Australian Homes

Ada & Leon Kagan

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 27th February 2013

The Elsternwick home of Ada and Leon Kagan.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

AMAZING original kitchen in the home of Ada and Leon Kagan.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Boys’ bedroom – untouched since the 50’s! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Leon and Ada Kagan at home.  Cannot believe the outfit / decor synchronicity here! So completely brilliant! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

I seriously cannot contain my enthusiasm about this amazing Melbourne home!  It’s a little different to the homes we often feature, but THAT is why I love it.  Too brilliant.

This very special home in Melbourne’s leafy suburb of Elsternwick belongs to Ada and Leon Kagan, who have lived here for 57 years!  The property was originally part of a land subdivision of the Rippon Lea Estate – as were all the neighbouring properties.  Leon and Ada purchased the land at auction in 1953, later hiring architectural firm Bogle & Banfield Associates to design the house.  In 1956 construction commenced, and by 1957 they had settled in to their brand new home!

It was so amazing to chat to Ada during this shoot, and learn a little more about her family and the history of this incredible home.  For instance, with a little encouragement from her grandson Dion (to whom I am indebted for facilitating this shoot!), Ada recounted meeting GRANT FEATHERSTON whilst skiing at Mt Buller, who was subsequently commissioned to design the fixed cabinetry in their sunroom – OMG!

Another interesting tale came from Ada’s son, Jack Kagan, who was at RMIT studying a diploma of building in the early 70’s.  Whilst sitting in an engineering lecture, he was amazed to see a slide depicting the Kagans’ house – his childhood home!  The lecturer was talking about the use of suspended concrete slabs, citing this house as an example of one of the very first concrete slabs used in domestic construction in Australia.  Amazing.  Think how many homes these days are now built using this method!  At the time it was an incredibly innovative approach – a building idea that had been imported from America by Alan Bogle & Gordon Banfield, the architects who designed the Kagans’ house.

But really, what is most impressive about this unique home, is the simple fact that so much of what you see here remains in pristine original condition, unchanged since the 1950’s.  The kitchen, bathrooms, all tiles and tapware, cabinetry, and even the wallpaper is original.  All these details are preserved in almost mint condition, mainly because this home has fortunately never changed hands.  The boys’ bedroom is possibly the most impressive example of this – it’s truly like stepping back in time!  Even the pictures on the pinboards haven’t been touched since the Kagans’ two sons moved out of home in the early 70’s… and don’t even get me started on that amazing paisley wallpaper, and the built-in cupboards!  Can you even begin to imagine how cutting-edge this would have all looked when the house was built in 1956!?

OK.  Enough from me.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  I do hope you love this gem as much as I do!  BIG THANKS to Dion Kagan for facilitating this shoot, and of course to Ada and Leon for sharing their very special home with us.  I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to document a little piece of Melbourne’s architectural history!

Front patio.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen door. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Original kitchen, looking through to dining. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sunroom – a later addition to the house.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sunroom – featuring inbuilt cabinetry designed by Grant Featherston!  True story.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Boys’ bedroom – untouched since the 50’s! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Original pinboard in boys’ bedroom.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Boys’ bedroom details! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Formal dining room.  Amazing carpet!  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from interior to front patio.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Entrance exterior. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Street view.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 27th February 2013


  • Bronwyn 4 years ago

    Gold. Absolute GOLD!

  • Saskia 4 years ago

    One of my favourite Design Files posts ever. Lucy, thanks for the peep into this incredible home. Well done Leon and Ada!

  • sandii 4 years ago

    thats stunning , its a rare thing an original house, what a treasure!!

  • Jenna 4 years ago

    Reminds me of the Brendan Fraser house in “Blast from the Past” – LOVE! xx

  • Kate Paillat 4 years ago

    Amazing, amazing, amazing! So wonderful to see something truly original and untouched. TDF home tours just hit a new level of awesome.

  • Natalie 4 years ago

    Your best ever house post! So original and stunning, and no designer-name products in sight – very refreshing. Thank you

  • Mel 4 years ago

    Wow. This house is beautiful. Love it!

