This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

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!

The Latest

Shopping

Greenhouse Interiors Have Transformed This Heritage Warehouse Into A Fully Shoppable Interiors Mega Space!

Julia Green’s latest venture is her most ambitious yet - a completely shoppable interior project spanning 600 square metres and two floors...

Designers At Home

At Home With Architect Shin Kil + Visual Merchandiser Jessie Choi

The minimalist Fitzroy apartment of architect Shin Kil and visual merchandiser Jessie Choi, featuring the sleek Samsung The Serif TV.

News

The Ultimate Tap For A Minimalist Kitchen

New additions to Phoenix’s award-winning Axia line expand the modern minimalist collection to sleek new heights!
Sponsored

Family

Finding Harmony In Life, Business And Family, With Meg Tanaka Of CIBI

CIBI's Meg Tanaka on growing up in Japan, running a family business with three young boys, and living life the CIBI way.

Modernist Australia

A Pristine Mid-Century Family Home Buried In Greenery

A North Balwyn home designed by architect Alan Nance and built in 1957 is on the market, and it's amazing!
Trish Callan

Homes

A Perfectly Personalised Art Deco Rental

The colourful, art deco South Yarra apartment of Skinny Wolf owner and florist Leila Sanderson, and sound engineer Tony Espie.

Shopping

11 Curated, Independent Homewares Stores We're Obsessed With!

The gifting season is upon us, but these local stores have an impeccable selection of items all year round!

Architecture

A Japanese-Inspired Heritage Home Transformation

Ha Architecture overcame heritage restrictions to transform this Hawthorn home into a Japanese-inspired tranquil space.

News

These Hand Painted Ceramics Celebrate The Soft Power Of Women

Femme Fantasy is the new 22-piece collaborative collection of painted, ceramic vessels from artist Marisa Mu and ceramicist Alicia McVilly.

Shopping

Shop Local At This Fabulous Pop-Up, By Four Of Our Favourite Creatives

Hattie Molloy, Sunday Salon, Curio Practice and Nicole Lawrence Studio come together for a month-long retail residency in Fitzroy. Retail is...

Podcast

Cormach Evans On Creating Space For Aboriginal Excellence, On TDF Talks

In our podcast season finale, Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans talks to host Lucy Feagins about the two organisations he founded and directs: S...

Architecture

A Breathtaking Coastal Home On The Tasmanian Shoreline

This serene holiday home by Tanner Architects makes the most of its rugged Tasmanian outlook.

On The Market

Victorian Charm Meets Dramatic Modern Luxury In This Princes Hill Home For Sale

Featuring so many modern, custom made elements, every room in this house has its own distinct personality!

Architecture

A Flood-Proof Transformation Of A 1960s Brisbane Home

Lineburg Wang saved a 1960s Paddington, Brisbane home from future flood damage, and added an inspired indoor-outdoor extension.
1.34

One Room Wonders

A Classic, Colourful Kids Room Transformation

We transform a simple baby's bedroom, with Surround by Laminex wall panelling, and a playful injection of colour, pattern and texture!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

A post-war home in Melbourne's inner west is cleverly revamped by Brave New Eco, with wheel chair access in mind.

Homes

An Iconic Mid-Century Home In The Trees

An Eltham architectural gem, with breathing space for Kate Stokes, Haslett Grounds and family.

Homes

A Spectacular Update For Mary Featherston's Iconic 'Featherston House'

Mary Featherston updates her iconic Robin Boyd designed home in Ivanhoe.

This Week

News

These Hand Painted Ceramics Celebrate The Soft Power Of Women

Femme Fantasy is the new 22-piece collaborative collection of painted, ceramic vessels from artist Marisa Mu and ceramicist Alicia McVilly.

Homes

A Perfectly Personalised Art Deco Rental

The colourful, art deco South Yarra apartment of Skinny Wolf owner and florist Leila Sanderson, and sound engineer Tony Espie.

On The Market

Victorian Charm Meets Dramatic Modern Luxury In This Princes Hill Home For Sale

Featuring so many modern, custom made elements, every room in this house has its own distinct personality!

Shopping

Greenhouse Interiors Have Transformed This Heritage Warehouse Into A Fully Shoppable Interiors Mega Space!

Julia Green’s latest venture is her most ambitious yet - a completely shoppable interior project spanning 600 square metres and two floors...

Shopping

Shop Local At This Fabulous Pop-Up, By Four Of Our Favourite Creatives

Hattie Molloy, Sunday Salon, Curio Practice and Nicole Lawrence Studio come together for a month-long retail residency in Fitzroy. Retail is...

Shopping

11 Curated, Independent Homewares Stores We're Obsessed With!

The gifting season is upon us, but these local stores have an impeccable selection of items all year round!

Architecture

A Flood-Proof Transformation Of A 1960s Brisbane Home

Lineburg Wang saved a 1960s Paddington, Brisbane home from future flood damage, and added an inspired indoor-outdoor extension.

Architecture

A Breathtaking Coastal Home On The Tasmanian Shoreline

This serene holiday home by Tanner Architects makes the most of its rugged Tasmanian outlook.

Podcast

Cormach Evans On Creating Space For Aboriginal Excellence, On TDF Talks

In our podcast season finale, Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans talks to host Lucy Feagins about the two organisations he founded and directs: S...

Architecture

A Japanese-Inspired Heritage Home Transformation

Ha Architecture overcame heritage restrictions to transform this Hawthorn home into a Japanese-inspired tranquil space.

Modernist Australia

A Pristine Mid-Century Family Home Buried In Greenery

A North Balwyn home designed by architect Alan Nance and built in 1957 is on the market, and it's amazing!
Trish Callan

Designers At Home

At Home With Architect Shin Kil + Visual Merchandiser Jessie Choi

The minimalist Fitzroy apartment of architect Shin Kil and visual merchandiser Jessie Choi, featuring the sleek Samsung The Serif TV.

News

The Ultimate Tap For A Minimalist Kitchen

New additions to Phoenix’s award-winning Axia line expand the modern minimalist collection to sleek new heights!
Sponsored

Family

Finding Harmony In Life, Business And Family, With Meg Tanaka Of CIBI

CIBI's Meg Tanaka on growing up in Japan, running a family business with three young boys, and living life the CIBI way.
1.34

One Room Wonders

A Classic, Colourful Kids Room Transformation

We transform a simple baby's bedroom, with Surround by Laminex wall panelling, and a playful injection of colour, pattern and texture!

Similar Stories

Homes

Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

A post-war home in Melbourne's inner west is cleverly revamped, with wheel chair access.

Homes

An Iconic Mid-Century Home In The Trees

Breathing space and a new outlook for Kate Stokes, Haslett Grounds and family.

Homes

A Spectacular Update For Mary Featherston's Iconic 'Featherston House'

Mary Featherston updates her iconic Robin Boyd designed home in Ivanhoe.

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.