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Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD. (jump to article)
Which Federation Style?

Federation Queen Anne Style
Caerleon,  Bellevue Hill
Caerleon, Bellevue Hill

Federation Filigree Style
Derry, Neutral Bay
Derry, Neutral Bay

Federation Arts and Crafts
'Erica',  Burwood
'Erica', Burwood

Federation Bungalow
'Cassa Tasso'  Burwood
'Cassa Tasso' Burwood

[Next page: Four Federation Housing styles]

Latest Posts:

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Norwood Heritage"Villa Adelfia" C. 1890, 33 Edward Street Norwood
Fremantle Federation HeritageAldgate and Grounds, 7 Aldgate Pl, East Fremantle
Federation Specialists Architects, Builders, suppliers
and Heritage specialists

Recent Posts:
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Mount Wilga House

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Carclew, North Adelaide

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Roscraig, 21 Mortimer Ave.
Mt Stuart Tasmania

Australian Federation Heritage Listings (in detail)

Index: Index of Australian Federation Heritage

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NSW Federation Heritage Sites

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Queensland Federation Heritage Sites

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South Australian Federation Heritage Sites

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Tasmanian Federation Heritage Sites

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Victorian Federation Heritage Sites
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Western Australian Federation Heritage Sites

In the News:

Planning Backlash convener, Mary Drost
Planning Backlash convener, Mary Drost

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New: Rotha, Hawthorn 29 Harcourt Street Hawthorn, asking $8 million
Redcourt, 506 Orrong Road, Armadale Vic,
renovated and on the market for $10 m.

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News: Sydney's most expensive Federation home,
Addenbrooke, Bellevue Hill sold for $30 m.

In the news: 16 St Georges Road Toorak,
now Melbourne's most expensive Federation (Bungalow) home,
sold for over $20 m.

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Heritage-imitation in the Ivanhoe area.
New 15 Abbey Road Goulburn
Armadale residential re-design!

Federation Fame

Too late ... Historic Arden, in Hawthorn East will be knocked down to make way for a four-storey apartment block.
Too late ... Historic Arden, in Hawthorn East will be knocked down to make way for a four-storey apartment block.

Historic Peppermint Grove property sold for 17.5 m
Historic Peppermint Grove property sold for 17.5 m

Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD.

There are significant differences:

From Australian Stories Australian architecture

  • "The ornate Federation house, built mainly between 1900 and 1914, was a sign of prosperity - an Australian version of the English Edwardian house.
  • Federation houses were detached, with gardens, and with Australian motifs and a roof of terracotta tiles with detailed fretwork in the roof gables and windows.
  • Many houses had a sunrise motif in the front gable as a sign of the dawning of a new century.
  • Add-ons and renovations with heritage restraints were a constant experience of living in a federation house.
  • By the First World War (1914-1918), there was a shortage of tradesmen and materials. The cost of houses had to be reduced, so the ceilings were lowered to create 'bungalows', houses which were built between 1915 and 1940. Gone was most of the detail, and a plainer style lead lighting was put into the front windows."

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Blackwood House in Melbourne
external image hood_queenslander_web.jpg Sam Hood (1872-1953), Family with car &
Queenslander house, 1920's.

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Federation house in Cairns, 1914.

Picturesque and eye catching houses

Federation-style houses constitute a unique statement of patriotism since Federation details used Australia's remarkable flora and fauna.

"For the first time, the flowers, birds and animals of the bush were used to decorate plaster, pressed metal, glass, terracotta and fretworked timber. ." Ian Evans "
  • Decorative features such as gables and motifs adorn the roofs of the property.
  • The rising sun emblem that appeared on countless gable ends symbolised the dawn of a new age for Australia and was itself adopted as a national symbol
Leadlight windows are also a common feature and as a result, Federation houses are often very picturesque and eye catching." - Archicentre - see below
  • These rambling homes are regarded as the first design style that embraced the outdoor lifestyle. Blocks were deep to allow for homegrown food cultivation.

Since I live in a Sydney suburb with a rich heritage of these houses, I hope to document the details of these and similar houses in these pages. Eventually I hope this site will be a definitive source of Federation decorative detail.
  • Anyone with similar interests is very welcome to contribute to this topic.
  • You can leave comments on my blog Federation Details. To comment here you need to join this Wiki, please.

Federation Features

The features of Federation style architecture include:
  1. Red brick walls of a deep red or dark brown brick, often with a mix of the two
  2. Exposed rafter ends visible under roofs, a characteristic usually visible, not obscured by gutters
  3. Some times the mortar is 'tuck-pointed" to make a ridge of white mortar running along the joints between the bricks.
  4. Dominant roofs,
    often broken by false gables and capped by terracotta frilled ridges and motifs decorating the exterior of the property.
    Lenoma, (Federation Queen Anne style) 7 Chrystobel Crescent, Hawthorn,
    Lenoma, (Federation Queen Anne style) 7 Chrystobel Crescent, Hawthorn,
  5. Ttimber verandah columns supplemented by elaborate timber decoration, often in art nouveau style -
    "Federation homes are known for their often exuberant timber ornamental decorations.
    Friezes fretwork, balustrades, art nouveau style swirled brackets and arch supports are all common." - Manly Council
  6. Bay windows with shingles, or in large buildings, oriels on upper floors
  7. Leadlight window panes or a set of small coloured glass windows above the main window set.
  8. Low picket fences usually painted white or cream
  9. Large decorative ceilings often of pressed metal or with decorative cornices
  10. Minimal gardens with hedges.
  11. Australiana decorative detail
  12. Outdoor toilets in un-renovated houses

Keep reading... next page: Four Federation Housing styles or below, Federation Style advice

In the News:

  1. Addenbrooke, Bellevue Hill sold for $30 m.
  2. Chiritta, Peppermint Grove sold for $17.5m
  3. Craignairn, Wahroonga for sale
  4. Cranbrook School buys Sundorne, Bellevue Hill for $15m
This website is archived annually by the National Library
The blog of this website is also archived annually by the National Library of Australia:at this link .

Explore Inside:
Qld, NSW, Vic, Tas, SA, WA
For the latest updates,
or to leave comments,
see the blog Federation Details

Recently Updated pages:

These pages show the latest
changes to the website.


  1. Index by State of Federation houses
  2. Index of Details
  3. Index of Homes
  4. Index of Suburbs
  5. Index by States of Australia
  6. Top Federation Houses
  7. Book Library
Queen Anne Style at 108 Elphin Road, LAUNCESTON, TAS

Wikispaces : federation-house - all changes
  1. Killara Federation Architecture
  2. Kingsford Federation Gems
  3. Launceston's Notable Houses
  4. Launceston Tasmanian Heritage
  5. Lindfield Federation Style
Federation Bathrooms

  1. Kianga Vaucluse Federation House
  2. Killara Federation Home
  3. Kooyong, Warrawee
  4. Kubba Roonga, Blackheath
  5. Kurrowah, Hunters Hill
A common Federation design designed by builders of the period

Image courtesy Manly Council NSW


$10 | Bookings EssentialCONTACT 0412707898 | vacrow@hotmail.comAddress - To be given upon booking.The event will be postponed if there is rain. The creation of the suburb of Haberfield in 1901 was a milestone for the local community, in that it transformed residential development there from a 19th century model to that of a Garden Suburb. This was a milestone for the national community as Haberfield became Australia’s first planned Garden Suburb ‘establishing a model for Australia’s suburban development in the 20th century’. This walking tour will include houses open for inspection, tour notes and afternoon tea