23 October 2019

Australian Architecture Series: The Federation House

In this blog series, we’ll describe the most common historical housing styles in the country. Here, let’s check out the typical features, history, and origin of the Federation house and its relevance in today’s housing.
Federation house

The Federation architecture is a symbol of our country’s budding national identity. Designers during the late 19th and early 20th century combined design influences from France, the US, and the UK to create a style which is unique to us. Like Victorian homes, Federation houses possess a lot of character and glamour. Many people built them between the years 1890 and 1915 and we still see these structures today.   

Here’s one stunning example of a Federation house. Take a moment to appreciate its distinctive aesthetics:

If you’re planning to buy a Federation house on the market and if you’re thinking of renovating, consider restoring the original features of the house. A stunning home like this draws people’s attention from the streets. 

Notable features 

  • Front verandahs 
  • Decorative timber fretwork or cast-iron latticework
  • Leadlight windows with white-painted frames
  • Paved patio, driveway, and pathway
  • Dominant roof lines with gables, hips, and exposed rafter ends
  • Terracotta tiles, corrugated iron, or pitched slate roof
  • Chimney
  • High ceilings
  • Highly-ornamental interior design
  • Filigree
  • Stunning garden and landscaping 

Why Australians adore Federation Houses

This classic residential architecture puts great emphasis on the country’s flora and fauna. Nature was embedded on the timberwork (e.g. sunrise motif, tendrils, flowers). Many Federation homes also feature gardens with lush native plants. These two things show how proud and happy people were about the Commonwealth of Australia.  

How significant are these classic homes today?

Many of the Federation style structures today are listed as part of the Register of the National Estate. These are being protected because of their unique heritage values. 

Federation house
‘Vallambrosa’, Appian Way, Burwood, New South Wales, Federation Queen Anne style
Federation house
‘Alba Longa’, Federation Queen Anne home, Appian Way, Burwood, New South Wales via WikiCommons

If you need help renovating these kinds of houses, contact our designers. We have renovation experts in Sydney and Melbourne who are ready to help you.

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