Modernist Australia – Raw Materials

by Jenny Butler
Monday 22nd November 2010

This week we welcome Patricia & Peter from Modernist Australia to the Guest Blog!! I was fortunate enough to meet Patricia & Peter earlier this year and these two are as fantastic & interesting as their website. This week is going to be a mid-century treat! – Jenny x

There are certain construction materials that are a classic indicator that you may have a mid-century modern (MCM) house on your hands. These materials are a warm mixture of sleek, technological advances for the times (1940s- 1970s) and recognition of the beauty found in nature. Here are some of my favourites………


From feature walls to fireplaces and hearths, from front entrances to indoor/out door entertaining areas. Flag stone, crazy-paving or slate – whatever you call it this versatile material is always used to perfection in MCM homes.

Wood paneling

Mid-Century architects and designers were always mindful of the intrinsic beauty of nature and the ‘less-is-more’ philosophy of unadorned materials. Wood paneling is the ultimate expression of this.

Coloured mosaic tiles

Just imagine tiles in actual colours rather than black, white or hideous brown and beige. Bathrooms which are not head to toe marble but brilliant green, yellow or purple. Tiles that are not just square, but rectangular, circular, octagonal, zigzag or with relief patterns. Where are they now in Australia?

Floor to ceiling windows

The Mid Twentieth Century was a time of technological advancement when large scale windows became a possibility for this first time. Used in architecture not because they were ’new’ but for the cause of practical, sustainable and inspirational design, we said adios to small old-world small panes and hello to spaces for living.

Breeze Blocks

The comeback kid and another personal crusade at Modernist Australia. Classic, retro and practical we think they deserve more attention and should be once again utilised in homes today. Appreciate!

See you tomorrow,

Modernist Australia x

by Jenny Butler
Monday 22nd November 2010


  • JULIE 5 years ago

    I’m completely with you on the breeze blocks, I love them. There is a house I love which I have always been drawn to. I wouldn’t exactly call it a MCM gem but it has a few of the features above and I have always seen it’s potential. Unfortunately it’s located on land that is zoned for two 3 storey townhouses. Hence completely overpriced for what it is, being a one bedroom home with office. It will probably be torn down.

  • Ray Garrod 5 years ago

    Droool. Great photos guys. Love both of those green bathrooms in particular.

  • Meaghan 5 years ago

    I love the cork floorboards and slate tiles – wonderful angles!
    Thank you for the pictures!

  • Rachel 5 years ago

    So inspiring!

  • the moo lab 5 years ago

    fabulous photos guys. dreaming of the fibro beach house-perfect. thanks

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