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

A Truly Fabulous 1970s Home, Untouched Since It Was Built

Interiors

We all know the seventies have been back in the interiors trend cycle for a while. But what’s better retro gold inspo than an ACTUAL 1970s gem?!

The Lawrence Road Residence in Mount Waverley was the home of engineer Ted Mason and his wife Denise since they built it in 1976. And it hasn’t changed since! They lived amongst this feast of shag pile carpet, teak furniture and emerald green accents for 40 years.

After Ted and Denise sadly both passed away a few years ago, their grand-daughter (stylist Cassie Smith) returned to the home to document the family treasure and its objectively impeccable design. It’s like a shrine to seventies style!

26th March, 2021

The Mount Waverley home of Ted and Denise Mason hasn’t remained in the same condition since it was built in 1976. Their granddaughter, stylist Cassie Smith, lovingly documented the family home. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Shag pile rugs, teak furniture and emerald green accents make up the entire interior palette. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Everything remains in completely pristine condition. Even the ornaments! Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

The Mason’s next-door neighbour, Ron Pounder, built the house from Ted’s designs! Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Cabinetry is a main feature of the home, with one storage wall holding 22 beautifully crafted cupboards! Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Some wow-factor Featherston dining chairs! Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

‘Everything was green! Green tiles, a green lounge suite, green vinyl stools and dining chairs, green table lamps, green curtains, even the green Duralex glasses that we’d drink Pa’s famous banana smoothies from,’ says Cassie. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

The geometric printed fabric curtains are a quintessential retro touch! Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Light plays on the joinery in the study. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

The to-scale house Ted built himself of his final design. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

The only thing Cassie added ahead of the shoot was some lush green velvet bedding from Kip&Co. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

‘It’s such a minor feature of the house but I love the recessed arch vanity in the master bedroom. I think it’s just so elegant and timeless,’ says Cassie. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Bathroom details. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Cassie Smith.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 26th March 2021

‘Nothing has been updated since it was built. Just about every book, ornament, piece of furniture and light fitting had been there since 1976.’ – Cassie Smith

This is an unconventional interiors story for us. Mostly because nothing has been changed since this Mount Waverley house was built in 1976. But that’s what makes it so epic!

The home of Ted and Denise Mason has been lovingly documented by their granddaughter, stylist Cassie Smith, who remembers spending years here drinking banana smoothies and making furniture in her grandfather’s workshop out the back.

Ted – a civil and mechanical engineer who built everything from cars to submarines – designed everything himself, acting as architect, draftsman, interior designer and landscaper on the project. ‘He even built a to-scale model of the project, which still exists!’ laughs Cassie. ‘Just about every book, ornament, piece of furniture and light fitting had been there since 1976.’

Shag pile carpet, macrame plant hangers, and rattan from floor to ceiling greet visitors from the threshold while brass details, curved archways, designer light-fittings and iconic mid-century Australian furniture unfold as they move through the house. Classic vintage pieces like Featherston dining chairs, lounge suites by Fler and Aristoc, and Stylecraft armchairs galvanise its retro status.

Every element of the house had been painstakingly documented by Ted. ‘In his folders were handwritten lists of every paint colour and wood stain that was used throughout the house,’ Cassie says. ‘He even kept the brochure for the mouldings and vinyl colour samples for some of the furniture they had custom made.’

The rich textures and deep jewel tones (hello crimson and emerald green accents!) are complemented by green vinyl dining chairs, gold-flecked lino and geometric-patterned curtains – all perfectly intact. Ted’s impeccable eye for detail is on show in every room – the red tiles in the bedroom are even colour matched to the doorhandles!

The only thing Cassie added ahead of this shoot was some lush green velvet bedding from Kip&Co (‘which was probably not too far off what they might have had in the 70s!’) – plus some ornamental plants that were popular at the time.

This untouched gem totally suspended in time gives new meaning to the phrase ‘forever home’!

This Week

Gardens

An Abundant Biodynamic Flower Farm Guided By The Cycles Of The Moon

An inside look at Alchemilla in the foothills of Victoria's Otways, where Phoebe East cultivates her organic farm by the lunar cycles!
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits The Market In North Warrandyte

The ‘Wright House’ has been named as one of Robin Boyd's most iconic designs, and it's for sale for the first time in over a decade!
Christina Karras

Architecture

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new Northcote home designed by MRTN Architects with Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway,’ inspired...

Shopping

Bold + Funky Rugs From Local Creative, Objects By Kit

Melbourne designer Katie Ford launched her lockdown-inspired furniture business with a duo of funky rugs, designed to brighten up our living...
Christina Karras

Architecture

Restoring A Mid-Century Apartment In Brisbane’s Famous Torbreck Building

A sympathetic renovation inside Brisbane’s heritage Torbreck building, brought back to life by Kin Architects and the owners.

Architecture

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking unremarkable homes and making them unique - including her own family home in Northco...

