Depending on where you live, the streets may be lined with Victorian terraces that have beautiful facades with flourishes of fretwork. Alternatively, you may call a California bungalow home; this is a style of architecture that we shamelessly borrowed from the United States in the 1920s.
While we have taken numerous architectural styles from other countries, Australia has also evolved several architectural types that are uniquely its own. Take for example the state of Sunshine, which is home to a large number of Queenslander houses. These houses were intended and constructed to withstand the hot, humid environment and flood-prone plains of the state.
Have you ever considered where exactly on the spectrum of style your home resides? It is possible to classify it as one of the following famous architecture styles prominent in Australia, or it may share many similar characteristics with one of these types, unless the structure is brand new or has undergone extensive renovations. Considering a new project? Then MJS Construction Group builders Melbourne is the answer.
This article will explore the most common housing styles in Australia, as well as the distinguishing characteristics of each of those styles. We have you covered whether you're looking for a farmhouse in the country or an apartment in the middle of the city!
Common Houses In Australia
The Queenslander House (1840 Onwards)
The Queenslander house, which originated in the middle of the nineteenth century and is still erected today, is considered to be the most recognisable architectural style in all of Australia. The light, timber-framed homes that are lifted off the ground on stumps have been constructed to accommodate the hot and humid climate of Queensland.
The steep corrugated roofs are fireproof and enable for high ceilings, which help to keep the rooms cool. Large, covered verandas that wrap around the structure give additional shade for the building.
The homes are elevated on stumps, which maximises ventilation, which in turn lowers the temperature and reduces the amount of mould that would otherwise form due to the high humidity. In addition to this, it provides for the passage of heavy rain underneath the home and shields the foundation of the structure from insects and termites.
The traditional home of Queenslanders can be found in northern New South Wales and also in the sunny state of Queensland, which is farther north. The Queenslander house was designed as a defence against the severe weather that prevails in Australia. The raised design of the Queenslander, which is built high on timber stumps or stilts, is the distinguishing characteristic of this kind of home. This allows for easier circulation of both moist air and floodwater.
The Queenslander is not constrained to a particular style of architecture and instead focuses on this elevated architectural feature as its focal point.
As a result of this, it is possible to discover Queenslander residences that incorporate aspects of a variety of architectural styles, such as the Queen Anne style, the Federation style, the Inter-war style, and so on. It first appeared in the 1840s and has since evolved into a well-known and recognisable local style that, although it is most commonly associated with domestic architecture, can also be found in commercial and public structures.
Despite the fact that homes of this style are still built today, their popularity plummeted around the time of the Second World War as a result of a shift towards the "modern" American bungalow style. This style featured a home with a single story and was sold frequently in conjunction with a plot of land.
The Queenslander house is a single-story detached structure that was hand-built using timber weatherboards. Because of its one-of-a-kind construction, Queenslander homes are exceptionally adaptable and may even be moved with relative ease. Typically, corrugated steel is used in the construction of the roof, although slate and tiles, amongst other materials, may also be used. The roof is generally sloped very steeply. The verandah is vast and wraps around the house on many sides, providing lots of shade and the opportunity for passive cooling from the scorching heat of the Australian sun.
This emphasis on passive cooling design was carried over into the interior design of the building.
The utilisation of high ceiling fans, doors and windows that were properly positioned, and an interior that was painted with light-colored paint were all used to promote circulation and cooling and minimise heat. It is essential to be aware that many of the internal walls of Queenslander homes were built using asbestos; hence, if you intend to restore a Queenslander home, you must ensure that you have first consulted an asbestos expert.
The Ashgrovian architectural style is a one-of-a-kind version of the Queenslander architectural type. This subtype first emerged in Ashgrove, Brisbane, some time between the late 1920s and the start of World War II. This architectural style, which was influenced by the bungalows found in California, featured a giant gable roof that was flanked by smaller gables on all sides.
