such an intact example of his work, on stunning acreage (those *trees*) which looks to have had not a single head hair touched and we’d dearly hope that’s the way it stays. But above all what we hope is that it stays with us at all – though not a jot of redevelopment sleeze in the sales pitch suggest that maybe this one has a heritage overlay? Surely it must be so?

5 Panorama Ave, Ringwood North VIC

More gold in them thar hills (Panorama, it seems, is a decidedly rich vein) and this one has been doing the rounds all week. A beautiful design with original timbers and stone rightfully cherished in this snap, crackle and pop refurb. No doubt it will be a big hit with the punters in the middle east.*

*speaking of the mid-east, stay tuned for another listing round that way this arvo, you might need to relocate your mind upon viewing, take that as a warning………….

16 Everard St, Glen Osmond SA

Another day, another gem. This time a light and breezy residence high on the South Australian hills. Big land, great view and a dodgy suggestion of development is enough remind us of its place on the endangered list. But let’s ignore such unpleasantness for the mo and drift off with our own fancies of just how beautiful it is and what it could be.

41-43 Montana Pde, Croydon VIC

A real stunner in suburbs under rapid, developer-led transformation. A home built with progressive spirit in the 50s, when all around lay orchards and Melbourne was was 1/2 hr drive away, perhaps a contemporary of Mirrabooka just across the way. Now sitting in a little coil of large holdings, remnant and replanted bushland, two street frontages and on the train line. The target is painted very clearly on its head. We’ll give up on keeping the land, the interests of density to contain metro sprawl may indeed take priority here, but it would be criminal to see the home go too, such an untouched gem deserves to continue shining.

10 Kinedana St, Eden Hills SA

All aboard! A wild, c.1961 home from the hand of Russian emigre architect Alexandra Sudia has come up in South Australia looking for just the right kind of eccentric (perhaps one with a predilection for captains headwear, gang planks and shuffleboard) to steer it into the sunset. The hidden history of this home and it’s creator has been expanded by Simon Reeves whom, in his trademark wit (and bonus references to Clive Cussler and glorious 70s romp The Poseidon Adventure) leads us down this lesser trod path of Australian Mid-Century architectural past (complete with his sourced historical photos, as reposted here). After reading this, there’s is not much more for us to add. We’d suggest to simply click through those images and ruminate on who you really are for the 31st December 2017 – a Shelly Winters or more Gene Hackman type?

‘Emery House’ 50 Pine Cres, Ringwood North VIC

A very interesting listing today and one which has been setting local architecture tragics of a particular Melbourne bent into a spin. A 1971, straight out-of-uni-pre-international-fame commission by John Denton (of architectural super triad Denton Corker Marshall – you know them even if you don’t know them and if you don’t know them we highly recommend this little ABC doco on them), this family home in leafy Ringwood (oh those pines!) is a concrete block and timber ceilinged delight. Award winning, heritage listed (though the concrete block on the inside is still at risk of a nasty render job in the wrong hands – just say no, people!) completed with a later extension and pool by Denton. Warm, inviting with a courtyard of dreams, 4 bedrooms, landscaping, nooks, levels and interesting spaces a go-go; this delicious slice of modern history requires a new chapter, with a canny custodian, to thoroughly enjoy these and its 1001 other glorious attributes.

*With thanks to Simon Reeves for the newspaper clipping image



13 Minora Rd, Dalkeith WA

The Bat Signal has rang loud and clear from the west last night (thank you Daisy) alerting us to this precious historical gem which is teetering on the edge. Despite the fact that it is a wonderful 4 bedroom home complete with pool, requiring only the lightest refurb to bring it back to 60s splendour (that pine kitchen joinery simply cannot hold a candle to that incredible vanity unit) and despite claims of being the work of WA’s MCM golden boy Iwan Iwanoff an architect whose work, in even the vacuous market of mining money land, is lauded, protected and in one case even being rebuilt after unintended destruction, this home of less grandiose detail but nonetheless worthy and elegant design is facing the chop. Its on big land. On a corner. In an aspirational suburb. We are worried. Kudos is still afforded to the agent Mark, mate, we can see you are trying here but we worry it still might not be enough. Page this one to all your artisan mates west of the Nullarbor stat!

9 Fulford St, Trevallyn TAS

Lonnie just keeps creeping in, stronger and stronger like the submarine ping of an approaching vessel. When everything is out of logical financial reach and exhaustion is starting to get the upper hand that 200k price range for such a darling Mid-Cenutry home, of space and beautiful condition (not to mention that fireplace) can really start to re-arrange the furniture in your mind.

7 Hamilton St, Colac VIC

Still in the country, this time lakeside western district (ooohh Colac has never sounded so posh!). This home represents Australian Mid-Century Modernism more than most; a RVIA Small Homes Service design (the‘T351’) by no other than Neil Clerehan c.1957. We all tend to get a little blasé these days about design elements which are so familiar to us and we fail to recognise just how progressive a floor plan like this would have been back then, especially in dairy town dotted mostly with turn of the century cottages, with outside dunnys and closed off sitting/dining /kitchens running off one central hallway. That beautiful connected living/dining, glazing, bedroom wing and northern orientation to this day holds more consideration for living than many ‘contemporary’ volume built floor plans. But even without all of this critique, what’s not to love? This is a simple, serviceable home in a small town, on a lovely waterfront and going for a song. Is it time to get rural?

‘Clifton’ 940 Packham Dve, Molong NSW

Firstly we thank Alistair at Secret Design studio for this discovery (if your MCM home needs a sympathetic reno or freshen up take a look at one mighty fine option). Now, here’s a flight of fancy to get you through the week/today/the morning/this particular 1/2 hr. A regional residence which Secret Design Studio suggested as refuge from the zombie apocalypse, however we have clearly been reading too many Elon Musk tweets and devouring Big Little Lies to imagine a more Bay Area billionaire tech bro sentiment; one more option in that search for a Southern Hemisphere end-of-the-world oasis (with Parkes only 1 hr away! Some primo alien observing right there). There is just too much Californian Pacifica meets Southwest elemental with a glorious Howard Hughes Hollywood eccentricity underscoring this entire place, we can do nothing but gleefully salivate. And we also must proclaim how refreshing it is to see a traditional country NSW spread as backdrop to such outrageous individualism. No button bright farming families and Country Style shearers quarters here, more starlets by the pool, startups in the lounge and sound studios in the basement. Ok ok, we’ll stop projecting now.


‘Hill View’ 23 Ellesmere St, Blairgowrie VIC

In the flurry of so many listings to post we had been neglecting our beloved beach shacks. Today we rectify with a beautifully re-furbed (though now snapped up) pastel gem, safely tucked as it should be in the tea trees. For summer is past and it is this hallowed Easter season when we truly turn our gaze to the pounding king tides; to surf comps, crisp eucalypt air, open fires in holiday houses, chocolate and rugging up for long beach walks – the time when experienced campaigners understand the coastline to be at its best and best experienced in simple traditional structures of board and decking. Plain, dreamy bedrooms. Single bathrooms. Enjoying space, time and our stunning Australian environment together.