  • Brian 4 years ago

    Great to see such a gem. And still so clearly loved by its original occupants after 57 years!

  • Jane 4 years ago

    Absolutely Brilliant!

  • Elroy 4 years ago

    What a wonderful insight! This post shows why TDF is truly unique.

  • Pip Lincolne 4 years ago

    This is the best house EVER. I love it SO much. Thanks for sharing it Lucy. AMAZING!!! *faints*

  • Amy Prior 4 years ago

    love it; as fresh as a breeze really!

  • Annie 4 years ago

    Love it! Fantastic & fun. Thanks Lucy!

  • Laura B 4 years ago

    Oh my gossssssh, best ever! What an amazing find !
    The Kagans are so gorgeous too x

  • Leanda 4 years ago

    Wow! It’s a truly amazing home and how completely adorable are Leon and Ada. I was born in the suburbs of Melbourne and my parents built their house in the late 60’s. I can’t help but think (looking back at old photos) that it might have looked a little like this had they stayed there :)

  • Chelsea Hing 4 years ago

    What a treat! I’m working on a 50s house as we speak, literally sitting at my drawing board. Fantastic inspiration.

  • Helen Morley 4 years ago

    The pin board in the boys bedroom is fascinating and a piece of Art all on its own. Brilliant home and what a delightful couple in their blue toned outfits :)

  • Madeleine Stamer 4 years ago

    I know that house well Lucy. I pass it on my daily journey most days, it’s a ripper! So rad to know who lives there and to see how they’ve lovingly maintained the integrity of the home. It’s a museum piece! xo

  • Kath W 4 years ago

    TDF has surpassed itself.


    Thank you so much.

    Just wiping my drool off the keyboard.

  • sarah 4 years ago

    Total love. I can only hope and pray that homes such as this remain untouched for future eyes. Brilliant!

  • Rachel 4 years ago

    Just great to see, my favorite post ever.

  • Nicole Gray 4 years ago

    I adore this so much. That pinboard in the boys room is great. This is a fantastic post!

  • Julie Klimt 4 years ago

    If only I had carpet in the dining room I’d put that stunning blue down in a heart beat. Love the authentic retro feel of ever aspect of this house. So much character.

  • Fran 4 years ago

    This one has truly made me smile. So authentic with a genuine and innate sense of style that truly reflects Leon and Ada’s tastes, lifestyle and history. I love it – it’s them and it’s credible. A real gem.

  • Gaz 4 years ago

    The house has so much character, probably because the mix of objects reveals the personality of the owners, not a stylist. The garden is truly amazing. Thanks for sharing an inspiring, unpretentious home.

  • Edwina 4 years ago

    So beautiful. I love that you have featured a house that has no new designer fixtures or furnishings etc. Just a couple who have spent a lifetime enjoying their beautiful home.

  • Jane 4 years ago

    Wow – what a great find! I can’t believe how good it looks and it just goes to show that great taste really does last – especially if you look after it! They look such an adorable couple, too. Really enjoyed having this to read this morning.

  • Jan 4 years ago

    I drive past this house daily and about 6 years ago I thought it changed hands and was soooo worried they would change it but I am truly happy it is still owned by Ada & Leon!!! I have coveted this house since I moved into the area and do so even more now I’ve seen inside! Thank you so much and to Ada & Leon – love your work! xoxox

  • Judy 4 years ago

    Oh Lucy, this is just the most beautiful, words cannot describe it, home. A true home filled with love and the most amazing structure and bones. What a gorgeous couple are Leon and Ada.

  • Mira Howell, MDIA 4 years ago

    It brings back memoriers……… refugees from Yugoslavia with my parents, have a similar story. The photos brought tears to my eyes just thinking about how my parents survived with no money & not able to speak english yet they educated us and brought us up in very similar surroundings. I guess my passion for Interior Design (now a designer myself) has come from humble beginings of wanting to create beautiful spaces to live in. Nothing has changed………..we all need our own paradise and Leon & Ada are at home in theirs! And I LOVE paisley!!

  • Pippa 4 years ago

    What a treat!
    More posts like this would be great!
    Now to find more great families like Leon and Ada, for whom time has stood still? Well done team TDF.

  • jo 4 years ago

    oh my god.

  • Fossik 4 years ago

    Perfect example of the timelessness of quality design. What a truly awesome home! Thanks for sharing this little piece of history!

  • Sophie 4 years ago

    OBSESSED with blue & white and anything 50’s. Just gorgeous – thank you

  • Helena 4 years ago

    I think I spent the longest on this post than I have on any previous TDF post. Wonderful! Thank you!

  • Marcello 4 years ago

    After living near Elsternwick for half my life I was aware of
    this house and am so glad to be able to finally see inside
    How Incredible!
    Thank you

  • isabelle 4 years ago

    Have never loved this period in decorating. A little bit is enough. However this is a major preservation of an era and that is important. What truly amazes me is that the Kagans raised two sons and never had to replace the carpet, sofa or wall paper. Also why did they never get tired of the same surroundings.

  • Justine 4 years ago

    Timeless beauty and love for all things blue!!! Great post well done tdf!!!!

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    What a gem of a house – and a very cute couple! Such a neatly preserved time-capsule of 1950’s architecture and interior design. Love it!

  • Leah Taylor 4 years ago

    | That blue plush carpet in the dining room is S T U N N I N G !
    I am sure the blue carpet is a woven Axminster. A far superior quality than typical machine tufted carpets today. They are still available, much more expensive than most but they last decades! Just like this one.

  • Sonnieson 4 years ago

    By far, the most exciting house you have posted in ages Luce. I love it.

  • nadsy 4 years ago

    looks like palm springs!

  • Anna McGregor 4 years ago

    Wow! Good taste never goes out of fashion. I love this post.

  • gemma 4 years ago

    what an absolute treat! thank you for sharing!

  • Kirsty 4 years ago

    I love this home tour. The house is spectacular! Mostly I loved reading about how you shared stories with Ada & Leon and really enjoyed the tour & the chat. Yes to homes & posts with heart! Good work Lucy.

  • Sarah M 4 years ago

    So precious in the true sense of the word! So unique and so inspiring in its style. And extra lovely to see the gorgeous couple that have created it. The Historic Houses NSW equivalent in Victoria should keep an eye on this. It would be a tragedy to not protect it as Leon and Ada have cared for it so immaculately for such a long time. Great find Lucy!

  • Natalie 4 years ago

    This is definitely in my top 5 favourite houses you have ever posted Lucy!

  • Victoria Smith 4 years ago

    This is one of the best design blog posts I have ever read. Well done!
    Genuine. Unique. Durable. Cared for over years and years.
    The world needs more of this.
    Congratulations to these home owners for being slaves to trend and obviously caring and maintaining their treasure of a home over the years.

  • Katie H 4 years ago

    I LOVE how Ada and Leon co-ordinated their outfits to their home’s interior!

  • Victoria Smith 4 years ago

    oops! my previous post should say NOT being slaves to trend!!
    i’m sure they chose what was in fashion at the time but I love it that they stuck with it over all the years!

  • Jayne Stewardson 4 years ago

    What a gorgeous couple, an amazing home and a wonderful way to start Wednesday! Thanks for sharing Lucy!!

  • Annelise Magee 4 years ago

    This is simply DIVINE; the most fab house you have ever featured!…so much love and pride is in this home -it’s a priceless piece of history….and so refreshing not to see any Danish furniture!!!!

  • Melissa 4 years ago

    A gorgeous timewarp!

  • Frangipani 4 years ago

    Flagstone flooring in sunroom. Yum yum.

  • Paula 4 years ago

    Wow gorgeous. Love a story. very Anna Spiro.

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    Oh I should qualify, I *think* (though I could be wrong) that the blue carpet is not original, I am pretty sure this is the only significant element which has been replaced since the 50’s. THANKS for all your amazing comments guys! Such a lovely response, I am sure the Kagans and their family will be thrilled!

  • Kylie 4 years ago

    Beautiful. Absolutely. More homes like this. Please?

  • Indra 4 years ago

    I adore this home. Because it is a real home, not impeccably styled to advertise ‘products’ of the owners, it has a beautiful history and represents those who have built and maintained it over the many years. Would love to see more posts like this in fact!

  • tiel 4 years ago

    incredible beauty. how super special.

  • Nicki 4 years ago

    I’m speechless! What a find! So much love there. And design slaves know you have to truly appreciate the history and foundations of a home to believe in everything in it so much you do not change a thing for over 60 years. Respect.

  • sarah 4 years ago

    so gorgeous and timeless and imagine having grant featherston custom built cabinetry. what a treasure…this one made my day.

  • Jen 4 years ago

    I never ever post comments – I always just perve on the houses – but I just had to write in to say how SUPER IMPRESSED I am with Design Files for posting Ada & Leon Kagan naturally stylish home. Their home is so REAL and incredibly gorgeous. Well Done Design Files team – more houses like this one please. This post is just so incredibly refreshing.

  • evie 4 years ago

    This is golden! Thank you Lucy for bring us this gem and to the Kagan’s for letting us take a peak into your treasure of a home. So much to look at and so much I love. Taking proud home owners to another level. The boy’s bedroom, that pin board, beyond amazing!

  • Liesl 4 years ago

    What a treasure. Thank you x

  • Allison 4 years ago

    how absolutely inspiring is all the joinery? That piece in the formal dining room is just beyond incredible. What an amazing home! What a gorgeous couple!

  • Josephine 4 years ago

    A house that is a true home in the best sense of the word. If only all homes were as cared for as this.I’ve seen posts in the UK papers featuring homes in original condition from the same era but they didn’t have the flair of this one. So much inspiration here. And it’s so valuable to preserve little snapshots of history. Thank you so much to Ada and Leon and to Lucy for allowing us a peep. xx

  • Allison Taylor 4 years ago

    Love it, eclectic, retro, fashionable and homely. And a bit of a blue colour theme throughout, favourite colour perhaps from decor to clothing, had a little chuckle, too cute. Says something about loving what you have and looking after it.

  • fiona 4 years ago

    amazing! more more more

  • Sheree 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for that post. It shows that good design really is timeless.

  • simon 4 years ago

    pinboard = brilliant. what a great house – such timeless design. I’d move straight in.

  • Margie 4 years ago

    beautiful. Shows how architect designed buildings have longevity.

  • Suzi 4 years ago

    This is probably my favourite TDF article ever! What an absolutely amazing home. Thank you thank you!

  • Lucy Mora 4 years ago

    Time warp at its best!

  • Barbara 4 years ago

    What I would give to have a peek inside this house! Maybe an open day for Design Files readers only? We are a nice bunch of people….

  • Suzy 4 years ago

    Advanced Style is so much better!!!

  • Amanda 4 years ago

    Really fantastic to see something completely different and NEW on TDF today! Whilst I do appreciate all the homes featured, this is the first truly different home I’ve seen in a while. And I love it!

  • Kaz Ross 4 years ago

    super cool!! absolutley love the house, ada and leon would be great people to have a cuppa with for sure!!

  • Natalie 4 years ago

    So cool and refreshing on a hot summer’s day.

  • brismod 4 years ago

    Such a great home today and so obviously loved. How great that you could document this home because there are so many well designed mid-century homes which are getting knocked down or completely gutted. Such a wasteful society. xx

  • Sally 4 years ago

    What a gorgeous home! It’s one of the best homes I’ve ever seen, very inspiring. What a fabulous couple. I’m guessing this house will be featured on a lot of international blogs thanks to you.

  • Bridie 4 years ago

    Absolutely love it. Would also love to know if the outdoor setting is original or ‘new’ as I’m after one exactly like that!! Please if anyone knows where its from or a similar one, please post it!

