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 Meets Modern, In This Thoughtfully Renovated 1960s Home

Architecture

George Santayana wrote ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

For Jade Vidal, co-director of Bower Architecture and Interiors, renovations to modernist homes present an opportunity to learn from the past, and build for the future. He describes his firm’s renovation of this grand 1960’s home in Caulfield as ‘New Modern’ – we think it’s a brilliant balance of mid-century ideals, and contemporary design.

24th October, 2019

The New Modern home in Caulfield by Bower Architecture and Interiors, Cosgrave Constructions, Meyer Consulting and Eckersley Garden Architecture. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

The exterior maintains its strong 1960s facade. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

At home with owners John and Ravit Walys. Artwork by Wilma Tabacco from Gallerysmith. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim

A generous living space centers the renovated space. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Clean mid-century lines, re-imagined for now. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Kitchen details. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Natural light floods the living spaces. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Rich interiors get the pooch approval. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Contemporary art in a newly contemporary home. Artwork by Carlos Barrios from Metro Gallery. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Plenty of room for entertaining. Artwork by Junko Go from Gallerysmith. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

A library with some very comfortable mid-century seats for reading. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Sleek views! Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

The new century vibe! Artwork by Wilma Tabacco from Gallerysmith.hoto – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Cool blue colours. artwork by Jean Gaya. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

A classic mid-century fireplace gets a modern update. Sculpture by Camie Lyons. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Welcome to new modern! Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

A strong exterior that has stood the test of time. Photo – Shannon McGrath. Styling – Swee Lim.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 24th October 2019

‘Hints of whimsy and glamour (but not glitz)’ – Jade Vidal.

When Jade Vidal, co-director of Bower Architecture and Interiors, first encountered this 1960s home in Caulfield, he was struck by the mid-century aesthetic, but could see the need to bring the 20th century past into a 21st century now. The brief was to rediscover and celebrate the home’s original features, and create additional spaces with ‘hints of whimsy and glamour (but not glitz).’ A balance of bringing the past to life, while imagining the future.

Externally, the home maintains its mid-century appearance, and as you walk through the Eckersley Garden Architecture designed front garden, you arrive at the new white geometric screening that references the homes’ original metalwork. Inside, the palette reflects the original materials of the construction era with timber, stone, and glimpses of 60s wallpaper. Jade explains the approach as one of ‘stitching together the old and new, so that a consistent thread was maintained throughout, with both bold and restrained gestures that, when experienced together, felt right.’

The layout has been reimagined to create a kids’ level, with two bedrooms, a family bathroom and retreat, which allows for modern living without dismantling the original frontage.

For the architects, this project was an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of a heritage renovation that builds upon the past, rather than replicating it. The renovations also encourage a strong relationship between the landscape, as part of daily life, as traditionally, mid-century architecture demarcated these zones.

The clients also played a key role in this renovation, working with Bower to select classic modernist furniture to bring a rich final layer to the interior spaces.

From the generous living space to the secret powder room, every aspect of this project considers how to marry the past, present and future. The result? A resolved family home that feels simply like it was ‘meant to be.’

This Week

Food

7 Days Of Home-Cooked Meal Ideas from Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of comfort food gives us a menu of nourishing meal ideas, plus a mega shopping list for all of it!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Architecture

When Two Homes Become One

Two adjacent houses in Fitzroy North become one very unique family home, by Austin Maynard Architects.

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

Times Like These

Times Like These... With Artist And Designer Beci Orpin

Feeling weird? Us too. Welcome to our new weekly series to help us combat all the strange feels by sharing the experiences of creatives we k...

Architecture

Three Amazing Homes, As Seen At Palm Springs' Modernism Week

Take a virtual tour of three, iconic mid-century houses we visited at Palm Springs Modernism Week, 2020.

Architecture

Elevating A Classic Queenslander, In More Ways Than One!

In Teneriffe House, Vokes and Peters put their own spin on a classic 'raise and build under' Brisbane renovation.

