Five Modern homes to Save

Mid-Century modern homes are often over-looked for being funny looking, old fashioned and maybe a bit small. We think this is a trend about to explode. With the ABC’s Streets of Your Town doco to be shown in October (hosted by Tim Rosso) we are about to understand the value of these well designed homes.

Here are five family homes in Sydney worth considering

Number one  118 Dartford Road, Thornleigh

Built by an Australian landscape architect (no name provided). Thornleigh is the location suburb of the film, Don’s Party.  A Northern suburb of rocks, bush and sloping land; modern split-level houses slide into the landscape well.  Cruel, or maybe surreal, this house last sold in 1991 for $105,000.


Number Two:  37 Drysdale Place, Kareela.

Opposite side of Sydney, The Shire, but similar topography.  Kareela is another suburb crowded with untouched mid-century homes.   I love when you see cream berber wool carpet, suites of parker furniture and copper relief paintings in situ

Last sold in 1978 for $69,000.


Number Three: 29 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview

Provenance : Michael Dysart 1970

Tiki Time.  Up to the Northern Beaches,  Bayview blocks are long and sloping. A north aspect like this with views down to Pittwater is what makes these houses warm and liveable.  Not sure about the TV in the main bedroom.

Missing from the original set of photos are outside shots but an easy Google search found and old listing.  Quirky box-like house.  Needs the right landscaping and outside paint.

Price estimate is $1.4 – 1.5 M.  Similar property in Bayview went for $1.6M

Number Four:   11 Hampshire Avenue, West Pymble

Tiny but cute 3 bedroom in West Pymble.  Good land size, right orientation.  Agent all but says knock-down and re-build.

As Steven Coverdale from the facebook group ‘Mid-Century Domestic Architecture Australia says about this house

T70 is a compact three bedroom design, or as most people will note, a direct copy of Architect Nino Sydney’s ‘Beachcomber’ project home for Lend Lease Homes. The ‘budget’ aspect is obvious when you compare the two designs. But fair enough. It’s still a terrific modernist design.

The poor thing isn’t long for the world.

Original Plans for this model house from Department of Housing.

T70 Dept Housing.jpg
via Steven Coverdale/ Mid-Century Domestic Architecture

Number Five:  35 Barton Crescent, North Wahroonga

A masterbuilt 1975 mansion (in 1975 terms) Five bedrooms, four bathrooms, spiral staircase, billiard room with tree and pool.   Recently sold in Jan 2015 for $1.4M.  Could do with an interior designer specialising in mid-century as current furniture is a complete distraction.

From a buyers point-of-view a house that is badly furnished can help lower the price.  Buyers are completely visual and those of us that see the potential can take advantage.



Room of the Week belongs to this 1975 North Wahroonga House

A house with a dance floor under cathedral arches of pale brick gets the Room of The Week Award. If the Von Trapp family have their staircase this family could practice Godspell with interpretive dance routines or Mum could host Tango-at-home lessons



All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 


West Pymble – People not included


35 Todman Avenue, West Pymble

What do you think of this trend to have people and dogs in real estate photos?   In a lifestyle magazine or website, it is expected, the story is about the people who designed or live there.  Moving this idea over to real estate is confusing.  I’m trying to imagine me living there and these stooges are interrupting.

Anyhoo, onto the house..  Just so exciting to see a 1960 Pettit and Sevitt home.   Or is it?

Presenting iconic “Pettit and Sevitt” style architecture

The blurb is confusing.  Is it ‘in the style of’ or is it an original?   Its like saying an Eames chair or an Eames style chair from Matt Blatt.


Just absorb all these details, the staircase, the fire place, the levels.



There is no close up of the kitchen which is at the far end.


Put another log on the fire.




Not quite a bedroom.  Could be a family room or playroom.


North facing pool perfection.  Frustration will set in with all the leaves falling in but put that on the kids list of jobs to do.



There was no front image in the set so I found this image from last year.


Thoughts ?


West Pymble – Potential ReMod

In a mystery location in West Pymble with a mystery price (update price is 1.9) is this mid-century house.   I spy some multiple levels, pitched roofs and exposed brick.  I assume this house has not changed hands in many years . Its in need of modernising, well, updating so it looks mid-century again which is retro modernising I think.   It just reeks of potential.

Easy native garden on entry.  You can hear people arrive as they crunch through the pebbles


Oh dear.  Nothing mid-century here.  Is that a curtain at the top of the stairs?


Wood panelling and a geometric burgundy kitchen island, lino floors and a hanging witch.  Windows are great and lots of sunshine.  Could be so much better.  Gut it.

Just blah.

Main bedroom is bland but room looks well sized and could be easily updated.

w800-h600-2012826337_3_pi_160525_053318Full travertine bathroom. Will that ever come back?  (rhetorical. no)  This was always going to be a renovation of every room.


A-ha,  Lofty timberyness.  This is more mid century; even a paper ball lamp light.  I can smell the incense now.  This has retreat / rumpus room all over it.  Pity there is no floor plan so I can tell what is going on.  This is where I think the juice of the house is and is keeping me intrigued.


Back of house.  The levels look less cohesive but are they all original?  Nice deck chair position.  I like to look back at the hills hoist myself.  Solar panels always make me feel happy that someone else has done the hard work.


Gold.  The backyard is wide and spacious.  Lots of sun, grass and tress, including some funky palms and probably a cow there next to the pool.  Get rid of Hills Hoist and the cheesy stepping stones and this looks great.  Blurb says it’s north facing (the best).

There was no floor plan with this place so have to judge by the images.

Do you know this house, have you visited?  l love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment.