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BEST OF Australian Homes 2013 · Ada and Leon Kagan


3rd January, 2014
Lucy Feagins
Friday 3rd January 2014

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.

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.

OK so today is our last day revisiting the Best of Australian Homes for 2013, and I must admit I have been saving this one for last because it is SUCH a gem, and was so insanely popular when we ran this story way back in February!

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, purchased at auction by Ada and Leon in 1953.  Later, the pair hired 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!

What is most impressive about this unique home, is the simple fact that so much of it remains in pristine original condition, unchanged since the 1950's.  The kitchen, bathrooms, all tiles and tapware, cabinetry, and even the wallpaper is original, preserved in almost mint condition!

For many more pics of this truly inspiring Australian home do pop back and revisit the original post here!

AND don't forget, we're back to our normal content schedule next week, posting as usual!

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

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email