These houses, which were built on timber stumps and included a front-facing staircase that led to a verandah on the first story, resembled the typical Queenslander architecture that is found throughout the state. These houses are a prime illustration of how the architecture of Queenslander homes has developed over time and have found favour among families from the middle class.
Victorian Homes (1850-1901)
The years 1804 to 1860 are considered the early phase of Victorian architecture, while the years 1861 to 1875 are considered the middle and late periods (1876 to 1901).
The architecture of early Victorian dwellings is not too far from that of the traditional worker's cottage. These homes were primarily constructed out of brick and included a front verandah, pitched roof, and modest fretwork.
The ornate details gained a significant amount of popularity. Cast-iron lacework, ornate brick facades, decorated ceilings and mouldings are the identifying characteristics of this architectural style.
Cast-iron lacework, fireplaces, moulded timberwork, elaborate plaster ceilings, turned-timber balustrades, steep and narrow stairs, and small windows may be found in the majority of late-Victorian homes, including terraces. The living and dining rooms are located in the front of the house, and the kitchens are located towards the back. The bedrooms are located either off the hallway or upstairs if the terrace is a two-story structure.
It is important to note that this time period encompasses a wide variety of architectural styles for residences, including Georgian, Gothic, Regency, Tudor, and Italianate.
Going back to the Victorian era for a moment, as the 19th century progressed, it led to a refinement of the Victorian home style, which is now known as mid-Victorian. Mid-Victorian refers to the period between the middle and the end of the Victorian era. Because of the increase of riches brought on by the Gold Rush, a developing middle class arose during this time period. This middle class demanded and valued a larger emphasis on ornamentation and stylised design than the austerity that was characteristic of early Victorian architecture.
During the early decades of the Victorian era, ornate brickwork and stucco were used less frequently on exterior surfaces because they were more expensive than the locally sourced and readily available materials. Cast-iron lacework was used on the outer facade of the building as well as the fencing to produce a more elaborate and ornamental appearance. Verandahs were still made of timber during this time period; nevertheless, this trend led to the employment of cast-iron lacework.
The roof was typically made of terracotta tiles or corrugated iron, and the eaves would typically contain ornate motifs.
Bolder colours, such as salmon pink and pink beige, were used for the façade of the building, in contrast to the muted tones that were characteristic of the early Victorian style. At the same time, the exterior detailing relied on tried-and-true favourites like Deep Brunswick Green, Deep Indian Red, Fawn, and Venetian Red. These colours were used. Check this list of Melbourne builder services to help you make an informed decision for your treatment.
Inside the house, the interior was embellished with sharply polished wooden floors, plaster walls (often covered in wallpaper), architraves, cornices, and ceiling roses. The plaster walls were finished with skirting, cornices, and ceiling roses.
This interior details would be further enhanced by the use of blue and red stained glass near the front doors. The intricate interior decoration has created a style for the home that is iconic of the Victorian era and lends itself well to a variety of other antique and modern decors.
Many people believe that the mid-Victorian style of architecture strikes the ideal balance between the overly simplistic architecture of the earlier Victorian period and the extremely decorative architecture of the late Victorian period and the Queen Anne period. This is due to the fact that this style was derived from the humble beginnings of early Victorian architecture.
Victorian Terrace Houses
The housing style that is most strongly associated with Sydney is the Victorian terrace house, which typically has two storeys and balconies. In certain inner-city areas and parts of the Inner West, you'll frequently come across properties like this.
They often have a relatively plain façade, with the ironwork that runs across the balcony serving as the primary decorative element in the space. In spite of the fact that they appear to be rather narrow, they frequently have multiple chambers that are hidden one behind the other and stretch pretty far back.
Detached Victorian Houses
On a grander scale, there are also some stunning and one-of-a-kind detached Victorian mansions to be found in Australia. The ones that are further down look like something that The Munsters could call home!
Federation Homes (1890s To 1920s)
Following the Victorian era was the Edwardian era, often known as the Federation. The architecture of these houses is considerably distinct from that of Victorian homes, but you can still find examples of them in many places of Australia.
Red brick is commonly used in the construction of Federation-style residences, which also have high chimneys and roofs with terracotta tiles that protrude in many places (I'm sure there's an official word for that)! They can have one or two stories and typically have a variety of ornamental details on the interior, such as ceiling roses and the original fireplaces.
Due to the fact that these two fashions are essentially the same thing, many people are confused by them. The term "Edwardian" refers to the home-style that was common during the time of Australia's Federation. This home-style was named after King Edward, who ruled from 1901 to 1910. The term "Federation style" refers to the adaption of Edwardian architecture that was popular in Australia.
a roof made of slate or terracotta tiles, stained glass, bay windows, return verandahs, tessellated tiles, pressed-metal ceilings, finials, turned-timber pillars, and fretwork a long central hallway, and federation or Edwardian residences can be identified by their red brick exterior.
Californian Bungalow (1915-1930)
During the 1920s, the straightforward and uncomplicated bungalow architectural style that was popular in California also gained significant traction in Australia. There is typically a large veranda and open-plan living areas. The roof is A-framed and has a lower gradient than the roof on a Federation home.
Housing designed in the Art Deco style gained popularity in Australia in the 1930s, a few years after it did everywhere else in the world. If you keep your eyes open, you'll be able to find a few Art Deco houses in Sydney. These designs are a little tougher to find than Victorian and Federation homes, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you'll find them.
Curved walls and windows, geometric designs, and vibrant pastel colours are some of the traditional design characteristics that may be seen in Australian homes designed in the Art Deco style.
When music and film from the United States began to have a significant impact on Australian society, a transition took place that coincided with the adoption of the California bungalow as a popular architectural style. The distinctive brick or rendered brick columns that support the front verandah of a California bungalow set it apart from residences designed in the Edwardian or Federation style, which have many parallels to the California bungalow style.
Post-War Homes (1940-1949)
After World War Two, there was a significant reduction in the availability of materials, which led to a simplification and cost-cutting in the construction of homes. As a direct consequence of this, low-cost prefab dwellings and fibro cottages rose in popularity.
In certain regions of Australia, there is still a significant prevalence of fibro homes, which are characterised by their use of sheets of fibrous cement. However, some appear to have undergone tasteful renovations, while others are in very poor condition. The reason for this is due to the fact that asbestos was frequently found in building materials back then.
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Australia was confronted with a new set of issues, including a scarcity of housing, unstable economic conditions, and general unrest. However, it also gave rise to fresh starts and opportunities, particularly in the field of infrastructure.
The postwar period saw an increase in the building of new homes as a result of the assisted immigration programme, which allowed many European war refugees to relocate to Australia and start new lives there. So, tell me, what did Australian homes look like during the end of the 1940s?
In Australian architecture, the 1940s were a time of transition and experimentation, occuring between the Art Deco and mid-century eras. This led to the development of a wide variety of home forms, including brick bungalows, fibro cottages, and early modernist designs.
Houses made with weatherboard are fairly widespread in Australia and are well suited to the coastal lifestyle. I adore how frequently they are painted in soft colours like that. The boards can function as a facade on top of bricks or even plastic cladding (I prodded one of them once, and the whole sheet wobbled)!
Modern, Minimalist Homes
A sleek, minimalist appearance with many flat surfaces and huge windows is a prevalent housing design in Australia, particularly for modern residences that are rather large. Flat roofs and glass railings on the balconies are typical features, as is the use of light grey or taupe paint for the outside.
Hampton Style Homes
To me, it is the quintessential example of a beach home, making it my particular favourite among the various Australian house forms. These homes, which get their name from the region of New York known as the Hamptons, exude a contemporary air and have weatherboard exteriors that are typically white or pastel colours.
Contemporary Beach Homes In Australia
In Australia, contemporary beach homes can take on a variety of forms, but they typically have expansive windows that go from floor to ceiling in order to make the most of the available light and vistas. Here are some excellent illustrations of the concept. If you're looking for a high-quality, affordable builder in Melbourne, you're in the right place! Check MJS Construction Group!
