3 heritage home styles you’ll see around Melbourne

The city of Melbourne has a rich architectural history. One only has to walk through the city, or even their own suburban streets, to come across old-school terraces, beguiling façades and ornate cornices from another era.

Thanks to safeguards and regulations put in place to protect heritage buildings, many of these stunning residential marvels still remain standing today. Melbourne is one of the best places to purchase a heritage home for renovation or restoration.

If this is what you’re after in a home project, it might be time to get well-acquainted with the certain styles and eras of different heritage homes that you’ll come across in the city.

  1. Victorian

These homes were built between the 1840s up until Australia’s Federation. Three styles – early, mid and late Victorian architecture – can be found within this time period.

Early Victorian architecture mirrored typical workers cottages, with white picket fences, small gardens, pitched roofs and brick exteriors. In the mid and late period, these homes became more ornate and decorative, with intricate verandahs, cast iron lacework, brick rendering, corrugated iron roofs, stained glass windows, polished timber floors, arched doorways, patterned tiling and decorative skirting.

In the late Victorian period, the interiors of these homes became more colourful and bold.

  1. Edwardian

Edwardian homes in Australia are also referred to as Federation style, as the homes were built in the same time that Federation occurred in 1901. These types of homes harked back to the Victorian and Queen Anne era, though they are far more subtle.

Australian Edwardian homes differentiated from Edwardian homes in the UK, as builders and architects began to incorporate elements of the country’s rich flora and fauna into decorations. They were also built to better accommodate for the hot and dry climate.

Edwardian homes are easy to spot on the street. They often feature a red brick exterior, plenty of timber fretwork, a central corridor, stained glass windows, a large verandah and a gabled roof with terracotta tiles. Inside, you’ll find intricate cornices and architraves.

  1. Californian Bungalow

While Victorian and Edwardian homes bore the influence of the UK, in the 20th century, between WWI and WWII, Australian architecture caught the Californian Bungalow bug.

The style popped up in America as families began moving from apartments into single-family homes. These young families were after a low-maintenance residence that would embrace the warm Californian climate. With a similar trend and climate in Australia, it’s not surprising that the trend took off here.

Typically, these charming single-storey homes feature a front porch, verandah pylons, sloping roofs and bay windows. Most importantly, they featured a simpler and more spacious layout than Edwardian or Victorian homes, which would lay the groundwork for the open-plan design that we see today. These homes also heavily featured natural materials like timber, which was a reflection of the arts and crafts design movement of the era.


Looking to renovate a heritage home but don’t know where to begin? At Nicon Built Design + Build, we have years of experience and expertise bringing beautiful heritage homes back to their former glory. Give us a call today on 0407 699 454 to learn more.

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