  • Lyn 4 years ago

    I have never commented on here either but this house just draws such admiration. Absolutely love it!
    It has such a welcoming and cheery feel to it and I am sure reflects this beautiful looking couple.
    Thankyou for a peek through their door.

  • DAVID PRIOR 4 years ago

    Lucy – this is my favourite story you have ever done. Congratulations. Timeless and full of heart.

  • Joco Cups 4 years ago

    A super refreshing review of a marvelous house. We would love to see more of these great Melbourne homes. P.S We have a friend who found her G.Featherston armchair in a mini-skip in Elsternwick ! True story. A suburb is full of surprises.

  • klare lanson 4 years ago

    in LOVE with the family and their home

  • Janelle 4 years ago

    What an absolute gem!! I love how lovingly it has been cared for over the years. Amazing!

  • Jill Brandenburg 4 years ago

    Wonderful. That home tells such a story. Just look at what is on the pinboard.

  • DonnaZ 4 years ago

    Oh my goodness.. one of the most inspiring houses I have seen in a long time. Just goes to show how after all the years the client is still happy because the original design was and is so brilliant. So pristine and beautifully maintained. What gorgeous folk. Thanks for this pearl Lucy F xx

  • Louisa 4 years ago

    This post made me smile I love how they have colour coordinated their outfits aswell, the whole post is fab!

  • Mrs Notable 4 years ago

    Not a cooler couple can be found. Amazing home and an amazing couple. Busting with inspiration after seeing this home. I hope some cool blog wants to see our home when we’re in our 80’s. AMAZING, LOVE.

  • pen 4 years ago

    love the boys room!
    love love love it all
    more of this sort of house please luce, the money drenched same same houses of late have been getting me down…..

  • caitlan 4 years ago

    I absolutely adore this post! Good on you for doing something different too Lucy! The photo of Leon and Ada has made my day – just divine.

  • Klara 4 years ago

    Amazing to read about such a beautiful family, you can see the love in their home. Thanks for sharing their story!

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    Brilliant post, one of my all time favourites. What makes this home so relevant is the enduring love and preservation honouring the original commitment to create something special. It’s so fresh and obviously still relevant that it seems to have aged elegantly and gracefully with it’s owners.
    Made my day, thank you for finding, recognising and sharing.

  • Candice 4 years ago

    ADORE this. Combines all my most favourite things : quirky personalities, aged folk, design integrity, authentic vintage, a pinboard, modernist architecture, faded glory + house pride.

    A question : were the vases/ornmaments in their original places or did you style them? ie. The row of buddhas atop the kitchen cabinets, the ‘genie’ vase in the sunroom, turquoise dog in the dining room.

    Love it,


  • Marmalade 4 years ago

    Wow, for a moment I almost felt like I was in the greek Islands with those brilliant blues on white colour combinations and the beautiful tiles. I’m so glad you shot this on a perfect blue sky day. These two absolutely radiate peace, love and happiness as well. Very beautiful thank you.

  • Elsa James 4 years ago

    Beautiful home – love the vibrant orange books against the patterned wall paper. And they must have a thing for the colour blue – the photo of Leon and Ada fits perfectly with their house!

  • Tash 4 years ago

    By far the best I’ve seen yet on TDF and that’s saying something!!! What a find Lucy!

  • Brooke 4 years ago

    LOVE!! So authentic, so humble, made my day :)

  • Jasmine 4 years ago

    Yep without a doubt this is the best home you have featured on design files! You need to do more stuff like this! So inspiring!!!!!

  • tess 4 years ago

    What a treasure! Thank you for sharing this wonderful home.

  • Sim 4 years ago

    Wow Ahmazing… What a gorgeous couple .. Like a time capsule, so pristine… Loved this story beautifully captured.. I hope Leon and Ada had as much fun as you guys clearly did.. Just great !!

  • Maria 4 years ago

    It waslove at first sight!!!.. and judging by the number of responses, a whole lotta people felt the same way. Cant take my eyes off it. Sensational xxxxxx

  • Laura 4 years ago

    How amazing – thanks Lucy for thinking a bit laterally about what makes a home great, and thanks to the Kagans for letting us having a peek at their home, and resisting the urge to “update” all the time

  • Margaret & Dennis Marks 4 years ago

    Thank you so much to Ada and Leon for sharing their beautiful home!
    Many happy memories.

  • sylvia 4 years ago

    this house is incredible, I cannot believe the perfect pristine every detail is in…. amazing!!!

  • Lauren 4 years ago

    More of these please! Absolutely love this home. And Sean, I have made that photo from the boys room my screen saver – too good.

  • Jenny 4 years ago

    Thanks Lucy for finding this beautiful home; and thanks Ada and Leon for sharing your inspiring, soulful abode with authenticity and grace. I’d love some more of these reviews of people and homes of different generations.

  • Helen Jaman 4 years ago

    WOW ! Up there with the best of the best Lucy !! Thanks so much for sharing this Ada & Leon….so inspiring !!

  • Julianne 4 years ago

    I’m clicking my heels……repeating…….There’s no place like home.

  • Marnie Gilder 4 years ago

    Absolutely amazing. The best so far!

  • Sally Cage 4 years ago

    Ugh, SO AMAZING!!!!

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    THANKYOU ALL SO MUCH for your unprecedented response to this incredible Melbourne home! I am so chuffed it has struck a chord with so many of you, and I know the Kagans and their kids / grandkids are too!

    I had a little chat with Ada on the phone today, and she is very excited and a little baffled by it all :) She says thankyou for making her home look so amazing (we did nothing it looked exactly like this already!) and she can’t understand why everyone loves the boys’ bedroom and paisley wallpaper so much – it’s her least favourite room apparently ! :)

    Bridie – Ada and Leon’s outdoor table settings are original mid century pieces, but I reckon you will find very similar at The Junk Company in Elizabeth st, Melbourne CBD, OR Grandfather’s Axe in Northcote. OR Angelucci Twentieth Century in Smith st Collingwood.

    Candice – you will be amazed to know I literally did NOTHING in this house! Did not move a book, a vase, or a postcard on the pinboard! It was a total ‘walk in and shoot’ situation, pretty much. Even those vases in the kitchen were already placed on the top of the shelves like that. And as for their outfits – TOTALLY un-planned! When I met Ada and Leon they were just standing there on the blue carpet with their amazing blue co-ordinated outfits on and I could hardly believe my eyes! I was madly nudging Sean saying ‘WE HAVE GOT TO GET A PORTRAIT!!!’

    Big love to you all, amazing readers. Thankyou for making today an excellent day! x

  • Leila 4 years ago

    You should feature more homes from older generations! I reckon there would be a goldmine of rad untouched houses…My nanna hasn’t changed the interior of her house since the 60’s I reckon

  • Amanda 4 years ago

    Brilliant, thank-you so much for sharing Lucy! x

  • Maria 4 years ago

    This is an inspired selection Lucy- more please!!

  • Rachel Castle 4 years ago

    I’m so sorry Ada but I have to marry Leon. Wow, congratulations to you both, STUNNING house, and such a gorgeous couple. LF you’ve done it again. xxxx

  • Eliza 4 years ago

    Wow, this house is just so beautiful! What an inspiring couple… just brings a huge smile to my face. Thank you! xx

  • Jessamy 4 years ago

    Fantastic house, beautiful photos. Great find Lucy!

  • Donna 4 years ago

    Oh my wordy lordy – Amazing house!
    Love the super cool pin board untouched since the 70’s in the boys bedroom!
    Great home with a great story. xx
    (ps And I agree with Leila comment 115 – I would love to see more original untouched homes.)
    Hooroo : )

  • Nadja 4 years ago

    This is an incredible place…I wish we could unveil such beautiful places in Germany as well. I am a huge fan of the fifties and all the design around that and I think this is one of the most beautiful posts I have seen. It would be great to see more like this.