Gardens

Five Garden Designs You Didn't Get To See At The Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show

An overview of the key MIFGS exhibitors, who were due to participate at Australia's biggest garden fair this week.
Sasha Gattermayr

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

Modernist Australia

Terrazzo Marble Floors + Indoor Garden Oasis = A Modernist Masterpiece (On The Market)!

An inspiring example of great ingenuity from the early '60s that has to be seen to be believed!
Patricia Callan

Studio Visit

A Studio Tour with Simone Haag and Irina Rybakov of Pépite, at 'Le Space'

A studio visit with super stylist Simone Haag at 'Le Space', a new David Flack-designed studio space in Collingwood!
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!
2:34

Home Goals

Sophie & Dale Vine Share Their Home Renovation In Geelong

Sophie and Dale Vine talk us through their slow and steady DIY home renovation, in partnership with Bendigo Bank.

Dream Job

The General Manager Of Raes On Wategos Scored Her Dream Job, In Everyone's Dream Location

Francesca Webster's job at one of Australia's most iconic hotels is around-the-clock 365 days a year, and she loves every second of it!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

An Original Mid-Century Queenslander With Millennium Modern Flair

This Queenslander was built in 1964 and designed by acclaimed modernist architect John Dalton. Now, it is Bronwyn Labagnara's family home in...
Jo Hoban

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

View Comments

Similar Stories

News

Have You Ever Secretly Wondered…What IS Mid-Century Modern?

A visual guide to a celebrated era of design ‘From A To Eames’ by Lauren Whybrow and illustrations by Tom Jay.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

Making Mid-Century Modern Again

The rejuvenated 'Fig Tree Pocket' 60’s House by Bligh Graham Architects, in Brisbane.

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry

This Week

2:34

Home Goals

Sophie & Dale Vine Share Their Home Renovation In Geelong

Sophie and Dale Vine talk us through their slow and steady DIY home renovation, in partnership with Bendigo Bank.

Architecture

Three Amazing Homes, As Seen At Palm Springs' Modernism Week

Take a virtual tour of three, iconic mid-century houses we visited at Palm Springs Modernism Week, 2020.

Gardens

Five Garden Designs You Didn't Get To See At The Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show

An overview of the key MIFGS exhibitors, who were due to participate at Australia's biggest garden fair this week.
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

A Studio Tour with Simone Haag and Irina Rybakov of Pépite, at 'Le Space'

A studio visit with super stylist Simone Haag at 'Le Space', a new David Flack-designed studio space in Collingwood!
Sasha Gattermayr

Times Like These

Times Like These... With Artist And Designer Beci Orpin

Feeling weird? Us too. Welcome to our new weekly series to help us combat all the strange feels by sharing the experiences of creatives we k...

Homes

An Original Mid-Century Queenslander With Millennium Modern Flair

This Queenslander was built in 1964 and designed by acclaimed modernist architect John Dalton. Now, it is Bronwyn Labagnara's family home in...
Jo Hoban

Dream Job

The General Manager Of Raes On Wategos Scored Her Dream Job, In Everyone's Dream Location

Francesca Webster's job at one of Australia's most iconic hotels is around-the-clock 365 days a year, and she loves every second of it!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

Elevating A Classic Queenslander, In More Ways Than One!

In Teneriffe House, Vokes and Peters put their own spin on a classic 'raise and build under' Brisbane renovation.

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

Modernist Australia

Terrazzo Marble Floors + Indoor Garden Oasis = A Modernist Masterpiece (On The Market)!

An inspiring example of great ingenuity from the early '60s that has to be seen to be believed!
Patricia Callan

Food

7 Days Of Home-Cooked Meal Ideas from Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of comfort food gives us a menu of nourishing meal ideas, plus a mega shopping list for all of it!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Architecture

When Two Homes Become One

Two adjacent houses in Fitzroy North become one very unique family home, by Austin Maynard Architects.

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

Similar Stories

News

Have You Ever Secretly Wondered…What IS Mid-Century Modern?

A visual guide to a celebrated era of design ‘From A To Eames’ by Lauren Whybrow and illustrations by Tom Jay.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

Making Mid-Century Modern Again

The rejuvenated 'Fig Tree Pocket' 60’s House by Bligh Graham Architects.

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry