Discover five Australian homes that express hallmarks of midcentury design.

A style that evolved from early 20th-century modernism, mid-century design is considered one of the most prominent periods of design history. During the 40s, 50s and 60s, when the movement was in full swing, the world was introduced to designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Achille and Pier Castiglioni and Charlotte Perriand, who each had a profound and lasting impact on the world of design.

Modern interpretations of mid-century design vary; however, some of the hallmarks of mid-century interiors include warm hues, the recurrent use of timber, and pieces that were designed during the movement’s heyday. We’ve showcased several homes on and in the pages of est magazine that express these hallmarks, with five evergreen examples making their way into this lineup.

Bona Vista

Studio Prineas

Located in Sydney’s inner west, Bona Vista is a Federation bungalow alteration and addition that plays on the texture and familiarity of its original palette. Studio Prineas’ intervention articulates comfortable, modern family living with an inviting mid-century flavour.

A nostalgic, hardwearing material palette builds on the Federation-era home’s spectrum of maroons and browns so that the new and old thread together as one. Red stack bond brick, Parquet flooringterrazzo and small-format tiles are a nod to the home’s original interior scheme, while crisp white walls and Tasmanian oak enhance the feeling of lightness in each space.

Studio Prineas’ custom joinery and furniture, such as the built-in leather sofa, reflect a tailored approach to how the family can congregate in the home.

Northcote House

Melanie Beynon Architecture & Design

Melanie Beynon Architecture + Design have brought their definitive approach to an extension and renovation of an old Edwardian home in Melbourne’s north. Defined by its use of timber internally and externally, the home reflects a genuine cosiness and generosity of space, highlighted by changing natural light throughout the day.

The material warmth of the home draws on a mid-century-modern aesthetic with its timber-clad interior and its timber and low-lying furniture. Melanie Beynon Architecture + Design have also brought a sense of contemporary playfulness with the selection of furnishings such as Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly chairSerge Mouille’s Applique 2 Bras Droit Pivotant and Ligne Roset’s Ploum settee.

Matthews House

Kennedy Nolan

Matthews House, the Melbourne home of two working professionals and their four young kids, captures Kennedy Nolan’s deep appreciation for the work of modernist masters through a palette inspired by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.

Conceptually, the project was grounded in the elevation of an existing home, mainly from a planning perspective, and in merging mid-century and modernist styles to create a fresh yet familiar aesthetic.

A large-scale travertine platform with dark caramel and deep-green coloured stone walls shapes Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Comparably, Matthews House consists of Classico raw travertine floors, warm walnut joinery and Verde Alpi stone, with the addition of dusty rose carpet and blush-pink marble.

Gunnamatta House

Akin Atelier

Interior design studio Akin Atelier and Jorge Hrdina Architects were tasked with designing a home that reflected the owners’ diverse cultural backgrounds; a couple looking to settle on the south coast of Sydney, one born and raised, the other originating from Spain. The brief called for a celebration of both, integrating a laid-back Australian feel with an air of mid-century Spain.

The materials used in the Gunnamatta House are there to tell a story. “The journey of the home is a sequence of shifting palettes that transition between spaces to provide a sense of subtle separation,” Akin Atelier founder Kelvin Ho says. The kitchen sets the scene, where custom walnut and brass joinery are fashioned against a marble and quartzite benchtop. This palette travels through the rest of the home, varying, as Kelvin says, only slightly. “The palette shifts to complement the family’s daily rituals and the connection with the landscape and bay.”

House Gezellig

Studio Prineas

When we hear the word ‘home’, a few sensations come to mind; cosiness, ease, comfort and togetherness. It just so happens that there is a Dutch word that encompasses all of these sensations: gezellig. So when Studio Prineas were tasked with renovating a mid-century brick home on Sydney’s upper north shore, they chose this word as their north star. Influenced partly by the ethos of Californian modernism, the final result mirrors exactly what one would imagine gezellig to feel like.

Instead of your typical marble or stone, the kitchen features a hard-wearing stainless steel benchtop and splashback, complementing the recurrent use of walnut and timber throughout the home. The connecting dining space features iconic mid-century pieces, including Fritz Hansen Series 7 chairs and a Louis Poulsen PH5 pendant. Similarly, the primary bedroom features a nostalgic palette of walnut, green and orange.

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