  • Amanda 4 years ago

    What a gem would love to see more of these types of homes! ones that aren’t designed for show but reveal the true character and heart of the owners :)

  • msd 4 years ago

    Re. Ada being slightly baffled by how excited we all are. Well, speaking for myself, I love this house not just because it’s fab (it is … ahh, the cabinetry and that kitchen) but also because it represents the complete opposite of what most Australians do. It makes me think of all the wonderful houses that were torn down or gutted. I like plenty of modern architecture and design but I despair at change for the sake of change, at our short attention spans and mania for new trends. Ada and Leon resisted changing a great house not because they were consciously preserving it like a museum, but because they loved it and it worked for them. That’s rare and inspiring.

  • Siobhan 4 years ago

    What a find! Thank you Leon & Ada, Lucy & Sean for opening this home up for us to see.

  • kate 4 years ago


  • Amanda 4 years ago

    I did not expect to see a home like this on design files today. Most weeks, I have a quick look through the photos and enjoy them, but only return to the odd house. I can’t wrap my head around this house and need to keep returning to it – about 4 times today and I’m sure to be back a few times more.

    My highlights are the garden – lush and pretty; the floor in the sun room; splash back in the kitchen. Good taste is timeless.

  • Sasha 4 years ago

    A truly unique house (a welcomed refreshing change)

  • marie 4 years ago

    All you Need is Love – and that house and garden
    What a beautiful story – memories of my own childhood, my parents and the lovely home they provided
    A seriously uplifting story – well done!

  • georgina 4 years ago

    I know I am simply reiterating what has already been said but… wow!! Great find Lucy. So many interesting design elements. I cannot stop looking at the photos! Love the kitchen tiles. Thank you for sharing your story and your home Ada & Leon.

  • The Smutskys 4 years ago

    an absolute belter Lucy!

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    Just to repeat what a LOT of people have already said: this home is a very welcome divergence from the usual homes featured on TDF. Not to say the others aren’t lovely and mostly uber stylish, but this one has the authenticity, charm and personality (and yikes – I have to stop myself using the word ‘pizazz’) that a design book simply can’t replicate!
    I haven’t checked out TDF for a while (and usually only do so on a Wednesday anyway) – but this post has reignited my interest in this site. Keep it up Lucy and team!! And of course, thank you to TDF and the owners for bringing this to us.

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    Also…I’m astounded (and super impressed) with how sparkling clean their home seems! It’s so often that old homes with original furniture end up looking dull and musty.

  • Soph 4 years ago


  • Linda Watts 4 years ago

    Wowwwwweeeee! Lucy what a find. I was scrolling down expecting to see a young groovy 20 something couple. I was very surprised to see Leon and Ada, what an amazing story. Every room is
    divine, the colour scheme, the details, the fittings – quite mind-blowing that it has been preserved
    in such amazing condition. The DF readers have been really blessed to see this beautiful home.
    A real credit to you for showcasing it and a HUGE thank-you to the owners for sharing.
    It really needs to be put into your next book! Well done, Linda Watts.

  • megan 4 years ago

    Ada. Please give me housekeeping tips. the house and atmosphere looks so clean i could eat my dinner from your floor! m

  • garyp 4 years ago

    Our family have lived right next door to Ada and Leon for the past 57 years ( and still do – although downsized ) . They have always been the most delightful neighbors and their home was always the ” coolest ” in the street! They , and the home , deserve the positive recognition, Well done and warm regards!

  • Wow! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an entire house decked out in only one colour – but done so successfully!

  • landscape Los Angeles 4 years ago

    Lovely photos…So beautiful desing of the house. I love this photos. Thanks for sharing.

  • Georgina Campbell 4 years ago


  • Rebecca 4 years ago

    this stunning home goes to shows that quality and style last the test of time. what a beautiful home, i loved every aspect of it. congratulations leon and ada for having such vision and style. i would be lucky if i could one day create a home half as gorgeous and warm as this, its my dream……wish me luck!