Modern houses typically include a large open-plan combined kitchen, dining, entertainment, study, and family area, a parents' retreat, hotel-style bathrooms and ensuite, external entertaining areas, rendered and painted finishes, reconstituted or natural stone benchtops, timber or tiled floors, and carpeting is typically only found in the bedrooms.
Many individuals are expanding older buildings, such as Federation cottages, Victorian terrace houses, and mid-century brick homes, in order to accommodate larger families and a modern way of life. Modern expansions are not unusual, and many people are doing so.
However, in order to create a contemporary home addition that does not alter the proportions of the original footprint of an older building, careful planning and a comprehensive comprehension of the extension's intended purpose and the people who will be utilising it are required.
Homes in more wooded regions of Australia, such as the northernmost tip of Sydney's Northern Beaches, frequently make use of lumber or colours that are taken from nature in order to blend in with the surrounding environment. As an illustration, the roof of the home on the right has vegetation growing all over it!
The years between the wars, from the 1920s through the 1930s, were particularly fertile ground for the artistic, stylistic, and design movement known as art deco.
Curved facades, decorative brickwork, geometric elements, chevron patterns, metal-framed windows, parquetry floors, timber-veneer wall panelling, built-in joinery, and mottled tiles are the defining characteristics of Art Deco architecture. These features are typically found in pink, mint, lemon, or pale blue, in contrast with black.
Both the Minerva Theatre in Sydney's Potts Point and the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne are renowned examples of the "streamline moderne" architectural style, which refers to buildings constructed in the Art Deco style around the late 1930s.
It is safe to say that mid-century modernism is the style of architecture that Australians have embraced more than any other movement in the history of architecture. You were responsible for the construction of thousands of homes in the Modernist style across the country during the building boom that followed World War II in the 1950s and 1960s.
The open floor plans, built-in joinery, strong connections to the outdoors, large expanses of glass to capture light, cross ventilation, strong connections to the outdoors, strong connection to the outdoors, open-plan, separation of communal and private rooms, and limited materials (typically brick, timber, and metal, glass, tiles, and patterned laminate) are common features of these homes, which are still popular today.
Homes built in the 1970s featured many of the above characteristics and natural materials, such as unpainted bricks, painted timber in a "mission brown" colour, timber panelling, garages, and white-painted plasterboard ceilings with prominent primary-colored features, such as red, yellow, blue, or orange, and plain laminated kitchen benchtops.
Around this time, when Australian architecture was beginning to come into its own, painted and rendered triple fronted brick veneer homes, fibro fisherman's cottages, pavilion-style residences, and Queenslanders all began to appear.
The question now is, which sorts of homes are the most common in Australia? The answer might take you by surprise. We are able to inform you that detached houses and semi-detached houses are the two most popular dwelling kinds in Australia, despite the fact that there is no answer that can be considered conclusive to this topic. Consequently, if you are in the market for a new residence, you should give some thought to the possibilities presented here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Australian Houses
The top 6 Australian dwellings are stand-alone houses, terraces, semi-detached houses, duplexes, townhouses and apartment units. We will be going into detail about what makes each type unique; to give you a better idea for the right choice that suits your needs.
Modern buildings tend to use steel, aluminium or timber as a frame and then one of several options for the walls. However, brick and stone are still popular in Australia, as are timber, concrete and others.
An extensive article explains the different types of houses by building type. Includes single-family, condo, co-op, apartment, townhome, manor, barn dominium, yurt, carriage house, McMansion, tiny home, mobile home, manufactured home, castle, manor, villa, chateau and more.
From its energy efficiency benefits to its durability, brick is ingrained as the superior, premium building material in Perth's culture. Finally, since Perth's homebuyers often prefer double brick, choosing double brick supports better saleability and market value.
Turning the roof space into an attic is a popular choice among homeowners in America, but it hasn't been as popular in Australia. Instead, most consider attics as dark and dirty spaces filled with spiders and where you store the junk.