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Recently two properties have been advertised for sale with either original interiors or faithfully restored interiors.
Both are fascinating for the detail they display, the furniture used, and the colour schemes they use.

1. Ruskinian, 4 Rayner Street Lilyfield NSW

Ruskinian, An historic window into the elegant past

This house is Federation Queen Anne style, with Victorian features, such as the geometric designs in the stained glass windows, separate verandah roof and internal plasterwork.
This house is Federation Queen Anne style, with Victorian features, such as the geometric designs in the stained glass windows, separate verandah roof and internal plasterwork.

"Established gardens, stained glass windows"[1]
The old and the beautiful: Federation-era charmer 4 Rayner Street, Lilyfield.[2]

The old and the beautiful: Federation-era charmer 4 Rayner Street, Lilyfield.
The old and the beautiful: Federation-era charmer 4 Rayner Street, Lilyfield.

"The inner west is chock-a-block with old houses and the front facade of this Federation house in Lilyfield shows it to be another beautiful example. But what makes it extra special is the exquisite detail intact inside, and the 733 square metre block, more than double the suburb average. One of three ''gentleman's residences'' built by Steward & Emmerick between 1904 and 1906, the advertisement for it in The Sydney Morning Herald of 1904 contains an exhaustive list of features, such as ''chaste classic art figures'' on the ceilings and ''costly incandescent gas fittings'', almost all of which are still there.

It helps that present owner Meredith Walker is a heritage consultant. Ms Walker has owned the property for almost 30 years and has lovingly preserved everything, including the 1950s kitchen. Agent Simon Pilcher, of Pilcher Residential, is quoting about $2 million before its March 8 auction."
Since the house is designed by builders, not architects, the styles are popular, rather than of the new period.
Since the house is designed by builders, not architects, the styles are popular, rather than of the new period.


"A Federation-period residence, beautifully conserved and unique in both decoration and intactness. Built c1905 by Steward and Emmerick as one of three 'Gentleman's Houses' and retaining almost all of the original appointments, Ruskinian is set on an expansive 733sqm approx.
  • "Exacting artisans' attention to detail

Timber picture rails are Federation period. The wreath decoration above the rails is a Victorian design. The patterned ceiling is Federation period. The marble fireplace, just visible, looks a Victorian 'fussy' design, as is the mirror. Furniture fabric is period, as is the plant and plant table.
Timber picture rails are Federation period. The wreath decoration above the rails is a Victorian design. The patterned ceiling is Federation period. The marble fireplace, just visible, looks a Victorian 'fussy' design, as is the mirror. Furniture fabric is period, as is the plant and plant table.
  • 'Rare wood-grained joinery, elaborate plasterwork

Federation style is a celebration of timber decoration, and here we see timber grain as a Federation feature. The furniture is mostly turn of the century, however the sideboard, not very visible, could be Victorian.
Federation style is a celebration of timber decoration, and here we see timber grain as a Federation feature. The furniture is mostly turn of the century, however the sideboard, not very visible, could be Victorian.
  • "Versatile plan, separate living and dining
The gothic coloured glass panels are typically Federation Queen Anne style, and so is the ceiling. However the wreath patterns are a hang-over from Victorian celebratory excess.
The gothic coloured glass panels are typically Federation Queen Anne style, and so is the ceiling. However the wreath patterns are a hang-over from Victorian celebratory excess.
As noted above, since the glass is not Art Nouveau design, its design is typically Victorian, as are the hallway friezes and hallway arch. Notice the ventilation outlet, typical of gaslight installation.
As noted above, since the glass is not Art Nouveau design, its design is typically Victorian, as are the hallway friezes and hallway arch. Notice the ventilation outlet, typical of gaslight installation.
  • "Mid century linoleum, generous parlour/master
The Victorian marble fireplace with decorated marble is a feature. The furniture visible is of Federation style, as must be the venetian blinds! The elaborate ceiling cornice I take to be Victorian, and look for knowledgable advice...
The Victorian marble fireplace with decorated marble is a feature. The furniture visible is of Federation style, as must be the venetian blinds! The elaborate ceiling cornice I take to be Victorian, and look for knowledgable advice...
  • 'Marble fires, ornate ceilings, plaster reliefs
Clearly not an original Federation kitchen.
Clearly not an original Federation kitchen.
  • "Neatly presented 1956 eat-in gas kitchen

2. Tullamore, 11 Telopea St Wollstonecraft

"TULLAMORE: A Stunning Single Level Family Home
Exposed rafter ends are a sure marker of Federation style, as are the chimneys.
Exposed rafter ends are a sure marker of Federation style, as are the chimneys.
A classic c1912 Georgian revival sandstone/brick residence of rare distinction & style offering an opportunity to live in one of Wollstonecraft's finest homes. Tullamore is set gracefully on 1132sm of level land. It has been superbly restored and flawlessly finished with exquisite period detailing. Generously proportioned interiors faithfully combine period charm with contemporary quality to create a timeless elegance."

This hallway has a Federation style fretwork arch in timber, timber floors and timber woodwork throughout.
This hallway has a Federation style fretwork arch in timber, timber floors and timber woodwork throughout.

• Period features - high ceilings & timber polished floors
A beautiful ceiling, typical polished floorboards, no picture rails, and another marble (Victorian) fireplace.
A beautiful ceiling, typical polished floorboards, no picture rails, and another marble (Victorian) fireplace.
• Six beautiful working fireplaces
A bay window, ornate ceiling and cornices, picture rails, wooden fireplace are perfecty Federation style. Also the coloured glass panels.  The dining furniture is however not of Federation style, since it is a complicated style of an earlier era.
A bay window, ornate ceiling and cornices, picture rails, wooden fireplace are perfecty Federation style. Also the coloured glass panels. The dining furniture is however not of Federation style, since it is a complicated style of an earlier era.

A very period bedroom, every part of which is in period, save the bed itself, since wooden beds are more typical of Federation period.
A very period bedroom, every part of which is in period, save the bed itself, since wooden beds are more typical of Federation period.

I love this bedroom, from the coloured glass gothic window lights to the elaborate cornice.
I love this bedroom, from the coloured glass gothic window lights to the elaborate cornice.

Now this is a Federation bathroom.
Now this is a Federation bathroom.

Who could blame an owner wanting a modern kitchen, but not out of character, and handsome as well.
Who could blame an owner wanting a modern kitchen, but not out of character, and handsome as well.


  1. ^ http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-nsw-lilyfield-116035503
  2. ^ http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/lilyfield-federation-masterpiece-expected-to-fetch-2m-20140215-32sl4.html