  • erica 4 years ago

    i couldn’t wipe the big goofy grin off my face as i was scrolling through these photos. i keep trying to articulate why but i can’t seem to put it into words. it’s just so good. thanks for sharing.

  • Josephine Nyga 4 years ago

    Looooooove it! Particularly the amazing couple who have stayed true to who they be! The paisley wallpaper in the boys room in particular, sooo kool as the fabulous collage/pin board in their room. Thanks for sharing.

  • Donna Cameron 4 years ago

    How wonderful to see people with such a strong sense of their own personal style! When people know what they like, instead of simply following fads, this is often reflected through both their choice of clothing and decor.

  • look see. 4 years ago

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this place! :)

  • Carole Liivrand 4 years ago

    So refreshing. Taste is enduring. It’s so good to see someone’s personal taste and style unadulterated by today’s obsession with “cookie-cutter” trends. Every show home and stylised property for sale these days looks like they were created by the same stylist.
    True taste never dies.
    Thank You

  • Laina 4 years ago

    Superb. What enduring style. Thank you Ada, Leon and Lucy.

  • Carolyn 4 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous !!!! A beautiful home and a beautiful couple. Well done to them for taking such pride in their home, and for resisting the need to change it with every changing decade and fashion trend. Love it !

  • Liz Van Dort 4 years ago

    You could shoot a movie here…

  • Rozina 4 years ago

    Magnificent! You can feel the love! Thanks for pursuing this story. xo

  • fliss 4 years ago

    Like an absolutely beautiful time capsule.
    These days we seem to all be wanting the next thing that’s in vogue. But here is a stunning example of 2 people who are so happy and content with what they have had for so many years….no need to change! Perfect!
    Thank you Ada, Leon and Lucy.

  • Painters Sydney 4 years ago

    Such a dreamy and splendid home. painting is nice and floors are awesome, unique style.

  • Pamela 4 years ago

    This home gave me goosebumps, soo amazing!! I love everything about it.

  • Debbie Giacomi 4 years ago

    Yes….an absolute delight!

  • Ana 4 years ago

    BLESS. How gorgeous are these two! Super styley and their obvious love for the colour blue is an absolute joy to behold x

  • Pauline 3 years ago

    Excellent gem! Thanks for sharing!

  • Donna 3 years ago

    Doing a TDF homes catch up. Had to come back to this one. Just love it. : )

  • Deborah 3 years ago

    Hi Lucy,

    Absolutely divine – a gem! Did you happen to find out what timber the boys bedroom cupboards are
    made of – the patina is out of this world (obviously age) but still love to know.


  • Rita 3 years ago

    So wonderful to see something so different. what a lovely lovely home. x

  • Merryn Byrne 3 years ago

    Amazing home, very impressive!! I too have the same white round kitchen table!!

  • What a beautiful home – just proves that good classic touches never go out of style – blue and white, can’t go wrong. Such a lovely couple to share their home with all of us.

  • Cindy 3 years ago

    I’ve seen this home on so many of my morning walks and always wished I could see inside. Thanks Lucy!

  • Survey Stakes 3 years ago

    Very nice post. the collection of pictures are so nice. the dining room looks awesome. Carpet is looking soo beautyful. it seems that you like blue color alot

  • Just Coffee cups 3 years ago

    Simplicity of color and interior designing absolutely make effective and awesome.

  • Rita 3 years ago

    Lucy, Im still in love with this little gem. had to look . one . more . time .

  • Anya 3 years ago

    Amazing! Ada and Leon have the Kendall Concorde chairs around their retro table. Privileged to know that this couple has our chairs :)

  • jade 3 years ago

    What a beautiful home, love everything about it

  • melanie at remedy 3 years ago

    perhaps 2014 is the year to do a series of properties of this essence. love to see more like this, just brilliant.

  • So aesthetically pleasing. Well Done on a fantastic article of australian design history! x

  • Pamela T 2 years ago

    A copy of Ýou Only Live Twice’on the bookshelf in the boys’ room. Amazing. Love it. Well done to this lovely couple.

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