News

‘Open Mess’ Brings Together Art And Food For A Good Cause

Attend an ‘art feast for good’, featuring Melbourne’s best foodies across the art and hospitality industries, to raise mon...
Christina Karras

News

DOMO Opens A Luxurious New Sydney Flagship Showroom

Sydneysiders have a new design destination to explore – and it’s been curated to help you find your dream furniture!
Sponsored

Sustainable Homes

Two Sustainable Rental Properties In Melbourne’s Middle Ring

Bardolph Gardens by Breathe Architecture is an environmentally-sustainable and well-designed rental housing project in Melbourne's Glen Iris...

Studio Visit

Chef Turned Ceramicist Claire Ellis’ Amazing, Experimental Practice

She got her start working as a chef at Attica, but has since developed a range of beautiful stoneware, with sustainability front of mind!
Christina Karras

At Home With Sheridan

Interior Designer Brahman Perera + Restaurateur Jason M Jones’ Luxe Melbourne Terrace

The West Melbourne home of interior designer Brahman Perera, styled with personal heirlooms and luxury Sheridan bedding.

Travel

Eleanor Pendleton’s Guide To The NSW Central Coast

The best places to eat, drink and shop according to Gritty Pretty founder, beauty influencer and Central Coast local, Eleanor Pendleton!
Christina Karras

News

Mark Your Calendars For Cult’s Massive Sale Of Designer Furniture

It’s the best time of the year to score huge savings on your favourite designer furniture pieces!
Sponsored

Homes

An Architecturally Superb Melbourne Home By Sean Godsell

The meticulously considered home of Mandy Wilton in South Yarra, renovated by Sean Godsell Architects.

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

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

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

On The Market

The Ultimate 1970s Entertainer Hits The Market

This show-stopping 1970s home in Melbourne's north east has everything an entertainer's heart desires - a home bar, billiard room, pool, sau...

Interiors

The Seventies Are Back, Baby!

Have you been swept up in the latest interior design revival?
Lauren Li

This Week

Studio Visit

Chef Turned Ceramicist Claire Ellis’ Amazing, Experimental Practice

She got her start working as a chef at Attica, but has since developed a range of beautiful stoneware, with sustainability front of mind!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Architecturally Superb Melbourne Home By Sean Godsell

The meticulously considered home of Mandy Wilton in South Yarra, renovated by Sean Godsell Architects.

On The Market

A Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits The Market In North Warrandyte

The ‘Wright House’ has been named as one of Robin Boyd's most iconic designs, and it's for sale for the first time in over a decade!
Christina Karras

At Home With Sheridan

Interior Designer Brahman Perera + Restaurateur Jason M Jones’ Luxe Melbourne Terrace

The West Melbourne home of interior designer Brahman Perera, styled with personal heirlooms and luxury Sheridan bedding.

Architecture

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking unremarkable homes and making them unique - including her own family home in Northco...

News

‘Open Mess’ Brings Together Art And Food For A Good Cause

Attend an ‘art feast for good’, featuring Melbourne’s best foodies across the art and hospitality industries, to raise mon...
Christina Karras

Architecture

Restoring A Mid-Century Apartment In Brisbane’s Famous Torbreck Building

A sympathetic renovation inside Brisbane’s heritage Torbreck building, brought back to life by Kin Architects and the owners.

News

Mark Your Calendars For Cult’s Massive Sale Of Designer Furniture

It’s the best time of the year to score huge savings on your favourite designer furniture pieces!
Sponsored

Gardens

An Abundant Biodynamic Flower Farm Guided By The Cycles Of The Moon

An inside look at Alchemilla in the foothills of Victoria's Otways, where Phoebe East cultivates her organic farm by the lunar cycles!
Christina Karras

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

Sustainable Homes

Two Sustainable Rental Properties In Melbourne’s Middle Ring

Bardolph Gardens by Breathe Architecture is an environmentally-sustainable and well-designed rental housing project in Melbourne's Glen Iris...

Architecture

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new Northcote home designed by MRTN Architects with Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway,’ inspired...

Shopping

Bold + Funky Rugs From Local Creative, Objects By Kit

Melbourne designer Katie Ford launched her lockdown-inspired furniture business with a duo of funky rugs, designed to brighten up our living...
Christina Karras

Travel

Eleanor Pendleton’s Guide To The NSW Central Coast

The best places to eat, drink and shop according to Gritty Pretty founder, beauty influencer and Central Coast local, Eleanor Pendleton!
Christina Karras

News

DOMO Opens A Luxurious New Sydney Flagship Showroom

Sydneysiders have a new design destination to explore – and it’s been curated to help you find your dream furniture!
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Homes

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

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

On The Market

The Ultimate 1970s Entertainer Hits The Market

This show-stopping 1970s home in Melbourne's north east has everything an entertainer's heart desires!

Interiors

The Seventies Are Back, Baby!

Have you been swept up in the latest interior design revival?
Lauren Li

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