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These beautiful heritage buildings are works of Art. They are known by their own names, and are mixed media masterpieces often with fancy brickwork, fine tiling, polished floorboards, with at best, parquetry flooring, with complex skilled joinery, and artistic embellishments such as ornate ceilings and beautiful artisan lead light windows, with a valued heritage.

A lush Federation Heritage Garden in Sydney, re-invigorated by Sydney-based landscape designer Michael Bates
A lush Federation Heritage Garden in Sydney, re-invigorated by Sydney-based landscape designer Michael Bates

William Morris meets Australian native garden design
William Morris meets Australian native garden design

Arts and Crafts Garden Design


Mt Wilson's Bebeah, by Barry Byrne and Miguel Alvarez
Mt Wilson's Bebeah, by Barry Byrne and Miguel Alvarez


Ruhamah, 23 Killara Avenue, Hamilton
Ruhamah, 23 Killara Avenue, Hamilton





Point Piper Fairwater mansion to be for all of us?

"Lady (Mary) Fairfax had stated publicly that she planned to bequeath the (Federation Style Fairwater) estate to the people of New South Wales when she died." - LUCY MACKEN DOMAIN PRESTIGE REPORTER SEP 19, 2017
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What is 'Federation' or 'Edwardian'?

“The Edwardian era was a significant period in the 1900s in Australia,” says the award-winning architect and director of firm Preston Lane.
  • “There are many such weatherboard and brick Edwardian homes and they have a lot of character. Read more:
  • In 1915, ornate Edwardian houses were considered the height of fashion in Australia.
Eswardian hallway, decorative and white-painted
Eswardian hallway, decorative and white-painted

The architectural period in Australia is also known as Federation because it coincided with the Federation of the Australian states and territories into the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

Edwardian architecture draws on elements of Victorian style and Queen Anne revival period of 1895 to 1910.
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The terracotta tile or galvanised iron roof is often designed with a steep pitch and the house is usually built of red bricks or weatherboards.

It is likely that it will include timber-framed windows, which often feature leadlighting, and ornate fretwork. In the Australian versions of the English-Edwardian house, you will often find native flora and fauna motifs and geometric designs featured in the stained glass.
Read more about Edwardian Style...
  • The ends of the gable and roof eaves usually have ornate timber brackets.
  • Timber detailing and fretwork is also a distinctive feature.
  • Plaster ceiling roses, cornices and decoratively moulded skirting and architraves are also distinctive design elements from that era.


Federation Arts and Crafts Record-setter sold for $13 million

The Crossways is set to hit the market with a $15.5 million price guide.
The Crossways is set to hit the market with a $15.5 million price guide.

In Centennial Park, the Federation Arts and Crafts mansion Crossways is lining up for Spring, with a $15.5 million guide;
  • Set parkside on dress-circle Martin Road, it was built in 1908 for surgeon Dr Gordon Craig and designed by architectural firm Waterhouse and Lake.
  • In the 1990s, architect Espie Dods undertook a renovation on behalf of former McGuigan Wines director James Smiley and his wife, Jane.
The seven-bedroom residence set a suburb record when it last sold in 2006 to Louise Zavattaro for $10 million, although techie billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes topped that in 2015 when he bought his Braelin for $12 million. Read More at Domain.com:


Latest Posts

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Need Inspiration?Inspect these: Annesley, Mt Lawley, Rilworth, Darling Point, Cremorne, Hamilton Hill, Mount Macedon Gardens, Mount Macedon VIC, Trophy Homes, Three Federation Beauties, Peppermint Grove, (Perth): 62 Leake Street, Peppermint Grove WA 6011



Linked Wikipedia articles: Heritage Gardens in Australia, ‎List of historic homesteads in Australia


Which Federation Style?


Federation Queen Anne Style
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Federation Filigree Style
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Federation Arts and Crafts
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Federation Bungalow
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Quick Picks: Federation Houses Open for Inspection, Desirable Features, Classic Federation Features, Federation Excellence


What is happening to Tasmanian Heritage?

Tasmanian Heritage - mass deletions from the Tasmanian Heritage Register - read the story here

National Trust Tasmanian Heritage Registers - view the work in progress here



The enduring appeal of Australian Federation architecture
external image jennyheadshot-150x150.jpgJenny Brown
Domain Reporter
9 May 2016
"Federation housing (1888-1919) comes in a variety of sizes – including semi-detached– and in a couple of sub-groups, such as Arts and Crafts, which heritage architect Ian Stapleton of Sydney’s Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners, explains as being “usually architect-designed rather than builder-designed”.

Recommended books:
Click picture or link to find in a bookshop:
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Shop forTHE FEDERATION HOUSE on Google
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Getting the Details Right
Ian Evans
Towards the Dawn .
Federation Architecture in Australia 1890-1915,
by Trevor Howells and Michael Nicholson,
The Federation House:
Australia's Own Style,
by Hugh Fraser
2nd edition, 2002
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian
3rd edition, 2004
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian 1992
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian 1999
Restoring Australian Houses
Ian Evans
Getting the Details Right: Restoring Australian Houses 1890s-1920s

Previous Posts:

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Leura, Bellevue Hill

Architect Walter Liberty Vernon
Alba Longa,
Appian Way Burwood
Milton Park, Bowral
Architects Morrow and De Putron
Architect Harold
Desbrowe-Annear

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 by Butler and Ussher in 1891
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Sam Hood (1872-1953), Family with car &
Queenslander house, 1920's.

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Federation house in Cairns, 1914.
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Redleaf House, Wahroonga
Sydney, 1899 by Howard Joseland

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Dining Room with Fretwork ArchWestholme, Water Street, Wahroonga 1894 by Howard Joseland
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Living room with timber trim, ceilingWestholme, Water Street, Wahroonga 1894 by Howard Joseland
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Fireplace in the Camellia room, Mananga, Berry NSW 1894 by Howard Joseland
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Cast iron restored bath in en suite, Mananga, Berry NSW 1894 by Howard Joseland

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
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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.
    8c527c9d-b57a-4ea7-9f80-3ecdbfd814ea.jpeg
    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

Federation Domestic features:

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A common Federation design designed by builders of the period

Image courtesy Manly Council NSW
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HABERFIELD - THE GARDEN SUBURBWHEN Sunday 5 MayTIME 1:30-4pmCOST $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