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Mid-Century Magic In West Footscray

Homes

Rich timber panelling, check. Leafy jungle of plants, check. An envy-inducing array of mid-century furniture, check check check. Today’s home is an undeniable winner on all fronts, offering the perfect balance of authentic 1960s style, with a thoroughly ‘Melbourne Now’ aesthetic.

This mid-century modern gem is home to Marty Gilchrist, his partner Erica Frick, and Marty’s sons Keller (12) and Asher (9). We chat with Marty about living in this West Footscray ‘time slice of the 60’s’ – without a lava lamp in sight.

17th October, 2018

The stunning mid-century façade of Marty  Gilchrist’s home in West Footscray! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Marty and his partner Erica moved into the original mid-century home in January of this year. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Marty Gilchrist with partner Erica and pup, Gerdie! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Gerdie standing guard over the valuables! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

In keeping with the mid-century style of the home, Marty installed concrete bench tops and retiled the kitchen with small white glass mosaic tile. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

When Marty first moved in the side of this staircase was plastered over – the previous owners knocked it out when he bought the house to reveal this unbelievable open staircase from the original design! 1960s Fleur chairs around the dining table. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Incredible original wood panelling. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

1960s Fleur dining chairs. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Australian-made 1960s Danish Deluxe sofas and armchair, made out of Blackwood. Australian-made 1960s Danish Deluxe coffee table. Vintage Planet lamp. Vintage Oslo lamp.   Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

An original article about the house written in the 1960s, hanging in the entranceway! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

‘The most challenging aspect was choosing the right lighting… oh the lights!’, reflects Marty! Apparently, they were ‘quite daggy and a little too Nana.’ Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Gerdie modelling in the living room! PH5 pendant repainted by Marty. Vintage Planet lamp. Australian-made 1960s Danish Deluxe sofa and armchair, made out of Blackwood. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

The original wood-panelled entrance way. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

‘The thing we love most about living here is that it has felt like home from night one. It’s bright and welcoming and the layout makes everyone feel nearby even if they’re upstairs,’ Marty tells. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Danish 1960s Fog & Morup pendants. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Vintage Planet lamp. Mid-century queen bed in Acorn from West Elm. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Bringing a bit of 2018 to this historical home! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

A very sweet outdoor patio! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 17th October 2018

‘This house felt like home from night one.’ – Marty Gilchrist.

Marty Gilchrist, partner Erica and his two sons Keller (12) and Asher (9) moved into this stunning mid-century modern home in January of this year, and quickly applied their own contemporary edge to this 1960’s property. Marty describes the vibe of the home as ‘at the heart of it, mid-century – but it’s not a hard and fast rule.’ Rich timber, streamlined furniture and a robust peppering of jungle greenery bring this property to life, and Marty highlights that the house ‘felt like home from night one.’

The menagerie of furniture looks like it was custom sourced specifically to slide into this 1960’s home, but Marty explains that the items had in fact been collected over years of gumtree trawling and second-hand shopping. When the house came onto the market, it was ‘the perfect match’ – the architecture and furniture seemed to have been designed for each other. The ideal mid-century marriage!

For Marty, the crown jewel of the house is the arresting staircase. (2018 is truly the year of the stair!). He explains ‘the staircase is part of the house steel frame, and we love how the hand railing continues all the way up to the ceiling, at night the lights cast a beautiful shadow across the timber floors.’

Lighting the rest of the house proved slightly more difficult, and required extensive research and testing to replace the ‘daggy and Nana’ fittings throughout the property. The family eventually settled on Danish brand Fog and Morup hanging wall lights, which illuminate the timber swathed home with a warm 60’s orange glow.

This home champions the use of timber, in both furnishing options and architectural details. Marty admits it could almost ‘seem too much’ to have triple timber detailing in the entrance way – yet it works perfectly. The layers of texture bring a richness to the minimal palette, and offers a robust solution for high traffic areas.

This ‘little time slice of the 60’s’ is a true gem of a home, and brings the best of the 60’s into a glowing new future!

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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 bea@thedesignfiles.net